Law School Discussion

Southwestern Law School

Southwestern Law School
« on: April 22, 2004, 07:19:40 AM »
I'm considering going to Southwestern in Los Angeles for their 2-year program...I was hoping someone who went there, or is currently involved with the program could tell me what they think of it. I have a fiance, soon to be married in October, and if I start law school in 2005 I know it won't be long until she is looking to have a baby. 2 years would be great, and although it is non stop work, I'd rather that anyway. My questions are more in regards to whether or not it gives you time to work with a law firm outside of school. I have a connection with Greenberg and Traurig, and he recommended I check out Southwestern, but he wasn't sure how the 2 year program worked. Any help would be great.

thechoson

Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2004, 10:20:07 AM »
I'm considering going to Southwestern in Los Angeles for their 2-year program...I was hoping someone who went there, or is currently involved with the program could tell me what they think of it. I have a fiance, soon to be married in October, and if I start law school in 2005 I know it won't be long until she is looking to have a baby. 2 years would be great, and although it is non stop work, I'd rather that anyway. My questions are more in regards to whether or not it gives you time to work with a law firm outside of school. I have a connection with Greenberg and Traurig, and he recommended I check out Southwestern, but he wasn't sure how the 2 year program worked. Any help would be great.

I am not sure about the SCALE program itself, but Southwestern has a KILLER attrition rate.  Basically, they want to flunk out the bottom third.  So they overenroll.  But if you are in the SCALE, they might be more lenient with grades, I am not too sure.  SW's job prospects are pretty decent for a third tier school, because LA is a huge market.  You would be competing with UCLA, USC, Loyola, and Pepperdine for jobs, all of which are considered better schools.  I've heard it's very tough to find a job out of SW unless you were REALLY elite (like top 10 percent).  Of course, that's for some of the bigfirms out here. 
Honestly, if it was between doing the SCALE at SW or just a normal 3 year program at a better school like Loyola, I would take Loyola.

Good luck!

Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2004, 01:46:19 PM »
I read somewhere (can't remember where now) that the SCALE program didn't allow time to do outside work. It seems like with the load that program comes with, it would be pretty tough to work.

Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2004, 01:53:47 PM »
Seems like doing a law degree in 2 years would kind of put you at a disadvantage because you wouldn't have that all-important 2L summer clerkship thing.  I've heard a lot of summer associates get job offers at the place where they clerked. I know you want to get out of school quickly so that you can start earning money to provide for a family--but it would be a shame if doing it in 2 years actually hurt your chances of finding decent employment after graduation.


Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2004, 03:04:34 PM »
Can you give me more info about the attrition rate at SW... how do you know about the overenrolling?  What does that mean for first year grades?  Can anyone who is at Southwestern now comment on the atrrition rate?  Thanks.

Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2004, 04:09:43 PM »
With regard to the thread cited above, I just wanted to note that there is one glaring inaccuracy in one of the posts: SCALE students are not automatically placed at the top of each graduating class.  SW treats each of its programs (SCALE, traditional day, evening, PLEAS) as separate academic entities and ranking is thus done on a program-specific basis.  Each program has its own curriculum, so it's nearly impossible to accurately compare one to another.  No program is given academic preference. 

As for attrition rates, it's different for each program.  Yes, the rates cited seem high, but remember: the total rate combines all the programs.  There are lots of programs at SW, though, and the reasons for dropping out (or flunking out) of SW may be quite diverse -- for example, someone dropping out of the PLEAS program might have vastly different reasons for doing so than someone in the traditional three-year day program or the SCALE program or the evening program, etc., etc.  I'm not sure that I would assign to SW such a rigorous repuation for shearing off the bottom of 1L classes; due to the unusually eclectic nature of the student body there (lots of part-timers, lots of second career folks, more non-traditionals), the high attrition rate may be due to other factors than normally may be found at other schools.   

Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2004, 08:21:19 AM »
Interesting point... anyone know anything more about the attrition rate? 

Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2004, 12:00:39 PM »
JUST FOUND OUT I GOT INTO UCLA :) (166 3.4)

Was thinking about taking lots of $$ from SW or Pepperdine... but off to UCLA... will be pulling off G'Town waitlist if that helps anyone :)

Re: Southwestern Law School
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2004, 12:12:27 PM »
Congrats!!!


I was in the a similar situation (LSAT: 165 GPA:3.4) and had money offers from SW, Pepperdine, Cardozo (a few others).  I went home during lunch to check my mail and I just found out that I got into USC.  No money, but I'll happily pay!!!! Goodbye law school forum :)