Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Alumni Q&A with Stephen Sullivan '06

Stephen Sullivan
Stephen Sullivan '06, Counsel, O'Melveny & Myers and Former Judicial Clerk, Nevada Supreme Court

A graduate's perspective on the SCALEĀ® program

Q: What attracted you to SCALE when you were looking for a J.D. program?

A: I was attracted to SCALE because the two-year, conceptual format offered an opportunity to attend law school with other highly-motivated and engaged students from diverse educational and career backgrounds, which I (correctly) thought would make the law school experience even more exciting.

Q: How would you describe SCALE in a sentence or two?

A: SCALE can best be described as a whirlwind of learning, excitement, and opportunity. Having completed the program, I can say that the experience was even more rewarding than I thought it would be - and that the two years truly flew by!

Q: What is it about SCALE that you found to be the most stimulating or useful?

A: For me, what really made SCALE stimulating was the way that the classes were arranged into smaller, focused segments, rather than the traditional semester. As a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the quarter-system in college, I was eager to find a law school program that offered a similar schedule - where classes would be intense and interesting, and there would be no time for the class or the subject to "drag" or become tedious.

What made SCALE most useful was the smaller class size and the eagerness of the SCALE professors to connect with the students on both a personal and professional level.

Q: How would you describe the relationship between students and faculty in SCALE? Among students with each other?

A: What was great about my experience in SCALE was the close "community" relationship that developed among the students during the two-year experience. In my class, we all rooted for each other and got excited for the successes of everyone else; it was much more like going to law school with an entire support group of friends than it was a draining competition to outscore everybody else - which made it much different than the "Paper Chase" experience that I somewhat expected going into school.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of SCALE?

A: For me, the most challenging aspect of SCALE was the sacrifice of time for family and friends that was required for success. But with loving and supportive family and friends, the sacrifice proved to be well worth it.

Q: Why should a prospective law student consider the SCALE program?

A: There are many reasons to choose SCALE, but the program best fits students who are looking for an opportunity to complete law school in an engaging and motivating environment conducive to both education and career development - and who want to be able to tell future employers, "I finished law school in two years!"

Comparing my SCALE experience with the experiences of my friends in more traditional programs, I can say that SCALE exposes students to all of the same information, but in a way that makes the information more readily understandable and interesting.

Q: How well prepared were you for law practice when you graduated from SCALE?

A: The second-year SCALE curriculum helped me develop the skills that are necessary to apply the material learned in law school to real-world settings. This proved immensely helpful once I began my externship and, later, my judicial clerkship.

Q: Any other comments about SCALE that might be helpful for a prospective student or employer of a SCALE student or graduate

A: Students who are considering SCALE should know that it is an intense program that requires complete dedication and perseverance - but that approaching law school in a conceptual way with a small group of tightly-knit students and faculty is more than worth the sacrifice.