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Department of the Applied Legal Studies

Usild Programs of Legal Studies Objectives:

The United States Institute of Leadership and Diplomacy's law school programs are focused on training litigators and aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and ethical grounding necessary to excel in the practice of litigation. The primary objectives of such a program can be outlined as follows:

1. Foundational Legal Knowledge

  • Objective:  Ensure a thorough understanding of substantive and procedural law.

  • Implementation: Courses in contracts, torts, property, criminal law, constitutional law, civil procedure, and evidence provide the bedrock of legal knowledge necessary for any litigator.

2. Analytical and Critical Thinking Skills

  • Objective: Develop the ability to analyze legal problems, apply legal principles, and think critically about legal issues.

  • Implementation: Classes that require case briefing, legal analysis, and the application of law to hypothetical situations. Advanced courses that explore complex legal issues and their real-world implications.

3. Legal Research and Writing Proficiency

  • Objective: Master the skills needed to research legal issues thoroughly and communicate legal arguments effectively in writing.

  • Implementation: Legal research and writing courses that teach students how to locate relevant legal authorities, draft memoranda, briefs, and other legal documents, and use proper citation formats.

4. Practical Litigation Skills

  • Objective: Equip students with the practical skills necessary for effective litigation.

  • Implementation: Courses and experiential learning opportunities in trial advocacy, pretrial practice, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution. Participation in moot court and mock trial competitions to simulate real-world litigation scenarios.

5. Ethical and Professional Responsibility

  • Objective: Instill a strong sense of ethical responsibility and professional conduct.

  • Implementation: Courses on legal ethics and professional responsibility, emphasizing the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and ethical dilemmas faced by litigators. Integration of ethical discussions into other coursework and practical training.

6. Specialization in Litigation

  • Objective: Provide opportunities for students to specialize in particular areas of litigation.

  • Implementation: Elective courses and seminars in areas such as criminal litigation, civil rights litigation, international litigation, intellectual property litigation, and more.

7. Experiential Learning

  • Objective: Offer hands-on learning experiences to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

  • Implementation: Clinical programs, externships, and internships where students work under the supervision of experienced attorneys and judges, handling actual cases and participating in real court proceedings.

8. Oral Advocacy Skills

  • Objective: Develop strong oral advocacy skills for effective courtroom presentation and argumentation.

  • Implementation: Trial advocacy courses, moot court competitions, and opportunities for oral arguments in various legal settings. Training in effective communication techniques and courtroom demeanor.

9. Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • Objective: Prepare students for the increasingly globalized nature of litigation.

  • Implementation: Courses in international law, transnational litigation, and comparative law. Opportunities to study or intern abroad and gain exposure to different legal systems and international legal practices.

10. Lifelong Learning and Adaptability

  • Objective: Cultivate an attitude of continuous learning and adaptability to new legal challenges and developments.

  • Implementation: Emphasize the importance of staying current with legal developments through continuing education, professional development programs, and involvement in professional organizations.

A law school focused on training litigators seeks to produce graduates who are not only proficient in legal knowledge and litigation skills but also ethical, adaptable, and prepared to handle the complexities of both domestic and international legal disputes. By balancing theoretical instruction with practical training and ethical grounding, the program aims to develop well-rounded, competent litigators ready to advocate effectively for their clients in any legal forum.

Law School Curriculum focused on Domestic and International Litigation

Adopting a law school curriculum that emphasizes both domestic and international litigation involves offering foundational courses, specialized electives, practical skills training, and experiential learning opportunities. Here’s an example of a three-year curriculum designed to focus on these areas:

Year 1: Foundations of Law


Fall Semester

  1. Introduction to Law and Legal Systems

    • Overview of the U.S. legal system, sources of law, and the role of various legal institutions.

  2. Contracts

    • Formation, performance, breach, and remedies of contracts.

  3. Torts

    • Principles of liability for civil wrongs, including negligence, intentional torts, and strict liability.

  4. Legal Research and Writing I

    • Introduction to legal research techniques, citation formats, and basic legal writing skills.

