The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University recently announced the addition of a required skills course for law students during their third semester. The change is part of Hofstra Law’s continuing effort to increase experiential education offerings and to better prepare law students for the demands of the legal job market.
The course will provide students with a basic introduction to core lawyering skills essential to effective practice in a variety of areas. It will be taught in a series of three intensive modules throughout the semester. Each module will begin with a short lecture, followed by exercises that will allow students to practice the skill.
The modules will consist of several small sections to allow for maximum participation and personalized instructor feedback. The three modules will cover “Practice Ready Research & Writing Skills”; “Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation”; and “Fact Investigation and Witness Examination.”
Next year’s entering class, the Class of 2017, will be the first class required to take the skills course.
Hofstra Law has a history of being at the forefront of legal education, first as a pioneer in fully integrating clinical education into a traditional law school curriculum. The Law School has recently developed several innovative programs and curricular offerings focused on experiential education and preparing practice-ready lawyers, including:
- Expanded Externship Program. This past year, more than 200 students participated in our Externship Program, which allows students to develop practical lawyering skills and connections with practicing attorneys while building legal experience.
- Hofstra Law in D.C. Our semester-long externship program, Hofstra Law in D.C. (HLDC), provides students with an unparalleled educational opportunity by allowing them to have a total-immersion and hands-on experience working in a legal setting in the nation’s capital. This past fall, seven students participated in the inaugural program.
- Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy. The Gitenstein Institute for Health Law and Policy offers exceptional, highly motivated students the opportunity to become influential thought leaders and help pave the way for positive change in the U.S. health care system through innovative and multidisciplinary learning experiences. Students participate in hands-on learning courses like Law and Medicine Together, which brings law students to a local hospital where they join teams of medical students on clinical rounds.
- Professional Success and Leadership Development Program. Our innovative Professional Success and Leadership Development Boot Camp supports students’ growth as professionals through the development of their unique skills, abilities and leadership styles.
- New Clinical Opportunities. Hofstra Law continues to create new opportunities for students to provide direct advocacy to clients. We have developed a Disaster Recovery Clinic to assist those recovering from Superstorm Sandy, we hosted two Veterans Legal Clinics, which gave free legal services to more than 150 veterans, and we will be launching a Health Law Clinic.