Lawyering Skills & Values
Lawyering Skills and Values (LSV) introduces an innovative approach to legal education, one that integrates legal theory with practice, professionalism, and technology right from the first day of law school. The first-year program combines instruction in legal research, writing and analysis with other lawyering skills such as interviewing, counseling and negotiating, legal drafting, and pre-trial practice. Upper class students select a track and complete two courses from a menu of Advanced Lawyering Skills and Values (ALSV) offerings in that track. There are three tracks available: litigation, transactional, or general practice. Students in the ALSV program encounter forms of alternative dispute resolution, use the latest law office technology, and resolve ethical issues that lawyers typically encounter in the practice of law.
I. The First-Year Program (LSV I)
The first-year program focuses on transactional lawyering in the first semester and on pre-trial litigation in the second semester, integrating legal research, writing, and analysis with ethical issues and practice skills in each client file. Working with these client files, students are exposed to a variety of media: they use electronic textbooks in the classroom, perform legal research in both print and on-line materials, and develop case management skills, using the software programs favored by practitioners.
In the Fall semester, the LSV Program focuses on predictive legal analysis in a transactional setting. During the life-cycle of a typical transactional file, students (a) develop problem-solving strategies; (b) conduct legal research; (c) draft legal memoranda; and (d) negotiate a settlement of their case. In the Winter semester, the Program shifts to persuasive writing in a pre-trial litigation context. As they work through a litigation file, students (a) interview clients; (b) draft demand letters and client letters; (c) draft pleadings and motions; (d) research and write pre-trial memoranda; (e) counsel clients about alternative dispute resolution; (f) orally argue a motion; and (g) participate in court-ordered mediation.
The LSV Program relies on electronic media. First-year students use laptop computers in class and at home to access the LSV syllabus on the LSV web page, which in turn provides links to client file materials and supplementary reading on the Internet. They also use electronic texts and participate in threaded discussions on their professor's newsgroup.