Part-Time Day J.D. (PLEAS)

Professor Dorff teaching

PLEAS (Part-time Legal Education Alternative at Southwestern) is one of only a very few part-time J.D. programs designed to accommodate students with child or elder care responsibilities. Established in 1981, the four-year PLEAS schedule is typically arranged to enable parents and guardians to attend law school while their children are in school.* PLEAS students attend classes with traditional full-time students, taking the designated curriculum during the first two years of study. There are many opportunities for elective courses and externships during the final two years.

PLEAS students benefit from a special mentoring program under the leadership of the PLEAS faculty advisor, Professor Jenny R. Fee. Students meet as a group with the PLEAS faculty advisor throughout the four years of the program and are encouraged to arrange individual meetings with the Professor to plan out their course of study as well as obtain guidance with respect to various areas of law school life.

​​Part-time day students take the designated curriculum during the first two years, and a mix of required courses and electives during the third and fourth years, when they are also able to take advantage of externships, clinics, practicums and honors programs. They take 8 to 11 units each semester, and two summer sessions are required to complete the 87 units to earn the J.D. degree in four years.

NOTE: Other students interested in non-PLEAS part-time day status will be considered on an individual basis. Class schedules may differ from PLEAS schedules.

Required Courses

Courses Fall Units   Spring Units
FIRST YEAR PLEAS OR PART-TIME DAY      
     Contracts I & II 3   2
     Criminal Law 3    
     Academic Skills Lab I & II 1   1
     LAWS1 I & II 3   3
     Contracts 3   2
     Torts     4
     Criminal Law 3    
     Total 10   10
SECOND YEAR PLEAS, PART-TIME DAY      
     Civil Procedure I & II 2   3
     Constitutional Law I & II 3   3
     Property 4    
     Electives2 2   2 to 5
     Total 9 to 11   8 to 11
THIRD YEAR PLEAS, PART-TIME DAY      
     Business Associations3     4
     Evidence3 4    
SECOND, THIRD OR FOURTH YEAR PLEAS, PART-TIME DAY      
     Constitutional Criminal Procedure4 3 or 3
     Legal Profession 2 or 3 or 2 or 3
     Professional Skills Requirement 1, 2 or 3 or 1, 2 or 3
     Experiential Requirement 65 or 65
     Upper Division Writing Requirement 2 or 3 or 2 or 3
SUMMER OPTIONS      
     Electives   2 to 6  

*NOTE: PLEAS and the Part-Time Day Program required courses are similar to the Evening, but may differ slightly by semester in the second, third and fourth years.

1. Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills
2. Elective choices include such courses as Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Copyright Law, and Legal Profession, among others.
3. PLEAS and the Part-Time Day Program have Fall or Spring options for these courses.
4. If not taken as an elective in second year (required for graduation). 
5. Student must take a total of 6 units prior to graduation.