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Experiential Courses

What are Experiential Courses?

CWSL’s Experiential (EXP) Courses provide you the opportunity to study the law while learning and practicing critical professional skills such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, fact development and analysis, trial advocacy, document drafting, conflict resolution, organization and management of legal work, collaboration, cultural competency and self-evaluation.

Our educational objective is to ensure that you graduate CWSL with the necessary skills and knowledge to practice law in the 21st century. To achieve this goal, our curriculum has been created and sequenced with a wide array of experiential opportunities which integrate doctrine, theory, skills and legal ethics. CWSL’s experiential classes include live-client clinics, simulation courses, and externships, all of which provide students with an opportunity to “learn by doing”.

Students are required to successfully complete 11 units of experiential (EXP) coursework prior to graduation with a Juris Doctor degree. Students will receive 2 units of EXP credit for successful completion of Legal Skills II and 1 unit of EXP credit for successful completion of the STEPPS program (students completing the STEPPS program prior to Fall 2022 will receive 3 units of EXP credit for STEPPS.) Students may satisfy the remaining 8 units by taking any course designated by the law school as an EXP course. The following courses are EXP courses.


Courses that provide faculty supervised lawyering experience through a combination of a classroom component and representation of real clients with real issues. The clinical opportunities at California Western School of Law include:

Clinic Credits
California Innocence Project I & II
Community Law Project Clinic 3
New Media Rights:
Internet and Media Law Clinic
Trademark Clinic 3

Simulation Courses

Classroom courses that provide substantial lawyering experience through in-class practice with hypothetical facts. Students gain professional skills and subject area knowledge that prepare them for clinics and externship placements. There are over 40 simulations courses offered at California Western School of Law.

Course Credits
Legal Skills II

3 (Earn 2 EXP credits)

The STEPPS Program 4 (Earn 1 EXP credits)
ADR Competition Practicum 2
Advanced Legal Research 3
Advanced Negotiation 3
Advanced Criminal Defense Litigation 3
Advanced Prosecution Function 3
Alternative Dispute Resolution 3
Appellate Program for Distinguished Advocates 2
Commercial Real Estate Transactions 3
Contract Drafting 2
Culture & the Criminal Justice System 3
 Current Issues in Constitutional Law 3
Entrepreneurship Law & Ethics 3
Estate Planning 2
Forensic Evidence 3
International Legal Research 1
Law and Lawyers in Pandemic 3
Law Office Technology:
Case Management & Marketing
Law Office Technology: Document Management 1
Legal Landscape of Preparing For and Surviving Natural Disasters 2
Mediation for Lawyers 3
Privacy Law 3
Specialized Legal Research 1
Trial Practice ("Small Section") 2
Trial Skills Training for Distinguished Advocates 2
Wrongful Conviction 2

Externship Opportunities

Full or part-time field placements in which students interact with real clients and issues in partnership with a supervising attorney. The Externship Program includes a one-unit graded classroom component, a seminar in which students discuss and reflect upon their experiences and the practice of law. California Western faculty facilitate these conversations and exercises. Students can earn up to 10 credits in various externship placements during a trimester. These credits plus the one unit for the seminar makes a possible maximum total of 11 unites for the trimester. There are more than 100 externship opportunities in San Diego, nationally, and internationally for students to grow their skills and become practice ready.