Printable Version

Spring 2013
5297 Lawyering Skills and Strategies - B3 - SMITH- 38663
added 10-29-12

Professor(s): Bethany Smith (DEPARTED)

Credits: 2

Course Areas: 1st Year - Section B 

Time: Th=1:00p-2:00p  F=10:30a-11:30aLocation: Th= 4-BLB  F= 211-TU2

Course Outline: Lawyering Skills and Strategies
Course Description
Fall 2012/Spring 2013


Lawyering Skills and Strategies I will focus on an introduction to the American legal system and the skills and strategic planning lawyers must possess to succeed within it. The curriculum will be problem – based, using fact-pattern simulations to enable students to work through actual practice skills and strategies and ethical issues. Training in essential lawyering skills such as oral communication, legal writing, research and analysis will be embedded within fact pattern simulations involving typical transactional issues which students will work through to develop lawyering skills and problem-solving strategies. Students will be divided into small groups to represent opposing sides of the problem.

Lawyering Skills and Strategies II will again be problem based, using fact-pattern simulations to enable students to work through actual lawyering experiences. This semester will focus more on developing persuasive skills. Students will work through simulations designed to develop lawyering skills and problem-solving strategies. The students will be divided into small groups representing opposing sides of the problem.

Course Syllabus:

Course Notes:   Required Books for Smith's Spring 2013 LSS class:
From last semester, we will continue to use the Bluebook and the Experiential Legal Research text.

For this semester, we will also use
Texas Rules of Form (Texas Law Review 12 ed.) (also known as "The Greenbook") (ISBN: 1-878674-08-0).

Kamela Bridges & Wayne Scheiss, Writing for Litigation (Wolters Kluwer 2011 ) (ISBN 978-1-4548-0273-0).

Prerequisites:  

First Day Assignments: First Day Assignment for Lawyering Skills & Strategies
Spring 2013
Professor Bethany Smith

Required Books for Smith's Spring 2013 LSS class:
From last semester, we will continue to use the Bluebook and the Experiential Legal Research text. For this semester, we will also use
Texas Rules of Form (Texas Law Review 12 ed.) (also known as "The Greenbook") (ISBN: 1-878674-08-0).
Kamela Bridges & Wayne Scheiss, Writing for Litigation (Wolters Kluwer 2011 ) (ISBN 978-1-4548-0273-0).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FIRST DAY OF CLASS: Thursday, January 17th
Section B: 1-2pm BLB 4
Section C: 2:30-3:30pm TUII 215

BRING your Bluebook, Greenbook (Texas Rules of Form), and your Experiential Legal Research books to class.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ASSIGNMENT FOR FIRST CLASS:
Note: If your handwriting is illegible, type your answers. Bring completed assignment to class on Thursday, January 17, 2013, to discuss and turn in. You may work with other students on these exercises.
Complete the following:
1. Part I & Part II below.
2. Complete the Quizzes on pages 80-86 in your ELR book. You may circle the answers in your book. We will go over these in class.

PART I

You may use any method you choose to do the following research assignment. Please carefully keep track of your research path and which specific search terms you used. You will turn in your research path and answers.

I. Research Path: List the research tools (Google, LexisAdvance, WestlawNext, etc.) and research terms/searches you used to locate the answers.

Question 1: If an intoxicated person is driving and mistakenly or accidentally (as opposed to intentionally) strikes a pedestrian and kills the person, what statutory crime can the person be charged with in Texas? Cite your authority.

Question 2: If the driver is or is not intoxicated, is an automobile considered per se a deadly weapon in Texas? Cite your authority.



PART II

1. What are two sources of primary law in the American legal system?

2. Discuss the purposes behind stare decisis.

3. What are the three levels of courts that exist in the hierarchy of the federal court system?

4. What are the three levels of courts that exist in the hierarchy of most state court systems?

5. Answer the following questions about jurisdiction:

a. How do courts determine what law binds them?

b. Why must a lawyer consider a court’s jurisdiction?

6. Can a court amend or change language in a statute? Why or why not?

7. You are arguing a state issue before a New Mexico trial court. What of the following cases are binding on that court?

a. Decisions from the state court of last resort in Texas.

b. Decisions from the state court of last resort in New Mexico.

c. Decisions from the federal circuit court of appeals that governs federal trial courts in New Mexico.

8. Identify whether the following sources are primary or secondary authority:

a. Statute

b. Case

c. Legal newspaper article

d. Legal encyclopedia article

9. You are arguing a case before a North Dakota trial court. Rank the persuasive weight of the following sources:

a. Law review article written by a law professor

b. Legal newspaper article

c. Decision from the highest state court of appeals in New Jersey

d. Dissenting opinion from the highest state court of appeals in Indiana.

10. What is the difference between an element and a factor?

11. Why is it important to state the conclusion first in an argument?

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:
Exam:
Paper:

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No