Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
 
Prospective Students

Welcome to Southwestern Law School

Visit our new admissions website for prospective students

Established in 1911, Southwestern is one of California's oldest law schools. We are pleased that you are already taking the first step in learning more about our unique community and our tradition of being non-traditional.

Our law school is a dynamic place for go-getters, innovators, pioneers and entrepreneurs. We make a point of encouraging bright minds to take on tough challenges.

We are different than other law schools - in a good way - and we are proud of it. Southwestern is a place for people who want to make a positive impact, who are fascinated about learning, and who know the benefits and rewards of hard work. Many are content to follow the pack. Not us. Our law school is a dynamic place for go-getters, innovators, pioneers and entrepreneurs. We make a point of encouraging bright minds to take on tough challenges. Our graduates carve their own paths, try new approaches and defy conventional wisdom.

Southwestern is also a place where community matters. If you want to get lost in the crowd, you will find that is difficult to do here. At Southwestern, the deans, the faculty, the administration, and even the cafeteria staff will know you by name. There's a reason for this. Within a beautiful tree-lined campus, we offer our students the personal, intimate experience of a small, academically superb private law school featuring the breadth of resources normally associated with major universities. Our extraordinary campus is centered around a world renowned art deco landmark and now includes wonderful new state-of-the-art on-campus student residences. Our school is a nurturing place where students find future colleagues, caring mentors, and inspiring role models. Our openness and availability to students is an integral part of the experience. Students are never required to navigate legions of support staff to meet with faculty and deans. Our doors are open.

Southwestern's focus on community also manifests itself in what our students do. We have a rich tradition of educating lawyers who serve the public good and who give back to Los Angeles and beyond. Our students perform an impressive amount of public service through our academic programs and extracurricular outreach activities, enabling them to make a significant impact while developing their own skills as future attorneys. Being in the center of Los Angeles, public interest organizations actively seek out Southwestern students, giving them opportunities that few law schools can match.

We're defined in other ways, too. We are a lawyer's law school: our curriculum focuses on professionalism, skills training, and hands-on learning. It begins in the first year with our innovative three track LAWS program. Taught by full-time faculty with extensive law practice experience, the program introduces students to not only legal writing and research, but also to interviewing, advocacy and other professional skills. While many schools permit their students to participate in appellate advocacy programs only in the second year, Southwestern students have the opportunity to develop their appellate advocacy, trial practice, and negotiation skills right away.

We are a lawyer's law school: our curriculum focuses on professionalism, skills training, and hands-on learning. It begins in the first year with our innovative three track LAWS program.

The skills and professionalism training continues in the upper-division, in the school's Externship Program (one of the largest in the country), in practicums, and in our on-campus Children's Rights, Immigration Law and Street Law Clinics. Students also hone their skills in the January Intersession, as well as in mini-term, capstone, simulation and drafting courses. This law-in-action approach - in which students learn not just the law, but how the law works - means that students develop into well-rounded, thoughtful graduates who are able to bridge the gap between law school and practice.

There's no surprise that our faculty are committed to ensuring students are practice ready. They are skilled educators, caring mentors, and eminent scholars, who make a difference in the classroom by drawing on their passion for teaching, their practical experience, and the insights gained from their research. We boast having some of the most talented professors in the country. They all excelled in law school, many clerked for the judiciary at the state and federal level, and most gained concrete legal experience by practicing law in the private, governmental, or non-profit spheres. Our faculty members are authors of works contributing to the major theoretical debates that have emerged in recent years. And faculty research keeps Southwestern connected to novel issues of legal practice that circulate through the news media. The books and articles of our professors have influenced the laws legislatures write, the decisions judges make, and the way law schools teach students.

Our community and particular identity also continues after students graduate. Southwestern's alumni connections are particularly strong, with over 10,000 alumni in virtually all states and more than two dozen countries. From the school's Nickel Club with its newly-minted lawyers, to the Alumni Resource Network, to alumni receptions, Southwestern graduates have support when they begin their legal careers. Alumni serve as mentors, sponsors, advisors, and the source of a far-reaching network opening doors for graduates. They pave the way in a wide range of law and law-related professions, and they demonstrate - in board rooms and court rooms, in front of television cameras and behind the scenes - the real strength of a Southwestern education.

Southwestern is an exceptional place to study law. In many ways - by virtue of our history and our alumni - we are Los Angeles's law school, but with a network that spans the globe. We hope that you will come to our campus, learn more about us, and see whether Southwestern is the right fit for you.

News and Events

NEWS FEBRUARY 04, 2016

Juan Mendez, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, to deliver inaugural Jose Siderman Human Rights Lecture at Southwestern Law School

On Thursday, February 25, 2016, Southwestern Law School will present the inaugural José Siderman Human Rights Lecture, which...

NEWS JANUARY 27, 2016

Practice Spotlight on Medical Malpractice Attorney Linda Star '80

Linda Star considers herself fortunate to have gotten an early start in trial work while having the chance to collaborate with...

NEWS JANUARY 22, 2016

New Intersession Course Explores How to Legally Protect the Elderly

During the first week of January, Southwestern Law School offered a unique, new intersession course, Medical/Legal Aspects of...

NEWS JANUARY 14, 2016

Megan Craig '15 Wins American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence

Megan Craig ’15, an associate at Bayer, Wishman & Leotta, has won a Medal of Excellence from the American Bankruptcy...

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NEWS JANUARY 13, 2016

Southwestern BLSA Team Wins Regional Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition

At the Western Regional Black Law Student Association's Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition, which was held at the...

NEWS JANUARY 05, 2016

Practice Spotlight on Family Law Attorney Neal Hersh '76

This is the first in a series of profiles of Southwestern alumni who are prominent trial attorneys in wide-ranging areas of...

NEWS JANUARY 04, 2016

Oscar-winning Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin Among All-Star Panelists to Speak at Annual Entertainment and Media Law Conference presented by Southwestern and the Media Law Resource Center

In the digital age, the ability to reveal private data that could destroy reputations and companies is more sophisticated—and...

NEWS DECEMBER 16, 2015

Agustin Cavana, 2015-2016 Siderman Fellow

Argentine human rights attorney Agustin Cavana is the 2015-2016 Fulbright – Jose Siderman Human Rights Fellow at Southwestern...

NEWS DECEMBER 08, 2015

Southwestern's Biederman Blog Selected for ABA Journal's 9th Annual Blawg 100

In an overcrowded blogosphere, Southwestern's Biederman Blog has once again distinguished itself as one of the most creative...

NEWS NOVEMBER 25, 2015

LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell Shares His Views on His First Year in Office

On November 23, Southwestern’s Criminal Law Society hosted a special program featuring an interview with Los Angeles County...

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