The Skills Curriculum focuses on participation and simulation, through classroom experiences such as mock trials, drafting legal briefs and contracts, and representing a party in a mediation. These courses have limited enrollments (generally 10-16 students per section), thereby allowing significant interaction with and feedback from faculty. Many of these classes are taught by adjunct professors who are experts in the area. For example, federal judges and experienced trial lawyers teach many of the litigation skills courses.
Each law student is required to take three skills courses prior to graduation.
- Legal Research and Writing (LAW 6003-04)
- Appellate Advocacy (MTCT 7151)
- Persuasion and Advocacy (PRMD 8210)
Advanced Skills Courses
The law school offers a number of advanced skills courses, in a variety of substantive areas. Course offerings in this field are regularly updated and expanded, and students should review the registration materials each semester to learn about the available skills offerings. For the 2010-11 academic year, the following advanced skills courses will be offered.
- Advanced Civil Trial Practice (PRMD 9218)
- Advanced Criminal Trial Practice (PRMD 9219)
- Trial of a Civil Matter (PRMD 9250)
- Trial of a Criminal Case (PRMD 9255)
- Electronic Discovery (PRMD 8218)
- Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation Clinic (CLIN 7187)
- Civil Litigation Clinic (CLIN 7180-81)
- Family Law Clinic (CLIN 7182-83)
- Immigration and Human Rights Clinic (CLIN 7154-55)
- Impact Litigation Clinic (CLIN 7184-85)
- Juvenile Justice Clinic (CLIN 7164)
- Equal Justice Clinic (CLIN 7192-93)
- Dispute Resolution Process (PRMD 8209)
- Transactional Skills (PRMD 9222)
- Advanced Mediation Skills (PRMD 9228)
- Advanced Arbitration Skills (PRMD 9224)
- Advanced Negotiation Skills (PRMD 9226)
- NITA Deposition Skills (PRMD 9240)
Persuasion and Advocacy is a prerequisite for the advanced litigation and clinical classes, and students who are interested in further developing their skills for legal practice should take Persuasion and Advocacy early enough in their law school career to allow room for these advanced courses. To enroll in Advanced Civil Trial Practice and Advanced Criminal Trial Practice, students must also have completed either the one-semester Evidence course or at least one semester of the full-year Evidence: Theory and Practice course. Advanced Civil Trial Practice is a prerequisite for Trial of a Civil Matter and Advanced Criminal Trial Practice is a prerequisite for Trial of a Criminal Case.
To enroll in clinical courses, students must first complete courses in Persuasion and Advocacy, Evidence, and Professional Responsibility.
Some skills courses are only offered once per year, while others may be offered only in alternating years. Thus, students should plan ahead for skills courses. In addition, other advanced skills course may be added to the curriculum in future semesters.
Limitations on Number of Skills Courses Counted Toward Graduation
No more than 15 credits of skills and self-directed work credits will be counted toward graduation. In addition to skills courses, this includes, externships, skills competitions, independent research, and clinics (non-classroom component only). Credits earned for Legal Research and Writing, Appellate Advocacy, and Persuasion Advocacy are not counted toward the 15-credit. Students are permitted to take more than 15 credits pf skills and self-directed work; however, only 15 of those credits will be applied toward the graduation requirements.
There are some limitations regarding related classes counting toward the graduation credit requirement. For example, students are not permitted to take both Advanced Civil Practice and Advanced Criminal Practice to meet the requirement. Where such limitations exist, they will be listed in the course descriptions.