While many U.S. law schools have had experiential learning and practical skills development elements in their curriculum for some time, there has been increased attention to the need for these programs in recent studies of legal education. The American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) have taken steps to promote the active pursuit of improved and innovative means of delivering practical skills training to their students. These initiatives include calls for more creative and effective teaching of transactional practice skills. Background on such initiatives can be found in the AALS description of its June 10-12, 2009 special Workshop on Transactional Law. See also the page for the AALS Section on Transaction Law and Skills, available here.
One reflection of this trend in legal education is the sharp increase in recent years of the number of law schools offering transactional clinical programs. For a listing of such programs see the Law School Entrepreneurship Clinics section of this website. For a listing of scholarship on legal skills training see Legal Skills Instruction Legal Resource Materials and Theory and Philosophy Legal Resource Materials in theLaw Scholarship section of this site.
Information about the curriculum initiatives of the approximately 200 U.S. law schools can be accessed on their school websites. For listings of the names and contact information for U.S. law schools, see:
- American Association of Law Schools listing of member schools in good standing, available here.
- American Bar Association listing of ABA-approved law schools,available here.
- Washburn University School of Law index of law schools, available here.
As discussed in detail in the scholarship, and easily discernible from inspection of the “academics” and “course descriptions” sections of law school websites linked above, law schools throughout the country have been vigorously reshaping their curricula to incorporate more skills training for transactional/business lawyers. The following are just a few examples of some law school transactional skills training programs that are representative of many of the key themes and approaches being taken in this widespread development in legal education, with links to applicable websites:
University of Colorado School of Law
Columbia Law School:
Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University:
Emory Law School:
University of Georgia School of Law:
Loyola-Los Angeles School of Law:
Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law:
University of Tennessee College of Law:
Washburn University School of Law:
Western State University College of Law: