Consistent with the promise made in its mission statement to “blend practical skills training with legal theory throughout the curriculum,” Golden Gate University School of Law integrates skills training and professional development across its curriculum, preparing students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and leaders in the legal profession. This commitment to experiential learning and fostering professional identity within law students makes GGU Law an ideal partner within the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium.
The hallmarks of GGU Law’s experiential education are unique, intensive summer programs after the first year, designed to introduce their rising 2Ls to skills training and live-client representation. Additionally, since the 1990’s, GGU Law has implemented an Honors Lawyering Program, which integrates traditional classroom learning, simulation skills training, and client-centered clinical experience, and it is followed by a semester-long apprenticeship experience in a coordinated, continuing program. Building on these programs, GGU Law instituted a second intensive summer program in 2010 to follow the first year, called 1st STEP (Summer Trial and Evidence Program). In this program, students are immersed in the law of evidence and trial advocacy training as their sole focus for eight weeks.
In 2008, GGU Law created a new position, Director of Externship Programs, dedicated to increasing externship opportunities and other practical learning experiences for students. In 2010, GGU Law instituted a new experiential learning requirement for graduation, where every full-time student must now complete at least three units of experiential learning, and every part-time student must complete at least two units.
These advancements within GGU Law’s curriculum, focused on practice-based learning, skills training, and professional identity, are vital for law students and the next generation of attorneys, and can serve as a model for future innovation in law schools around the country.
Learn more about GGU Law’s experiential curriculum and all of the Consortium members of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.