Legal education at SMU Dedman School of Law goes beyond the classroom and gives students opportunities to gain real-world experience. Our ten legal clinics put students in a wide range of practice settings in which they represent real clients. Our dozens of pre-approved externships, such as the Corporate Counsel Externship program and the Federal Judicial Clerkship program, allow students to experience the work of non-profits, courts, prosecutors, government agencies, and corporate counsel’s offices. Our simulation courses, such as trial advocacy, contract drafting, real estate practice, small business representation, patent prosecution, and patent litigation, provide opportunities to hone students’ litigation and transactional skills. In these rigorous and engaging practical courses, Dedman School of Law students learn outside the classroom in ways that help them succeed in law school, in the job market, and in their careers.
Students who enrolled in law school prior to the fall of 2016 must satisfy the “Professional Skills” requirement. This means that they must complete at least one upper-level course that includes professional skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession. Courses that satisfy this requirement will be designated “(PS)” on the upperclass course list during registration.
Students who enroll in the fall of 2016 or thereafter must satisfy the “Experiential Learning” requirement. This means that they must complete one or more experiential course(s) totaling at least six credit hours. An experiential course must be a simulation course, a law clinic, or a field placement. To satisfy this requirement, a course must be primarily experiential in nature and must:
- integrate doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics, and engage students in performance of a professional skill;
- develop the concepts underlying the professional skills being taught;
- provide multiple opportunities for performance; and
- provide opportunities for self-evaluation.
Courses that satisfy this requirement will be designated “(EL)” in course registration materials beginning with registration for fall 2017.