Southwestern Law School

Infobox Law School

name = Southwestern Law School
established = 1911
type = Private
endowment =
parent endowment =
head = Bryant G. Garth
city = Los Angeles
state = California
country = USA
students = 964 [ Southwestern Law School Official ABA Data] ]
faculty = 94
ranking = Tier 4 [ [ Law - Best Graduate Schools - Education - US News and World Report] ]
bar pass rate = 64% [ [ General Statistics Report July 2007 California Bar Examination] ]
annual tuition = $33,410
homepage = []
motto = "Landmark Legal Education"
aba profile = [ Southwestern Law School Profile]

Southwestern Law School (formerly known as Southwestern University School of Law) is a private ABA-accredited law school located in Los Angeles, California (Mid-Wilshire), with about 1,000 students on a campus that includes the Bullocks Wilshire building, an admired art deco landmark. Southwestern is an independent law school with no affiliation to any undergraduate university "(it should not be confused with Southwestern University, a liberal arts institution in Georgetown, Texas)".



Southwestern received a university charter in 1915 after it expanded to include a number of other disciplines including a business school. Southwestern's first "home" was in the Union Oil Building in downtown Los Angeles, followed by a small campus on South Hill Street, where it existed for the ensuing decades.

The Great Depression and Second World War took a severe toll on the school's enrollment, and by the end of the 1930s the law school was the only school that remained. However, as veterans returned home the school experienced a surge of interest, and in 1974, the campus was moved to the school's current location on Westmoreland Avenue in the Wilshire Center area of Los Angeles.

In 1994, Southwestern acquired the adjacent Bullocks Wilshire building, an historic landmark which was subsequently renovated to house the school's law library, classrooms, faculty offices, and a high-tech state of the art court room and advocacy center.


The campus is located in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles. Currently the campus contains two buildings, the Westmoreland Building and the Bullocks Wilshire Building. Both buildings house classrooms, administrative offices, and faculty offices; the Bullocks Wilshire Building also houses the Taylor Law Library (named for a former Dean of the law school), the Dixon Courtroom and Advocacy Center, a fitness center (featuring treadmills, exercise bikes, and StepMaster-style machines as well as nautilus and free weights, and a studio for aerobics and Yoga), a dining area, and a number of student lounges.

The Westmoreland Building is a building typical of college and university campuses, while the Bullocks Wilshire Building is a fully-restored art deco landmark that pays tribute to its history in many ways. Every level of the building is has been renovated (back to its original 1929 state) down to the smallest details such as the clocks on the walls and the "showcases" in the area now occupied by the library.

At over 83,000 square feet and featuring over 470,000 volumes, the Leigh H. Taylor Law Library is the second largest academic law library facility in California.

The school's location is near downtown Los Angeles. Currently, Southwestern Law School has no on-campus housing, so the student body is composed entirely of commuters. The current layout of the campus reflects this, with about one-third of the campus devoted to a dual-level parking facility. Plans are being formulated to build on-campus housing in the future.

Transportation - Metro Rapid 720 bus (runs along Wilshire Boulevard), stops within a few blocks of the law school, while standard Metro Bus 18 and 20 stop in front of the school, and Metro Rail Red line entrance is one block west of the law school.

Dean Bryant G. Garth

Southwestern's current dean is Bryant G. Garth. Prior to joining Southwestern, Dean Garth was the Director of the American Bar Foundation (ABF), and formerly the Dean of the Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington, from 1986-1990.

Dean Garth succeeds Dean Leigh H. Taylor.

Recent changes under Dean Garth include hiring additional staff, adding resources for counseling, and bringing the grading curve in line with that of other law schools so that the average grade is now a B rather than a C+.

Along with Professor Catherine Carpenter's study on law school curricula for the American Bar Association, Dean Garth assisted in changing the first-year curriculum to better fit the needs of the students. The curriculum is now more focused on career development and lawyering skills, including interviewing, counseling, and negotiation. As part of the new program, the first week of school is dedicated completely to the new LAWS program (Legal Analysis, Writing, and Skills).

