Volunteer Opportunities for Alumni and Friends

Southwestern alumni and friends of the law school are a dedicated group, full of generosity. They have devised many ways to advance justice and to foster a sense of community, inclusiveness, and fairness in giving back to our school to prepare the next generation of diverse and compassionate Southwestern attorneys.

If you belong to this group, below are some ways to plug into our community to support students and recent graduates who are committed to continuing Southwestern’s dedication to public service.

  • The Alumni Resource Network – Join a contingent of more than 400 Southwestern alumni who offer individualized advice to students on particular areas of practice.

  • The Nickel Club – If you graduated from Southwestern five or fewer years ago, you can join a special division of the Alumni Association created to hone legal skills, promote connections with current students, and perform community-service projects.

  • Donald L. Stone’s Inn of St. Ives – This monthly program is based on the Inns of Court model where senior attorneys and judges meet with small groups of law students to discuss issues of law and practice over dinner at Southwestern. When a dinner is planned, a topic is identified and six practitioners and six students are invited to engage in a discussion about the topic. Contact the Institutional Advancement Office at advancement@swlaw.edu to volunteer to attend these dinners.

  • Moot Court – A large contingent of alumni, attorneys, and judges are recruited each year to serve as judges for the annual Intramural Moot Court Competition. They are also called upon to preside over SCALE appellate arguments, mock trial and trial advocacy practice rounds and finals, and occasionally to serve as advisors to Moot Court Honors Program teams competing in interscholastic competitions. For more information, please contact the Student Affairs Office.

  • Speaking Engagements – Alumni, attorneys, and judges are often invited to serve as panelists or lecturers for a variety of seminars, workshops and roundtable discussions sponsored by the faculty, the Career Services Office and/or student organizations. If you are interested in serving as a guest speaker, please contact the Institutional Advancement Office and/or the Career Services Office.

  • Externship Placements – Southwestern’s Externship Office connects students with organizations like the City Attorney’s Office, the United States Bankruptcy Court, AARP, and Levitt & Quinn Family Law Center. Law firms or legal organizations willing to offer an externship to a Southwestern student should contact the Externship Office.

  1. Opportunities for Everyone

    Monetary giving is also critical to Southwestern’s deep commitment to helping create lawyers dedicated to doing good and serving the under-represented in our communities. Southwestern students perform 20,000 pro-bono hours of community service each year and in the past five years have served over 1400 Legal Clinic clients. These programs and the students need your generous support. To learn more about supporting Southwestern, click here. To make an online donation, click here.

    • Give To Scholarship Funds – Southwestern has many established scholarship funds designed to support students of color and LGBTI students. Consider establishing a new scholarship fund or donating to an existing one such as:
      • the Gerry Abbenhuys Memorial Scholarship Fund for minority students with financial need
      • the Daniel Aragon Alumni Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund for active members of OUTLaw, Southwestern’s LGBTI student association
      • the Vincent & Kylo Blanco Book Scholarship Fund for Native American law students
      • the Black Law Students Association Scholarship Fund
      • the Bernard Burch Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund for minority students who are working parents enrolled in the Evening program
      • the Hon. Robert and Gloria Devich Scholarship Fund for continuing Mexican American students.
    • Support Programs – Many programs at Southwestern are designed to assist the less fortunate in and around Los Angeles. The Public Interest Law Summer Grant Program, for instance, provides monetary awards to students who seek a summer law clerkship with a nonprofit organization that provides free or low-cost legal assistance to low income or marginalized individuals or underserved communities. The Legal Clinics enable students to provide pro bono legal assistance to those who cannot afford a lawyer. To donate money to a specific program, click here and designate the program in the “Other” field under Gift Designation.