Law Schools Revamp Their Curricula to Teach Practical Skills

Law Schools Revamp Their Curricula to Teach Practical Skills 1

Pete Marovich for The Chronicle

Washington and Lee U. School of Law has jettisoned the entire third year of its program and rebuilt it from scratch. The new curriculum replaces electives with practice-based courses, in a mock courtroom using simulated clients, in specialties like international, securities, tax, and criminal law.

Enlarge Image
close Law Schools Revamp Their Curricula to Teach Practical Skills 1

Pete Marovich for The Chronicle

Washington and Lee U. School of Law has jettisoned the entire third year of its program and rebuilt it from scratch. The new curriculum replaces electives with practice-based courses, in a mock courtroom using simulated clients, in specialties like international, securities, tax, and criminal law.

With one day left before their preliminary hearing, the prosecution team was scrambling to pull together evidence to support its case for first-degree murder. The disturbing writings scrawled on the wall of the shooter's apartment might indicate a violent state of mind. But with no witnesses, his claim of self-defense would be hard to refute.

Meanwhile, the defense lawyers were trying to come up with a plausible medical explanation for the absence of bruises on their client's neck,