Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

December 05, 2008
Affiliation with Cal State Dominguez Hills Yields Two New Degree Programs

Joint J.D./M.A. in Negotiation, and 3+3 Program for CSUDH undergrads launched

Southwestern has established two exciting new programs in cooperation with California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH): a joint J.D./M.A. Program, and a 3+3 Program through which students can earn their B.A. and J.D. degrees in six years.

The Joint J.D./M.A. Program enables graduate students to complete a J.D. degree at Southwestern while concurrently earning an M.A. degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding from CSUDH. The 3+3 Option Program allows selected CSUDH students who meet program requirements to enter law school at Southwestern after completing just three years of undergraduate study at CSUDH.

In his announcement about the new programs, Dean Bryant Garth said, "This new collaboration presents a splendid opportunity for Southwestern to expand our law students' academic experiences and credentials, and to encourage promising undergraduate students from a wide range of backgrounds to pursue a legal education at Southwestern."

California State University, Dominguez Hills is one of the most ethnically diverse higher education campuses in the United States with a student population of over 12,850 that is 40 percent Hispanic, 30 percent African American, 18 percent Caucasian, 11 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, and just under 1 percent American Indian. Additionally, immigrant and visa students represent 90 countries. Like Southwestern, CSUDH has built its mission on serving as "a student-centered, diverse urban university, committed to excellence." It offers 43 undergraduate majors and 23 Master's degree programs and also provides the largest distance-learning program in California, recognized as one of the top 20 "Cyber" programs by Forbes magazine. The campus is located in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. CSUDH courses for the joint J.D./M.A. degree program may be completed at the Dominguez Hills campus or online.

President Mildred Garcia of CSUDH and Professor A. Marco Turk, the Director of the CSUDH Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding program in the College of Arts and Humanities, were instrumental in developing the partnership. 

"Partnering with Southwestern Law School on two unique options to the Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding program will only add to the high regard the program currently enjoys," CSUDH President Garcia said. "To be able to offer graduate students a concurrent J.D. and undergraduate students the possibility of a law degree in six years are truly amazing educational opportunities, and both are shining examples of the outstanding academic endeavors Cal State Dominguez Hills provides to its students."

Professor Turk will supervise the joint programs for CSUDH. A 1960 graduate of Southwestern who served for many years on the law school's adjunct faculty, he is a former Fulbright Senior Scholar in Conflict Resolution (Cyprus) and a member of the mediation panel for the California Court of Appeal. For an overview of the new programs, click here. Questions may be directed to Assistant Dean Pat Pyle.

Regarding the J.D./M.A. Program, Professor Turk said, "I feel that such a joint degree program will be extremely advantageous to our respective participating graduates in today's competitive professional world. It will give them a 'leg-up' in terms of sought-after job opportunities and possibilities for meaningful community service."

In the future, the two institutions may also benefit from joint research activities and publications, applications for research funding, co-sponsorship of seminars and academic conclaves, sharing of course materials and curricula, and other cooperative efforts. The relationship with CSUDH will also serve as a model for Southwestern affiliations with other academic and professional entities.

Joint J.D./M.A. Degree Program Overview

The Joint J.D./M.A. Program enables graduate students to complete a J.D. degree at Southwestern while concurrently earning an M.A. degree in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding from California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). Requirements and program components include:

  • J.D. degree at Southwestern.
  • M.A. at CSUDH in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding (NCRP).
  • M.A. degree requires 36 total units, 27 at CSUDH and 9 at Southwestern.
  • NCRP Post-Master's Certificate option requires 18 total units, 9 at CSUDH and 9 at Southwestern (to be awarded following conferring of the J.D. degree).
  • Students at Southwestern apply to the M.A. program at CSUDH through normal application procedures during their first or second year of law school for admission following their first year of law study.
  • Students do not initially have to elect/commit to either the NCRP degree or certificate track (admission to the M.A. degree program will suffice because students may elect to change their program at a later date).
  • M.A. courses at CSUDH are all 3 units, 12 weeks online and 15 weeks duration on campus, and meet once weekly for 3 hours.
  • NCRP degree/certificate courses at CSUDH can be taken on campus or entirely online (or through a combination of both methods of delivery).
  • With some pre-designated exceptions, CSUDH online courses are asynchronous, on-demand video lectures; these sessions are archived and can be accessed and seen by students at any point prior to the next designated class session (one week).
  • Students in online courses can text-message questions to faculty (during class lectures that are synchronous and later where delivery is asynchronous), e-mail each other and the instructor, and all classes (online and on-campus) feature student discussion boards as well as chat rooms and other similar online opportunities.
  • Courses at Southwestern include two specific 3-unit courses (Alternative Dispute Resolution and Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating) as well as unspecified 3-unit externship and directed research courses that will satisfy the 9-unit requirement for Southwestern courses.
  • Students who receive their J.D. and M.A. degrees jointly will be recognized at both the Southwestern and CSUDH commencement ceremonies in a manner that will distinguish them for their significant accomplishment.

3+3 Program Overview

This 3+3 Program allows selected students at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) to enter Southwestern after completing only three years of undergraduate study at CSUDH under very specific and strict conditions. Participants will earn both the B.A. and J.D. under the 6-year program. Requirements and components of the 3+3 Program include:

  • Eligible CSUDH students must complete all general education and major requirements by the end of their junior year.
  • Participants are able to earn no more than 70 units of lower division credit from an institution other than CSUDH - all upper division courses must be taken at CSUDH, making participation in this program more difficult for transfer students.
  • Participants must be exceptional and highly-motivated students.
  • Students must have strong analytical and writing skills.
  • CSUDH participants must consult with the 3+3 Program Director as early as possible to ensure courses and sequencing are on-track.
  • Participants must have their LSAT scores available by February of their junior year at CSUDH.
  • Participants must apply to Southwestern no later than February of their junior year at CSUDH.
  • Eligible students must have a minimum LSAT score of 154.
  • Eligible students must have a minimum comprehensive UGPA of 3.6.
  • Eligible CSUDH students must be recommended by the 3+3 Program Director, and then interviewed by Southwestern.
  • Eligible students are not guaranteed admission to Southwestern.
  • The first year of law school must be completed with a minimum "C+" cumulative GPA.
  • Full credits required for graduation from CSUDH must be earned by the end of August following the first year of law school, or by the end of December following the first year of law school for students enrolled in Southwestern's evening program.
  • If a first-year law student in this program withdraws, some academic credit for law school study may be accepted toward completion of the student's Bachelor's degree at the sole discretion of CSUDH.
  • These conditions are modifiable as determined by CSUDH and Southwestern.