According to Brian Leiter's study of "Most Cited Law Professors By Specialty 2000-2007", Dean Garth's scholarship in Law and Social Science has been cited at least 550 times. [ [] ]


Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Full-Time Day Program (3 years)

Traditional program is three academic years of full-time study that allows students to pursue a broad-based legal education with opportunities to focus on a particular area of the law, such as: entertainment, criminal, international, business, family, or tax law, among others. In 2007, Southwestern introduced its new innovative first year curriculum based on doctrinal legal theory foundation with focus on legal research, writing, interviewing and advocacy skills to bridge the gap from theory to practice. Southwestern's curricular reforms led the school to be chosen as one of ten distinguished schools by the Carnegie Foundation to participate in a groundbreaking study on the future of legal education.

Part-Time Evening (4 years)

Evening program is four academic years of part-time study of the traditional curriculum designed for working professionals.

Part-Time Day (also known as PLEAS) (4 years)

Part-time Legal Education At Southwestern is four academic years of part-time study of the traditional curriculum, with day classes uniquely designed for students with child-care responsibilities or other obligations warranting less intensive study.

S.C.A.L.E. Program (2 years)

Established in 1974, Southwestern founded the first two-year J.D. course of study offered at an American Bar Association approved school. Southwestern's Conceptual Approach to Legal Education is a unique twenty month accelerated J.D. program with emphasis on interdisciplinary study, critical thinking, holistic learning, and simulation training. SCALE's frequent deadlines, challenging curriculum, extensive writing assignments, intense schedule, and demanding workload prepare students for the rigors of practicing law. Low student-faculty ratio in the classroom promotes cooperative teaching and intellectual discussion among classmates. The program has a limited enrollment of select highly motivated and exceptional students, which requires applicants to interview with the Program Director as part of the application process. [ [] ]

Master of Laws (LL.M.)

Entertainment and Media Law

Drawing from the resources of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute, Southwestern established the nation's first Master of Laws (LL.M) degree in Entertainment and Media Law.

General Studies

Southwestern offers a stimulating, individualized LL.M. program for students who have already earned a law degree and are interested in furthering their legal education. The program allows students to choose their own focus of study - from American Legal Systems to International Law to Technology Innovation and Commercialization - in line with their individual personal and professional goals.

Advocacy Training

Southwestern has been awarded a federal grant to train Mexican lawyers and law faculty in advocacy skills as part of a USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) effort to assist Mexican legal reforms. [ [ Southwestern Law School Provides Advocacy Training for Mexican Lawyers] ]

Academic Reputation

Since 2001, Southwestern had been consistently ranked in the third tier among the nation's American Bar Association accredited law schools. However, it is currently ranked in the fourth tier by the 2009 "U.S. News and World Report" [ [ USNEWS 2009: Complete Guide to Law Schools] ]

According to the Internet Legal Research Group (ILRG), Southwestern ranks in the top 10 of all U.S. law schools by median salary in public practice, and in the top 50 for median salary overall. [ [] ]

Southwestern's award winning Moot Court program is ranked in the top 10 of all U.S. law schools, according to "". [ [ Law School Advocacy Rankings] ]

A compilation of Brian Leiter's study of "Most Cited Law Professors By Specialty 2000-2007" reveals that Southwestern faculty ranked in the top 50 of the nation's law schools in total citations. [ [] ]

Academic Programs & Publications

"Southwestern Law Review"

Law Review is a student-edited quarterly journal that publishes scholarly articles and commentary on a variety of legal issues in California and federal law contributed by prominent jurists, practitioners, law professors, and student members of the Law Review staff. Annual Symposia and the Distinguished Lecture Series are sponsored by Law Review. These programs feature prominent members of the legal community lecturing on areas of legal expertise and participating in panel discussions on relevant emerging and contemporary legal issues.

