February 2019 Skills Courses

REGISTRATION METHOD: Simply click on the "Click Here To Register" link under the course description for each skills course in the monthly calendar. After logging in to Blackboard, click on the "Enroll" button on the left-hand side of the screen and hit the "Submit" button. There will be a second "Enroll" button on the left panel of the subsequent screen you must click to complete the process. Registration closes 24 hours in advance of each skills course.

SKR4-020119: Building a Firm from Scratch

(Friday, February 1, 2019) (9:00 am - 12:00 pm) (LS 405)

Starting a new practice can be overwhelming, especially for young graduates or lawyers coming from a traditional firm setting. In six easy points, the instructors for this skills course will show you how to start a firm from scratch in a way that maximizes both your money and your quality of life. We will also give you key money-saving tips that will empower you to start a firm in a financially feasible way. Lagniappe: The instructors will provide: forms, templates, war stories, and DONUTS!

Note: This course satisfies skills competency requirement 4) Professionalism/Law Office Management.



SKR2-CRIM-020819: Plea Bargaining

(Friday, February 8, 2019) (9:00 am - 12:00 pm) (LS 111)

Upwards of 90 percent of state and federal criminal cases are resolved through plea agreements rather than trial. This skills course explores the fundamentals of negotiation in the context of criminal plea- bargaining. A seasoned attorney with experience as both a criminal defender and a prosecutor will use simulations and guided discussion based on real world examples to teach students effective negotiation strategy and tactics for reaching an agreement that advances your side's interests, whether you represent the defendant or the state. The course will also focus on the important ethical and practical considerations related to counseling clients regarding the terms of a proposed plea deal, the waiver of their trial rights, and the mechanics and collateral consequences of entering a guilty plea.

Note: This course satisfies skills competency requirement 2) Negotiation.



SKR3-020919: French Language and Legal Culture

(Saturday February 9, 2019) (9:00 am - 12:00 pm) (LS111)

Knowledge of French language, culture, and legal traditions can be very beneficial to attorneys, particularly in Louisiana. Whether you are representing a Francophone client, conducting primary research in the Code Civil, or practicing international law before one of the many international tribunals that operate in French, learning the language of international diplomacy can positively impact your legal practice. Students who attend will have fun learning key French legal terms and phrases from a native speaker with decades of experience teaching French at the university-level. Students will also explore the differences between the French and U.S. legal system.

*Note: This course satisfies skills competency requirement (3) Cultural Competence.



SKR3-CRIM-021519: The Price of Freedom: The Prejudicial Effects of the Cash Bail System (JPIL Symposium)

(Friday, February 15, 2019) (9:00 am - 4:00 pm) (LS 405)

The cash bail system in Louisiana is being challenged due to restricting an individual’s freedom based on their ability to pay. JPIL’s symposium hopes to shed light on the racially and economically oppressive cash bail system in Louisiana that is rooted in slavery. We hope to address the challenges to the Louisiana cash bail system by tracing reform efforts over the past few years, including the development of community bail funds and the Caliste v. Cantrell lawsuit. Additionally, we hope to expand the scope of our conversation to include nationally successful reform efforts. Ultimately, we want to give individual voices to the those who have experienced the oppressive cash bail system in Louisiana.

Note: No prior registration needed. Symposium organizers will provide an attendance verification form to those in attendance. Students must attend at least two sessions to receive skills credit. Attendance will satisfy skills competency requirement 3) Cultural Competence.


SKL-02192119: Effective Brief Writing

(Tuesday/Thursday, February 19 & 21, 2019) (12:30 - 1:45 pm) (LS 111)

Effective brief writing is essential to a successful litigation practice. Litigators cannot always rely on persuading the court through oral advocacy because today judges rarely permit oral argument.. Even when the parties are afforded the opportunity, legal arguments can be won before a lawyer utters his or her first words if the legal brief persuades the court on the critical issues. Students who attend this course will learn vital strategies and techniques for preparing an effective, persuasive brief from the trial to the appellate levels. This course will focus on analytical and persuasive writing skills that show students how to frame the issues to get the judge's attention, state the case succinctly at the outset, write effectively but efficiently, utilize authority most effectively, and develop a writing style that helps your brief stand out from the others.



SKR1-SOCJ-022219: Social Justice Client Interviewing

(Friday, February 22, 2019) (1:00 - 4:00 pm) (LS 344)

Do you think interviewing a client is simply asking a series of questions? Come learn how to prepare for a client interview through relationship-centered lawyering. You will leave the course more confident about your ability to skillfully prepare and effectively interview a client. Students will engage in a simulation based on a case related to social justice lawyering. Learn the “art of interviewing” specifically how to ask questions that build trust, solicit information, or reflect confidence and authority on the subject matter. 

*Note: This course satisfies skills competency requirement (1) Client Interviewing.​