Developing Professional Skills: Contracts

Paperback / softback
This book seeks to aid the professor who wants to introduce skills training within the context of a traditional doctrinal course. Legal education is on the cusp of a new era. Law students and the profession are demanding that students leave law school better prepared for practice, with lawyering skills in place. Concurrently, learning science has shown that experiential learning (for example, a skills-based simulation) improves student outcomes with regard to mastery of a subject. Incorporating skills training into a traditional Contracts course is challenging, however, as professors feel constrained to cover the basics of doctrinal law and may not feel well-equipped to teach skills. The book provides ten independent exercises designed to introduce students to the skills of legal drafting, client interviewing and counseling, and negotiation and advocacy, but with a particular emphasis on contract drafting, as that skill is so closely tied in to Contracts. Each exercise is based on fundamental Contracts rules and doctrines so that the book can be used as a supplemental text with any doctrinal casebook. Students are required to spend a manageable one to two hours on such tasks as replying to a client e-mail, writing a demand letter to an opposing party, interviewing and counseling a client, litigating a breach of contract claim, negotiating a contract term and an amendment to a contract, and drafting specific parts of a contract, such as a representation or a condition, as well as negotiating and drafting a settlement agreement. A comprehensive Teacher's Manual provides guidance, particularly with regard to how to present and assess the skills involved, and suggestions for expanding the classroom discussion to include ethical issues, professional responsibility concepts, and the norms of modern legal practice. For more information visit the companion site.