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.
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.