Moot Court Honors Program

Select students represent Southwestern in local, regional and national interscholastic competitions as oralists, brief writers or team coordinators. Southwestern's Moot Court Honors Program is recognized as one of the most active moot court programs in the country, sending teams to over a dozen major competitions annually and garnering many top awards in written and oral appellate advocacy. At the 2007 Intramural Moot Court Competition, Honorary Steven Levinson, Associate Justice for the Supreme Court of Hawaii, commented that Southwestern has "by far the best Moot Court program in the nation." [ [] ]

"Southwestern Journal of International Law"

Formerly the "Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas", Law Journal focuses on issues of international law and trade, publishing scholarly articles and notes exploring areas such as international insolvency, environmental law, international trade issues, NAFTA, international arbitration, privatization in Central and South American countries, immigration, human rights, international crime, and a host of other comparative issues. On October 3, 2008, the Southwestern Journal of International Law will host one of the first U.S. conferences on Arctic Sovereignty, featuring distinguished legal scholars from both the United States and Canada. [ [] ]

Trial Advocacy Honors Program

Teams participate in national and regional mock trial competitions, consisting of both criminal and civil trials, throughout the academic year. Advocates compete in some of the nation's most prestigious invitation-only competitions, judged by distinguished members of the bench and bar. Faculty include Joseph P. Esposito, Head Deputy of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Major Narcotics Division; Bill Seki, Former LA County Prosecutor and founding partner at the litigation firm Seki, Nishimura & Watase, LLP; and Karen R. Smith, Former Prosecutor for the California Attorney General's Office, Former Senior Deputy Federal Public Defender for California and then for the Federal Public Defender's Office, Current Full-Time Professor.

"Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law"

In association with the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law and Forum on Entertainment and Sports Industries, the Journal of International Media & Entertainment Law explores the complex and unsettled legal issues surrounding the creation and distribution of media and entertainment products on a worldwide basis, which necessarily implicate the laws, customs, and practices of multiple jurisdictions. Additionally, it examines the impact of the Internet and other technologies, the often conflicting laws affecting those issues, and the legal ramifications of widely divergent cultural views of privacy, defamation, intellectual property, and government regulation.

Children's Rights Clinic

Provides representation to low-income children in the areas of school discipline, special education and other education-related issues. The clinic is staffed by law students who represent clients under the supervision of faculty. Students have the opportunity in a real-life context to hone their lawyering skills such as interviewing, negotiating, counseling, pre-trial litigation, and oral advocacy.

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Provides immigration relief to children and caretakers who have been abused, abandoned or neglected or who have been victims of crime. Students are taught to navigate complicated bureaucracies and to support indigent and otherwise underrepresented clients who are often confused and intimidated by the immigration process. The clinic offers valuable services to the Los Angeles community, while giving students hands-on experience.

Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute [ [ Biederman Entertainment & Media Law Institute — Southwestern Law School] ]

The Institute hosts guest speakers, conferences, and an annual symposium in the area of entertainment and media law, providing opportunities for students to interact with professionals in these fields. It boasts distinguished faculty of the country's most eminent entertainment scholars, publishes a semi-annual law journal, and offers the nation’s first LL.M Degree in Entertainment and Media Law.

tudy Abroad Programs

ummer Abroad

* Buenos Aires, Argentina
* London, England
* Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
* Guanajuato, Mexico

emester Abroad

* Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
* University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Candada

Notable Alumni

Southwestern’s 10,000 alumni include prominent public officials—from members of Congress to mayors, and over 200 judges—as well as founders of major law firms and general counsels of multinational corporations.

