Categories: Law Practice Skills

Administrative Law Module

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Ohnesorge, John

In this one-credit research module, interested students will produce a memorandum analyzing an important new development in case law or in regulatory practice. The topic must be approved by Professor Ohnesorge. Grading in the 1-credit module is mandatory pass-fail. The research memorandum will be approximately 12-15 pages in length. (Students who wish to meet the upper-level writing requirement may do so, but the paper length must be 20 pages).

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Advanced Legal Research

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Shucha, Bonnie

According to a recent survey, new associates spend 40-60% of their time conducting legal research. In this simulation course, students will engage in substantial, hands-on experience with this essential lawyering skill. Students will learn how to approach, conduct, and present their research using facts and circumstances drawn from legal practice.

The course will begin with an exploration of how to analyze a client’s legal issue and develop an effective research plan. It will continue with an advanced review of the principal types of legal authority. Using realistic fact patterns and exercises, students will conduct research with primary law (federal and state case law, legislation, & regulations) and secondary legal sources and finding aids. Students will also use advanced research and technology tools for litigation, transactional, and business & public records law providing valuable practice expertise.

The course will conclude with an examination of the practical and economic realities of legal research in practice. Guest speakers will provide an in-depth look at legal processes and sources and offer a real-world view of the research experience.

Weekly instruction combines pre-class reading, classroom lecture and supervised, hands-on research simulations with immediate feedback, and post-class self-evaluation and engagement with sources followed by timely instructor feedback and evaluation. Two major projects provide research experiences similar to those encountered in legal practice: an oral presentation of research results and an expertise- and practice-building legal research article.

This course is 2 credits and will be assessed pass/fail. It is open to up to 18 students who have completed Legal Research & Writing I & II (or equivalent at another law school).

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
• Analyze a client’s facts and circumstances and develop a research plan that maximizes search accuracy and efficiency
• Locate and assess authoritative sources of federal and state law (cases, legislation, & regulations)
• Conduct effective and cost-saving research using advanced tools available to legal practitioners
• Recognize the practical realities and economic impacts of conducting research in legal practice
• Effectively communicate research strategies and results orally and in writing

Arbitration & Mediation

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Carne, Danielle

Mediation is a technique in which a third-party neutral supports negotiations between disputing parties in a manner intended to maximize opportunities for voluntary resolution. Arbitration is also a process that involves a third-party neutral, who is given jurisdiction to issue final and binding decisions through a privately-established adjudicatory process. Although still referred to as “alternative” approaches, arbitration and mediation have become mainstream, widespread methods for achieving the resolution of disputes and the development of desired outcomes. Developed in the mid-twentieth century for application in the collective bargaining environment, the techniques have expanded into nearly every conceivable category of dispute. The use of the processes is now prevalent in the business, medicine, construction, securities, sports, and human resources industries, among others; they are common vehicles for resolving environmental disputes and developing public policy; and they are well-incorporated into civil and criminal justice systems worldwide. Participation in such processes are sometimes voluntary and sometimes compulsory. They are the product of both private agreements and legislative mandates.

This course examines the theory and practice of mediation and arbitration as dispute resolution processes. The course will feature foundational readings regarding underlying theories that drive the processes. Further, it will feature multiple simulations that will give students an opportunity to practice mediation and arbitration in the classroom. Arbitration simulations will occur in the form of scrimmages against law and graduate-level students at Cornell University. The course will also feature guest appearances by speakers who have professional experience in the area of mediation and arbitration.

Learning Objectives:
1. Know the nuts and bolts of the mediation and arbitration processes in practice.
2. Understand the legal and philosophical foundations of the processes of mediation and arbitration.
3. Using simulated cases, apply arbitration and mediation theories and techniques and use those experiences as opportunity for reflection and evaluation.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Business Organizations Module

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Ohnesorge, John

In this one-credit module, interested students will prepare a memorandum analyzing one of the issues studied in the Business Organizations course under the law of Wisconsin, or another state in which the students plans to practice. Grading in the 1-credit module is mandatory pass-fail. The memorandum will be approximately 12-15 pages in length. (Students who wish to meet the upper-level writing requirement may do so, but the paper length must be 20 pages).

