Learn critical lawyering skills in your first year.
Through simulations of real-world legal disputes, you will learn critical lawyering skills in legal research and writing, client counseling and interviewing, and oral advocacy. The yearlong program is comprised of Lawyering Skills classes, the 1L Lawyering Lab, and the J. Newton Esdaile Moot Court program.
You will receive personalized instruction in legal research and writing from experienced faculty teaching the Lawyering Skills classes. In the first semester, you will concentrate on legal research, client counseling, and objective memos, and in the second semester, you will focus on persuasive writing and oral advocacy. You will learn first-hand how to analyze complex legal questions at a professional level, while developing a variety of professional skills to help make you practice-ready. To ensure that you receive substantial feedback and individual attention from your instructors, class sizes are limited to 20 students, and two upper-class writing fellows are assigned to each section.
1L Lawyering Lab
During the week before the start of the spring semester, you will participate in the 1L Lawyering Lab, a three-and-a-half-day intensive program that focuses on transactional lawyering skills. Your class is broken into small groups and assigned either side of a real-life business deal that ended a decade later in a messy and expensive settlement. Your goal is to redraft the original contract between the two companies to produce a durable deal that’s in each client’s best interest. Under the supervision of faculty, each team meets with a “client” played by a practicing attorney. Teams on both sides of the transaction identify the legal constraints and opportunities presented, and collaborate under tight deadlines to identify, assess, and recommend options for action. Your team will then counsel your client on a course of action, and negotiate and draft contractual provisions with opposing counsel.
During the spring semester, you will participate in the J. Newton Esdaile Appellate Moot Court Program. You will draft a brief, which requires you to research the disputed issue thoroughly before writing a persuasive appeal to the court. You then present your case in oral argument before a panel of moot court judges made up of students, lawyers, and faculty. In addition to the moot court experience, all student must argue a motion in front of their instructors. For many students, this first-year experience inspires them to later participate in upper-class moot court competitions within BU Law and on teams that compete against other law schools regionally and nationally. It also provides the perfect training ground for future litigators.