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The Office of Skills & Experiential Learning

The Office of Skills and Experiential Learning (OSEL) houses both the Skills Curriculum and the Externship Program. Both programs are a major component of the training Loyola provides to ensure its law graduates have the lawyering skills, practical knowledge, and experience needed to succeed as attorneys. For more information about requirements and opportunities related to experiential learning at Loyola, contact Prof. Linares at or click on the links to visit our pages for externshipsclinics, and other experiential courses.

The Skills Curriculum

In existence for over three decades, the Skills Curriculum is a one-of-a-kind experiential learning program providing Loyola law students with hands-on training in the development of fundamental legal skills and the performance of discrete lawyering tasks typically required of attorneys in particular areas of legal practice. 

Skills Courses

Skills courses are taught by instructors drawn from a talented pool of practicing attorneys, judges, and professors who are specialists in their fields and volunteer their time to teach the dozens of skills courses held each semester. The skills that are taught may be broadly applicable to a wide range of practice areas or narrowly tailored to advocacy in a particular field. The skills curriculum is where students can come to learn how to draft a will, depose a witness in a maritime case, interview a juvenile client, deliver an effective opening statement, or create a contract for a real estate transaction and so much more.

Skills courses typically last for three hours over the course of one or two days, are ungraded and appear on a student’s transcript under institutional coursework. To assist students in selecting topics of interest, skills courses are often categorized into Civil, Criminal, Maritime, Social Justice, and Transactional “career tracks." Students may take an unlimited number of skills courses but must earn a minimum of 8 skills credits in order to graduate, including one credit in each of the following four categories known as skills competencies: 1) Client Interviewing and Counseling; 2) Negotiation; 3) Cultural Competence; and 4) Law Office Management and Professionalism. Skills credits are also available for successful completion of certain LAW courses with experiential components and for attendance at CLE’s approved by OSEL. 


Skills Curriculum Calendar

REGISTRATION METHOD: Click on the "Click Here To Register" link under the course description of the desired skills course in the monthly calendar. After logging in to Blackboard, follow the "Click here to enroll" link. This will take you to a second screen with a panel on the left hand side of the screen that you may need to maximize. Click the green "+ Enroll" button in the panel to complete the process. Registration closes 24 hours in advance of each skills course. To check if you have enrolled successfully, make sure the class is listed under your Blackboard courses.


Other Skills Curriculum Information

The information in this section will help students understand the skills curriculum and its requirements, how to earn credits if you missed a course's registration period, and how to earn credits from sources other than traditional OSEL-hosted skills courses. The Local Rules and other information contained in the links below establish the policies and operating procedures for the Skills Curriculum. Contact Prof. Hector Linares, the Coordinator of Skills and Experiential Learning, at for additional information.