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Prentiss Cox and Laura Thomas'
Law in Practice

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Law in Practice provides experiential materials designed for 1L or fall semester 2L students. The course materials aim to transform law student's emerging knowledge of legal doctrine and reasoning into an introductory understanding of the practice of law.

Law in Practice combines classroom teaching materials with documents needed to conduct small group simulation experiences. The classroom and the simulation group provide complimentary means of understanding the conceptual knowledge and professional skills needed to master the iterative process of discovering new facts, refining legal research objectives and managing the relationship with the client.

Units I and II of the course are based on a litigation case file. Students receive time-released information on a condensed schedule designed to mimic the patterns of case development in legal practice. The focus of Unit I is fact gathering. Students receive weekly updates that introduce fact development and analysis of claims as the case moves from informal investigation to discovery, including documents from written discovery production. Simulation materials allow for a client interview, witness interview and fact witness deposition. Unit II presents dispute resolution. The classroom materials introduce case valuation, distributive negotiation theory, and setting initial settlement offer amounts. Materials are provided for a simulated chambers conference and a mediation.

Unit III of the course is based on a transactional case file. Students are introduced to the differences between litigation and transactional work. The classroom materials focus on the use of integrative negotiating to create value and client counseling. Simulation materials include interviewing and counseling a client looking to complete a deal with another party, and negotiating with the opposing counsel.

Attorneys offer unique value to their clients by translating client needs and experience into a matter of rights or obligations under the law. Law in Practice materials are designed to immerse students in the experience of applying legal knowledge and reasoning to solve client problems and help achieve client goals-the essence of legal practice.

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