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Semester-In-Practice Program

SIP Practicum at FIU Law

The SEMESTER-IN-PRACTICE Practicum is a full-time immersion course offering students both the support of an in-house clinic and an offsite externship.  The SIP Practicum provides third and fourth year (3L, 4L) with full-time practical experience for an entire semester at a private firm, a corporation, a non-profit, legal services organization or a government agency.  Students gain hands-on experience through either a paid or non-paid credit-based field placement working directly with an attorney/field supervisor and receiving oversight at the law school from a faculty supervisor(s). Fall/spring SIP placements may be in Miami, throughout the United States or abroad.  (All placements will be selected and pre-approved by the College of Law Dean and Sr. Assoc. Dean for Clinical Education; placements are limited to these pre-approved sites.)

The primary purpose of the SIP Practicum is to provide opportunities for students to develop lawyering skills; to apply knowledge garnered through prior doctrinal and theoretical instruction to a practical setting; and engage in critical reflection about the legal profession, their legal career, and their priorities and values as lawyers and individuals through supervised field experiences and the contemporaneous seminar.  Admission to the SIP Practicum is by application only. Enrollment is limited to fifteen (15) students and all application must possess minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.10.

Learning Objectives

Demonstrate Legal Knowledge and Understanding

Outcome Measure:  Students will be able to demonstrate substantial knowledge and understanding of legal rules and doctrine by

  1. Articulating legal rules in core substantive areas,
  2. Stating the elements and component parts of rules, the policies and social context that give rise to legal rules, and the trends in these subject areas.
  3. Explain the role of case law and precedent in our legal system.
  4. Explain the role and process of statutory and regulatory law.
  5. Explain the rules of discovery in civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings.
  6. Explain the objectives and processes of structuring civil transactions.
  7. Describe the theoretical frameworks for lawyering skills including interviewing, counseling, negotiation, advocacy and mediation.
  8. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of various processes for resolving problems.

Employ Legal Skills

Outcome Measure:  Students will be able to employ legal skills as measured by the following:

  1. Use of legal doctrine to solve problems.
  2. Applying statutory and regulatory law to solve client issues.
  3. Conducting interviews in a structured and thoughtful manner.
  4. Counselling clients objectively, respectfully, and effectively.
  5. Conducting effective legal research, including:
  6. Creating an efficient and comprehensive research plan and implementing it.
  7. Drafting professional documents for litigation.
  8. Drafting professional documents for transactions.
  9. Communicating effectively, including:
  10. Using other communication skills, including:
  11. Conducting effective negotiations, including:
  12. Advocating for clients within legal settings and/or educating an audience.
  13. Collaborating and working effectively with colleagues, peers, supervisors, and staff.

Exercise and Illustrate Professionalism and Values

Outcome Measure: Students will be able to exercise professional responsibility and illustrate the values inherent to an ethical legal practice through the following measures:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to conduct themselves with honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, empathy, civility, and cultural competence
  2. Behave ethically in accordance with the Rules of Professional Responsibility (and relevant state and local rules of practice)
  3. Demonstrate self-awareness and a capacity for reflection, including:

a. Learning from mistakes.
b. Articulating personal preferences and biases, and actively working to counteract them.
c. Demonstrating concern for the experiences of others.

  1. Maintain a commitment to pro bono and public service.


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