Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Southwestern Alumna is Trump's New "Apprentice" April 23, 2007
Southwestern Alumna is Trump's New "Apprentice"

Stefanie Schaeffer '99 graduated from the law school's two-year SCALE® program

Southwestern alumna Stefanie Schaeffer has been chosen as "The Apprentice." She won the sixth season of the NBC hit reality show and a new job working for mogul Donald Trump, who said to her during the show's live Sunday finale at the Hollywood Bowl, "You're obviously brilliant based on your academic background."

Schaeffer, a 32-year-old L.A. trial attorney, attributes much of her success on the show to her legal education at Southwestern. She graduated in 1999 from the law school's accelerated SCALE program, the first two-year Juris Doctor program in the country with a unique instructional approach to teaching law. SCALE is one of the four J.D. programs of study offered at Southwestern.

"Thinking back on my J.D. training program helped me to compete effectively on 'The Apprentice,'" Schaeffer said. "The small class sizes and personalized learning enabled me to obtain caseload experience from participating in mock trials to preparing briefs and memos to developing compelling evidentiary support.  That training really helped me in the boardroom.  As I begin to apply my skills to projects on behalf of Mr. Trump, I will remain grateful to the SCALE program at Southwestern as a solid foundation for my new adventures as 'The Apprentice.'"

Southwestern's Dean Bryant Garth commented, "We are all very pleased for Stefanie and wish her well. It is nice that her triumph focuses attention on our SCALE program, an innovative curriculum that is as fresh and insightful as when it was initially created 30 years ago."

Competing with thousands of applicants, Stefanie began her "13 week job interview" with 18 other candidates each eager to claim the coveted title of Trump's "Apprentice" and the career opportunity of a lifetime working for the legendary business tycoon. As winner of the competition, Schaeffer will be assigned either to Capcana, a new golf resort being built in the Dominican Republic or a twin tower high-rise project in Atlanta.

Schaeffer, who was selected in 2006 and 2007 as a "Southern California Super Lawyer Rising Star" (representing the top 2.5% of all lawyers in California), began her career as a law clerk for Federal District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew. She is a member of the California State Bar and passed the Worker's Compensation Specialization Exam in 2005. Prior to joining "The Apprentice" team, she was an associate in litigation practice for Stockwell, Harris, Widom, Woolverton & Muehl, and previously with Goldman, Magdalin & Krikes. Schaeffer is a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society and is active in the Southwestern Alumni Association. She was raised in Palm Springs, California, and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Riverside.

Professor Harriet Rolnick, director of the SCALE Program, said "It comes as no surprise that Stefanie Schaeffer, one of our SCALE alums, has secured this highly sought after career opportunity with the Trump organization. This achievement highlights the national reputation of Southwestern and its unique SCALE program in producing extraordinary and multifaceted lawyers. We wish Stefanie our very hearty congratulations as she embarks on this new and exciting venture."

For more information about Southwestern or its SCALE program, please contact Leslie Steinberg in the Public Information Office at 213.738.6731. For more information or to request an interview with Stefanie Schaeffer, please contact Shelley Marks at 310.948.8088 or