Concentrations & Customizations

There are two main ways you can customize your J.D. curriculum.

The first way is by participating in one of five Concentrations.  A concentration is similar to an undergraduate major.  There are required courses, a minimum number of applicable units,  and a notation on your transcript (see below for details). 

The second way is less formal.  You can focus on a practice area that interests you by combining courses, externships and clinical experiences with co-curricular and extracurricular activities.   You can explore different areas of law and career options, network with alumni and students, and develop a specialized skill set. The focus areas below illustrate some of the many ways you can customize your curriculum at Southwestern. 

Be creative! Explore an emerging area of law! Figure out where you excel!

Concentrations

  1. Civil Litigation & Advocacy

    Southwestern's Panish Civil Justice Program 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.


    About the Panish Civil Justice Program

    Brian Panish

    Southwestern established the Panish Civil Justice Program in 2017, following a generous endowment gift from Southwestern alumnus Brian Panish ’84, one of the country’s leading trial attorneys.  

    Mr. Panish obtained a $4.9 billion verdict in Anderson v. General Motors, the largest personal injury verdict ever obtained.  He has also obtained more than 75 verdicts in excess of $10 million, and more than 250 verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million in personal injury, car accident, wrongful death, and business litigation cases.  Mr. Panish has also obtained three verdicts in excess of $50 million in personal injury cases — more than any other attorney in California.  

    Mr. Panish has also been appointed to serve as a leading plaintiffs’ counsel in numerous mass torts and major disaster cases, including train crashes, airplane disasters, pharmaceuticals, and defective product cases.  He has been repeatedly named as a top lawyer in California and nationally by the National Law Journal, Daily Journal, and Recorder.

    The Panish Civil Justice 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.


    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.

  2. Criminal Law & Advocacy

    Southwestern offers a comprehensive program of courses, clinics, and externship opportunities to advance and guide the training of J.D. students in Criminal Law and Advocacy.

    In addition to the Criminal Law and Constitutional Criminal Procedure courses that are required to be taken by all Southwestern J.D. students, Southwestern has offered numerous specialized courses related to criminal law, as well as related seminars. In addition, Southwestern has offered externship placements at the California Court of Appeal, California Superior Court, Federal Public Defender, Inner City Law Center, Los Angeles County District Attorney, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Moreover, Southwestern offers a Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic.  Southwestern’s active and award-winning Trial Advocacy Honors Program and Moot Court Honors Program also provide useful skills for students interested in criminal law and advocacy. 


    Southwestern alumni have long excelled in the area of criminal law and advocacy.  Approximately 220 alumni serve as Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County, and approximately 140 alumni serve as Public Defenders in Los Angeles County.  In addition, approximately 80 Southwestern alumni currently serve as judges in Southern California, and two Southwestern alumni have served as Presiding Judges in Southern California, for Los Angeles County and Ventura County.  In recent years, Southwestern alumni were honored as Los Angeles County Bar Association Defense Lawyer of the Year, Los Angeles County Bar Association Prosecutor of the Year, California Lawyer Criminal Attorney of the Year, and California State Bar Public Lawyer of the Year.  On campus, the Criminal Law Society, a student organization, is also indicative of current students’ interest in studying and pursuing careers in criminal law after graduation. 
     

    Eligibility

    To receive optimal advising, students are encouraged to register for the Concentration at the end of their first year (end of the third semester for part-time students), or as soon as possible thereafter.  To register for the Concentration, students must be in good academic standing.

    A student who completes the Concentration program with at least 6 graded credits of core and elective courses 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 Criminal Law 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;1 and
    • a student’s grade in the Constitutional Criminal Procedure and Evidence courses will also be included in the Concentration grade point average and weighted in accordance with each course’s credits.

    Complete the Registration Form below and return it to the Reg Office. 

    Image - Criminal Law and Advocacy Registration Form

    Criminal Law and Advocacy Registration Form

    PDF

    Curricular Requirements

    To obtain a J.D. Concentration in Criminal Law and Advocacy, a student must take at least 15 credits of Core and Elective Courses from the list below.Students who complete the J.D. Concentration will receive a designation of “Concentration in Criminal Law and Advocacy” on their transcripts.  

