Boot camp gets students fit for law practice

January 7, 2014 11:00 AM

Linda P. Campbell

More than 160 second- and third-year Tulane Law School students returned to campus on Monday (Jan. 6), a week before spring semester classes start, for the Third Annual Intersession, a boot camp–style immersion in the intricacies of practicing law.

Law School boot camp

At last year's boot camp, Rico Alvendia, standing, and Robert Redfearn Jr., both New Orleans lawyers, teach in the civil litigation track. They are on the Tulane University campus again this year for Tulane Law School’s weeklong intensive skills training boot camp. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The boot camp, for which National Jurist recognized Tulane as one of the nation’s 20 “most innovative law schools” in 2012, is the keystone of an expanding array of experiential learning options aimed at translating doctrine into skills that new law graduates can use to help clients solve real problems from the very start of their careers.

Boot camp participants can choose one of three tracks: civil litigation, criminal practice or business transactions. They work in small groups with top-notch attorneys from Louisiana and around the country who volunteer their time to share their expertise.

The week is designed to simulate the challenges — and pressures — of real law practice. For instance, in the transactional track, students will prepare a company to purchase a craft brewery, structuring the deal, performing due diligence, negotiating the purchase agreement and preparing necessary documents.

Those learning civil litigation techniques or criminal pre-trial preparation draft documents, take depositions and conclude the week by presenting arguments before sitting judges in U.S. District Court or Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.

“We see this as a model for the future of legal education,” says David Meyer, dean of the Tulane Law School, “not only because it takes seriously the obligation to prepare students for successful careers in law practice, but also because it reflects a remarkable partnership between academics, practitioners and judges in educating the next generation of the legal profession.”  

Linda P. Campbell is director of communications for the Tulane Law School.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000