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Select from several areas of concentration to deepen your preparation for a specific career path and earn a mark of distinction that stands out to prospective employers.


Choose a concentration and gain hands-on experience while networking with like-minded professionals.

The Business Law concentration blends theory and practice for students interested in business, entrepreneurship, and transactional law. Features include internships, pro bono work, practicum courses, and a scholarly writing requirement that puts new skills on full display for a prospective employer.


This area of concentration focuses on lawyering skills critical to effective practice in the areas of negotiation as well as applied reasoning and creative problem-solving. You can choose from nearly 30 different courses to fulfill your concentration requirements:

  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Advanced Contracts: Theory & Application
  • Advanced Negotiation
  • Antitrust
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Planning
  • Commercial Real Estate Transactions
  • Contract Drafting
  • Copyright Law
  • Corporate Finance
  • Deal Litigation
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employee Benefit & ERISA
  • Entertainment Law
  • International Business Transactions
  • Labor Law
  • Land Use Regulation
  • Licensing
  • New Media Rights Clinic
  • Patent Law
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
  • Securities Regulation
  • Sports Law
  • Trademark Clinic
  • Trademark Law

Application Form

If you are interested in the Business Law Area of Concentration, please fill out application form. Contact Professor Niels Schaumann with additional questions about this concentration.

The Criminal Prosecution and Defense Practice area of concentration gives students advanced training in trial advocacy skills and theory, as well as hands-on experience to hit the ground running as an advocate within the criminal justice system. This distinction can help students stand out to employers looking for practice-ready attorneys with litigation skills. Through this concentration, students can participate in hands-on experiences in the sessions of the National Trial Skills Academy or in special programs like the California Innocence Project.


The Criminal Prosecution and Defense Practice concentration can give students the flexibility to take courses tailored to their interests from three different categories.

Core Practicum courses include:

  • Advanced Criminal Litigation
  • Advanced Prosecution Function
  • California Sentencing
  • Evidence Advocacy
  • Forensic Evidence
  • The California Innocence Project
  • Trial Practice
  • Trial Skills Training for Distinguished Advocates

Students can explore specialized substantive areas like:

  • White Collar Crime
  • Human Rights Law
  • Immigration Law
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Domestic Violence
  • Mental Health Law

Additional core course offerings include:

  • Constitutional Law II
  • Criminal Law Theory
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Federal Crimes
  • Regulation of Vice
  • Problem Solving & Preventive Law
  • Wrongful Conviction Seminar

Closely related electives include:

  • Accounting for Lawyers
  • Administrative Law
  • Advanced Legal Research
  • Current Issues in Constitutional Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Jurisprudence
  • Spanish for Lawyers

Application Form

If you are interested in the Criminal Prosecution and Defense Practice Area of Concentration, please fill out application form.  If you have any further questions, please contact Professor Erin Sheley at JavaScript Required.

In today's global economy, lawyers increasingly encounter transnational issues in their practice. The ability to address this global environment requires a solid understanding of international law and an appreciation of political, cultural, and linguistic differences.

The Area of Concentration in International Law is designed to provide students with a thorough and rigorous overview of international and comparative law.  Students considering a career that may involve international or comparative law should consider this Area of Concentration. 

Candidates are encouraged to discuss their application with a member of the faculty early in the second year of their J.D. studies.  Faculty who specialize in international or comparative law include William Aceves, Emily Behzadi, Susan Bisom-Rapp, Jamie Cooper, Pooja Dadhania, and Richard Oppong. Professors Aceves and Cooper serve as the Co-Directors of the Area of Concentration.

At California Western, students interested in international law can pursue several unique opportunities. Students may be invited to join the International Law Journal, which is one of the oldest international law publications in the country. Students may apply to join the Jessup International Law Moot Court Team, which has competed successfully for many years. California Western has a vibrant International Law Society as well as other student organizations that address international and comparative issues. Finally, students may participate in an externship that focuses on international or comparative law in their third year.  

Application Form

If you are interested in the International Law Area of Concentration, please fill out application form.

Employment law and labor law are high-demand areas of practice in the current legal market, offering students a wide range of professional opportunities:  working in the private sector and the public sector, representing private employers,  working with labor unions, representing employees,working with administrative or governmental entities. Students specializing in this field will find themselves equipped for a broad range of careers.
This concentration is designed to provide students with a rigorous introduction to labor and employment law. The concentration will allow students to take the courses needed to prepare to practice in this highly specialized field, and it will demonstrate to prospective employers that graduates have the knowledge, training and experience to hit the ground running in this area.
To declare a concentration, students must:

  • Meet with a member of the labor and employment law advisor group faculty (Jessica Fink, Susan Bisom-Rapp or Paul Gudel) to discuss the requirements for the concentration and agree on a plan for meeting those requirements.
  • Declare an intention to concentrate in labor and employment law (by submitting this application to one of the advisor group faculty) before the completion of the student’s fifth trimester.
  • Secure final approval (by resubmitting this application) from one of the advisor group faculty in the student’s final trimester. 

Fellowship Opportunities and Internships

Gain insight into real issues in labor and employment law through the CWSL Clinical Externship Program, with previous placements including the Employee Rights Center, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, and several private law firms.

Your can also learn about employment opportunities in this area of interest through the Career and Professional Development Office.

Application Form

If you are interested in the Labor and Employment Law concentration, contact Academic Achievement for a course planner worksheet. The application form for Labor and Employment Law Concentration must be completed. Contact Professor Jessica Fink with additional questions about this concentration.