What’s Your Problem?
55 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2014 Last revised: 12 Apr 2017
Date Written: 2015
Monday morning a corporate client asks you to draft a press release announcing a recall of one of its toys that contained lead paint, alerting its customers, but cautiously avoiding any admissions of liability. The following day, a different client, who professes his innocence, asks whether he should accept a guilty plea with a reduced sentence or risk going to trial. The next day, a client asks you to review an offer to settle an allegation of copyright infringement for downloading a movie. Then, in another case, a supervisor asks you to argue a motion to dismiss a complaint, but there appears to be no legal or factual basis to support the motion. Finally, on Friday, a landlord seeks your help when one of his tenants accuses another tenant of sexual harassment. These are just some of the types of problems lawyers could face in just one week. Would law students know how to solve them? No matter what the legal issue or setting, understanding and applying a problem-solving methodology and focusing on the client in each case can help prepare students for practice. Students engaged in problem solving in law school benefit from experiencing the primary role of a lawyer-a problem solver enabling students to see the connection between legal knowledge, theory, and skills to help achieve a client's goals.
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