The Law Simulation Series: Paralegal Law Practice Experience is the first in a series of simulated, experiential learning environments designed to provide students with an interactive law office environment suitable for the development and refinement of competencies needed for the real-world legal workplace. The Paralegal Law Practice Experience simulates a busy litigation firm that can be used by the instructor as a stand-alone Internship/Clinical Experience or as a supplement to course work in classes such as Civil Litigation, Tort Litigation, Advanced Research and Writing, Advanced Paralegalism, or any capstone course.
Learn more about the Law Simulation Series and view a demo video at www.aspenlaw.com/experience.
Working as an intern at the Anytown, USA law firm of Murphy, Miller & Dorn the student is assigned work on five litigation client files. Assigned work is part of a supplied Task List that is designed to first indoctrinate and then challenge the student. The instructor may follow the Task List directly, which will simulate approximately 120 to 150 hours of work, or customize the assignments by selecting only those client files and/or tasks that relate to the course material. The instructor may also supplement the work by uploading additional tasks, sample forms, and documents.
During his days at the office, the student will encounter avatars of a law partner, the office manager, a paralegal and an administrative assistant who will guide the student’s work. Through audio and video files the student will sit in on meetings and learn directly from other law office personnel about ethics and professional responsibility, file maintenance, billing, research, document drafting, and digesting depositions. Audio and video files will be available to the student for replay in order to reinforce lessons. In addition, the student will also have access to the firm’s policies and procedures manual and an extensive form bank of the law office’s administrative forms and sample documents.
In order to monitor the student’s work product and provide learning and feedback, conferences with the instructor (referred to in the simulation as the “Supervising Attorney”) are included in the task timeline. The flexibility and multiple uses of the simulation allow for those conference times to be one-on-one, by email, or during class time as an entire class works within the law office environment. An instructor resource center includes rubric/grading guides, links to additional teaching resources and supplemental assignments and projects that can be used to customize the student’s daily assignments.
Among the skills this simulation will develop and refine are:
- Ability to analyze and form solutions to client problems
- Ability to practice effective time management
- Understanding of law office policies and procedures
- Understanding what personnel work in the law office, their functions and duties
- Understanding how office case files are maintained
- Development of listening and note-taking skills
- Ability to draft correspondence
- Ability to draft pleadings and motions
- Ability to draft pre-trial and trial documents
- Ability to perform factual andlegal research
- Ability to summarize medical records, depositions
- Ability to use technology to further client representation
- Understandingthe role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services
- Understanding the legal and ethical principles that guide the behavior and conduct of all legal professionals.