Introduction to Lawyering: Teaching First-Year Students to Think Like Professionals
20 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2010
Date Written: December 16, 2010
This article describes Albany Law School’s first year interdisciplinary "Introduction to Lawyering" course and offers a prototype for other law schools to introduce students to essential skills and values of the profession from the first day of law school. The course, which debuted in 1991, engages first year students in problem solving and client-centered decision-making, along with traditional legal research, writing, and analysis skill in context. Students are placed into "firms" representing parties in a year-long simulated legal dispute. They participate in client interviewing, fact investigation, discovery, alternative dispute resolution, oral advocacy, research, writing, analysis, and drafting in the course of representing a "client". At the same time, students are introduced to the legal system, ethics and values of the profession in context as they begin to form their professional identities.
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