This two-credit seminar is designed to help students develop the legal practice skills necessary to succeed as civil litigators and judicial law clerks. Students will have an opportunity to build upon the written and oral advocacy skills learned in first-year Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis by using those skills in a practical setting that simulates the litigation process. Throughout the course of the semester, each student will play the role of advocate, law clerk, and judicial decision-maker. Students should expect to research and write a dispositive motion to dismiss, a bench memorandum, and a judicial decision and to deliver a brief oral argument. Students will also learn to edit their own written work and the work of their colleagues—a critical skill for any effective law clerk or litigator.
The instructor will provide individualized comments and grades on each major assignment. The seminar will teach cost-effective research, writing, and revising techniques. Students will also develop their practical research and writing skills, learn to view cases from multiple perspectives, and learn strategies for addressing and managing the challenges of legal practice. Class participation will count toward the final grade.