For new law students, the jump from classroom to courtroom can seem overwhelming. The University of La Verne College of Law has introduced into its curriculum a project intended to help its students make that jump.

During the week of February 23-27, all first-year students took part in La Verne Law’s inaugural Court Observation Week. Made possible by a special arrangement granted by the Superior Court of California, County of San Bernardino, Court Observation Week allowed students and their professors to observe civil and criminal jury trials at the Superior Court. No classes were scheduled at the College of Law during the week, and students were required to complete a written assignment at the conclusion of the program.

All full-time first-year students attended four consecutive days of court observation, as did those part-time students who do not work full time. Each day’s schedule included morning and afternoon observation sessions. On Monday, students enjoyed lunch and informal question-and-answer sessions with Superior Court judges. On Tuesday, students were taken on a tour of the Superior Courthouse.

Part-time first-year students who are enrolled in evening classes and who are employed full time attended one day of court observation, on Friday, Feb. 27, in the Arrowhead Behavioral Health Unit at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

Theory to practice is an essential metric for those seeking to enter the legal profession, which is why it is one of the core concepts at the foundation of the La Verne Law Model of Legal Education. It is designed to equip students with the skills and experiences that lawyers, judges, clients and the community expect from a law school graduate, preparing them to successfully enter the legal profession.

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