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Prepare for Law Practice

Certificate Programs and Practical Skills

Gaining Breadth and Depth of Knowledge and Experience

We expect that each of you will graduate. And we know that you’ll be concerned about preparing for the bar examination. But those shouldn’t be your only goals. In rounding out your legal education and preparing to practice law, you should use a number of electives to focus on areas of the law that most interest you. These elective and practicum courses are offered on a revolving basis, depending upon space, demand, and instructor availability.

We currently offer certificate programs in five specialty areas, and more may be added in the future. For areas in which we do not offer a certificate, however, you can build your own concentration.

Why should I consider earning a certificate? Successful completion of a certificate program not only represents significant specialized learning but can also demonstrate to potential employers your commitment to the practice area. Certificate programs are currently available in the following areas:

  • Estate Planning
  • Family Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Business Law
  • Dispute Resolution

The requirements for the certificate programs are located in Appendix C.

What are some other broad areas of study or specialty areas? You may also tailor your course of study to prepare for practice in broad areas of the law or in certain legal environments, such as the following:

  • Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Sole Practitioner/Small Firm
  • Government Lawyer

You may also consider focusing on the following specialty areas:

  • Criminal Law
  • Employment Law
  • Real Estate Practice

What courses will help me develop “real-life” lawyering skills? The law school offers a variety of courses to help you develop necessary practical lawyering skills. The following list includes courses that will help you develop these skills, but you must refer to the registration packet to determine whether a particular course may be used to satisfy the three-hour skills requirement for graduation:

  • ADR Survey: Negotiation, Arbitration & Mediation
  • Civil Evidence Workshop
  • Civil Motion Workshop
  • Criminal Prosecution Clinic
  • Deposition Skills Workshop
  • Employment Mediation Clinic
  • Entrepreneurship Law Clinic
  • Family Mediation Clinic
  • Guardianship Practicum
  • Intellectual Property Licensing Practicum
  • Law Clinic
  • Labor Negotiations Workshop
  • Mediation Clinic
  • Negotiation Theory & Practice Practicum
  • Negotiation Workshop
  • Pretrial Motion Workshop
  • Scientific Criminal Evidence Workshop
  • Sports Law
  • Texas Criminal Law Practicum
  • Trial Advocacy Practicum

LARW III courses offer advanced drafting experiences in areas such as such areas as contracts, family law, real estate, estate planning and administration, intellectual property, general practice, appellate advocacy, and litigation.

In addition, the law school has recently introduced a Winter Term in the week before spring classes begin. We plan to continue to offer a range of condensed, skills-related courses during that term. 

How can perspectives courses benefit me?   Perspectives courses allow you to gain a broader view of the law, including among other things, the study of law in relation to other academic disciplines, the legal process, and the study of law in particular contexts.  Jurisprudence, Bioethics and the Law, Gender and the Law, and National Security Law are just a few examples of the broad range of perspectives courses offered at the law school.  Seminar courses frequently fall into the perspectives category. A list of the perspectives courses offered each semester can be found in that semester’s registration packet.

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