To qualify for the LL.M. degree in Individualized Studies, students must complete 24 credit hours of post-J.D. coursework, twelve (12) of which must be earned at Southwestern. The particular courses each candidate undertakes will depend on the individual's chosen area of concentration. Foreign students will be required to take the course entitled Introduction to American Law, Legal Process and Institutions. Courses previously taken for credit for a J.D. or equivalent degree will not be counted toward the LL.M. degree. A maximum of 30 credit hours may be applied to the LL.M. degree. Additional units may be taken, but they will not be considered part of the LL.M. degree.
Students may take classes in either the day or evening programs. Full-time students must enroll in no fewer than 8 (eight) units and in no more than sixteen (16) units each semester. International students must maintain full-time student status. Part-time students must enroll in no fewer than two (2) units and in no more than seven (7) units each semester. LL.M. students enrolled full-time generally complete their degree requirements within one (1) academic year. Part-time students generally complete their degree requirements within two (2) academic years. All LL.M. students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment in the program.
Both LL.M. Individualized Studies students who graduated from U.S. law schools and those students with foreign law degrees who intend to sit for the California Bar Examination must attain a cumulative GPA of 2.33 to earn the LL.M. degree. Students are graded using the same standards as J.D. students and must receive a passing grade in all courses. LL.M. students are not ranked with and do not affect the ranking of J.D. students. Students who earn the LL.M. degree may be eligible to take other state bar examinations, and, if successful, be admitted to practice. Students are advised to contact any jurisdiction in which they wish to take a bar examination to ascertain their eligibility to sit for such examination. For information on California Bar certification, see the "Bar Exam Policy" in Section 1 of the Student Handbook.
An LL.M. student with a foreign law degree who is taking graded courses for the purpose of sitting for the California Bar Exam and does not attain a GPA of 2.33, but receives a passing letter grade (D- or above) in at least 24 units, will be awarded a Certificate of Completion. An LL.M. student who has a J.D. degree from a U.S. law school and does not attain a 2.33 GPA in a semester will be placed on academic probation and will be academically disqualified after two semesters of full-time work below 2.33, or three semesters of part-time work under 2.33. LL.M. students must meet all other academic requirements set forth in Section 1 of the Student Handbook.
Students with foreign law degrees who will not use their LL.M. degree for purposes of taking the California Bar Examination may be graded separately according to the following scale: High Honors, Honors, High Pass, Pass, Fail.