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.

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

Making it Yours

Southwestern students can enroll in one of our official Concentrations or put together their own focus areas drawing from a selection of courses, clinics, externships, and even student groups.  (See left side bar.)

Students can further enrich their law school experience by participating in Honors Programs, Law Reviews and Journals, etc.  Please explore the below links to get a better idea of all Southwestern has to offer. 

Use the left sidebar to access course listings and academic calendars, as well as to learn more about learning outcomes and our academic success program.  Academic Success provides resources for law school studies and bar preparation.

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

Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute

  • Award Winning Biederman Blog
  • Biederman Scholars
  • Industry Connections
  • Entertainment & Intellectual Property Alumni Association (SWEIP)

Concentrations & Customizations

  • Civil Litigation & Advocacy
  • Criminal Law
  • Entertainment & Media Law
  • Public Interest
  • Technology Law & Entrepreneurship

Honors Programs

  • Moot Court
  • Negotiations
  • Trial Advocacy (TAHP)

Interdisciplinary Study

  • Public Policy at Pardee Rand
  • Bioscience Industry Law & Practice at Keck 

Law Reviews & Journals

  • Southwestern Law Review
  • Southwestern Journal of International Law
  • Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law

Upper-Division Curriculum Highlights

  • Professional Skills Requirement
  • Experiential Requirement
  • Writing Requirement
  • Intersession / Capstone / Mini-Term