Skills Curriculum Course Descriptions

Category I — Factual Investigation and Counseling

Pretrial Practice Skills
This course develops fundamental lawyering skills starting with the initial client interview and working through the various phases of pretrial discovery. Students will work in two-lawyer “firms.”

Developing Deposition Skills
This course offers students an opportunity to master preparing the witness, developing and executing a questioning formula for obtaining complete information, using simple language, creating a clear deposition record, formulating concise questions, listening carefully to answers, making and handling objections, using exhibits during the deposition, and dealing with obstreperous defending counsel. Students participate in a hands-on workshop to develop good deposition techniques.

Advanced Legal Research Skills
The emphasis in this course is on the practical research skills students need to survive in the real world. The course covers the basic research skills and sources introduced in the Legal Research & Writing and Moot Court courses, as well as more advanced topics. Topics include search strategy, case law, statutory and regulatory research, periodicals and other secondary sources, and practice materials. Students will be required to utilize skills learned in class to complete a research exercise.

Creative Problem Solving
Using an interactive workshop approach, this course will examine creative ways to attack and defeat the various legal challenges which seek to bar an attorney from proceeding with a claim or defense. Students will learn how to read codes, statutes, and rules and regulations with an eye to overcoming apparent barriers. Use of various Internet resources will be discussed.

Documents Drafting
This course examines a variety of documents used by attorneys. Emphasis is placed on the purpose and function of a variety of documents, including contracts, wills, deeds, leases, and security devices. Students will draft a variety of documents.

Foreign and International Legal Research
This course will provide a broad overview of print and online resources used for research in international and foreign law. Students will learn strategies for international and foreign research through a hands-on exercise.

Advocacy and Strategy in Government Regulatory Affairs
This course offers students insight to government relations and regulatory affairs, focusing the coursework on how to manage issues and advocate before Congress and Federal agencies. In today’s environment, clients often require more than just legal advice, necessitating attorneys to be cognizant of alternative course of action and joint efforts in various arenas to achieve a client’s objective. Course
topics include the development of joint legal and government affairs strategies for addressing a client’s legal needs through the political and regulatory processes and at the administrative level, the building of consensus and coalitions among industry, the legislative branch and Federal agencies, and countering, influencing, and focusing agency and legislative action.

Construction Law: Handling Cases Under the LA Private Works Act
This course will examine the Louisiana Private Works Act and recent decisions in the area. Students will learn how to prepare, enforce, and challenge a lien. Emphasis will be placed on how to effectively litigate a construction law case based upon actual cases tried by the instructor.

Drafting Corporate Documents
Students will learn to draft corporate formation documents including articles of incorporation, by-laws, articles of organization, and operating agreements.

Using the Internet for Legal Research
This hands-on course will teach students how to use free sources of primary legal information on the internet. Using lab computers, students will work through reallife research questions along with the instructor and learn when and how the internet can be a useful resource. The students will also gain an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of using the internet for legal research and how this can complement the legal research skills the students already possess.

Pleadings Drafting
This course examines the purposes and functions of pleadings in the litigation process. Students will draft a variety of pleadings and motions for both state and federal court actions.

Computer Fundamentals for Computer Assisted Legal Research
In order to understand how computer-assisted legal research actually functions, and thus how to effectively perform this type of research, the course will show students some fundamental operations upon which research software is based. The course will begin with the basics: zeroes and ones. Students will gain an elementary understanding of hardware, software, browsers, and the internet. Students will also create their own web pages. Two one-and-one-half-hour classes. Homework is a web page turned in on a floppy disk.

How to Write a Will
This course examines the various forms of wills. Students will draft a will in class.

Drafting Corporate Documents
Students will learn to draft corporate formation documents including articles of incorporation, by-laws, articles of organization, and operating agreements.

Basics of Mergers & Acquisitions
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Creditors' Rights
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Statutory & Regulatory Legal Research
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The Last Transaction Hero - LA Sales Tax
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Category II — Trial Practice Skills

Quantum Theory—Valuing the Case
This course examines the concept of valuing the case to determine how to assess damages and what to ask for monetarily at various stages of litigation.

