This is a required course for 1Ls only.
The course is intended to help prepare you for the actual practice of law by allowing you actively to engage in the sorts of discussions and activities that occupy real lawyers every day, combining their knowledge of law with practical judgment to help clients attain their goals within the bounds of the law. It is also intended to help you become the kind of thoughtful practicing lawyer who can see the theoretical issues lurking behind every day events.
What sorts of problems do lawyers solve? How do they solve them? What intellectual constructs do they bring to bear? What practical judgments? This workshop-style course will help answer these questions by giving you a chance to practice confronting client problems the way lawyers do, from the very beginning, before the facts are all known, before the client's goals are clarified, before the full range of options is explored, and before a course of conduct is chosen. You will undertake these tasks by working in teams on a number of different problems in different lawyering settings. You will be writing short memos of the kind written by practicing lawyers, identifying facts that need to be gathered, questions the client needs to answer, and options that should be considered as well as writing memos interpreting laws that impinge on the problem and recommending a course of action. You will also engage in simulated interviews of clients.
The Problem Solving Workshop is the only class 1Ls take during winter term. Classes meet in the mornings, between the hours of 9am and 12pm most days; afternoons are devoted to team meetings, with, on many days, written assignments prepared by each team due by the end of the afternoon. Class attendance every day is required as well as participation in the afternoon team work. There is no final exam, but there are required exercises, including on the evenings of January 14th and 22nd presentations to practitioners.