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At A Glance

Southwestern Law School

Southwestern is the only American Bar Association-approved law school offering four programs of study leading to a J.D. degree that differ in scheduling and instructional approach. In addition to traditional full-time day and part-time evening programs, Southwestern has developed two innovative options: PLEAS, one of the only part-time day programs in the country designed to meet the needs of students with child or elder care responsibilities, and SCALE, a unique two-year J.D. course of instruction with an alternative approach.

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Southwestern Law School's Full Profile

Program At a Glance

Total Program Enrollment 1086
Incoming LSAT Scores (25th-75th Percentile) 151 - 155
Incoming GPA (25th-75th Percentile) 3.03 - 3.5
Bar Exam First Time Pass Rate 60.69%
Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 71.0%
Tuition $43,850

Overview

Overview

About Southwestern Law School

Southwestern is the only American Bar Association-approved law school offering four programs of study leading to a J.D. degree that differ in scheduling and instructional approach. In addition to traditional full-time day and part-time evening programs, Southwestern has developed two innovative options: PLEAS, one of the only part-time day programs in the country designed to meet the needs of students with child or elder care responsibilities, and SCALE, a unique two-year J.D. course of instruction with an alternative approach.

Mission Statement

The mission of Southwestern Law School is to produce highly skilled graduates who are capable of integrating theory and practice to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Through excellent faculty committed to promoting the highest level of professionalism, Southwestern seeks to create a vibrant, diverse academic community with a student-centered approach to legal education.

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Reviews

Large, private, and independent Southwestern Law School boasts an “emphasis on practical skills” and an impressive array of bells and whistles. In addition to your stan­dard full-time day and part-time evening programs, there’s a very intensive two-year program that features small classes and integrates plenty of real-world training. There’s also a part-time day program that helps nontraditional students juggle the demands of work, family, and school. A “broad” and “ever-increasing” range of courses includes summer law programs in Argentina, Canada, England, and Mexico. Clinics are available in immigration law, street law, and children’s rights. “The externships are amazing and very available to all class ranks.” There’s a JD/MBA program allied with the Drucker Graduate School of Management. If you are interested in entertainment and media law, Southwestern is home to a huge contingent of professors who specialize in that area, and the school maintains impressive connections “within the entertainment industry.” Another perk is Southwestern’s unique “three-track approach” to legal writing. As a 1L, you can choose from specialized writing programs in trial practice, negotiation, or appel­late advocacy. While Southwestern sort of exists in the shadow of other law schools in the local area with national reputations, students tell us that they are happy with their employment prospects. Career Services has “tons of resources,” they say, and Southwestern has a “huge alumni network,” “especially in the Los Angeles area.”The faculty is composed of “an array of ages, ethnicities, and eccentricities.” There are “some really outstanding teachers” here “who could not be more dedicated to their craft,” and the faculty as a whole is “helpful and accommodating.” They “genuinely care about your success in law school.” “They are engaging and really care about what each student takes away from their class,” explains a 3L. “The school is attempting to teach us to be good lawyers,” explains a 1L, “with less emphasis on maintaining the ‘hide-the-ball’ pedagogy of the Socratic Method.” There’s the stray “incompetent” prof here, though, and some of the older ones are “standard fare.” “Most professors are available to students on a regular basis” once class ends. “I was surprised by the support from teachers and access to them outside of the classroom,” reports a 1L. “This institution is committed to a student-first ideology.” Some students say that the administration “treats everyone like an individual, not just another customer.” Others say that there is “too much bureaucracy, in all aspects.” The facilities at Southwestern are within easy commuting distance to the downtown district of Los Angeles. Students say they are “world-class.” The crown jewel is a legend­ary, enormous, and very distinctive Art Deco building. It used to be a fancy department store and now it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “The administration clearly takes pride in the campus upkeep.” “Everything is new and high-tech.” Classrooms are “really nice.” “The library is beautiful and basically kicks the ass out of the other law school libraries in Los Angeles,” pronounces a 1L. There are also ample study areas, terraces with sweeping city views, and a gigantic fitness center for student use. A new upscale on-campus student residential complex will open in Fall 2013.