Politics & Government

* Jim Gibbons -- "Governor of Nevada, former United States Congressman, 2nd District (Nevada)"
* Gordon Smith -- "United States Senator from Oregon"
* Julian Dixon -- "United States Congressman, 32nd Congressional District (California) (former Chair, House Ethics Committee)"
* Edward R. Roybal -- "United States Congressman, 30th and later the 25th Congressional Districts (California), Los Angeles City Council"
* Denise Moreno Ducheny -- "California State Senator, 40th District"
* Tom Umberg -- "California State Senator, 69th District"
* Matt Fong -- "Former California State Treasurer"
* Tom Bradley -- "Former Mayor of Los Angeles, CA"
* Norris Poulson -- "Former Mayor of Los Angeles, CA"
* Edward M. Wolkowitz -- "Former Mayor of Culver City, CA"
* Marcia Clark -- "Prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder case"
* Robert H. Philibosian -- "Former Los Angeles County District Attorney"
* Ira Reiner -- "Former Los Angeles County District Attorney"


* Scott M. Gordon -- "Commissioner, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles; RAND Advisory Board"
* David S. Wesley -- "Supervising Judge, Criminal Division, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles"
* Arthur Greenwald -- "Judge of U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California"
* Vaino Spencer -- "Former Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, First Division and California's first black woman judge - third in the nation"
* J. Gary Hastings -- "Associate Justice, California Court of Appeal, Second District, Fourth Division"
* Stanley Mosk -- "Former Justice of the California Supreme Court"
* Paul Peek -- "Former Justice of the California Supreme Court"
* Ronald S.W. Lew -- "United States District Court for the Central District of California" [ / Website]
* Otis Wright -- "United States District Court for the Central District of California" [ / Website]

Entertainment Industry

* Jeremy Adell -- "Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, NBC
* David Besbris -- "Legal Counsel, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
* Jean Casarez -- "Court TV correspondent"
* Joseph DeMarco -- "Executive Vice President, Fox Searchlight Pictures"
* Alan Duke -- "General Counsel, Miramax"
* George Eichen -- "Former Senior Vice President & General Counsel MTV Networks"
* Stacey Gardner -- "Model on Deal or No Deal, case #2"
* Gregory Gelfan -- "Executive Vice President, Fox Filmed Entertainment"
* Jeremy Geltzer -- "Business Affairs - Music, Paramount Pictures
* Howard Kurtzman -- "Executive Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Twentieth Century Fox Television"
* Wayne Levin -- "Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp."
* Michael Moore -- "Vice President, Intellectual Property Group, MGM"
* Martin Shafer -- "Partner, Castle Rock Entertainment"
* Gary D. Silver -- "Senior Vice President, Business Affairs CBS Entertainment"
* Glen A. Smith -- "Executive Counsel, ABC"
* Jeffrey S. Weiss -- "Vice President, Business Affairs, Columbia TriStar T.V. Distribution"
* Maitreya Yasuda -- "Vice President, Legal Affairs, International Distribution Summit Entertainment"

ports Industry

* Chris Bahr -- "Olympian, NFL Kicker"
* Jeffrey Birren -- "General Counsel, Oakland Raiders"
* Jeffrey Borris -- "General Counsel and Partner, Beverly Hills Sports Council"
* Roxanne Kosarzycki -- "General Counsel, Tampa Bay Buccaneers"
* Donald Sterling -- "Owner, Los Angeles Clippers"

Legal Practice

* Craig R. Breitman -- "Founding Partner, Selman & Breitman" [ Website]
* Irwin R. Buchalter -- "Founding Partner, Buchalter Nemer Fields & Younger" [ Website]
* Dennis P.R. Codon -- "Partner, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi; Former Senior VP & General Counsel, UNOCAL"
* Rory M. Hernandez -- "Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher"
* Daniel Horowitz -- "High-Profile Defense Attorney and Legal Analyst)"
* Lauren B. Leichtman -- "Co-Founder and CEO, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners (LLCP)" [ Website]
* James D. Nichols -- "Founding Partner, Bonne Bridges Mueller O’Keefe & Nichols" [ Website]
* Larry H. Parker -- "Southern California personal injury attorney well-known for his television commercials" [ Website]
* Daniel M. Petrocelli -- "Partner, O’Melveny & Myers. Notable Clients: Fred Goldman, the father of murder victim Ron Goldman, in a wrongful death civil suit against O.J. Simpson; and Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling"
* Stefani Schaeffer -- "Defense Attorney and winner of Donald Trump's The Apprentice 6"
* Norman Zafman -- "Founding Partner, Blakely Sokoloff Taylor & Zafman" [ Website]
* David Azizi "Southern California personal injury attorney" [ Website]


