University of Denver

Teaching Practical Legal Skills in a Strictly Classroom Setting

In this article, Chad G. Asarch discusses the Real Estate Transactions course he teaches, which emphasizes practical legal skills in a non-clinical, traditional classroom setting. In contemplating the structure of the course, Asarch analyzed the actual work practicing lawyers undertake in representing a client in a real estate transaction and identified two main tasks: the ability to draft a transaction document and to identify potential changes to a transaction document prepared by counsel representing other parties to the transaction.

Class assignments were designed to make students perform these tasks, as counsel for both sides of the transaction. Throughout the course, students learned about their roles and expectations, as well as the underlying law, and students’ “results exceeded [his] expectations.”