Deciding Where to Go > Where should I go next fall?

Southwestern's SCALE program

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DuncanInMaine:
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:
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:
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

DuncanInMaine:
Lance,

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

-Duncan

CaliLaw:
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

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