Practical Skills – Center for Lawyering Skills

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Start developing the skills you need to practice law from day one. Our innovative practical skills program offers you a comprehensive skills curriculum that will prepare you for your career. As a student at Liberty Law, you’ll have a minimum of six courses of real-world training through our Center for Lawyering Skills that will equip you to graduate “practice-ready.”

At Liberty, we believe a quality legal education can only be achieved when traditional courses are integrated with a comprehensive practical skills curriculum that’s built on the solid foundation of a Christian worldview and a stable understanding of the Western legal tradition.

That’s why we’ve integrated in-depth legal skills training into the entire law school experience.

Develop Your Law Practice Skills at Liberty Law

As a student, you’ll develop broad communication skills which will enable you to write clearly and speak persuasively. Your analytical ability, problem-solving skills, and alternative dispute resolution techniques will be honed, and you’ll also learn how to help clients achieve their goals through proper planning.

Our practical skills program consists of litigation and planning tracks that are woven throughout your law school curriculum.

Litigation Track

At Liberty Law, you’ll gain the skills necessary to handle a lawsuit from the initial interview all the way through to the trial phase. Our goal is for every one of our students to graduate with the confidence required to be a successful litigation attorney.

Learn the following in our Litigation Track:

  • Interview clients
  • Draft pleadings
  • Make discovery requests
  • Take depositions
  • Engage in oral argument
  • Write memoranda
  • Direct and cross-examine witnesses
  • Prepare jury instructions
  • Draft appeals
  • Perform other essential litigation tasks

Planning Track

Since law is more than settling disputes, we teach that proper planning for clients is essential to avoiding unnecessary litigation. In our Planning Track, we teach you to draft documents related to sales contracts, real estate transactions, business associations, and legislation.

Learn the following in our Planning Track:

  • Counsel clients
  • Draft and analyze contracts
  • Write real estate agreements
  • Draft client advisory letters
  • Draft wills and trusts
  • Mediate disputes
  • Draft estate planning documents

Externships and Clinical Opportunities

Get real-life legal experience through comprehensive externship opportunities:

  • District attorney offices
  • Offices of the Commonwealth Attorney
  • Public interest firms
  • Policy organizations
  • Trial and appellate courts
  • Government agencies
  • Media and entertainment law
  • Business, finance, commercial litigation

As a student at Liberty Law, you can also take advantage of the following clinic opportunities:

Practical Skills Facilities

Liberty University School of Law has state-of-the-art facilities dedicated to your practical skills development. Our three courtrooms include two mock trial courtrooms, Liberty and Justice. Each is equipped with cameras and monitors to allow students to observe the proceedings from all angles. Our 330-seat appellate courtroom, aptly named the Supreme Courtroom, contains the only known replica of the U.S. Supreme Court bench, down to the angles and measurements. All 1L students are required to participate in a moot court tournament and engage in oral argument.

The practical skills classroom is surrounded by small rooms. Here, instructors can view and hear client interviews, negotiations, and depositions unseen by students. Simulations can also be recorded for later review.

Competition Opportunities

Liberty Law students successfully demonstrate their legal skills in competitions with law students from across the country. Liberty University School of Law competitive teams have become recognized as top finishers in a variety of regional and national tournaments that require practical, real-world legal skills. These opportunities include the following:

  • Moot Court
  • Negotiations
  • Mock Trial
  • Arbitration
  • Client Counseling

Get involved with our competition teams

Liberty Law students regularly place among the top ranked participants in these events. Our students also often gain first and second place regional and national team finishes and other individual awards, including several top oralist and best brief awards.

Our Practical Skills Curriculum

A more in-depth discussion of the fundamental reasons for the practical skills curriculum can be found in these two law review articles by former dean, Mathew D. Staver, and Professor Scott E. Thompson:

Liberty University’s Lawyering Skills Program: Integrating Legal Theory in a Practice-Oriented Curriculum (PDF)

Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Teaching Lawyering Skills: A Response to the MacCrate Report Fifteen Years Later (PDF)