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Office of Skills and Experiential Learning

The Office of Skills and Experiential Learning (OSEL) houses both the Skills Curriculum and the Externship Program. Both of these programs are a major component of the training Loyola provides its students to ensure they have the lawyering skills, practical knowledge, and experience needed to succeed as attorneys. Please direct any questions regarding either program to the Coordinator of Skills & Experiential Learning, Professor Hector Linares, at

Skills Curriculum

In existence for over three decades, the Skills Curriculum is a one-of-a-kind experiential learning program through which Loyola law students receive 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 instructors come 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, which 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 as many skills courses as they like but must earn 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 and other events approved by OSEL.


Skills Curriculum Calendar

NEW 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. Registration closes 24 hours in advance of each skills course.


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 how the Skills Curriculum operates, but feel free to contact Prof. Linares at with any questions.



The Externship Program is an experiential learning course allowing second- and third-year law students to receive academic credit for substantive legal work performed while placed with qualifying courts, government agencies, and non-profit legal organizations. In addition to the fieldwork conducted at each placement, students attend a weekly seminar designed to teach general lawyering and professionalism skills and to universalize the learning experience of students across placements through shared reflection.  Students can choose from pre-approved externship opportunities or create their own. Visit the Externship Program website for more information about application procedures, placement opportunities, and deadlines.