First Year Foundations

Students begin developing essential skills and habits for law practice on the first day of classes, and more than nine credit hours are devoted to practice-ready curriculum in the first year.

The Foundations of Professional Practice course , along with first-year Lawyering  courses, teach skills that enable students to create a solid professional identity as a lawyer, engage effectively with clients and colleagues, and draft practical legal documents.

Foundations of Professional Practice is an innovative skills-development course designed to help students think about   who  they want to be as a legal professional while also building other core skills they will need as lawyers. Sessions discuss strategies on how to listen effectively, manage client expectations, conduct challenging conversations successfully, manage stress and time, and navigate the ethical dilemmas lawyers (and law students) face. Students then employ these strategies with simulated client interviews and client counseling exercises. Students also assess their individual strengths and competencies as they create strong job application materials and build on their networking skills.

In Lawyering I and II, students learn the fundamental skills they will use every day in law practice. Assignments require students to assess a client’s legal question, research the law, and craft cogent legal analysis that answers the client’s question. Students learn to communicate that analysis effectively both in writing and verbally. In the final assignment of the year, students draft an appellate brief and argue their position before panels of practicing judges and lawyers in the community.

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