Skills Courses

Skills courses are designed to help students learn through simulation. Skills courses are typically two hours and, unless otherwise indicated, graded on a pass/fail basis. Enrollment is typically limited to 20 or 30 students per class. Please note that not all skills courses are offered every semester.

Advanced Appellate Advocacy
This course focuses on advanced study and practice of written and oral appellate advocacy. The course builds on the foundation established in the required first-year course in appellate advocacy and provides more detailed coverage, practice and evaluation. Topics covered will include the mechanics of perfecting and taking appeals, preparing writ applications, applying the various standard of review, working with a full and complex record on review, advanced techniques for organizing and writing a brief and advanced instruction on the strategy and process of oral argument. Students are required to absorb a full record on appeal, research and write a full appellate brief, and conduct a full appellate argument. The course is not required, but it is strongly recommended for students who wish to serve on the Student Moot Court Board or to compete in the Tullis Moot Court competition or in any of the interschool moot court competitions.

Advanced Legal Research
This skills course covers traditional and electronic methods of advanced legal research. Enrolled students are taught research skills while resolving factual scenarios in a lawyer/client setting. The course builds on basic research skills by including sources not covered in Legal Research and Writing. Some of the covered topics include, but are not limited to, international and foreign law, practice resources, regulatory and administrative law, and Louisiana legislative history. Students will gain an understanding of research strategies through a variety of research tips, discussion, and research exercises that require the development of appropriate legal research methods and the application of legal concepts in fact-based problem solving. This course is graded on the 4.0 scale.

Advanced Litigation Practice (3L Only)
Prerequisites: Evidence; Trial Advocacy.
Students cannot take this course and Law 5826 or Law 5827. This course further develops the advocacy skills introduced during the intersession Trial Advocacy program. The focus is on other basic skills and techniques utilized during the trial of cases (both civil and criminal), such as jury selection techniques; opening arguments; use of demonstrative evidence; presentation of documentary evidence, inclduing charts and summaries; developing a theory of the case; and organizing the “fact witnesses,” including direct examination, presentation of expert testimony, use of different types of experts, cross examination of opposing experts, closing argument, and jury instruction.

Advanced Trial and Evidence
Prerequisite: Evidence.
Students cannot take this course and either Law 5881 or 5882. This skills course combines Pre-Trial Litigation practice and Advanced Litigation practice. The course follows a case from the discovery stage through the close of trial. Students enrolled in the course are divided into two law firms, with the instructors acting as senior partners.

Criminal Litigation Practice (3L Only)
The course focuses on the pretrial phase of the criminal litigation process and will treat jury selection as well. Topics will include arrest warrants and probable cause affidavits, charging procedures, bail and bonds, discovery, motion practice, and plea bargaining.

Divorce and Child Custody Mediation
This course focuses on the fundamentals of family law mediation. It will include an overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes with an emphasis on mediation skills. Students will take part in mediation exercises during class. This course is required for any students enrolled in the Family Mediation Clinic.

Law Office Practice (3L Only)
This course focuses on techniques in legal writing and preparation of legal instruments; problems involving preparation of contracts, wills, trusts, pleadings, legal opinions, and other documents used in practice; discussion of techniques to be used in solving the problem and critical analysis of the form, style and substance of the documents; and lectures on law office management methods and practice.

Legal Interviewing and Counseling
Legal Interviewing and Counseling is a professional skills course that explores the attorney-client relationship and the essential lawyering skills necessary for effective client interviewing, counseling and decision making. Students gain experience conducting meaningful interviews of clients as well as rendering advice and counseling through repeated simulated exercises. Students also gain an understanding of the professional and ethical obligations required in oral and written communication with clients, opposing counsel, and third parties.

Legal Negotiations
The Legal Negotiations Course offers selected readings and written work focusing on different aspects of and techniques used in the negotiation process, with concepts amplified by guest lecturers and class discussion. The course also offers an opportunity to perfect an individual’s own negotiation style in six to nine simulated legal negotiations, each involving a different area of the practice of law. Throughout the course, a special emphasis is placed on the Rules of Professional Responsibility as they apply to negotiations and on the lawyer’s duty to conduct himself or herself during negotiations in a professional manner.

Pre-Trial Litigation Practice (3L Only)
Prerequisites: Evidence; Trial Advocacy.
Students cannot take this course and Law 5826 or Law 5827. The course offers exclusive emphasis on the pretrial phase of the litigation process: (1) drafting of pleadings and pretrial motions, (2) discovery issues, (3) preparation and use of expert witnesses, and (4) pretrial conference and pretrial order.