- The Princeton Review

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Academics

Academics

Degree Programs Offered

Graduates Last Year: 299

Description: A program that prepares individuals for the independent professional practice of law, for taking state and national bar examinations, and for advanced research in jurisprudence. Includes instruction in the theory and practice of the legal system, including the statutory, administrative, and judicial components of civil and criminal law.

Job Opportunities:

Lawyers
Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Judicial Law Clerks
Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.
Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators
Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates
Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.
Law Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

Joint Degree Programs Offered

J.D./M.B.A; J.D./M.A.M. (Master of Arts in Management)offered in collaboration with The Drucker Graduate School of Management can be completed in 3 to 4.5 years; J.D./M.A. in Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Peacebuilding in collaboration with California State University Dominguez Hills may be completed in 4 to 4.5 years.

Specialty Law Programs

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional
  • Corporation Securities
  • Criminal
  • Environmental
  • Government Services
  • Human Rights
  • International
  • Labor
  • Legal History
  • Property
  • Taxation
  • Intellectual Property

Faculty Information

Total Faculty 100
Full-Time Faculty 60
Deans, Librarians, and Others Who Teach 8
Part-Time Faculty 32
Faculty Gender 55% Male
45% Female
Student Teacher Ratio 14 : 1

Accreditation

Accredited by American Bar Association

Student Body

Student Body
Gender Breakdown 47% Male
53% Female
Student Diversity
Percentage
White 55%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1%
Multi-racial 4%
International 1%
Hispanic/Latino 17%
Ethnicity Unknown 6%
Black or African American 5%
Asian 11%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%

Finance

Finance

Sticker Price

On-Campus Off-Campus
Stated Tuition $43,850 Same as On-Campus
Housing N/A N/A
Books N/A N/A
Total (before financial aid) $43,850 $43,850

Financial Aid

89% Graduate students receiving financial aid (loans and grants)

$61,964 Average financial aid amount

Admissions

Admissions

Application Information

Deadline for Regular Decision: April 1

Average Age Admitted: 26

Incoming Class

Southwestern Law School's entering class of 2017 enrolled having these exam grades:

Exam Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
LSAT Full-Time 152 - 156
LSAT Part-Time 150 - 154
LSAT Total 151 - 155

Southwestern Law School's entering class of 2017 enrolled having these college GPA's:

Enrollment Type 25th - 75th Percentile
Full-Time 3.09 - 3.52
Part-Time 2.78 - 3.37
Total 3.03 - 3.5

Admission Requirements

Required: Academic GPA, Standardized Test Scores, Personal Essay, Recommendations

Outcomes

Outcomes

Bar Exam Results

Percent Reporting 100%
First Time Pass Rate 61%
Avg. Pass Rate In This State 72%

Campus Recruitment

Number of Employers Recruiting on Campus 50
First Year Recruitment Time Summer
Second Year Recruitment Time Summer

Employment

Percent Employed (9 Months After Graduation) 71%
Average Starting Salary $65,000
Job Sector Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Firm Sized 2-10 86 38%
Firm Sized 11-25 10 4%
Firm Sized 26-50 12 4%
Firm Sized 51-100 8 4%
Firm Sized 101-250 5 2%
Firm Sized 501+ 6 3%
Business Industry 64 28%
Government 8 4%
Public Interest 11 5%
State Clerkship 1 0%
Academia 6 3%
Unemployed Number of Graduates Percent of Graduates
Unemployed, Not Seeking 24 7%
Unemployed, Seeking 34 10%
Pursuing Graduate Degree 4 1%

Top Employment Locations

State Percent Employed
CA 94%
AZ 1%
FL 1%
International 0%

Famous Alumni

Well known alumni of Southwestern Law School include:

  • Tom Bradley - LA Mayor for 20 years
  • Stanley Mosk - Longest serving Cal. Sup. Ct. Justice
  • Hon. Vaino Spencer - 1st Afr-Amer woman Judge in Calif. & 3rd in the US
  • Gordon Smith - Former US Senator (OR); President of the National Association of Broadcasters
  • Daniel Petrocelli - Won OJ Simpson civil trial

Associations & Memberships

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