Southwestern Law School

By Vik Kanwar, Associate Director of International Programs & Adjunct Professor of Law | 2019-02-13 09:55:09

Vik Kanwar

Associate Director of International Programs & Adjunct Professor of Law

The number of Indian students studying abroad is growing at a pace faster than ever before. While a majority of students consider international degrees and the high standard education system as the main reasons to choose an overseas education, they also look forward to getting exposure to different cultures and environments. Studying abroad can be one of the most thrilling experiences in one’s personal and professional life. It gives an opportunity to gain a different perspective, not only on academic subjects but also through real-world experiences. Dedicated to providing internationally recognized legal education to students across the globe, Southwestern Law School is distinguished by maintaining a diverse and accomplished academic community in the U.S., a prominent study destination for millions of Indian students.

Founded in 1911 by John J. Schumacher, Southwestern Law School is the second oldest law school in Los Angeles with over 100 years of inclusion, thought leadership, and public service. As a member of the American Bar Association (ABA) and an active member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), Southwestern aims to produce graduates who are highly skilled and capable of integrating theory and practice to meet the challenges of contemporary law practice. Southwestern Law School graduates are well-known for being fierce litigators, creative problem solvers, and hardworkers who get the job done right the first time. Southwestern is home to a vibrant and diverse academic community, boasting a student-centered approach to legal education, and an exceptional team of nationally-recognized faculty members committed to promoting the highest level of professionalism.

Grooming Aspiring Lawyers through Personalized Curriculum
Situated in the heart of a thriving and colorful metropolis city, SouthwesternLaw School is the only ABA-approved law school offering four programs of study leading to a Juris Doctor degree that differ in scheduling and instructional approach. Their academic programs feature a comprehensive selection of more than 200 courses, over 50 professional skills courses, part-time evening programs and floating mini-term courses that cover J.D./MBA, J.D./MA, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Entertainment & Media Law. Vik Kanwar, Associate Director of International Programs & Adjunct Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School, mentions, “Southwestern Law School is unique in terms of courses, curriculum,
and practice-based learning. In addition to traditional full-time day and part-time evening programs, Southwestern has developed two innovative options: PLEAS, one of the only part-time day programs in the country designed to meet the needs of students with child- or elder-care responsibilities, and SCALE®, a unique two-year J.D. course of instruction with an alternative approach. SCALE is the first ABA-approved program of its kind in the U.S., featuring small classes, practical skills training, and real-world experience since 1975.”

The unique offerings of this innovative law school’s academic programs don’t stop here. The school offers a variety of personalized curriculum options catered to students’ needs. Vik Kanwar explains, “At Southwestern, you have choices and flexibility unlike anywhere else. We promote a truly individualized approach to legal education through an integrated intra-curriculum. Students in Southwestern’s LL.M. program can create their own curriculum from a selection of over 150 courses focused on the various areas of law. Students can further enrich their law school experience by participating in Honors Programs, Law Reviews and Journals and so on.”

"Situated in the heart of a thriving and colorful metropolis city, Southwestern Law School is the only ABA-approved law school offering four programs of study leading to a Juris Doctor degree that differ in scheduling and instructional approach"

Enhancing Career Prospects with Experiential Learning
Experiential learning is a central component of Southwestern Law School’s education system. They prioritize the application of legal knowledge in a real- world environment, and thus, help students achieve a leading edge in the industry. Through a variety of clinics, externships, practicums, and public interest opportunities, Southwestern Law School provides valuable and practical hands-on experiences and makes graduates ready for practice in their area of interest. Their specially crafted three ‘Windows Into Practice’ courses - Big and Medium Law Firm Practice, Public Interest Law Practice and Small Law Practice Management - foster legal practices in the context of complex, multifaceted, and realistic problems.

Southwestern has set up an exclusive Externship Office to help students in selecting off-campus placements in Southern California. Their placement opportunities include governmental agencies, public interest entities, state and federal judicial chambers, and the legal departments of companies (primarily entertainment). Students enrolled in Southwestern’s LL.M. program also have access to a variety of services related to career planning and development such as individualized sessions with career counselors; access to online job bank listings; resume and cover letter critiques; an extensive resource library; mock interviews; invitations
to career days, practice panels, and networking events; and a series of workshops detailing all aspects of the job search process. Overall, Southwestern Law School is the gold standard of legal education.

A Diverse and Welcoming Student-Centric Law School
The institute strives to offer a rich experience in both the professional and personal life of each student. From its inception, Southwestern has accepted qualified and aspiring lawyers from all walks of life and backgrounds. It was also one of the first law schools in the country to encourage the enrollment of women and ethnic minorities. Today, Southwestern maintains committed to its rich legacy of multiculturalism, and is one of the most diverse law schools in the U.S. For instance, Betty Trier Berry was Southwestern’s first graduate in 1915, who went on to become the first woman in the U.S. to serve as a public defender. Other trailblazing Southwestern alumni include the first Latina Trial Court Judge, the first female African-American Judge in California, and the first Chinese American Federal Judge serving in the continental U.S.

Vik Kanwar explains, “At Southwestern, we truly value diversity, and we have the trailblazers, the student community and the external recognition to prove it. Our alumni live and work throughout the United States and are from twenty-six foreign countries including India. We have received numerous awards for our emphasis on diversity from a variety of organizations. For example, PreLaw Magazine recognized Southwestern as one of three law schools in the nation to have placed in the top 20 for all 3 categories of best law schools for Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans in 2018. Southwestern is also the only law school with the honor of receiving the California State Bar Organizational Diversity Award. Moreover, we are affiliated with many colleges like The Hague Law School at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Buenos Aires at the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, and Jindal Global Law School (JGLS), Haryana, and offer a wide range of ‘Semester Abroad’ options to enhance the academic and cultural experiences of students. Southwestern is committed to fostering a vibrant and diverse academic community with our dedicated faculty and student-centered approach to legal education.”

Vik Kanwar, Associate Director of International Programs & Adjunct Professor of Law
Vik Kanwar completed his LL.M. from New York University School of Law and completed his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. Prior to joining as Associate Director of International Programs at Southwestern Law School, he worked as Associate Professor of Law at Jindal Global Law School. He is also the founding Executive Director of the Center on Public Law and Jurisprudence (CPLJ), a legal research center.