»  Competencies

In 2013, the faculty approved a list of competencies that are important to the practice of law. Here’s a list of those competencies, with those that this class will become exposed to (E), will practice (P), or will become competent in (C) marked appropriately.

Problem solving

  1. Identifies client problems and client objectives — E
  2. Identifies and diagnoses legal problems from sets of facts — P
  3. Demonstrates sufficient grounding in substantive law to recognize legal issues and potential courses of action — P
  4. Identifies potential outcomes and consequences and develops practical contingency plans to handle various possibilities — E
  5. Reads law and client facts carefully — P
  6. Listens well — P
  7. Uses knowledge and insights of others in finding solutions to a legal problem — E
  8. Collaborates effectively to find solutions

Client counseling and management

  1. Establishes and maintains proper attorney-client relationships
  2. Gathers relevant information
  3. Analyzes decisions to be made — E
  4. Counsels clients about decisions
  5. Ascertains and implements clients’ decisions
  6. Demonstrates concern about clients’ problems and concerns and works to gain clients’ trust
  7. Demonstrates sensitivity to whatever culture, gender, race, class or other barriers might diminish communication and interaction
  8. Understands, timely responds to and anticipates clients’ concerns and demonstrates respect for clients’ choices and values
  9. Understands how to advise and inform clients about choices, expectations and risks, and how to advise and then work with clients to reach decisions — E

Factual investigation and analysis

  1. Determines the need for factual investigation — E
  2. Plans a factual investigation and uses all available sources including online resources
  3. Implements an investigative strategy
  4. Memorializes and organizes information in an accessible form
  5. Decides whether and when to conclude the process of fact-gathering
  6. Evaluates the information that has been gathered — E
  7. Demonstrates understanding of the interplay between facts and legal theories and between facts and rules of evidence — P
  8. Uncovers relevant facts (including those facts that help other side) and demonstrates how the facts will be applied — E
  9. With respect to client and witness interviews:
    1. pays attention, listens well and takes notes as necessary;
    2. appropriately uses both open and closed questions to fully extract information (and concerns with respect to client interviews);
    3. makes sure that she understands everything that was said and follows up or clarifies so as to clear up any possible ambiguities or misunderstandings;
    4. maintains eye contact with person being interviewed and conveys interest and understanding with body language and words;
    5. avoids legal jargon and generally presents explanations that are clear and simple; and
    6. decides, in advance, what she plans to accomplish in the interview
  10. Finds facts by mining documents, depositions and other paper records for relevant information

Legal research

  1. Researches and applies relevant authorities — statutes, cases, regulations — P
  2. Conducts effective and efficient research — E
  3. Uses primary and secondary sources to conduct research — E
  4. Uses applicable research tools to find relevant authority — E
  5. Uses applicable research tools to discover relevant factual information — E
  6. Navigates statutory and regulatory authorities effectively — E
  7. Makes appropriate choices regarding free research resources — E

Legal analysis and reasoning

  1. Identifies and formulates legal issues — P
  2. Identifies relevant legal rules among a range of authorities — P
  3. Synthesizes legal rules — P
  4. Effectively applies facts to law — P
  5. Formulates effective legal theories — P
  6. Identifies and addresses counter-arguments — P
  7. Demonstrates careful case/law reading — P
  8. Identifies critical legal and factual issues presented by a legal problem — P
  9. Identifies the main common law, statutory and regulatory rules and authorities relevant to each issue — P
  10. Applies legal rules to each issue — P
  11. Determines answers to each issue and then puts the answers into a sequence that answers the overall question posed by a legal problem — P
  12. Identifies and addresses contrary authority and, with respect to the contrary authority cited by opposing side, exposes weaknesses and wrongly selected authority — P
  13. Sees client’s problem or legal issue from many points of view and makes use of these perspectives in his or her understanding and analysis — P

Writing and communication

  1. Organizes written documents effectively — E
  2. Explains and applies law accurately, effectively, and clearly — E
  3. Correctly assesses the recipient’s perspective
  4. Uses effective oral communication
  5. Writes in concise, clear, grammatically correct, well-organized language appropriate to the task — E
  6. Links facts to law logically and readably — E
  7. Speaks in simple declarative sentences, without rambling or using jargon
  8. Oral communication is confident, respectful, and authentic
  9. Understands the audience(s), purpose and setting for a written document or oral presentation and adapts approach accordingly
  10. Demonstrates sensitivity to whatever culture, gender, race, class or other barriers might diminish communication and interaction
  11. Advocates in a persuasive and effective manner


  1. Demonstrates independent professional judgment
  2. Demonstrates self-directedness, self-awareness, and initiative
  3. Understands the business of law — E
  4. Takes responsibility for matters and assignments
  5. Project management
  6. Time management
  7. Proactively seeks supervision and/or feedback
  8. Assumes an active role in professional self-development
  9. Handles professional and personal stress and/or identifies when she may need additional resources
  10. Engages in regular self-reflection
  11. Recognizes and take steps to address and/or resolve ethical dilemmas
  12. Demonstrates collaboration skills by working effectively in a team