* Richard T. Williamson -- "Non-fiction author of books on asset protection, estate planning, and capital gains tax planning"


* Howard W. Hunter -- "14th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"

Notable Faculty

Current Professors

* Christopher David Ruiz Cameron -- "Authority on Labor and Employment Law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Catherine L. Carpenter -- "Nationally recognized expert on law school curricula" [ Faculty Profile]
* Michael M. Epstein -- "Specialist in Entertainment and Media Law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Max Goodman -- "Expert in Family Law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Warren S. Grimes -- "Expert in Antitrust Law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Joerg Knipprath -- "Expert in Constitutional Law, Blogger [ [ "Token Conservative" Joerg Knipprath's Blog] ] " [ Faculty Profile]
* James A. Kushner -- "Internationally recognized expert in land use, community development and constitutional law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Robert Lind -- "Expert in Entertainment, Media and Intellectual Property Law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Robert Lutz -- "Public and Private International Law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Jonathan Miller -- "Specialist in Latin American Legal Institutions" [ Faculty Profile]
* Austen L. Parrish -- "Specialist in Civil Procedure" [ Faculty Profile]
* Robert Pugsley -- "Frequent TV and Radio Commentator on Criminal Law" [ Faculty Profile]
* Myrna Raeder -- "Expert in Evidence and Procedure" [ Faculty Profile]
* Michael D. Scott -- "Expert on Computer and Technology Law, Blogger [ [ "Singularity Law" Michael Scott's Blog] ] " [ Faculty Profile]
* Butler D. Shaffer -- "Expert in Informal Systems of Order with focus on Property Law, Blogger [ [ "Wizards of Ozymadias" Butler Shaffer's Blog] ] " [ Faculty Profile]
* Ira Shafiroff -- "Expert in Tax Law and distinguished author" [ Faculty Profile]
* Karen Smith -- "Specialist in Criminal Procedure, Former Senior Deputy Federal Public Defender" [ Faculty Profile]
* Lionel S. Sobel -- "Expert in Entertainment Law, editor of the " Entertainment Law Reporter [ Faculty Profile]

Former Professors

* Christopher Darden -- "Prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson murder case"
* Lawrence Sullivan, 1991 to 2007 -- "Internationally Renowned Scholar and Expert in Antitrust Law" [ [ In Memory of Lawrence Sullivan] ]
* Paul E. Treusch, 1974 to 2004 -- "International Expert in Tax Law" [ [ In Memory of Paul E. Treusch] ]

outhwestern in Pop Culture

* Southwestern is located in the famous art-deco Bullocks Wilshire building, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Office of Administrative Services is responsible for all arrangements pertaining to commercial photography and filming on Southwestern's campus, and works with Unreel Locations [ [ Unreel Locations] ] .
* A scene in "The Aviator", a 2004 film starring Leonard DiCaprio, was filmed on campus near the entrance to the Bullocks Wilshire Building.
* The final scene in the film "Ghostbusters" was filmed on top of the Bullocks Wilshire Building.
* Featured setting in Topper, a 1937 film staring Cary Grant
* Also featured in: "Dunston Checks In"; Aerosmith’s "Love in an Elevator"
* Public Enemy's video for "By the Time I Get to Arizona" was filmed in front of the school.

External links

* [ Southwestern Law School Website]
* [ Departmental Contacts at Southwestern Law School]
* [ American Bar Association]
* [ Association of American Law Schools]
* [ U.S. News and World Report]


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