JD Graduation RequirementsThis course typically satisfies all or some of the following JD graduation requirements:
- Professional Skills
Fundamental Skills for the Practice of Law
The practice of law primarily involves understanding and resolving clients' legal issues. While doctrinal courses teach the fundamental legal principles lawyers need to know, this course focuses on how lawyers use that knowledge to assess legal issues and advise clients. The primary objective is to simulate the practice of law, particularly as a young associate would likely experience it, whether in a large law firm or a small office. The course provides practical training in client counseling with weekly opportunities to interview and advise real world clients on simulated legal issues with small group instruction and critique. Clients are actual high ranking executives at large, national and international organizations. Students will observe and participate in conversations with these clients to gather information about a legal issue. They will then consider the legal implications as well as possible responses and prepare advice to give to the client on the phone about how to proceed. While the focus is on client communication skills and legal strategy, students will learn about a variety of issues that business clients commonly face.
Students will also practice drafting emails to a superior that analyze legal issues or summarize meetings with clients. A final memo provides additional experience researching and writing on a complex topic. Additionally, students will be required to track their "billable hours"—the time they spend on each matter with descriptions of the work they completed that could be submitted to the client as a bill.
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.