PLEAS (Part-time Legal Education Alternative at Southwestern) is one of only a very few part-time J.D. programs designed to accommodate students with child or elder care responsibilities. Established in 1981, the four-year PLEAS schedule is typically arranged to enable parents and guardians to attend law school while their children are in school.* PLEAS students attend classes with traditional full-time students, however, the course load in the four-year PLEAS program is lighter than in the traditional three-year J.D. path. For the first two years, classes are scheduled in the morning. There are many opportunities for elective courses and externships during the final two years.
PLEAS students benefit from a special mentoring program under the leadership of the PLEAS faculty advisor, Professor Jenny R. Fee. Students meet as a group with the PLEAS faculty advisor throughout the four years of the program and are encouraged to arrange individual meetings with the Professor to plan out their course of study as well as obtain guidance with respect to various areas of law school life.
Part-time day students take the designated curriculum during the first two years, and a mix of required courses and electives during the third and fourth years when they are also able to take advantage of externships, clinics, practicums and honors programs. They take 8 to 11 units each semester, and two summer sessions are required to complete the 87 units to earn the J.D. degree in four years.
NOTE: Other students interested in non-PLEAS part-time day status will be considered on an individual basis. Class schedules may differ from PLEAS schedules.
|Courses||Fall Units||Spring Units|
|FIRST YEAR PART-TIME DAY/ PLEAS|
|Contracts I & II||3||2|
|Foundations of Law and Practice||-||1|
|LAWS I & II1||3||3|
|SECOND YEAR PART-TIME DAY/ PLEAS|
|Civil Procedure I & II||2||3|
|Constitutional Law I & II||3||3|
|Electives2||2||2 to 5|
|Total||9 to 11||8 to 11|
|THIRD YEAR PART-TIME DAY/ PLEAS|
|SECOND, THIRD, OR FOURTH YEAR PART-TIME DAY/ PLEAS|
|Constitutional Criminal Procedure4||
|Upper-Division Writing Requirement||2 or 3||or||2 or 3|
|BAR READINESS CURRICULUM6 SECOND, THIRD, OR FOURTH YEAR PART-TIME DAY/ PLEAS7|
|Cal Bar Writing: Skills and Strategies||3||or||3|
|MBE: Skills and Strategies||3||or||3|
|Wills and Trusts||4||or||4|
*NOTE: Part-Time Day/PLEAS Program required courses are similar to the Evening, but may differ slightly by semester in the second, third, and fourth years
1. Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills
2. Elective choices include such courses as Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Copyright Law, and Legal Profession
3. Part-Time Day/PLEAS Program students have Fall or Spring options for these courses.
4. If not taken as an elective in second year (required for graduation).
5. Students must take a minimum of six credit hours of coursework that has been specifically approved and designated as meeting the Experiential Requirement.
6. At the end of the second year, students with a GPA of at least 3.33 in subjects tested on the bar exam may opt out
7. For part-time students, the bar-tested courses used to calculate the opt-out eligibility GPA include: Contracts I/II, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure I/II, Torts, Property, Constitutional Law I/II