(Gaining Breadth and Depth of Knowledge and Experience)
We expect that each of you will graduate. And we know that you’ll be concerned about preparing for the bar examination. But those shouldn’t be your only goals. In rounding out your legal education and preparing to practice law, you should use a number of electives to focus on areas of the law that most interest you. These elective and practicum courses are offered on a revolving basis, depending upon space, demand, and instructor availability.
We currently offer certificate programs in five specialty areas, and more may be added in the future. For areas in which we do not offer a certificate, however, you can build your own concentration.
Why should I consider earning a certificate? Successful completion of a certificate program not only represents significant specialized learning but can also demonstrate to potential employers your commitment to the practice area. Certificate programs are currently available in the following areas:
- Estate Planning
- Family Law
- Intellectual Property
- Business Law
- Dispute Resolution
The requirements for the certificate programs are located in Appendix C.
What are some other broad areas of study or specialty areas? You may also tailor your course of study to prepare for practice in broad areas of the law or in certain legal environments, such as the following:
- Business and Commercial Litigation
- Sole Practitioner/Small Firm
- Government Lawyer
You may also consider focusing on the following specialty areas:
- Criminal Law
- Employment Law
- Real Estate Practice
What courses will help me develop “real-life” lawyering skills? The law school offers a variety of courses to help you develop necessary practical lawyering skills. The following list includes courses that will help you develop these skills, but you must refer to the registration packet to determine whether a particular course may be used to satisfy the three-hour skills requirement for graduation:
- Advanced ADR
- Appellate Practicum
- Civil Motion Workshop
- Commercial Law Practicum
- Criminal Defense Clinic
- Criminal Forensic Evidence Workshop
- Criminal Law Practicum
- Deposition Skills Practicum
- Dispute Resolution
- Family Law Practicum
- Family Mediation Clinic
- Law Clinic
- Legal Research Practicum
- Legal Writing Practicum
- Mediation Clinic
- Negotiation, Interviewing & Counseling Practicum
- Negotiation Workshop
- Probate Administration Practicum
- Trial Advocacy Practicum
In addition, the law school has recently introduced a Winter Term in the week before spring classes begin. We plan to continue to offer a range of condensed, skills-related courses during that term.
How can perspectives courses benefit me? Perspectives courses allow you to gain a broader view of the law, including among other things, the study of law in relation to other academic disciplines, the legal process, and the study of law in particular contexts. Jurisprudence, Bioethics and the Law, Gender and the Law, and National Security Law are just a few examples of the broad range of perspectives courses offered at the law school. Seminar courses frequently fall into the perspectives category. A list of the perspectives courses offered each semester can be found in that semester’s registration packet.
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