Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA
Southwestern Reporter

September 2007

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Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) to be Discussed at Special Forum with Dean Garth

Did you know that 72 percent of first year students at Southwestern attended campus events and activities, and 66 percent did so their third year? Or that they average between 5.6 and 6.6 hours per week commuting to school? And that the quality of Southwestern students' relationships with faculty members has increased significantly during the last three years?

These and a variety of other findings about Southwestern students' experiences were collected from the 2007 Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) this past spring. Thanks to all of our students who participated in the survey, the Southwestern faculty, staff and trustees have a better sense of how the law school is doing in terms of "the extent to which law students devote time and energy to educationally sound activities and the policies and practices that induce students to take part in such activities." Dean Garth has scheduled an open meeting with students to present a report on the survey results on September 18 at 12:30 and 5:00 p.m.

This was the third year that Southwestern participated in the LSSSE, providing the law school with an opportunity to compare results with other participating schools as well as with our own results from last year. The 2007 national survey included 79 schools and nearly 27,500 individual respondents. More than 57% of our students answered the survey, slightly higher the national average, and an increase of four percent over the Southwestern participation rate of the previous year.

The survey poses questions regarding how students organize their time, what they feel they've gained from their classes, their assessment of interactions with faculty, staff and peers, and their involvement in campus activities. Students complete the survey online through a secure website.

By and large, the results show that Southwestern students are significantly more satisfied than a year ago regarding the "quality of relationships with administrative staff and offices," as well as with their overall experience at the law school. Results also indicate that there is room for improvement in the general areas of advising and planning, and in the development among Southwestern students of a strong professional identity.

According to Dean Garth, who chairs the LSSSE Advisory Board, "I am optimistic that we can continue to use the survey results to understand and improve legal education and student life at Southwestern. Over this past year, we have successfully addressed many of the issues that were of concern and have begun to focus on new areas this year through a variety of avenues." He is encouraging students to come to the September 18 presentation. "Those who attend will learn quite a bit about numerous aspects of the Southwestern Community," he said.

Among the many changes implemented recently that are related to survey results as well as to faculty initiatives designed to improve the overall academic program are: curriculum, grading and attendance policy reforms; improvement of final exam procedures; the implementation of WebAdvisor; the expansion of the wireless internet network; and increased staffing in the Accounting, Computer Services, Financial Aid, Library, and Records and Registration offices.

Co-sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the LSSSE survey is designed to collect information about student behaviors and law school environments to help law faculty and administrators focus attention and resources in ways that will enhance student learning and law school effectiveness. It provides law schools with information they can use almost immediately to improve various aspects of their performance and help students get the most out of their law school experience.




  • Lecturer (with Professor Michael Frost), Judicial Opinion Writing Seminar, National Judicial College, Reno, NV
  • The Fault(s) in Negligence Law, 25 QUINNIPIAC LAW REVIEW 695 (2007) 
  • Interviewed regarding the child labor law implications of the reality show Kid Nation, "Air Talk," KPCC
  • Presenter, "Remember to Stay Past 6:00 p.m. and other Guiding Principles: Conducting a Dual Division Site Visit," Chairs' Workshop, ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Chicago, IL
  • Lecturer (with Professor Paul Bateman), Judicial Opinion Writing Seminar, National Judicial College, Reno, NV
  • Panelist, ABA Law Student Division Deans' Panel Discussion, ABA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA
  • ENTERTAINMENT LAW: LEGAL CONCEPTS AND BUSINESS PRACTICES, 3rd ed., vol. 2 (with P. Acton, T. Selz and M. Simensky; Thomson/West, 2007)
  • Changing Territoriality, Fading Sovereignty, and the Development of Indigenous Rights, 31 AMERICAN INDIAN LAW REVIEW 291 (2007)
  • Interviewed regarding Jose Padilla terrorism conviction and Michael Vick's dog-fighting plea, "Dateline Washington," Radio America Network
  • Interviewed regarding U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation, "Mark Bernier Program," WNDB (Daytona Beach)

  • EVIDENCE IN A NUTSHELL: STATE AND FEDERAL RULES, 5th ed. (with D. Crump and P. Rothstein; Thomson West, 2007)
  • Reappointed Co-Chair, Innocence Committee, ABA Criminal Justice Section
  • Reappointed, ABA Commission on Youth at Risk
  • Meeting Participant, "Model Penal Code Sentencing," ALI Members Consultative Group, Minneapolis, MN
  • (Tribal) Sovereignty and Illiberalism, 95 CALIFORNIA LAW REVIEW 799 (2007)
  • Presenter, "The Failure of Constitutions to Limit State Power: How a Collapsing, Top Down Civilization Can Be Transformed Into a Free Society," at Refounding of America Conference, International Society for Individual Liberty, Williamsburg, VA
  • INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE DESKBOOK, 3rd ed. (18th Release; Practising Law Institute, 2007)
  • Chair, ABA Forum Committee on Entertainment & Sports Industries (see story)


  • Panelist, Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association of Los Angeles' First Annual Career Fair, Southwestern

ABA - American Bar Association
- Association of American Law Schools
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- National Association for Law Placement


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Southwestern Law School is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is fully approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (321 N. Clark Street, 21st Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60654, Tel: 312.988.6738). Since 1911, Southwestern has served the public as a nonprofit, nonsectarian educational institution. Southwestern does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or prior military service in connection with admission to the school, or in the administration of any of its educational, employment, financial aid, scholarship or student activity programs. Non-discrimination has been the policy of Southwestern since its founding.