Areas of Concentration - California Western
Areas of Concentration

California Western's areas of concentration provide a thorough and rigorous academic experience in the following areas:

These programs also offer the opportunity for hands-on experience and professional networking within the legal community. Successful completion of an area of concentration demonstrates your keen interest, experience, and achievement to prospective employers.

For more information, contact Admissions at admissions@cwsl.edu or at (619) 525-1401 or (800) 255-4252, ext. 1401.


General Requirements

You must declare your intention to pursue an area of concentration prior to the commencement of your fifth trimester. All program requirements must be satisfied to receive a certificate of completion in any area of concentration. You will not receive area of concentration credit for any course in which you receive a grade lower than 79. The area of concentration certifciate will carry an honors distinction where the combined average of the grades for the five courses is 85 or higher.


Scholarly Writing

The scholarly writing requirement permits you to demonstrate your ability to conduct in-depth research and to present your findings and recommendations with conviction. The project allows you to propose ideas for changes in law, and it also helps you focus on problem solving in law. Depending upon which area of concentration you elect to pursue, you may be required to complete up to two scholarly writing/major research papers requirements. Additionally, you may be required to complete a practical writing requirement. All topics in the writing requirement must be pre-approved by the director of the program or an area of concentration adviser.


Internship and Practical Work Experience

The internship and practical work experience is an integral part of the California Western education experience, providing you the opportunity to enhance your classroom training by sharpening your lawyering skills in professional settings. A minimum of 280 hours of internship work, depending on the program you select, is required for successful completion of an area of concentration.


Pro Bono

Pro bono work enables you to obtain law clerking experiences and contribute to communities and individuals in need. More than two-dozen public interest organizations regularly depend on California Western students to help them meet the legal needs of the disadvantaged and underrepresented in accessing and understanding the judicial system.


Co-Curricular Activities

Co-curricular activities at California Western and in the legal community let you shape your own experiences. Participation in these organizations, which include bar committees and legal organizations, places you among practicing professionals, which enables you to learn more about your particular field of interest and helps you establish a network of contacts.


Core Adviser/Program Director

Certain programs require that you select a faculty adviser, or meet with the program director, prior to the commencement of your fifth trimester. Faculty advisers must be chosen from the core adviser group of a particular area of concentration. You must meet with your adviser, or the program director, at least once each trimester to discuss your curriculum and to ensure you are making satisfactory progress in the area of concentration. In addition to the full-time faculty, other adjunct faculty, visiting professors, and visiting scholars constitute an essential component of the faculty. They cannot, however, be selected as your adviser.