    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 courses related to criminal law, including Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and Evidence, so those required courses are not included in the concentration-related courses listed below.

     

    1. Core Courses
     

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

    Advanced Street Law Clinic (1 credit) 
    Amicus Project Practicum (2 credits) 
    Appellate Litigation Clinic (5 credits) 
    Children’s Rights Clinic (5 credits) 
    Externship (approved sites related to criminal law only)
    Street Law Clinic (3 credits) 
    Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic (3 credits) 

    B. Skills Courses: Students must take at least three courses and at least six credits total from the following courses:

    Advanced Legal Writing (2 credits) 
    Appellate Process and Brief Drafting (1 credit) 
    Art of Persuasion (1 credit) 
    Art of Storytelling (1 credit) 
    Capstone: Complex Criminal Litigation (2 credits) 
    Courtroom Procedure 101 (1 credit) 
    Criminal Law in Action (1 credit) 
    Criminal Litigation in Practice (2 credits) 
    Evidence Law and Practice I and II (1 credit from each 3-credit course may be 
    applied) (SCALE) 
    Evolution of Cannabis Law (1 credit) 
    Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiating (2 credits) 
    Moot Court Honors Program (up to 3 credits may apply) 
    Negotiation and Dispute Resolution (2 credits) (SCALE) 
    Select Problems in Evidence Lab (1 credit)4 
    Trial Advocacy (2 or 3 credits)
    Trial Advocacy Honors Program (up to 3 credits may apply)

    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 Criminal Procedure (bail to jail) (3 credits) 
    American Justice System Seminar (2 credits) 
    Children and the Law (2 credits) 
    Comparative Criminal Procedure (2 credits) 
    Criminal Law Practice (3 credits) 
    Criminal Law Seminar: Contemporary Issues (2 credits) 
    Criminal Law Seminar: Sex Crimes (2 credits) 
    Forensic Evidence (2 credits) 
    Government Investigations & Prosecution (2 credits) 
    Immigration Law and Crimes (1 credit) 
    International Protection of Human Rights (2 credits) 
    Legal Arguments about Moral & Political Issues Seminar (2 credits)
    Legislation (2 credits) 
    National Security Law (3 credits) 
    Prison Law & Mass Incarceration (2 credits) 
    Race and the Law Seminar (2 credits) 
    White Collar Crime (3 credits)  
    Youth at Risk (2 credits) 


    1 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 in core and elective courses for Concentration honors or whether those credits exceed the minimum 15 credits required for the Concentration.

    2 With the approval of the Vice Dean and with notice to the faculty, courses may be added or dropped from the Criminal Law and Advocacy Concentration core and elective course list.   

    3 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. 


    4 SCALE J.D. students are not eligible to take Selected Problems in Evidence Lab because SCALE students separately take Evidence Lab in connection with Evidence Law and Practice I and II. 

  3. Entertainment & Media Law

    Southwestern offers a comprehensive program of courses, clinics, and externship opportunities to advance and guide the training of J.D. students in Entertainment and Media Law.

    Southwestern established the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute in 2000 to expand upon Southwestern’s long history of involvement with the entertainment and media industries.  With the cooperation of the Institute, Southwestern offers a rich spectrum of media and entertainment law courses and experiential learning opportunities under the direction of faculty who have tremendous practical experience in the field.  Indeed, Southwestern has been recognized as one of the top ten law schools in the country for entertainment law by The Hollywood Reporter and as the top law school for entertainment law by lawstreetmedia.com, among other honors. 

    Eligibility

    To receive optimal advising, students are expected to register for the Concentration at the end of their first year (end of the third semester for part-time students), or as soon as possible thereafter.  The Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute will provide a mandatory orientation for students in the Concentration, offering guidance to students about entertainment and media courses, externships, and work experiences.  To register for the Concentration, students must be in good academic standing. 

