The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University has a strong history of providing a legal education that is rich is theory and skills needed to train effective, competent lawyers. We were one of the first schools in the country to adopt clinical education and we continue to offer a wide range of experiential education opportunities for our students. Our mission is to Prepare, challenge and inspire our students to make a difference in the world while we advance important ideas through the legal academy, the profession and society—making an impact of our own. In honor of this mission, we have made a commitment to a dynamic and robust curriculum that integrates knowledge, theory, and lawyering skills and prepares students to practice in an interconnected, interdisciplinary global world.
Beginning in the first year, our students are challenged to work collaboratively and synthesize substantive knowledge with analytical and written skills. For example, we use a year-long simulated case file in Civil Procedure in which students work in law firm groups and are assessed on their understanding of the substantive law, as well as foundational lawyering skills of predictive and persuasive writing, counseling, negotiation, and litigation drafting. They are also asked to deliberate about ethical dilemmas and professional values in the classroom and through continuing orientation programs during the year. In the spring, our students are introduced to the influence of international legal institutions and regulatory systems in our Transnational Law and Introduction to Administrative Law classes. In addition, they participate in a comprehensive program that engages a variety of legal professionals who challenge our students to develop leadership and professional skills.
After the first year, our students have a wealth of choices to gain specialized knowledge; to analyze and debate the theoretical foundations of our legal system and through comparative examination of other legal systems; and to gain competency in essential lawyering skills. All students have the opportunity to participate in one of our nine clinics and practicums, or to work closely with supervising attorneys in one of our many specialized externship programs. In addition to our National Institute for Trial Advocacy Trial Techniques program, we have a number of innovative skills courses such a Negotiating the Complex Deal, E-Discovery Practice, Discovery Skills, Transactional Lawyering, Business Drafting, The Prosecutor’s Role: Prosecuting the Criminal Case, Mediation Practices and Principles, Family Law with Skills, Theory of the Case, Introduction to Child Advocacy, and Modern Divorce Advocacy. Alternatively, students can work and study collaboratively with medical students to understand the interdisciplinary implications of bioethics in Collaborative Professionalism: Law & Medicine Together. Or they can learn about the influence of Collaborative Law in the matrimonial field from an interdisciplinary team made up of a lawyer, a judge, and a social worker. Our faculty also invites our students to engage directly in legal reform efforts or research with them in our Centers, Institutes, and in our Research Laboratory for Law, Logic and Technology (LLT Lab). When our students graduate, they are well-positioned to make an impact as active, engaged, and competent members of the legal profession.