950 Lawyering Skills Course - §001, Spring 2014

Categories: Law Practice Skills

Instructor(s) Viney, Gretchen, Cagle, Ralph

The Lawyering Skills Course teaches law practice through simulations in which each student has ample opportunities to practice such fundamental lawyering skills as negotiation, oral advocacy and communication, interviewing and counseling, drafting and problem solving. Students also examine how practicing lawyers address difficult ethical and professional problems, manage their practices, and balance their professional and personal lives.

The Course is led by Professor Gretchen Viney. In addition, the Course is taught by approximately 50 practicing lawyers and other professionals. Teams of practitioners teach each of nine weekly segments in both large group and small group classes. Students observe and simulate the lawyer's role when handling civil, criminal and divorce cases, when processing real estate and probate matters, and when organizing and advising corporations.

In addition to nine substantive segments of the Course and a variety of workshops, the Course includes a Skills Intensive Training Week. More than twenty lawyers participate as faculty in a two day exercise in which students represent clients on both sides of a comprehensive legal transaction. Skills Week allows students to practice the skills they have learned throughout the Course and receive individualized feedback from different practitioners on their performance.

Classes meet from 1:10 to 4:00 PM on designated days and students complete two written assignments each week. Beginning in 2016, the course will NOT meet on Fridays. The course is 8 credits, offered only in the spring semester, and is open to 2nd and 3rd year law students. Enrollment is limited.

If you have questions about this course, contact:Prof. Gretchen Viney in Room 5226; 262-8048; ggviney@wisc.edu

Learning Outcomes – The learning objectives of the Lawyering Skills Course are:
1. To immerse students in practicing many of the skills and techniques they will use in their first years of law practice;
2. To demonstrate, and provide insight into, the way a lawyer handles criminal, civil and administrative cases; engages in estate planning, probate, real estate, and family law matters; counsels business clients; serves as a guardian ad litem; and manages time and professional practice;
3. To provide an opportunity for students to experience how lawyers solve client problems, interview and counsel clients, draft documents, plan and process case files, negotiate, mediate, and advocate, all in the context of factual situations students are likely to face as lawyers;
4. To foster understanding of and commitment to high standards of professional responsibility to clients, the justice system, and the community, through the examination of ethical and professional dilemmas that arise in daily law practice; and
5. To offer a realistic basis for making decisions about law as a career.

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