Practical Skill Development for Law Students
Glendale University College of Law's curriculum provides instruction in both legal theory and the practical skills needed by law students and new attorneys. Students receive training in areas ranging from legal writing and professional responsibility, to document drafting and trial practice.
Professional Responsibilities of Attorneys (PRA)
In PRA, students will study the conduct that the law requires of an attorney. Students will thoroughly learn the rules of professional conduct governing the legal profession. PRA is designed and scheduled to permit students to take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) which is required to receive a license to practice law in California.
The Appellate Advocacy project, completed over three quarters, is based on unsettled issues of law, where appellate courts have developed a split of opinion. The course requires extensive legal research and writing of an objective legal memorandum, two appellate briefs, and the standard of review and argument portion of an appellate brief.
In Pretrial Practice, students learn the basics of how to practice law. Students navigate the course as if they are a newly hired associate at a law firm, where the partners are aware they are inexperienced but still expect an excellent work product. Pretrial Practice covers: the pretrial process; evaluating and building a case; initiating and defending a lawsuit; pleadings; managing relationships with opposing counsel, your client, and the court; discovery; depositions; pretrial motions; and settlement processes.
Moot Court Program
As an extension of the Appellate Advocacy course, all third-year students at GUCL participate in the Moot Court Program. After a process of revisions of advanced memoranda and appellate briefs, all students submit a final appellate brief and make oral arguments in front of a panel of judges. Awards are given to the students who receive high grades on the brief and/or oral arguments made on behalf of the appellant or appellee.
Unlike many law schools who "cherry pick" Moot Court participants, the structure of the Moot Court Program at GUCL gives all students the opportunity to demonstrate their advocacy skills.
In Trial Practice, a two-quarter course, students learn the process of conducting a trial, trial techniques and will conduct a trial. A hands-on experience, students make oral presentations before the entire class, which are critiqued by their cohorts. Students learn and practice all facets of a trial: opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, admission of exhibits and expert witnesses and closing arguments. Students complete the course by preparing a trial brief, arguing motions and conducting a full trial. A visit to the Superior Court to observe proceedings is also required.
For students whose schedules permit, working in an actual, functioning legal environment with attorneys or judges is an invaluable experience that will broaden their practical understanding of the law. Students may participate in a 150-hour externship over the period of one quarter. Weekly reports are required and must demonstrate that the quantity and quality of work completed warrants credit. A maximum of three quarter units may be earned by the extern.
Certified Law Student
GUCL third- and fourth-year law students often participate in The State Bar of California's Practical Training of Law Students (PTLS) program, which certifies law students to provide legal services under the supervision of an attorney. Details about this opportunity can be found on the State Bar website.