Response to address by Rex E. Lee. Introduction:
It is beyond dispute that the past decade has witnessed a great deal of ferment in the field of legal education. The size of law schools, their standards, their curricula, relations between dean and faculty, student power and the importance of training in practical skills compared with theoretical knowledge of the law are a few of the subjects that have involved legal academe, as well as bench and bar, in controversy. Among these issues, that of practical versus theoretical training is one of the most important, and one that merits extensive discussion and experimentation.
As a new law school established in 1974, the University of Dayton has sought to develop a traditional curriculum supplemented by an emphasis on programs designed to prepare its graduates to function as practicing attorneys. Toward this goal, in addition to the normal structure of theoretical courses, the school has developed a moot court program, several elective clinical education courses, and two elective courses on trial practice (civil and criminal). In the future, it is anticipated that a course or program in client counseling will be developed. In addition, there are plans for a studio in which depositions can be taken by means of videotape for use in actual trials.
The Law School has also inaugurated its own courtroom in which actual trials and other judicial proceedings are held. In addition, the courtroom is used for moot court and trial practice exercises. The scheduling of actual trials is an experiment which has been duplicated at only one other law school. The purpose of the courtroom is to give students the opportunity to observe judicial proceedings on a regular basis, to have closer contact with practicing attorneys, and to relate their courtroom observations to the development of their own practical skills in both clinical and trial practice courses.
Braun, Richard L.
"Practical Skills in the Law School Curriculum,"
University of Dayton Law Review: Vol. 2:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udlr/vol2/iss1/4