    A student who completes the Concentration program with at least 10 graded credits of Core and Elective courses 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 Entertainment and Media Law with Honors."  A student's Concentration grade point average will be calculated at the time of the student's graduation, and every graded course a student has taken on the list of core and elective courses below will be included in the Concentration grade point average and weighted in accordance with the number of credits of that course.1 

    Complete the Registration Form below and return it to the Reg Office. 

    Image - Entertainment and Media Law Registration Form

    Entertainment and Media Law Registration Form

    PDF

    Curricular Requirements

    To obtain a J.D. Concentration in Entertainment and Media Law, students must take at least 15 credits of Core and Elective Courses from the list below.2 All students must register for the concentration.

    Not all courses listed below are offered every year, and students must meet all course prerequisites and requirements.3  This Concentration does not change any course prerequisites.  Every Southwestern J.D. student is currently required to take various courses related to entertainment and media law (such as Contracts, for example) so those required courses are not included in the concentration-related courses listed below.  

     

    1. Core Courses
     

    A. Foundational Courses: All students must take Copyright Law (3 credits). In addition, students must take at least one of the following additional Foundational Courses4:

    Entertainment Law (3 credits)
    Mass Media Law (2 credits)
    Trademark Law (2 credits)

    B. Externship Courses: Students must take at least one externship in entertainment or media law for at least three credits. Entertainment/media externships generally consist of 2-5 credits per instance, and include placements at law firms, content producers, content distributors, unions, talent agencies, and management companies.

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

    Capstone: Entertainment Law (3 credits)
    Drafting Entertainment Industry Contracts (3 credits)
    Entertainment & the Arts Legal Clinic I & II (3 credits for each course)
    Entertainment Business Affairs Negotiation (2 credits)
    Intellectual Property Licensing: Law & Practice (3 credits)
    Negotiation Honors Program (maximum of 3 credits earned for participation)
    Video Game Agreements (2 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 Entertainment Law Seminar (2 credits)
    Advertising Law (2 credits)
    Amateur Sports Law (2 credits)
    Chain of Title (1 credit)
    Comparative Media Law and Policy (3 credits)
    Copyright in Comparative Perspective (3 credits)
    Defamation, Privacy, Publicity (2 credits)
    Emerging Issues in Entertainment (2 credits)
    Entertainment & Media Litigation (2 credits)
    Entertainment Industry Guilds (2 credits)
    Entertainment Law and the Evolving Web (1 credit)
    Entertainment Law Blog (2 credits)
    Entertainment Litigation (2 credits)
    Fashion Law (2 credits)
    Financing & Distributing Independent Films (2 credits)
    Independent Study on the Profession (SCALE) (only related to entertainment or media
    law) (2 credits)
    Intellectual Property Licensing in the Entertainment Industry (3 credits)
    International & Comp IP Law (1 credit)
    International Art Law (3 credits)
    International Comparative Intellectual Property Law (3 credits)
    International Entertainment Law (1 credit)
    International Music Law (1 or 3 credits)
    International Sports Law (3 credits)
    Media as an International Human Right (1 credit)
    Motion Picture Delivery Requirements (1 credit)
    Motion Picture Marketing & Distribution (2 credits)
    Motion Picture Production Law (2 credits)
    Museum and Art Law Seminar (2 credits)
    Music for Film & Television (1 credit)
    Music Industry Contracts (2 credits)
    Music Touring Law (2 credits)
    Negotiating & Drafting International Entertainment Contracts (3 credits)
    Newsgathering, Technology US & International Law (2 credits)
    Representing Journalists (2 credits)
    Sports Law (2 credits)
    Telecommunications Law & Policy (3 credits)
    Television Production Law (2 credits)
    The Music Publishing Industry (2 credits)
    Unscripted TV Production Law (2 credits)
    Video Game Law (2 credits)
    Writers Guild: Agreements & Negotiation (1 credit)

     



    1 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 10 graded credits in core and elective courses for
    Concentration honors or whether those credits exceed the minimum 15 credits required for the
    Concentration.

