Law Firm Program

The Law Firm Program is a series of course offerings that are structured to mimic the work assignments, feedback, and professional skills development that first-year lawyers would experience at law firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporate legal departments.

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    The teaching methodology is experiential – that is to say, students learn by doing. There are no textbooks. Instead, the textbook is the real world case or transaction along with the briefs and contracts that serve as its foundation. Students will become accustomed to reading and analyzing statutes, contract provisions, cases, and articles published by and for practicing lawyers. 

    There are no exams. Instead, students will work on assignments that a new lawyer would expect to be given on their new job. These would include drafting a letter to a client, preparing a brief or motion in a court proceeding, drafting and negotiating the terms of an acquisition or employment agreement, making oral presentations, and interviewing a client about to be deposed in a litigation matter. Class size is intentionally small so that students can receive regular one-on-one feedback on how well they have performed their assignments and how they can improve.

    Importantly, the skills that are the focus of all Law Firm Program courses are not taught in a vacuum. Rather, each Law Firm Program course is anchored to a substantive area of the law. This means that students can build upon the knowledge they learned previously from taking doctrinal courses in, for example, sales law or family law. Or, students can learn a new substantive area of the law, like real estate transactions, by taking a Law Firm Program course with those substantive areas of the law as the course focal point.

    This unique set of courses has one other notable feature – the courses are all taught by lawyers with extensive real world practice experience. This means that students get to learn not just the law, but how the case or transaction, for example, evolved from start to finish, and how the various twists and turns came about – all from the vantage point of the lawyers who themselves were often involved in the case or commercial transaction.


    Representative Courses

    Detroit Mercy Law offers Law Firm Program courses in a variety of subjects, thereby allowing students to deepen their knowledge of a subject and to develop one or more specialties. Regularly offered Law Firm Program courses include:

    • Advising Entrepreneurs in New Business Startups LFP
    • Anatomy of a Business Transaction LFP
    • Children and the Law LFP
    • Commercial Real Estate LFP
    • Family Law LFP
    • Health Law LFP
    • Immigration Law LFP
    • Intellectual Property LFP
    • International Commercial Arbitration LFP
    • Juvenile Justice LFP
    • Pretrial Civil Litigation LFP
    • Pretrial Criminal Litigation LFP
    • Small Firm Practice LFP

    Meet the Faculty