Imagine it’s your first day as a practicing attorney. You’ve spent three (or perhaps four) dedicated years in law school. You’ve passed the bar exam, and you’re sitting in your office with your first client before you. But now what? What questions will you ask? What forms will you file? Suddenly, you realize that learning the law and practicing the law are two very different things.
At La Verne Law, we make great lawyers by teaching both the legal theory and the practical skills necessary for our graduates to smoothly transition into legal practice. Our practical opportunities include:
- practicum courses allowing students to fine-tune their skill sets
- a very successful clinical externship program, offered each semester
- two campus-based legal clinics, focusing on disability rights and immigration law
Our Practical Course Work
- Practical skills courses benefit students by preparing them for the rigors and responsibilities they will face as practicing attorneys.
- All La Verne Law students must take our Lawyering Skills Practicum (LSP I). The semester-long course takes students through the various steps of managing a simulated case from inception to arbitration, requiring students to:
- - Form a bar association
- - Interview clients and witnesses
- - Prepare pleadings
- - File pleadings with the Clerk of the Court
- - Serve the opposing party
- - Prepare a response
- - Conduct discovery, including oral depositions
- - File motions and/or responses to motions, and
- - Conduct alternative dispute resolution
- Upon completion of LSP I, students may elect to take Lawyering Skills Practicum II (LSP II), a semester-long course in which they manage the progress of a simulated case from its inception to a jury trial.
- We also offer a Family Law Practicum course at ULV. The course, offered in partnership with Neighborhood Legal Services (NLS) of Los Angeles County, requires students to volunteer a minimum of 30 hours in an NLS Self-Help Center, write accompanying memoranda, and complete a classroom component lasting two hours per week.
Our Clinical Externship Program
- To help our law students further develop their practical skills and to provide much-needed support to our community’s public, non-profit and judicial projects, we offer a clinical externship program to our law students.
- Clinical externships last one semester and may be completed in the second, third, or fourth years of law school.
- Student externs receive one unit of credit for every 45 hours volunteered at their externship site and may enroll in up to five units during their law school careers.
- To enroll in an externship, students must:
- - Volunteer under the direction of a supervising attorney who has committed in writing to provide the student with an educational experience and constructive feedback
- - Agree to a professional code of conduct
- - Write weekly memoranda and a closing evaluation about the externship experience
- - Meet with the director of clinical programs and other externs throughout the semester as required
- Out-of-state law students may opt to complete externships outside California, provided the opportunity is shown to be law-related, educational, and under the supervision of a practicing attorney in good standing.
Our On-Campus Clinics
- Each semester, La Verne Law offers 12-14 students the opportunity to work with real clients on actual cases in our Disability Rights Legal Center and our Justice and Immigration Clinic. Students work in pairs under the supervision of a clinician. Cases are referred to the law school by pre-selected strategic partners.
- Our Disability Rights Legal Center offers 6 students per semester the opportunity to work on special education and civil rights cases in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
- In Special Education cases, our law students participate in case planning, client interviews and meetings, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, mediations, and due process hearings. After training and participation in an IEP meeting, each student is responsible for at least one IEP meeting as the lead advocate.
- In Civil Rights Litigation cases, students participate in client interviews, factual research (including site visits), legal research, written discovery, depositions, writing memoranda, complaints, briefs, negotiations, mediation advocacy, hearings, trials, appeals, and amicus submissions.
- Our Justice & Immigration Clinic allows 6-8 students per semester the opportunity to assist asylum applicants who cannot return to their home countries due to past persecution.
- As immigration clinic interns, students will conduct client interviews, investigate facts, draft affidavits, prepare an asylum application and document submissions, write a trial brief, prepare and conduct direct and cross examinations, prepare witnesses to testify, evaluate options and make decisions, prepare a case plan and evidence chart, conduct a moot hearing, and maintain the case file.
- Depending on the case requirements, students may also have the opportunity, under the direction of the clinician, to represent an asylum applicant before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service, Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, and⁄or Customs and Border Protection.
For more information about the University of La Verne College of Law’s clinical programs, visit our Web site at http://law.laverne.edu/academics/clinical.