    2 With the approval of the Vice Dean and the Director of the Biederman Entertainment and Media Law
    Institute, and with notice to the faculty, courses may be added or dropped from the Entertainment and
    Media Law Concentration core and elective course list.


    3 Not all courses listed as eligible for concentration credit been taught in current and past two academic
    years. With regard to the Southwestern’s listing of courses on its website, however, Southwestern
    follows ABA Interpretation 509-1 to Standard 509, which states that in connection with a law school’s
    website disclosure, “[c]urrent curricular offerings…are only those courses offered in the current and past
    two academic years.”


    4 This Concentration does not alter any course prerequisites for any course that is listed as eligible for
    concentration credit.

  4. Public Interest Law

    Since its founding, Southwestern has held public interest as a central component of its curriculum and philosophy. Southwestern encourages public service through a rich selection of programs, courses, activities, and individual pursuits. Located in the “public interest corridor” in Los Angeles, Southwestern provides students with numerous opportunities to serve the community. Students participating in public interest work during law school is not only a rewarding way to make a difference in the community but also an opportunity to learn and cultivate lawyering skills of value in any practice area.

    Eligibility

    To receive optimal advising, students are encouraged to register for the Concentration at the end of their first year (end of the third semester for part-time students), or as soon as possible thereafter. To register for the Concentration, students must be in good academic standing.

    A student who completes the Concentration program with at least 6 graded credits of core and elective courses 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 Public Interest Law 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;1 and
    • a student’s grade in Constitutional Law I & II and Legal Profession courses will also be included in the Concentration grade point average and weighted in accordance with each course’s credits.

    Complete the Registration Form below and return it to the Reg Office. 

    Registration Form for Public Interest Law Concentration

    Public Interest Law Registration Form

    PDF

    Curricular Requirements

    To obtain a J.D. Concentration in Public Interest Law, a student must take at least 15 credits of Core and Elective Courses from the list below.2

    In addition, to obtain the Concentration, a student must provide at least 75 hours of pro bono public service cumulatively during law school. To qualify for pro bono public service, work must be performed under the supervision of a licensed attorney or faculty member, and students may not receive compensation or academic credit.

    Public service work is broadly defined, and includes the following:

    1. Provision of direct legal services to the traditionally underrepresented, and other related work on issues furthering the interests of groups and individuals who cannot afford adequate legal representation;
    2. Community legal services, including volunteering with the Small Claims Court Clinic or the annual JusticeBus spring break trip to serve a rural California community or with law-related educational and legal diversity pipeline programs, such as Southwestern’s Hoover Mock Trial and Teen Court Programs, as well as student-organization community services such as Homelessness Prevention Law Project and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program;  
    3. Participation in research and activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession, as well as activities that relate to the development of lawyering skills such as translation services, interviewing, and guidance or counseling in law-related work.

    Students can obtain a list of suggested opportunities that qualify for public service through the Southwestern Public Service Program TWEN website, visiting the Southwestern Legal Clinic, or communicating with Professor Laura Dym Cohen, Director of the Street Law Clinic and Public Service Programs. Information on public interest opportunities can also be found in the Career Services and Externship offices. Other public service work will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

     

    *1. Core Courses
     

    A. Foundational Substantive Courses: Students must take at least one course from the following courses:3

    Administrative Law (3 credits)
    Employment Discrimination Law (2 credits)
    Environmental Law (3 credits)
    Family Law (2 credits)
    Immigration Law (2 credits)
    Public International Law (3 credits)
    Public Interest Law Practice (2 credits)

    B. Clinic, Externship, or Practicum Courses: Students must take at least two courses and at least six credits total from the following courses:

