Civil Litigation and Advocacy Concentration

Southwestern's Panish Civil Justice Program (see sidebar) is made possible by a generous gift from one of the country's preeminent trial lawyers, Brian Panish '84. The program's goals include providing top litigation training to students, creating a crossroads for judicial bench and bar, and strengthening the foundations of the American civil justice system.

The Civil Litigation and Advocacy Concentration advances the Civil Justice Program goals and provides J.D. students with opportunities to explore more deeply this discipline and distinguish themselves.

Students interested in obtaining the J.D. Concentration in Civil Litigation and Advocacy should complete the attached form, “Declaration of Intention to Fulfill the J.D. Concentration in Civil Litigation and Advocacy,” and submit the form to the Registration and Academic Records Office. To be eligible, students must be in good academic standing.

Curricular Requirements

To obtain a J.D. Concentration in Civil Litigation and Advocacy, students must take at least 15 credits of Core and Elective Courses from the list below.1

A student who completes the Concentration program with at least 6 graded credits of core and elective courses (in addition to the generally required Evidence course) and graduates with a Concentration grade point average of 3.33 or higher will receive the following designation on the student’s transcript: “Concentration in Civil Litigation and Advocacy with Honors.” A student’s Concentration grade point average will be calculated at the time of the student’s graduation in the following manner:

  • every graded course a student has taken on the list of core and elective courses below is included in the Concentration grade point average and weighted in accordance with the number of credits of that course;2 
  • a student’s grade in the four-credit Evidence course will also be included in the Concentration grade point average and weighted in accordance with its four credits.3

Not all courses listed below are offered every year, and students must meet all course prerequisites and requirements. This Concentration does not change any course prerequisites. Every Southwestern J.D. student is currently required to take various civil-litigation-related courses, including Evidence, so those required courses are not included in the concentration-related courses listed below, although a student’s grade in the Evidence course is included in calculating the student’s Concentration grade point average.4

1. Core Courses
 

A. Litigation Skills Courses: Students must take at least two courses and at least four credits total from the following courses:5

Advanced Legal Writing (2 credits)
Appellate Process and Brief Drafting (1 credit)
Art of Persuasion (1 credit)
Art of Storytelling (1 credit)
Capstone: Employment Law (3 credits)
Capstone: Mass Tort Litigation (2 credits)
Civil Pretrial Practice (3 credits)
Courtroom Procedure 101 (1 credit)
eDiscovery (1 credit)
Evidence Law and Practice I and II (1 credit from each 3-credit course may be applied)
Moot Court Honors Program (maximum of 3 credits earned for participation)
Select Problems in Evidence Lab (1 credit)
Trial Advocacy (2 or 3 credits)
Trial Advocacy Honors Program (maximum of 3 credits earned for participation)

B. ADR & Negotiation Courses: Students must take at least one course and at least two credits total from the following courses:

Alternative Dispute Resolution (2 or 3 credits)
International Litigation & Arbitration (2 or 3 credits) (Transnational Litigation and Arbitration)
Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation (3 credits)
Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (2 credits)
Negotiation Honors Program (maximum of 3 credits earned for participation)

C. Clinic, Externship, or Practicum Courses: Students must take at least one course and at least two credits total from the following courses:6

Amicus Project Practicum (2 credits)
Appellate Litigation Clinic (3 credits)
Externship (approved civil-litigation-related placements only)
Law Firm Practicum (3 credits)

2. Elective Courses


To the extent that the required 15 Concentration credits are not satisfied by a student’s taking additional Core Courses from the courses listed above, students must satisfy the remaining Concentration credits by taking Elective Courses from the following list:

Advanced Legal Research (2 credits)
American Justice System Seminar (2 credits)
Big & Medium Law Firm Practice (2 credits)
California Civil Procedure (2 credits)
Defamation, Privacy, Publicity (2 credits)
Employment Discrimination Law (2 credits)
Employment Law Survey (3 credits)
Entertainment Litigation (2 credits)
Family Law (2 credits)
Family Law Procedure & Practice (2 credits)
Federal Courts (3 credits)
Foundation of Tort Law Seminar (2 credits)
Insurance Law (3 credits)
Medical/Legal Aspects of Elder Care (1 credit)
Medical Malpractice (2 credits)
Practical Lawyering Skills (2 credits)
Practical Legal Research (1 credit)
Products Liability (3 credits)
Public Interest Law Practice (2 credits)
Remedies (3 credits)7
Small Law Practice Management (2 credits)
Tort Litigation Practice (2 credits)


1. Courses may be added or dropped from the Civil Litigation and Advocacy Concentration core and elective course list.

2. A student is not permitted to choose which graded course credits will be counted for the Concentration grade point average. At the time of graduation, all graded courses on the elective or core course list that are taken by a student will be included in a student Concentration grade point average, regardless of whether those credits exceed the minimum of 6 graded credits for Concentration honors or whether those credits exceed the minimum 15 credits required for the Concentration.

3. As set forth below, SCALE students taking the six-credit Evidence Law and Practice I and II courses are able to apply two credits of those courses toward the Concentration requirements for Core Courses. In calculating a student’s Concentration grade point average, the grades for the Evidence Law and Practice I and II courses will both be included and weighted in accordance with the full six credits awarded for both courses.

4. Evidence Law and Practice I and II, which is taken by SCALE J.D. students, is listed below, because the courses together total 6 credits, while the Evidence course required for other J.D. programs is 4 credits. Accordingly, SCALE J.D. students may apply the additional 2 credits toward the Concentration, as stated below.

5. Each of the courses in this category satisfies the J.D. Professional Skills Requirement or J.D. Experiential Requirement.

6. Each of the courses in this category satisfies the J.D. Professional Skills Requirement or J.D. Experiential Requirement.

7. For spring 2018, instead of taking the Remedies course, SCALE students may take Remedies & Community Property: Cal Bar Preparation, a three-credit course. One credit of this course may be applied toward the Elective Course list for the J.D. Concentration in Civil Litigation and Advocacy.

 
 
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