California Western --

Frequently Asked Questions

• How do I apply?

Each application must include official transcripts of all law school work, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. You can now apply online through the LSAC website. The application deadline is July 31st of each year. However, admissions are rolling so applicants are encouraged to submit their materials by early Spring.

Apply Now!

Apply online using the LSAC application system and services. Click here to apply through LSAC.

* Please note that LSAC charges a $75 registration fee to use the online application system. This fee applies only to LSAC services, there is NO CWSL APPLICATION FEE FOR 2014.


Enter your name and email to download a PDF application

• How can I contact the LL.M. in Trial Advocacy program?

If you have questions or need more information about the program, please contact our Admissions Counselor, Heidi Cruise. We are located at 225 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA, 92101. You can contact Ms. Cruise at: (619) 515-1574; Toll-Free: (800) 255-4252, ext. 1574;

• Can I schedule a visit?

We invite you to visit California Western School of Law to learn more about the LL.M. degree program and living in San Diego. Visits and tours are available year round. Each visit will include a meeting with one of the LL.M. faculty. Contact Heidi Cruise to set up an appointment.

• What are the requirements to attend this program?

To be considered for admission, you must be a law school graduate who has either taken a bar exam or plans to take the bar exam prior to beginning the program. Bar admission is required in order to appear in federal court during the clinical component of the program.

• Where are your LL.M. alumni working?

Currently, we have alumni working throughout the country in defender offices and private law firms in California, Colorado, Texas, Rhode Island, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. Employers have told us the quality and skills level of our graduates are comparable to graduates from the top law schools in California and the U.S.

• What is it like to live in San Diego?

San Diego is consistently named one of the nation’s top places to visit and live. The city is best known for its warm weather and more than 70 miles of beautiful beaches. You can enjoy water sports activities, from laid-back sailing outings to action-packed kite surfing. The city averages 266 sunny days per year with daily temperatures averaging around 70 degrees. Downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is rich with cultural offerings that include theatres, art galleries, symphony halls, concert venues and museums. San Diego is also home to the world famous San Diego Zoo, located in beautiful Balboa Park, Seaworld, The Wild Animal Park and Birch Aquarium. With our perfect year round temperatures, over fifty outdoor farmers markets, picturesque marina’s and thriving downtown district it is no wonder that San Diego is known as America’s Finest City. The area is also home to several popular neighborhood communities including Hillcrest, North Park, South Park, Bankers Hill, and Ocean Beach.

• What housing is available?

Numerous apartment rentals (including short term rentals) are within walking distance of the school. Most housing is located close to restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and shopping. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System operates buses and trolleys with many stops conveniently located close to school. Assistance in finding housing is available by contacting our admissions counselor.

• Where is the school located?

California Western School of Law is located in downtown San Diego at 225 Cedar St., between 3rd and 4th Avenues. The school is a short walking distance from the Federal courthouse, the popular Gaslamp Quarter, and Little Italy.

• Where will my internship be?

Using the program’s extensive contacts and track record, clinical placements can be arranged at most Federal Defenders office. We have placed students in a variety of locations including San Diego, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami, Seattle, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This aspect of the program makes us unique among law schools in California.

• What is the LL.M. class size each year?

By limiting enrollment to 10-15, each student can benefit from a low faculty-student ratio and receive personalized instruction and supervision.

  • Recognized by the Judges Advocate General Corps (JAG)
  • Offers Exclusive Training by SD Federal Defenders Inc.
Learn More!

Complete this form to download a program Brochure and application and an Enrollment Advisor will contact you promptly.
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Program Highlights
  • San Diego Federal Defenders Clinical Placement
  • All Faculty are Federal Defenders
  • Longest Established Trial Advocacy Program
  • Study on the beach!