    Advanced Children’s Rights Clinic (1 credit)
    Advanced Community Lawyering Clinic (1 credit)
    Advanced Immigration Law Clinic (1 credit)
    Advanced Street Law Clinic (1 credit)
    Amicus Project Practicum (2 credits)
    Appellate Litigation Clinic (5 credits)
    Children’s Rights Clinic (5 credits)
    Community Lawyering Clinic (5 credits)
    Entertainment & the Arts Legal Clinic I & II (3 credits)
    Externship (approved sites related to public interest only)
    Immigration Law Clinic (5 credits)
    Street Law Clinic (3 credits)
    Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic (3 credits)

    C. Skills Courses: Students must take at least one course and at least two credits total from the following courses:

    Advanced Legal Writing (2 credits)
    Alternative Dispute Resolution (2 credits)
    Appellate Process and Brief Drafting (1 credit)
    Art of Persuasion (1 credit)
    Art of Storytelling (1 credit)
    Capstone: Employment Law (3 credits)
    Civil Pretrial Practice (3 credits)
    Courtroom Procedure 101 (1 credit)
    eDiscovery (1 credit)
    Evolution of Cannabis Law (1 credit)
    International Law in Practice (3 credits)
    Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiation (2 credits)
    Medical/Legal Aspects of Elder Care (1 credit)
    Moot Court Honors Program (up to 3 credits may apply)
    Negotiation & Dispute Resolution (2 credits)
    Negotiation Honors Program (up to 3 credits may apply)
    Small Law Practice Management (2 credits)
    Trial Advocacy (2 or 3 credits)
    Trial Advocacy Honors Program (up to 3 credits may apply)

    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:

    Animal Law (2 credits)
    California Civil Procedure (2 credits)
    Children and the Law (2 credits)
    Community Property (2 credits)
    Criminal Law Seminar: Contemporary Issues (2 credits)
    Criminal Law Seminar: Sex Crimes (2 credits)
    Employment-Based Immigration Law (1 credit)
    Employment Law Survey (3 credits)
    Family Law Procedure & Practice (3 credits)
    Federal Courts (3 credits)
    Federal Indian Law (2 credits)
    Forensic Evidence (2 credits)
    Government Investigations & Prosecution (2 credits)
    Health Care Regulations & Practices (3 credits)
    International Environmental Law (2 credits)
    International Labor & Employment Law Seminar (2 credits)
    International Protection of Human Rights (2 credits)
    Labor Law (3 credits)
    Land Use Regulation (3 credits)
    Law and International Development (2 credits)
    Law & Religious Institutions Seminar (2 credits)
    Law and Society Seminar (2 credits)
    Legal Arguments about Moral & Political Issues Seminar (2 credits)
    Legislation (2 credits)
    Media as an International Human Right (2 credits)
    National Security Law (3 credits)
    Philosophy of Law Seminar (2 credits)
    Prison Law & Mass Incarceration (2 credits)
    Race and the Law Seminar (2 credits)
    Remedies (3 credits)
    Special Education Law Seminar (2 credits)
    Survey of Federal Income Tax (3 credits)
    Trial of Jesus Seminar (2 credits)
    Water Law (3 credits)
    Women & the Law Seminar (2 credits)
    Youth at Risk (2 credits)

     


    *Not all courses listed 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 courses related to public interest law, including Constitutional Law I & II and Legal Profession, so those required courses are not included in the concentration-related courses listed below. Students are encouraged to meet the J.D. upper-division writing requirement through a seminar related to public interest.

    1 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 in core and elective courses for Concentration honors or whether those credits exceed the minimum 15 credits required for the Concentration.

    2 With the approval of the Vice Dean and with notice to the faculty, courses may be added or dropped from Concentration core and elective course list.

    3 This Concentration does not alter any course prerequisites for any course listed below.

     

  5. Technology Law & Entrepreneurship

    This specialized program allows students to focus on a rich curriculum emphasizing technology law. The program recognizes that the fast-changing environment of high-technology industries requires lawyers capable of developing and implementing innovative legal strategies. The program prepares students for the 21st Century workforce by allowing them to participate in a structured series of advanced courses including intellectual property, technology law, commercial transactions, corporate structuring, entrepreneurship, and regulatory, administrative and international law, and more...all leading to a Concentration reflecting their acquired expertise.

