Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.
Learn how to update your browser.

Our goal is to ensure that you graduate with the skills, knowledge, and values necessary for 21st century law practice. To achieve this goal, the California Western JD curriculum has been carefully sequenced with an array of experiential courses, including clinics, externships, and simulation courses.

A group of Access to Law Initiative students

Access to Law Initiative

The Access to Law Initiative brings affordable and pro bono assistance to people who lack access to legal services, while supporting California Western graduates who engage in solo or small firm practice or participate in a nonprofit entity. The project operates out of two law offices in downtown San Diego with attorneys providing a wide range of legal services. Click through for more information on the project and attorneys.

California Innocence Project celebrating the release of Brian Banks

California Innocence Project

The California Innocence Project is a law school clinical program in which California Western students help identify, investigate, and litigate claims of actual innocence. Since its inception in 1999, the project has helped to free more than 20 innocent people and continues to advocate on behalf of the California 12, a dozen men and women who remain in prison despite compelling evidence of innocence.

A professor talking with students in the library

Center for Creative Problem Solving

The Center for Creative Problem Solving develops curriculum, research, and projects to educate students and lawyers in methods for preventing problems where possible, and creatively solving those problems that do exist. Through our hands-on problem solving courses, students learn the importance of research and communication in addressing and preventing problems.

Students working in the Clinical Internship Program

Clinical Externship Program

The Clinical Externship Program is an essential component of the curriculum at California Western School of Law. The Program builds upon the strong practice foundation students receive in the second year STEPPS Program. The 13-week program gives third year students the opportunity to earn academic credit for legal work in not-for-profit agencies, private law offices, courts, corporations or government agencies.

Students working with the California Innocence Project

Clinics and Other Experiential Courses

Experiential courses allow you to learn and practice what lawyers actually do. Our goal is to ensure that you graduate with the skills, knowledge and values necessary for 21st century law practice. To achieve this goal, the California Western J.D. curriculum has been carefully sequenced with an array of experiential courses, including clinics, externships, and simulation courses.

Students participating in the Community Law Project

Community Law Project

The Community Law Project provides legal advice to low-income and indigent members of the local community, while developing a commitment to public service in California Western students who work within the clinics. We offer legal clinics in the San Diego communities of City Heights, Downtown, and Lemon Grove. Click through for more information for clients and students.

A professor lecturing to a class

Conferences and Symposia

California Western regularly hosts conferences and symposia exploring emerging trends in the law and legal education.

Professors meeting with students

Immigration Clinic

California Western’s immigration clinic works with ACCESS Inc. and the Operation Samahan medical-legal clinic in National City to offer assistance to those seeking lawful immigration status, employment verification, and public assistance under provisions of the Violence Against Women Act. Students who participate in the clinic work closely with supervising attorneys to help clients resolve their immigration issues.

A student in front of a window

Intellectual Property Technology and Telecommunications Law Center

The center promotes public education, specifically the education of young lawyers, in the fast-growing field of telecommunications law. Students can graduate prepared for the cutting edge of entrepreneurship, transactional law, transborder licensing, intellectual property, informational technology, biofuels, and telecommunications. In addition, the Center partners with government agencies land organizations to provide students with practical experience in law, policy, and business.

An International Legal Studies student

International Legal Studies Program

California Western's International Legal Studies Program offers an enriched curriculum in international and comparative law. Taught by talented faculty with academic and practical experience, the classroom emphasis on theory and practice is complemented by curricular programs providing real-world experience. Through our Chile Summer Program, guest speakers, and yearly lecture series, students can network and work with leaders in international law and policy.

Students talking in the courtyard

Mediation Clinic

Through the Mediation Clinic, you will resolve actual disputes with real people, including cases in Small Claims Court. You will draft settlement agreements with individualized feedback from a judge and professional mediator, resolve differences between juveniles in a detention facility, and work closely with legal professionals in the community.

Students having a conversation

National Center for Preventive Law

The National Center for Preventive Law (NCPL) conducts various programs with the aim of preventing legal risks from becoming legal problems. The NCPL acts as a clearinghouse for information and as a network for those interested in the theory of Preventive Law or how it applies to particular areas of practice or the courts. In addition, the Louis M. Brown Program in Preventive Law focuses on legal education and produces multimedia materials for use by law students and attorneys.

Students in the New Media Rights program

New Media Rights

New Media Rights is a non-profit program that provides legal services, education, and advocacy for Internet users and creators. California Western students work closely with program staff and clients to analyze policies related to online content creation. Students can help create informational videos, prepare policy briefs, and contribute to the program’s work with the FCC and other agencies.

Providing pro bono services to the community

Pro Bono and Public Service Honors Programs

The Pro Bono and Public Service Honors Programs provides students the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on legal experience while simultaneously helping to address the unmet legal needs of disadvantaged or underrepresented individuals. Each year, our students contribute more than 10,000 hours of service to government agencies and nonprofit organizations and earn a mark of distinction on their academic transcript.

Jamie Cooper speaking for ACCESSO

Proyecto ACCESO

Proyecto ACCESO is a Rule of Law training and public education program. ACCESO trains Latin American leaders to promote the rule of law and educate the public in their basic legal rights, enabling lawyers, law enforcement officials, and the general public to understand the benefits of a transparent judicial system. Students can participate in summer abroad, internship, and other international opportunities to develop experience and connections in Latin America.

Students studying in the courtyard

Trademark Clinic

The Trademark Clinic provides free legal services for individuals and small businesses seeking a federal trademark or service mark from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Our students, working under the supervision of a California-licensed attorney, provide legal assistance to clients who can afford the administrative filing fees but who do not have the means to hire an attorney to advise them.