Lawyering Skills & Values

The Lawyering Skills & Values (LSV) Program at NSU Shepard Broad Law Center is an innovative approach to legal education that integrates legal theory and analysis with practical skills and professionalism from the first day of law school. The courses in the demanding first-year LSV Program blend traditional legal research and writing curriculum with practice-oriented skills training and technology. The Program combines instruction in legal research, writing, and analysis with other lawyering skills – including interviewing, counseling, negotiating, legal drafting and oral advocacy. The Advanced Lawyering Skills & Values (ALSV) Program allows upper class students to select a track and complete two courses from a menu of ALSV offerings in that track. There are three tracks available: litigation, transactional, or general practice. Students in the ALSV Program encounter forms of alternative dispute resolution, use the latest law office technology, and resolve ethical issues that lawyers typically encounter in the practice of law.

The First-Year Program (LSV I & II)

The first-year, first semester course focuses on objective, predictive legal drafting in addition to legal research and professionalism. Predictive legal analysis is generally done in a simulated inter-office setting. During the life-cycle of a typical file, students: (a) develop problem-solving strategies; (b) conduct legal research; (c) draft objective inter-office legal memoranda; and (d) negotiate a settlement of their case. The second semester course focuses on pre-trial litigation integrating legal research, persuasive legal drafting, and analysis with ethical issues and practice skills in each client file. As they work through a litigation file, students: (a) interview clients; (b) draft demand letters and client letters; (c) research and write pre-trial memoranda; and (d) orally argue a motion. Students will also be exposed to a variety of media: they use electronic textbooks in the classroom, perform legal research in both print and on-line materials, and develop case management skills, using the software programs favored by practitioners. Throughout both semesters of the First-Year Program, the primary emphasis is on legal analysis, case synthesis and mastery of legal research and writing. Ethics and professionalism is also integrated throughout both semesters so students understand the special obligations and privileges afforded to lawyers. LSV I and LSV II are mandatory courses. Each class is three (3) credits.

The LSV Program relies heavily on electronic media. First-year students use laptop computers in class and at home to access the LSV Syllabi on the LSV web-page, which in turn provides links to the client file materials and supplementary reading on the Internet. Each LSV professor also administers an electronic course platform for his or her class. That allows the students to use electronic tests, participate in threaded discussions, complete online assignments, and provides access to a variety of related materials. The LSV Program at the Law Center continues to embrace new developments in legal education and promote effective teaching methods to prepare students for the practice of law.

The LSV Faculty

Our exceptional LSV faculty members have diverse practice experience and are nationally recognized for their teaching, scholarship, and service. LSV faculty members serve as active volunteers for national legal writing organizations including the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors. More importantly, LSV faculty members pride themselves on their commitment to student and community involvement. LSV faculty members are engaged leaders through support of Moot Court, Law Review, other student organizations, Florida Bar activities, and public service initiatives.

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