    Upon meeting the curricular requirements, students receive a designation on their transcript acknowledging this Concentration in Technology Law and Entrepreneurship in addition to the student’s J.D. degree. 

    Eligibility

    Students should register for the Concentration at the end of their first year (end of the third semester for part-time students) and must be in good academic standing. 

    Students completing the program requirements with a GPA in Concentration courses of 3.33 or higher receive a “Concentration in Technology Law and Entrepreneurship with Honors” designation on their transcript. 

    Complete the TL&EC Registration Form below and return it to the Reg Office. 

    IMAGE TLEC Intent Form

    TL&EC Registration Form

    PDF

    Curricular Requirements

    Students must take at least 15 units (8 Core and 7 Elective) from the designated course list below.

    Core Courses*  - Students must take at least eight (8) units of Core Courses.  

    Students must take one professional skills course from the following list:

    • Drafting Business Contracts
    • Drafting Technology Agreements
    • Drafting/Negotiating Video Game Agreements 
    • IP Licensing: Law & Practice or IP Licensing in the Technology Industry 

    The remaining Core Courses must be from the following list: 

    •  Copyright Law 
    •  Cyberlaw 
    •  Patent Law 
    •  Representing Entrepreneurs 
    • Securities Regulation
    • Trademark Law

    Additional units (over eight) in core courses count toward the seven elective units Courses required for the Concentration.     

    Elective Courses* - Students must take an additional seven (7) units of Elective Courses from the following list1 to complete the concentration:

    • Antitrust Law 
    • Business Planning 
    • Cybersecurity Law
    • Developing Web-Based Startups: Merging Law, Business, and Technology (formerly Mobile App Challenge) 
    • Entertainment Law 
    • Entertainment Law & the Evolving Web 
    • Entertainment Law Blog 
    • Externship2
    • Information Privacy Law 
    • International and Comparative Copyright Law 
    • International Business Transactions 
    • Interviewing, Counseling & Negotiating 
    • Mass Media Law 
    • Mergers and Acquisitions: Law, Strategy, and Finance
    • Negotiation and Dispute Resolution 
    • Patent Preparation and Prosecution 
    • Strategic Alliances 
    • Telecommunications Law and Policy 
    • Video Game Agreements 
    • Video Game Law

    *Not all courses are offered every year, and students must meet all course prerequisites and requirements. This Concentration does not change any course prerequisites.

    1With the approval of the Vice Dean and with notice to the faculty, courses may be added or dropped from the Technology Law and Entrepreneurship Concentration elective course list. 

    2Selected externships that are deemed to be pertinent to technology law and entrepreneurship may be individually approved as counting toward the seven (7) units of elective courses required for the Technology Law and Entrepreneurship concentration. 


    Student Groups

    Participating in Student Organizations is a great way to enrich the law school experience.  These groups offer support and mentoring programs; sponsor workshops, volunteer and networking opportunities, community outreach projects, cultural and social events, interscholastic competitions, and hundreds of speaker presentations each academic year.

    Groups that may be interesting to Technology Law and Entrepreneurship Concentration students include Business Law Society,  Intellectual Property Law Society, Labor & Employment Law Association, and the Tax Law Society. 

    If there isn't a group that fits your specific interest you may be able to start your own! Please contact the Student Affairs Department for more information.

    Career Insights

    The fast-changing environment of high-technology industries creates a demand for lawyers capable of developing and implementing innovative legal strategies.  

    Southwestern is in an ideal location to serve as a pipeline to the hundreds of start-ups, incubators, and tech finance companies in Silicon Beach and the surrounding counties. 

    This certificate program provides students with the legal training they will need to serve these young companies or even to start their own new ventures!

    Presentation

    TLEC Info Cover Page

    Info Meeting Power Point (October 10, 2017)

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Customization Examples

  1. Business Organization & Practice

    Southwestern offers 25+ courses, seminars and practicums, as well as a large selection of externships, co-curricular programs and extracurricular activities in Business Organization and Practice.