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Food System Law (1 cr. supplement)

Course Page for Fall 2017 - Tai, Steph

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 two faculty members, Ralph Cagle and Gretchen Viney. In addition, the Course is taught by approximately 70 practicing lawyers and other professionals. Teams of practitioners teach each of nine weekly segments in both large group and small group classes. Students will 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. Over thirty 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 12:25-3:25 PM on designated days and students complete two written assignments each week. The course is 7 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. Ralph Cagle in Room 5226 or call @ 262-7881 or by email: rmcagle@wisc.edu

Prof. Gretchen Viney in Room 5226 or call @ 262-8048 or by email: ggviney@wisc.edu

Guardian ad Litem Practice in Wisconsin

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Viney, Gretchen

Lawyering Skills: Guardian ad Litem Practice in Wisconsin. A guardian ad litem in Wisconsin is an attorney appointed by the court to represent the best interests of an individual in court proceedings. Guardians ad litem typically are involved on behalf of children in protective services proceedings or in custody and placement disputes, and on behalf of adults in guardianship and protective placement proceedings. This is a practice-oriented skills class in which students learn the skills and techniques necessary for competent service as guardians ad litem in Wisconsin. The course provides a brief overview of the role of the guardian ad litem in the Wisconsin court system and the requirements for serving as a guardian ad litem, but the emphasis is on preparing students for hands-on guardian ad litem practice. The course meets the requirements of Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 35 (Eligibility for Appointment as Guardian ad Litem for a Minor) and Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule 36 (Eligibility for Appointment as Guardian ad Litem for an Adult). Students who successfully complete the course will be eligible, upon admission to the Bar, to accept court appointments as guardians ad litem for children and adults in Wisconsin.

Learning Outcomes – After finishing this course, students will:
1. Understand how to qualify and to be appointed as a guardian ad litem in cases involving adults and children.
2. Have a basic understanding of the role and responsibilities of the guardian ad litem in the most common types of cases involving guardians ad litem, including (but not necessarily limited to): custody and placement disputes (ch. 767); guardianship and protective placement (ch. 54 and ch. 55); and children in need of protection and services (ch. 48).
3. Be able to find and access resources relating to guardian ad litem work.
4. Recognize common ethical and practice dilemmas for the guardian ad litem and be equipped to deal with them.
5. Have a file containing three written documents that will assist in starting practice as a guardian ad litem.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Introduction to Juvenile Justice

Course Page for Spring 2017 - Smith, Charisa

Introduction to Juvenile Justice.

This 1-credit course aims to provide students with a broad understanding of the U.S. juvenile justice system and its variants among the states, while enabling students to focus on a particular topic of interest. Students will explore the Origins, History, and Philosophy of the juvenile court, including key cases in the evolution of delinquency law and broader law mediating the “triangular” relationship between child, family, and state. Students will become familiar with juvenile justice Terminology and Court & Agency Procedures.

The course will also address Empirical Dimensions, including regional and national demographics; racial and socioeconomic disparities; issues of disability, gender and sexual orientation; youth contact with intersecting public systems; and recidivism. Course participants will consider Professional Responsibility concerns confronting representatives for children, families, and the state. Informed by recent discoveries in the biological and social sciences which have been used in U.S. Supreme Court juvenile law jurisprudence since 2005, students will contemplate policy implications and ultimately commit to an individual, directed research project. Potential “Special Topics” for study include Juvenile Confessions/Interrogations; Competency to stand trial; Transfer/Waiver to adult court; Solitary Confinement; Shackling; Search & Seizure; Juvenile sex offenders; Conditions of Confinement; Offenses related to technology; and the efficacy of various dispositions including alternatives such as diversion, Restorative Justice, Positive Youth Development, Trauma-Informed Care, and Community-based programs.

Learning Outcomes - Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Identify and describe the major legal and policy issues in the area of U.S. juvenile justice.
2. Discuss the history and philosophy of the juvenile court and their effects on current law and policy.
3. Understand the restrictions and guidelines of the U.S. Constitution and international human rights laws on the process and substance of the law related to juvenile offending.
4. Recognize current knowledge from the biological and social sciences as it relates to
5. childhood and adolescent development, and to juvenile justice law and policy.
6. Understand the special professional responsibility of attorneys representing children or prosecuting them for offenses; while recognizing legal ethics concerns that arise in the daily practice of law in the field of juvenile justice.
7. Analyze a particular topic of interest and present a cogent argument regarding that topic, illustrated by thorough inquiry, evaluation, discussion, conclusion, and recommendation-making.

Lawyering Skills Course

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Viney, Gretchen

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.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Legal Correspondence

Course Page for Spring 2017 - Turner, Andrew

An essential skill for enhancing any attorney’s career is the ability to write competent, appropriate, and even compelling professional correspondence. In this class, students will examine real-life examples of both outstanding letters and correspondence gone wrong, including everything from casual interoffice e-mail to formal letters to opposing counsel. The class will break down these examples to explore what works, what doesn’t, and why. Writing assignments will include weekly correspondence challenges and collaborating to revise problematic correspondence. (Enrollment limited to 15 students.)

