A Comprehensive Curriculum

Southwestern’s academic offerings enable our students to follow either a broad-based or a personalized curriculum focusing on a particular area of law while earning the 87 units required for the J.D. degree. Beyond the 18 required courses*, you can select from 200+ elective courses, and numerous experiential opportunities to design your individual program of study.

First-Year Curriculum

All first-year students at Southwestern are required to take a six-unit, year-long course entitled Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills (LAWS). The course introduces students to key lawyering skills and helps prepare them for the real-world demands they will face as attorneys.  In the Spring semester, LAWS II enables students to apply their new skills in a hands-on advocacy experience.

Customize Your Curriculum

Entering students can put together their own focus areas drawing from a selection of courses, clinics, externships, and even student groups. Southwestern is particularly strong in the areas of entertainment law, criminal law, public interest law, business law, and international law.

Honors Programs and Law Reviews and Journals allow qualifying students to expand their skills and fill out their resumes.

Academic Success Programs help students not only with law school studies, but also with bar preparation.

*The SCALE 2-Year J.D. has its own set of required courses.  

For the LL.M. curriculum, visit the LL.M. pages.