    “In an environment where the tremendous volatility in securities and other corporate regulations impacts business on a daily basis, corporate counsel are crucial to the health and growth of companies around the world.”

    Professor Michael B. Dorff

    Courses:  

    To see a list of Business Organization and Practice courses taught in the last three years, choose Business Organization and Practice from the Filter by Area of Law drop-down list on the courses page or click here.

    Beyond the Classroom:

    • Concurrent J.D./M.B.A. programs with The Drucker Graduate School of Management
    • Certificate Program in Bioscience Industry Law and Practice with the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI)
    • Externship Placements: California Department of Corporations, Federal Trade Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Securities and Exchange Commission
    • Negotiation Honors Program
    • Strategic Alliance Scholars Program
    • Student Organizations and Activities: Business Law Society; Contract Law Society; Intellectual Property Law Society; Labor and Employment Law Association; Real Estate Association; Tax Law Society
  2. Criminal Law & Practice

    Southwestern offers a comprehensive program of courses, clinics and externship opportunities for students interested in the area of criminal law. The law school's mid-city location provides easy access to nearby government agencies and the courts. Among the many prominent Southwestern alumni who have served as judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Some examples are:

    • Two alumni recently served as Presiding Judges in Southern California (Los Angeles and Ventura Counties)
    • 80 Southwestern graduates currently serving as sitting judges in Southern California
    • 223 graduates currently serving as Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles County
    • 141 alumni currently serving as Public Defenders in Los Angeles County

    In recent years, Southwestern graduates were honored as:

    • LA County Bar Association Defense Lawyer of the Year
    • LA County Bar Association Prosecutor of the Year
    • California Lawyer Criminal Attorney of the Year
    • California State Bar Public Lawyer of the Year

    “In challenging economic times, the government tries to use criminal law to address broader social and economic problems. Sometimes it does this by attacking activity that may not appear to merit criminal punishment. It is these ‘gray areas’ between criminal law and civil law that I particularly enjoy exploring with my students.”

    ~ Professor J. Kelly Strader

    Courses:  

    To see a list of Criminal Law courses taught in the last three years, choose Criminal Law & Practice from the Filter by Area of Law drop-down list on the courses page or click here.

    Beyond the Classroom:

    • Externship placements: California Court of Appeal; California Superior Court; Federal Public Defender; Inner City Law Center; Los Angeles County District Attorney; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    • Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic
    • Trial Advocacy Honors Program
    • Student Organizations and Activities: Criminal Law Society, Teen Court
  3. Entertainment & Media Law

    The rapidly expanding and converging realms of film, television, music, theater, advertising, sports, the news media and the internet open endless possibilities for future lawyers on a global scale. Taking full advantage of our location at the heart of the global entertainment industry, Southwestern established the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute in 2000 to help make such opportunities more accessible for our students who aspire to practice law in these fields. Offering the most comprehensive entertainment, media and intellectual property curriculum in the United States, we are proud that Southwestern has been recognized for many years by the legal and entertainment communities for excellence in entertainment law.

    We have been listed in the top 10 of The Hollywood Reporter's roster of "America's Top Entertainment Law Schools" seven years in a row (2012-2018).

    A prestigious executive board and network of alumni occupying important corporate and law firm positions throughout the industry are also very active in serving as mentors to our students.

    For students interested in studying abroad, the Biederman Institute offers an international summer program in London, England. We also offer a specialized summer program in Los Angeles.

    The Institute sponsors prominent speakers’ series and conferences and publishes the Journal of International Media and Entertainment Law in conjunction with the ABA Forums on Communications Law and the Entertainment and Sports Industries, as well as the Biederman Blog, a cutting-edge entertainment law blog. We also established the nation's first LL.M. degree in entertainment and media law.

    LawStreetMedia.com listed us as #1 in their "Top 10 Law Schools for Entertainment Law."

    Courses:  

    To see a list of Entertainment and Media Law courses taught in the last three years, choose Entertainment and Media Law from the Filter by Area of Law drop-down list on the courses page or click here.

