Students in FIU’s Legal Skills and Values Program learn the keys to effective lawyering: legal analysis, research, writing, oral communication, and professionalism.
The program consists of three required courses – LSV I, LSV II, and LSV III – that use simulated “real life” legal problems to teach students how to recognize and address legal issues from inception through resolution. Throughout all three courses, faculty members emphasize the importance of professionalism to being an effective attorney.
In LSV I, students learn to locate, read, understand, and apply primary and secondary sources of law, as they prepare two predictive office memoranda that respond to specific legal issues. In addition to this written work, students practice oral communication skills by reporting their research findings and analysis to LSV faculty members acting as supervising attorneys.
Students continue to develop their research, analytical, and communication skills in LSV II, as they shift their focus from objective communication to persuasive writing and oral advocacy. Specifically, students hone their skills by preparing appellate briefs and delivering oral arguments to multi-judge appellate panels.
The LSV III curriculum builds upon the research, analysis, and communication foundation that students developed in the first two courses. Assignments in LSV III include cover letters and resumes, contracts, client and attorney correspondence, negotiations, and pretrial motions and memoranda.
Throughout the three LSV courses, students have numerous opportunities to draft and revise their written work and to practice and develop their oral communication skills, with extensive assistance and feedback from their LSV professors. After completing the required LSV courses, many students expand their lawyering skills experience by taking additional skills electives including clinical courses, Appellate Procedure I, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Interviewing and Counseling, Pre-trial Practice, and Trial Practice and by participating in co–curricular activities such as Law Review and the Board of Advocates.