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A guide to Southwestern Law School

Located in Los Angeles, California, Southwestern Law School was founded in 1911. Committed to diversity, the school welcomes faculty and students from a variety of backgrounds. Southwestern has been American Bar Association (ABA) accredited since 1970 and over 10,000 of its graduates have practiced and continue to practise law.

History and firsts

Brief history
Southwestern Law School was founded in 1911 when a group of students, led by John Shumacher, held a law class with a tutor. Shumacher wanted to offer legal education to people, such as women and minorities, who would not have a chance, otherwise, to study law. Accreditation
Southwestern acquired accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1970. The school has since founded the two-year SCALE program as well as a program designed for students with child and elder care responsibilities (PLEAS). Southwestern purchased the Bullocks Wilshire Building in 1994 and today, the 410,000 square feet campus is state-of-the-art. School of firsts
Southwestern was the first American law school that offered students a chance to finish law school in two years rather than three years. The school was also one of the first to offer a program for students who had familial obligations. In its early years, the school was one of the first in the country to encourage minorities and women enrollment.

Diversity and programs of study

Diversity
Roughly 50 percent of Southwestern students are female and 35 percent are ethnic minorities. More than 20 percent of the faculty come from minority backgrounds and approximately 33 percent are women. The faculty has members who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender (LGBT). Students come to Southwestern Law School from 250 different undergraduate institutions, speak over 30 different languages and are between
20-52 years old.
Achievements and awards
The LEXIS-NEXIS Law School Racial and Ethnic Diversity Award has been given to the school. In addition to this, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles gave the School the Myra Bradwell Award. This award recognises Southwestern's record of working with women and women's issues. Southwestern Law School is also a part of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Programs of study
Southwestern Law School offers four different paths for the JD degree. The full-time, three year program has day classes while the part-time program takes place in the evenings. Students who want to finish law school more quickly may apply for the two year SCALE program and students with child and elder care responsibilities can take the four-year, part-time day classes of the PLEAS program. The school also offers three LL.M. programs.

References:
Southwestern Law School- Swlaw.edu
American Bar Association List of Accredited Law Schools- Americanbar.org (groups for legal education resources ABA approved in alphabetical order).

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