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Advanced Law Skills Program

University of Richmond School of Law is one of few law schools that offers a second-year of law skills training as part of the required curriculum.

Lawyering Skills III

In the fall semester of their second year, all students take Lawyering Skills III, which focuses on the skills required of lawyers in the litigation process. Through this course, students learn real-world legal skills during exercises where they act as counsel in litigation settings. For example, students practice arguing motions, taking depositions, and trying a case before a jury.

Lawyering Skills III is divided into three parts:

  1. The first six weeks cover the skills used in the process of case initiation, factual investigation, and discovery in civil litigation. Students review the written tools of the discovery process: interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and requests for admissions. Students negotiate discovery disputes and conduct hearings on discovery-related motions. Students take depositions.
  2. All students take part in an intensive trial advocacy workshop, which takes place over a weekend in October. In the workshop, students watch demonstrations, then practice the basic skills of trial advocacy, including the opening statement, closing argument, direct and cross-examination, impeachment, use of exhibits, and demonstrative evidence.
  3. Students conclude the semester by preparing for and conducting a jury trial. Every student serves as trial counsel in a two-person trial team.

Lawyering Skills IV

The final Lawyering Skills requirement is Lawyering Skills IV, which consists of a menu of limited-enrollment courses.  Students need to take one Lawyering Skills IV course before they graduate, although they may take more than one if they wish.

Although the subject matter of the Lawyering Skills IV courses varies, each course involves multiple, practice-oriented drafting assignments that are subject to individualized feedback from the professor.  The full menu of courses is available on our Curriculum page.

Lawyering Skills

For a description of the first-year Lawyering Skills program, refer to the first-year curriculum.