About the Program

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.  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.

Recognized as a Top Law School for Trial Advocacy by preLaw Magazine, Southwestern offers extensive training and support for aspiring trial lawyers and litigators, including the following:

  • J.D. Concentration in Civil Litigation and Advocacy;
  • Trial Advocacy Honors Program, Moot Court Honors Program, and Negotiation Honors Program, all of which are taught for credit and supervised by Southwestern faculty and which are successful in competitions nationwide;
  • Litigation skills courses such as Appellate Process and Brief Drafting, Art of Persuasion, Art of Storytelling, Civil Pretrial Practice, Courtroom Procedure 101, eDiscovery, and Trial Advocacy;
  • Capstone courses in Mass Tort Litigation and Employment Law, blending the study of skills and doctrine;
  • Clinics including the Amicus Project Practicum, Appellate Litigation Clinic, and Law Firm Practicum;
  • Externship opportunities with state and federal judicial chambers, governmental agencies, and select law firms;
  • Doctrinal courses in areas subject to litigation, including Employment Law, Entertainment Litigation, Family Law, Insurance Law, Medical Malpractice, Products Liability, and Tort Litigation Practice;
  • Law practice management courses, including Big & Medium Law Firm Practice and Small Law Practice Management; and
  • Student organizations such as the Consumer Law Society, Family & Dependency Law Society, and Labor and Employment Law Association. 

Contact Information

About Brian Panish

Mr. Panish received his law degree, with honors, from Southwestern Law School, and received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Southwestern in 2011. He received his B.S. from California State University Fresno, where he was named Scholar-Athlete, was the recipient of the Athletic Directors Award and was named an outstanding alumnus at the school’s Centennial Celebration in 2010. 

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.

Mr. Panish has been recognized by numerous publications and organizations as being among the top trial lawyers in the country. Some of the honors he has received include the following:

  • 2018 - Outstanding Law Firm - Southwestern Law School Alumni Association
  • 2018 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year –Aviation Law – Los Angeles
  • 2017 Top 100 Lawyers in California – by the Daily Journal
  • 2017 Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California – by the Daily Journal
  • 2017 Civil Advocate Award – by the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC)
  • 2017 Finalist (2) for CAOC Consumer Attorney of the Year
  • 2016 Outstanding Litigator – by Southwestern Law School
  • 2016 Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California – by the Daily Journal
  • 2016 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year – Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation – Los Angeles
  • 2015 National Law Journal’s Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame
  • 2015 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year – Product Liability Litigation – Los Angeles
  • 2015 Top 25 Plaintiff Lawyers in California – by the Daily Journal
  • 2015 Robert E. Cartwright Sr. Award (given by the Consumer Attorneys of California in recognition of excellence in trial advocacy and dedication to teaching trial advocacy to fellow lawyers and to the public.)
  • 2014 Consumer Attorney of the Year – by the Consumer Attorneys of California
  • 2013 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award in the area of Personal Injury
  • The National Law Journal’s 100 Most Influential Lawyers In America
  • Daily Journal’s Top 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California
  • 2012 Top 20 Lawyers in California by The Recorder
  • 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the California Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • 2010 Champions of Justice award from Loyola Law School
  • 2010 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year – Product Liability Litigation – Los Angeles
  • 2009 Best Lawyers® Lawyer of the Year – Personal Injury Litigation – Los Angeles
  • 1999 Trial Lawyer of the Year – by Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA)
  • Top 500 Attorneys and Litigators in the United States by Law Dragon
  • Top 10 Southern California Super Lawyers® (various years, including from 2009-2017)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers® since 2001
  • Listed in Southern California Super Lawyers® since 2004