Learning Outcomes - At the end of this course, you should be able to:
1. Write clear and accurate correspondence that furthers defined goals.
2. Select appropriate modes of correspondence considering audience and purpose.
3. Evaluate the likely effect that format and writing choices will have on the intended audience.
4. Identify and use the correct level of formality and detail for legal correspondence.

National Transactional LawMeet

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Nili, Yaron

The National Transactional LawMeet is designed to give law students a hands-on experience in developing and honing transactional lawyering skills, providing each participant a meaningful and engaging simulation of transactional practice. The Transactional LawMeet involves three distinct phases:

1. Students work in teams and prepare a proposed draft agreement based on a fact scenario provided by the Transactional LawMeet.
2. Each team writes mark-ups to draft agreements prepared by the opposing teams they will encounter during the Regional Rounds.
3. Opposing teams negotiate the contours of the deal. Each team will represent one of the two parties to the transaction.

This year the law school will send one team (consisting of 3 students) to the competition. The team will be mentored by Prof. Nili as well as transactional practitioners from Madison. The preparation for the competition will start in the fall, with the majority of the work expected during winter break and the spring semester.

Participation in the competition is for 2 credits in the spring semester (pass/fail).

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Public Speaking for Lawyers

Course Page for Fall 2017 - Plum, Christina

Public Speaking for Lawyers (Oral Communication) – (LLM-LI Students)

Surveys reveal that effective oral communication skills, especially those used when giving presentations to lawyers and members of the public, are crucial skills for establishing and maintaining credibility as a lawyer. Public Speaking for Lawyers (Oral Communication) is an interactive, hands-on course designed to develop and improve students’ public speaking and oral communication skills. This one-credit course is currently offered for LLM-LI students and is offered pass/fail only.

The content of this course focuses on developing those core communication skills that all lawyers need and use in their practice. In this course students will work on:

• Developing and projecting self-confidence;
• Intentionally designing the content and structure of presentations; and
• Developing, through practice and observation, a reliable capacity to perform well in a variety of speaking situations.

This course will teach students strategies for effective public speaking to large and small audiences and individuals. Specific exercises include introducing a speaker to an audience; giving a persuasive speech; participating in a meeting; and giving a formal presentation of legal concepts to an audience. This course will emphasize that successful oral communication includes delivering a message to an audience that is intentional, understood, remembered and accepted (or at least respected).

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Religious Arbitration

Course Page for Spring 2019 - Benhalim, Rabea

This class is designed to give students a basic understanding of religious arbitration in the United States. Religious arbitration spans the realms of commercial and family law. Its existence raises questions regarding the intersection of freedom of religion and freedom of contract and is rooted in the America's tradition of legal pluralism. Minority religious communities, such as Jews and Muslims, often utilize religious arbitration as a means of exercising their religious freedom.The course will begin by looking at the Federal Arbitration Act and understanding the legal framework in which religious arbitration operates. It will then move onto (1) the history of religious arbitration in England and the American colonies; and (2) contemporary issues in religious arbitration with a focus on religious minorities in the United States, including the impact of state based "Shariah Law Bans" on religious arbitration. The course will analyze the larger theoretical underpinnings of legal pluralism and multiculturalism at play in the literature on religious arbitration. The class will also contextualize the subject of religious arbitration within various governmental and constitutional structures exploring the application of religious arbitration in both family and commercial law. Attentive students should come away from the class with a working understanding of how religious arbitration fits into the larger American arbitration regime, as well as an appreciation for the theories of multiculturalism and legal pluralism employed in the debate on religious arbitration today.

Reading Materials: Readings will be from a professor-created collection provided on an online moodle site. Final grade will be based on a final term paper or final project/presentation, with added points for class participation.

This 1-credit course meets the first five weeks of term only.

Translating Law for Lay Audiences

Course Page for Fall 2018 - Klingele, Cecelia

This new service learning course will teach law students how to effectively translate complex legal information for lay audiences. It will engage students who have an interest in community legal affairs, by connecting them to identified groups within the community that have a need and desire for basic education on specific legal topics. By asking students to connect with community groups and develop a simple presentation or series of presentations responsive to the identified area of educational need, the course will help law students develop a deeper personal understanding of community-relevant legal topics, and the learn to more effectively communicate with non-expert audiences.

Students will meet with the instructional team face-to-face for 75 minutes, about once per week on campus. Key lessons will be active listening, identifying legal topics relevant to needs expressed in non-legal language, presenting complex legal ideas in a clear and age-appropriate manner, measuring the effectiveness of a presentation, and incorporating feedback from community members. Students will be expected to consult with community partners, develop a presentation responsive to their needs, and give a presentation on at least two different occasions throughout the semester. Students may present in groups or alone, and may offer several separate presentations, or participate in a series of presentations (such as through the Street Law program).