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Author Topic: Southwestern's SCALE program  (Read 5082 times)

DuncanInMaine

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Southwestern's SCALE program
« on: July 25, 2003, 09:52:24 AM »
Does anyone have any first hand knowledge about Southwestern's SCALE program?  I've read their literature, but I'd like to hear from anyone with practical information about it.

FYI, if you're not familiar with it, it's the only ABA-approved 2-year law program. It's based on a more active learning model than a traditional law school program.

Thanks,
Duncan

CaliLaw

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2003, 11:19:26 AM »
I have not heard much about this school, other than it is in LA, California. Can you tell me your thoughts on it? I know it is not a top school, according to the US News and the tier models.  However, since someone is talking about it, it must have some credibility.

Can you tell me what you think/know about this school? Thanks!

lp4law

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2003, 02:49:32 PM »
I live and work up in Ventura, California, and was looking for an ABA school that I could attend in the evening.  The closest possible options for me were Southwestern and Loyola.  I was well aware of the fact that Loyola had a longer-established reputation and was placed a good deal higher than Southwestern in the U.S. News rankings.  I applied to both, but only got accepted at Southwestern.

I wanted to be sure I was going to a law school that would be worth my $100k (and the crazy drive), so I did some general research on the school and the alumni.  Ultimately I verified that most of the local law firms, even some of the biggest, recruited at and hired from Southwestern.  In LA, the school seems to have a good reputation across the board.  My father was a 1968 grad from Southwestern (before it was ABA), and he and most of his classmates did very well for themselves, both in the public and private sector.  Additionally, Southwestern specializes in entertainment law.

I developed a personal appreciation for the school when I visited recently for an open house.  The library was gorgeous, being housed in the historic Bullocks Wilshire Building.  On the bottom floor of this building, construction of a state-of-the-art courtroom and conference area is nearing completion.  The older parts of the campus have been or are in the process of being modernized and upgraded, including the classrooms.  

With great schools like UCLA, USC, and Loyola in the L.A. area, it's easy for Southwestern to look like the little guy.  But I'm impressed by the fact that the school has worked consistently and aggressively to further develop its already very respectable reputation.  As a new Southwestern student, I'm looking forward to contributing to this effort.

Good luck.

Lance
"What we do in life...echoes in eternity." -- Gladiator

DuncanInMaine

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2003, 05:09:01 PM »
Lance,

Thanks for the info.  Do you mind telling me if they offered you any scholarship money?  Also, what were your scores?

-Duncan

CaliLaw

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2003, 10:12:31 AM »
Hey Lance, thanks for the information!  Do you know how long Southwestern has been around?  Reason for asking: do you think they have, in a way, pinnacled their prestige or are still up and coming?

Also, how extensively did you research the firms that recruit at Southwestern? I had no idea they would because I assumed all the firms would be at USC, Loyola, and UCLA. But since you mentioned that, I am going to look into Southwestern as a potential option.

I look forward to reading your response.

-Cyrus

lp4law

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2003, 02:33:49 PM »
I know that Southwestern does offer scholarship money, but I didn't apply for any because I felt that my incoming numbers didn't warrant the attempt.  My numbers/background were as follows:

LSAT: 156
UGPA: 2.61 (aerospace/aeronautical engineering)
Work:  6 years as spacecraft engineer for General Dynamics
Business:  Several years experience in the formation and operation of small start-up technology companies.
Military:  8 years Marine Corps Reserve
3 Letters:  Lead engineer, business associate, patent atty.
Other:  Father graduated from Southwestern

I listed all of these factors for you because any of them could have contributed to my chances.  As competitive as things are right now, and the fact that my LSAT wasn't stellar, I'm sure my GPA was rather deficient for me to be considered competitive for admissions on numbers alone.  So I would have to believe that one or more of the other factors came into play.

Southwestern has been around since 1911.  I believe they became ABA accredited around 1969.  Their website, www.swlaw.edu, gives you a good overview of their background, faculty and facilities.  In addition, they list some of their alumni, which include a mayor of Los Angeles, members of the U.S. House of Reps and U.S. Senate, General Counsel for Miramax Studios, an LA District Attorney, owner of the Clippers (NBA team), lots of judges, VPs and CEOs of companies, etc...The list goes on.

As far as identifying the firms that hire from Southwestern, I started by going to Findlaw.com and looking up the top law firm salaries for Los Angeles.  From the full list I was able to visit most of these firms through their individual web links.  Once you get to their websites, most of these firms allow you to search their attorneys by name, school attended, specialty, office, etc...

I haven't done an exhaustive trend analysis of Southwestern's ranking per U.S. News.  But everything that I've seen, read and heard convinces me that the school is a good fit for me in that it carries a solid reputation in Southern California, has a strong and diverse faculty, and top-notch facilities.

I've already completed a semester at a local California Bar Accredited law school, and was impressed with the quality of instruction I've received so far.  This school is right around the corner from my apartment and would only cost me a projected $25k over 4 years.  So if I'm going to spend the extra $75k and drive an extra 600 miles per week to switch to an ABA school, I need to feel that it will be worthwhile.  My research has convinced me that switching over to Southwestern will be worth the additional investment in time and money.

Lance
"What we do in life...echoes in eternity." -- Gladiator

Stacy McClendon

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2003, 04:57:57 PM »
I too would be interested in hearing from anyone in the SCALE program.  I'm looking at applying for Fall 2004.  My GPA is a 3.38.  I'm taking the LSAT in October so I don't have numbers yet.

Stacy McClendon

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2003, 08:36:36 PM »
One thing I just learned by searching the web is that the SCALE program has just 36 members in its class.  And, there is a seperate ranking for SCALE students so if you are at the top of your SCALE class you graduate #1 in your class.  I guess that means it's pretty easy to be at the bottom too! :o
I looked up "scale southwestern law" on yahoo and found about 8 bios of people who went through the program.  They all seemed to be proud of it.  And, they're all doing well in small law firms.

Ivy_Hopeful

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Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2003, 02:01:56 AM »
Good luck to everyone who wants to get involved in the SCALE program.  All thatI hear about the program is although it is rigorous, (because it's a bunch of info in a shorter time) it also is very reputable.  Have fun if you all arrend.  
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