Developing the Theory of the Case
This course examines in detail the skills, techniques, and strategies needed to properly evaluate and prepare a case for trial. Students work with a case from the beginning to develop the theory and prepare the trial notebook.

Handling the Criminal Case
This course consists of three presentations by experienced criminal attorneys and judges: Arrest, Bail, and Preliminary Hearings; Motions and Discovery; Jury Selection and Trial Considerations.

The Expert Witness in Court
This course examines the use of a variety of expert witnesses (medical, construction, accountants, etc.) in the litigation process. Students will explore when to use an expert witness, how to find an expert witness, and how to prepare the expert witness for trial.

Demonstrative Evidence
This course provides an overview of a wide range of demonstrative aids available to assist in supporting various issues during the trial of the case. Students will examine both expensive and inexpensive options available to create such aids and will explore the proper way to lay the foundation for the introduction of such exhibits.

Demonstrative Evidence II
This course examines the most effective methods for using various types of demonstrative evidence during trial. A specific case is used during the course. *Demonstrative Evidence I Skills is a prerequisite.

Using Evidence at Trial
This course examines how to make and meet objections and how to use the Rules of Evidence at trial to secure a successful evidentiary ruling. *Evidence LAW 760 is a prerequisite.

Motion Practice
This course develops the fundamental lawyering skills needed for handling pretrial motions effectively. Students will work in teams and performances will be critiqued by the faculty.

Appellate Practice
This course builds on the skills developed in the basic Moot Court (Law 765) course. The student will examine in depth the issues of whether to appeal, the application of appellate rules in federal and state court, and how to perfect the trial record.

Louisiana Class Action Litigation
Participants completing this skills course will understand the basic procedural requirements for Louisiana class actions; know how to spot and/or create certification problems; understand how to plan for a certification hearing; know how to identify, screen, and prepare or attack class representatives; and will participate in a problem-solving session in which fact situations are analyzed for certification criteria
in light of Louisiana caselaw. *Civil Procedure I LAW 725 is a prerequisite.

Representing a Defendant in Federal Court
This skills presentation provides an overview to those with an interest in handling criminal cases in federal court. This course discusses the evolution of a federal criminal matter from investigation and indictment to trial, as well as sentencing and the appellate process. Other topics include grand jury testimony, initial appearances, arraignments, discovery, pretrial services, probation, rearraignments, trial practice and procedure, presentence investigation reports, sentencing hearings and appeals, all in the context of a federal criminal case.

Winning in the Beginning - Power, Passion, & Persuasion in the Opening Statement
No description available

Advocacy for the Ages - Talk to the Generations
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Lawyers in the Great Tradition
This course builds on the skills developed in the basic Moot Court (Law 765) course. The student will examine in depth the issues of whether to appeal, the application of appellate rules in federal and state court, and how to perfect the trial record.

The Argument of an Appeal
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Courts in Action
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Intensive Trial Training Workshop
This course introduces the student to basic courtroom skills, including direct and cross examination, opening and closing statements, use of exhibits, and making and handling objections. The course relies on the “learn by doing” method and all student performances are videotaped and critiqued by a faculty of practicing attorneys and judges.

Family Law
This course examines the strategies and techniques used in handling separations, divorces, custody, and support matters. Emphasis will be placed on how to use the courts efficiently.

Personal Injury – Plaintiff vs Defense – 2 Views
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Trial Tactics
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Domestic Violence – Judicial Responsibilities & Perspectives
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Category III — Communication and Negotiation

Courtroom Communication Skills
This course explores nonverbal communication and the impact that communication strategies can have in the courtroom. Students will explore the basic principles of communication and learn to use them effectively at trial.

Courtroom Performance Workshop
This course develops public speaking skills. Students will learn how to use voice, mood, and tone in courtroom presentations and how to deliver a clear, interesting, and significant message.

Negotiation Techniques Workshop
This course analyzes the techniques used to effectively evaluate a case for settlement. Students will practice preparing and presenting a settlement offer to opposing counsel.

