Lawyering: Mastering the fundamentals
Good lawyers know the law. Great lawyers know the law and how to put it to work for their clients and employers.
Mitchell Hamline’s Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion program is a foundational offering, required for all first-year students. It teaches mastery not just of legal writing but of a whole array of fundamental client representations skills. Students meet in small groups to practice interviewing and counseling clients, writing memos and letters, researching the law, negotiating contracts and settlements, reasoning about a client’s situation in light of the law, settling cases, and arguing motions.
Each of these skills is critical to helping lawyers serve clients effectively and responsibly. Students in the Lawyering course learn both by reading about and performing each skill. Classes are taught by practicing lawyers who use classroom discussions and structured simulations that mirror real-life interactions lawyers have with clients to ensure that all Lawyering students understand when and how to use each skill. This strong legal foundation gives Mitchell Hamline graduates an enduring advantage in their careers.
Multifaceted study of skills that are fundamental to representing clients effectively and responsibly. Includes interviewing a client, researching the law and commentary in paper and computer media, reading the law, reasoning about a client’s situation in light of the law, writing office memos and advice letters, counseling a client, negotiating and drafting contracts, settling cases through demand letters and negotiation, and arguing motions in writing and orally. Instruction is through 12-person small group classes, six-person representation exercises, individual conferences, and large-group demonstrations and discussions.
The final assessment this year included an oral argument in front of a judge. Students, advocating on behalf of their client, argued whether a motion for summary judgment should be granted or denied.
After her argument, Dana Eichhorst 1L said, “I wasn’t really interested in being in a courtroom or arguing in front of a judge before, but I really enjoyed it and I’m definitely interested in looking for future opportunities to gain more experience.”