    Beyond the Classroom:

  4. International & Comparative Law Courses

    The rise of globalization has enhanced the importance and intrigue of international law. Southwestern has developed a reputation for placing an intensive focus on this critical discipline. The school offers more than 60 courses and seminars on International and Comparative Law taught by faculty who are nationally recognized authorities in their fields. International issues are also routinely considered within the context of other subjects.

    “The legal profession is dramatically changing as a consequence of new technologies and globalization that in turn are challenging students to develop greater understanding and knowledge about transnational law and other legal cultures.”

    ~ Professor Robert E. Lutz 

    Courses:  

    To see a list of International and Comparative Law courses taught in the last three years, choose International and Comparative Law from the Filter by Area of Law drop-down list on the courses page or click here.

    Beyond the Classroom:

    • Immigration Law Clinic
    • Externship Placements: Central American Resource Center; Clinical Programmes Initiative of Rural Governance (India); LACBA Immigration Legal Assistance Project; U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    • Student Exchange Programs through the North American Consortium on Legal Education (NACLE) and with The Hague Law School in The Netherlands, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Argentina, and the University of Western Ontario in Canada
    • Summer study abroad program in London
    • Southwestern Journal of International Law
    • Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law
    • Moot court Honors Program teams fielded to international law competitions
    • Student Organizations and Activities: International Justice Mission, Immigration Law Student Association, International Law Society, International Students Association
  5. Public Interest Law

    In addition to courses, clinics, externships, and practicums that involve public interest law, our students participate in public service through a rich selection of co-curricular activities and individual pursuits. Being in the heart of Los Angeles’ “Public Interest Corridor,” Southwestern provides students with opportunities to serve the community that few law schools can match.

    Southwestern’s Public Service Policy is designed to encourage students to perform at least 25 hours of pro bono legal services each year. Those who serve at least 75 hours by graduation are formally recognized on their records, and Public Interest Law Service Awards are presented to graduating students in recognition of extraordinary dedication to public interest law. In support of this policy, Southwestern created a Public Service Program to develop volunteer opportunities in the community. Students and faculty serving on the Public Interest Law Committee coordinate public interest law awareness and fundraising programs throughout the year.

    "Our clinics provide students with a wonderful opportunity to learn lawyering skills and at the same time offer high quality legal assistance to some of the community's most vulnerable children and families. Students learn to navigate complicated bureaucracies and to support clients who are often confused and intimidated by the legal process."

    ~ Professor Andrea Ramos

    The Public Interest Summer Grant Program and Silbert Public Interest Law Fellowships provide funding for selected students who participate in public interest work during the summer. Southwestern students also volunteer with law-related education and diversity pipeline programs, such as the law school’s Hoover Elementary School Mock Trial, Teen Court and Small Claims Court programs. In addition, students engage in public service under the auspices of student organizations and nonprofit agencies through programs such as the Homelessness Prevention Law Project, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and the Justice Bus™ serving rural communities.

    Courses:  

    To see a list of Public Interest Law courses taught in the last three years, choose Public Interest/Civil Rights/Civil Liberties from the Filter by Area of Law drop-down list on the courses page or click here.

    Beyond the Classroom:

    • On-campus Clinics: Children's Rights, Immigration Law, Street Law, Youth Offender Parole Hearing
    • Externship Placements: Alliance for Children's Rights, Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Disability Rights Legal Center, Natural Resources Defense Counsel, Public Counsel
    • Practicums: Amicus Project, Immigration Appeals
    • Year-long Externship Program with Children's Law Center of California
    • Public Interest Summer Law Grants
    • Silbert Public Interest Law Fellowships
    • Public Service Program
    • Public Interest Law Service Awards
    • Student Organizations and Activities: Homelessness Prevention Law Project, Hoover Elementary Mock Trial, Immigration Law Student Association, International Justice Mission, OneJustice and Justice Bus™, Public Interest Law Committee, Teen Court, Tax Law Society's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program