Southwestern is the only American Bar Association-approved law school offering four programs of study leading to a J.D. degree that differ in scheduling and instructional approach. In addition to traditional full-time day and part-time evening programs, Southwestern has developed two innovative options: PLEAS, one of the only part-time day programs in the country designed to meet the needs of students with child or elder care responsibilities, and SCALE®, a unique two-year J.D. course of instruction with an alternative approach.
To enable students to meet the learning objectives set forth by the faculty, the required traditional curriculum includes 17 courses, while nearly 250 elective courses, more than 150 externship placements, a myriad of practicums, various clinical programs and two certificate programs allow students to design a broad-based legal education or emphasize an area of law. In addition, summer programs on campus and abroad, diverse cocurricular programs, and a multitude of enriching extracurricular activities enable students to customize the law school experience to suit their needs.
Recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for innovation, Southwestern's cutting-edge first-year curriculum provides a unique opportunity for J.D. students to choose one of three tracks in their legal research and writing course - appellate, negotiation or trial advocacy - and to take an elective as early as their second semester. Upper division enhancements include a January intersession, capstone courses, and special "mini-term" courses taught by international legal experts.
Southwestern has also established a concurrent J.D./M.B.A. degree program with The Drucker Graduate School of Management of Claremont Graduate University, as well as California State University, Dominguez Hills for a unique J.D./M.A. in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding. Additional collaborations include Certificate Programs in Law and Public Policy with the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a Certificate Program in Bioscience Industry Law and Policy with the Keck Graduate Institute. For those who already have a law degree, LL.M. programs are offered in individualized studies and entertainment and media law.