  5. Civil Procedure I

    • Study of the process of civil litigation, including jurisdiction, pleadings, and pretrial procedures.

Spring Semester

  1. Property Law

    • Ownership, possession, use, and transfer of real and personal property.

  2. Criminal Law

    • Substantive criminal law, including offenses, defenses, and principles of criminal responsibility.

  3. Constitutional Law I

    • Introduction to the U.S. Constitution, judicial review, and the structure of the federal government.

  4. Legal Research and Writing II

    • Advanced legal writing, including briefs and memoranda, and continued research skill development.

  5. Civil Procedure II

    • Continuation of Civil Procedure I, covering trial, post-trial, and appellate processes.

Year 2: Intermediate and Specialized Studies


Fall Semester

  1. Evidence

    • Rules and principles governing the admissibility of evidence in legal proceedings.

  2. International Law

    • Fundamentals of public international law, including treaties, international organizations, and customary international law.

  3. Business Associations

    • Legal principles governing corporations, partnerships, and other business entities.

  4. Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

    • Ethical rules and standards governing the legal profession, including the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

  5. Elective Course I: International Human Rights Law

    • Study of international human rights norms, enforcement mechanisms, and key human rights issues.

Spring Semester

  1. Criminal Procedure

    • Constitutional protections in the criminal justice process, including search and seizure, interrogation, and trial rights.

  2. Transnational Litigation

    • Legal issues and procedures in cross-border litigation, including jurisdiction, choice of law, and enforcement of judgments.

  3. Alternative Dispute Resolution

    • Methods and practices of resolving disputes outside of traditional courtroom litigation, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

  4. Elective Course II: Comparative Law

    • Examination of different legal systems and their approaches to common legal issues.

  5. Elective Course III: International Trade Law

    • Study of international trade regulations, including the WTO, trade agreements, and dispute resolution in trade matters.

Year 3: Advanced Practice and Specialization

Fall Semester

  1. Trial Advocacy

    • Practical skills for trial practice, including direct and cross-examination, opening statements, and closing arguments.

  2. International Commercial Arbitration

    • Study of arbitration as a method of resolving international commercial disputes, including arbitration agreements, procedures, and enforcement of awards.

  3. Advanced Civil Procedure

    • In-depth study of complex litigation issues, including class actions, multi-district litigation, and advanced procedural doctrines.

  4. Elective Course IV: Conflict of Laws

    • Legal principles governing cases with cross-jurisdictional issues, including choice of law, jurisdiction, and recognition of judgments.

  5. Clinic/Externship I: International Litigation and Arbitration Clinic

    • Practical experience in international litigation and arbitration cases through supervised clinical work or externships.

Spring Semester

  1. Capstone Course or Seminar: Global Litigation Strategy

    • Comprehensive study and simulation of global litigation strategies, including case planning, international cooperation, and litigation management.

  2. Appellate Advocacy

    • Skills and techniques for effective appellate advocacy, including brief writing and oral argument.

  3. Elective Course V: International Criminal Law

    • Study of international criminal offenses, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the workings of international criminal tribunals.

  4. Elective Course VI: International Intellectual Property Law

    • Examination of the international protection of intellectual property rights, including treaties, enforcement mechanisms, and cross-border issues.

  5. Clinic/Externship II: Domestic Litigation Clinic

    • Continued practical experience in domestic litigation through clinical programs or externships in courts, law firms, or public interest organizations.

Additional Program Components

  • Pro Bono Requirement

    • A certain number of hours dedicated to pro bono legal work, promoting public service and ethical responsibility.

  • Moot Court and Mock Trial Competitions

    • Opportunities to participate in simulated court proceedings to develop litigation skills in both domestic and international contexts.

  • Workshops and Guest Lectures

    • Regular workshops and lectures from practicing attorneys, judges, and international legal experts to provide insights into various legal fields and contemporary issues.

This curriculum aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in both domestic and international litigation, providing a comprehensive and practical legal education.

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