Entertainment Law Negotiation
This course introduces the student to the basic components of a recording contract in the music industry. A brief summary of copyright law principles relating to the sound recordings and musical compositions forms the foundation of the course. Specific clauses of a recording contract are analyzed and techniques regarding negotiations are discussed.

Arbitration Skills Workshop
Students will learn the principles and procedures of arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution method. The course includes a comparison with other methods including litigation, review of statute, and federal decisions and statutes. Students will have the opportunity to participate in an arbitration practicum.

Mediation Skills Workshop
This course introduces students to the principles and procedures of mediation as a method of alternative dispute resolution. Students will learn how to effectively participate in mediation as counsel representing a party. Students will participate in a mediation practicum.

Mock Mediation Workshop
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Real Estate Licensing Workshop
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Closing the Real Estate Transaction
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Legal Letters – Communication for Lawyers
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The Art of Persuasion
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Alternative Dispute Resolution
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Fundamentals of Arbitration
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Ethical Dilemmas to On-Line Marketing-from blogs to Twitter
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First Amendment Issues Facing the Media
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Handling Employee Benefits Claims
This course will introduce students to employee benefits law and provide them with the most effective way to handle employee pension and employee medical claims through a pension or medical plan. Students will learn how to evaluate the claim, research the relevant issues, learn where to file the claim, and avoid the most common pitfalls that can prejudice or damage their client’s claim. This perspective is presented from both the plaintiff ’s and defendant’s standpoint.

Real Estate Transaction Workshop
This course examines the series of documents required to successfully complete a variety of real estate transactions. The creation, management, and retention of these documents will be studied. Students will create a set of real estate documents.

Category IV — Administrative Board and Office Management

Handling Bankruptcy Claims
This course will provide an analysis of the most effective way to handle bankruptcy claims. From initial client interview to appearance before the bankruptcy court, students will take a “hands-on” look at the case.

Handling the Social Security Case
This course will introduce the student to the Social Security Income Disability Law and will provide an overview of recent decisions in the area. The student will discuss the practical issues of handling an SSI Case: the initial client interview, getting medical evidence, preparing the witness, and direct and cross examination at the hearing.

Handling the Title VII Case
This course provides an introduction to Title VII and the most recent decisions in the area. Special emphasis is placed on how to effectively represent claimants under this legislation.

Handling Claims Under the ADA
This course will examine the procedures required and the skills needed to represent clients under the ADA. Claims will be examined from both plaintiff and defendant perspective.

Handling the Medical Malpractice Case
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Handling the Longshore Case - Making Sense of Administrative Soup
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Practice and Procedures Before Administrative Boards
This course examines the practices and procedures unique to cases heard before administrative boards. Students may choose to investigate medical malpractice, longshore claims, or practice and procedures before city and state boards.

5300 Reasons for Handling the Social Security Case
This course will introduce the student to the Social Security Income Disability Law and will provide an overview of recent decisions in the area. The student will discuss the practical issues of handling an SSI Case: the initial client interview, getting medical evidence, preparing the witness, and direct and cross examination at the hearing.

The Professional in Practice (Required Skills Course)
This course will examine the current law on legal malpractice with an emphasis on the latest office structures and management concepts made to eliminate the opportunity for errors and mistakes. *This skills course is required for graduation.

Law Office Management
This course introduces the student to everyday questions and answers encountered in setting up a law practice.

Technology and the Law Office: Beyond Word Processing
This course surveys and evaluates law office technology and equipment—from cell phones to palm pilots to computer software and hardware. Students will learn how to plan and organize using the latest technology.

Screening the Medical Malpractice Case
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Scientific Meets Socratic Method
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How to Go Solo from Scratch
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Digital Lawyering - How to Become Paperless
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Category V — Skills Electives

How to Write for the Bar Exam
This presentation provides guidance toward writing for and passing the Louisiana Bar Exam. Test-taking techniques will be reviewed. *Skills course electives do not receive skills credit. Participation will be noted on each official transcript.

Duty Risk in Louisiana Tort Law
No description available

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