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Fall 2013
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ON POINT

Transactional Lawyering course added

Feared and beloved, Appellate Advocacy has been one of the unforgettable and quintessential law school experiences for 2Ls at the Moritz College of Law for the last three decades.

Now, a new professional skills course is entering the scene: Transactional Lawyering.

The new class debuted this fall as a result of the College’s recent expansion of the legal writing and professional skills course offerings. The faculty knows students have a variety of career interests and wanted to create a class focused on transactional professional skills, explained Professor of Law Garry W. Jenkins, associate dean for academic affairs.

Appellate Advocacy is a litigation-based professional skills class in which students write a brief on a case before the Supreme Court of the United States. It’s a rigorous experience in research and writing. At the end of the semester, they present an argument. The course is taught by a full-time faculty member in conjunction with practicing attorneys who also engage with students as supporting adjunct faculty members.

The research, writing, and teaching model in Transactional Lawyering is similar, but students instead will focus on guiding a fictitious business through a complicated transaction. They will make a formal presentation summarizing the transaction and their findings to the client or a more senior lawyer at the end of the semester. The presentation will be interactive, with questions coming from the audience.

“We continually are enriching the curriculum here at Moritz. Although the skills developed in App Ad are transferrable to a variety of careers, the faculty determined that Transactional Lawyering would provide students with a similar opportunity to focus on sophisticated writing, complex legal analysis, and legal practice skills in a transactional setting,” Jenkins said. “If this year’s pilot goes well, we hope to open additional placements next year.”

Forty students are taking the first offering of Transactional Lawyering, which will be taught by Assistant Clinical Professor of Law Todd Starker ’07, who regularly teaches Legal Analysis and Writing. Prior to joining the Moritz faculty, he practiced at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP, representing clients in corporate, real estate, and financing transactions ranging from the hundreds of thousands of dollars to several billion dollars.

Posted in: Fall 2013, On Point