Five J.D. Concentrations / Unlimited Number of Ways to Customize your Curriculum
- Civil Litigation & Advocacy - Southwestern's Panish Civil Justice Program is made possible by a generous gift from one of the country's preeminent trial lawyers, Brian Panish '84. The program's goals include providing top litigation training to students, creating a crossroads for judicial bench and bar, and strengthening the foundations of the American civil justice system
- Criminal Law & Advocacy - Southwestern offers a comprehensive program of courses, clinics, and externship opportunities to advance and guide the training of J.D. students in Criminal Law and Advocacy
- Entertainment & Media Law - Southwestern established the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute in 2000 to expand upon Southwestern’s long history of involvement with the entertainment and media industries. With the cooperation of the Institute, Southwestern offers a rich spectrum of media and entertainment law courses and experiential learning opportunities under the direction of faculty who have tremendous practical experience in the field. Among its many accolades and honors, Southwestern has been recognized as one of the top ten law schools in the country for entertainment law by The Hollywood Reporter and as the top law school for entertainment law by lawstreetmedia.com
- Public Interest Law - Since its founding, Southwestern has held public interest as a central component of its curriculum and philosophy. Southwestern encourages public service through a rich selection of programs, courses, activities, and individual pursuits. Being located in the “public interest corridor” in Los Angeles provides Southwestern’s students with numerous opportunities to serve the community. Students participating in public interest work during law school is not only a rewarding way to make a difference in the community but is also an opportunity to learn and cultivate lawyering skills valued is all practice areas
- Technology Law & Entrepreneurship - This specialized program allows students to focus on a rich curriculum emphasizing technology law. The program recognizes that the fast-changing environment of high-technology industries requires lawyers capable of developing and implementing innovative legal strategies. The program prepares students for the evolving contemporary workforce by allowing them to participate in a structured series of advanced courses including intellectual property, technology law, commercial transactions, corporate structuring, entrepreneurship, and regulatory, administrative and international law, and more
- Unlimited Curricular Possibilities - Focus on a practice area that interests you by combining courses, externships, and clinical experiences with co-curricular and extracurricular activities
Support Network – As a Southwestern student, you have access to people and resources to help you succeed academically, emotionally, physically, and socially
- 30+ Student Organizations – opportunities to socialize, develop networking skills and connect with fellow students
- Disability Services – Exam accommodations, help downloading class work, or anything else you need to succeed (contact the Dean of Student and Diversity Affairs Office)
- On-Campus Psychological Counselor – Free and confidential brief counseling is provided on campus by a licensed psychotherapist
- Peer Mentors and Dean’s Fellows – Student guides to help you navigate and succeed in your new environment
- The Counseling Center – A welcoming place for academic counseling and curriculum-planning guidance
- Student Success Programs – Workshops, courses, programs, and counseling to help you achieve your full academic potential
- Student Health Insurance - Southwestern offers affordable coverage that is accessible to all students regardless of a previous condition and continues through the bar exam for graduating students.
- Wellness Week – Stress management programs, therapy dogs, and health education events
- The Writing Center – Writing experts provide individualized assistance and specialized workshops
Experiential Learning / Clinics & Externships
- Appellate Litigation Clinic – Students work with a professor litigating a pro bono appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, up to and including oral argument before the court
- Children’s Rights Clinic – Students represent low-income children in school discipline proceedings or children with disabilities in special education proceedings, and work with community groups to advocate for better and more equitable educational opportunities
- Community Lawyering Clinic – In this unique collaboration between Southwestern and California State University, Northridge (CSUN), law students represent CSUN students in a variety of immigration cases and staff the on-campus CSUN Student Legal Clinic. In addition to representing clients, law students conduct legal community outreach workshops and policy advocacy for CSUN’s student community
- Entertainment and the Arts Legal Clinic – Students who have demonstrated exceptional competency and interest in media and entertainment law interview for available seats in this clinical course. Students provide production, business, and legal affairs services for independent documentary and feature films under faculty supervision. This clinic received a generous grant from The Hollywood Foreign Press Association
- Family Law Clinic – This is a community-based clinic partnering with the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law. Students help protect victims of domestic violence, improve the well-being of children in poverty, and empower people needing meaningful access to the family law courts
- Immigration Clinic – Students represent children and adults in immigration matters such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Violence Against Women Act, and U-Visa cases where clients have been abused, neglected, or abandoned; or are crime victims
- Street Law Clinic – Students teach law-related critical life skills to high school students, most of whom are “in” the dependency or juvenile justice system. Clinic students step into the roles of teacher, mentor, and advocate to inform teenagers about their rights and to provide legal information and resources needed to transition to independent living successfully
- Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic – Students represent a client in a Youth Offender Parole hearing (YOPH) – a special proceeding for people who were convicted of serious juvenile crimes as a juvenile or young adult (under 23 years old)
Externships - Southwestern typically places approximately 400 externships each year. About three-quarters of our students complete at least one externship, and more than a quarter take two externships as part of their J.D. curriculum. Settings range from the California Attorney General’s Office to Warner Music Group, from the Alliance for Children’s Rights to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and from the California Supreme Court to the United States Court of Appeals.
Links to More Detailed Information
One thing that I really appreciate about Southwestern after starting the program here is great student population here.
I think as a busy entrepreneur professional that's still working full-time, having the support from the staff and I get from the professors-- that's really one of the benefits that I love. They're really here to support you and set you up for success.
The faculty has recently approved five concentrations that are designed to help students focus in an area that they're particularly interested in-- criminal law, civil trial practice, technology and entrepreneurship, public interest, and, of course, entertainment and media law. There is a great deal of experiential learning available-- clinical courses where faculty members are supervising the students.
So I've participated in community lawyering clinic. And currently, I'm in a part of the street law clinic, which is a great program. The main intention of the clinics is to be able to go out in the community and provide legal services for individuals that may not have access to resources. These are skills that I'll actually be able to use when I become a licensed attorney.
We have one of the largest and richest extern programs in the nation in part because we're located in a city that has so much activity in close proximity to us. And I've never seen an alumni group as involved in a law school as this one.