• Skills Labs

    Add context to your coursework through skills labs

    Skills Labs take you through real-world exercises and simulations mirroring case work in specific practice areas to help you expand your lawyering skills. Labs coincide with courses generally taken in your second year and effectively support your classroom learning.

    Family Law


    • Joani Moberg
    • Jim Vedder
    • Lisa Spencer

    In the Family Law Skills Lab, you walk through the divorce process with exercises designed to demonstrate how lawyers approach financial, property, child custody, and child support issues. You learn how to approach an initial client interview, draft a financial disclosure statement, calculate child support, fashion a parenting plan, and draft a settlement agreement and final order in a divorce case.

    Requirements: Family Law is a pre- or co-requisite. Preference is given to students who are co-enrolled in Family Law.


    • Introduction to the Divorce Process
    • Interviewing Clients
    • Financial Disclosure Statements
    • Calculating Child Support
    • Parenting Plans
    • Settlements and Orders

    Criminal Procedure I


    • Virginia Murphrey (Mondays 6 to 8:10 pm)
    • Carol Weissenborn (Thursday 6 to 8:10 pm)
    • Bethany O’Neill (Friday 6 to 8:10 pm)

    Learn how lawyers approach, investigate, and litigate motions to suppress evidence, a key form of advocacy in criminal cases in the Criminal Procedure Skills Lab. Beginning with a police report, you identify and research potential suppression issues, draft a motion, design and conduct witness examinations to develop the underlying facts, and draft a memorandum of law.

    Requirements: Criminal Procedure I is a pre- or co-requisite. Preference is given to students who are co-enrolled in Criminal Procedure I.


    • Analyzing the Issues: Deconstructing a Police Report
    • Expanding the Story: The Client Interview
    • Case Theory: Hearing Preparation
    • Mock Hearing: Examination of Witnesses
    • Persuasive Advocacy: Using the Facts to Tell a Story
    • Memorandum of Law



    • Jim Morrow (W)
    • Katie Lockwood (Mondays 3:30 to 5:40 pm)

    Learn to apply your knowledge of the rules of evidence to argue evidentiary motions, examine witnesses, craft objections, and counsel clients in the Evidence Skills Lab. In hands-on exercises, you role-play motion hearings, client counseling sessions, and witness examinations in court trials.

    Requirements:Evidence is a pre- or co-requisite. Preference will be given to students who are co-enrolled in Evidence.


    • Relevance and Risk of Unfair Prejudice
    • Character Evidence Rules
    • Using the Specialized Rules of Relevance in Client Counseling and Negotiation
    • Hearsay and Hearsay Exceptions
    • Using Out-of-Court Statements

    Constitutional Law II

    In the Constitutional Law lab, you use a mock constitutional law case to explore the process of civil discovery. You engage in hands-on exercises involving formulating and responding to discovery requests, litigating non-dispositive motions compelling or objecting to discovery, and preparing and conducting depositions.

    Requirements:Constitutional Law II is a pre- or co-requisite. Preference is given to students who are co-enrolled in Constitutional Law II.


    • The Requests: Based on a plaintiff client interview and initial documents from a client, you formulate discovery requests
    • The Response: Working with documentary materials supplied by the defendant, you respond to the requests Non-dispositive motions: Working in teams, you strategize and prepare motions to compel discovery in response to refusal to produce documents
    • Depositions: Prepare to depose a witness and prepare a witness for deposition
    • Depositions: Conduct questioning in a mock deposition

    Secured Transactions

    Professor: Adam Nathe

    In the Secured Transaction skills lab, you follow the changing situation of a client through three phases:

    1. preparing and negotiating a term sheet for the acquisition of a corporation
    2. preparing a security agreement to finance the acquisition through a security agreement on the assets of the corporation
    3. working with continuing financing statements and assignment, modification and amendment matters

    Requirements:Commercial Law: Secured Transactions is a pre- or co-requisite. Preference will be given to students who are co-enrolled in Commercial Law: Secured Transactions.


    • Part I: Acquisition Transaction
    • Part I: Acquisition Transaction (con’t)
    • Part II: The Financing Transaction
    • Part II: The Financing Transaction (con’t)
    • Part III: The Life and Times of a Secured Transaction
    • Part III: The Life and Times (con’t)

    Will and Trusts


    • Diana Ringuette (Mondays 6 to 8:10 pm)
    • Joel Sommers (Tuesdays 6 to 8:10 pm)

    Working in conjunction with the pro bono Wills for Heroes program, you learn how to gather information for estate planning and to translate it into appropriate testamentary provisions in wills, trusts, health care directives, and powers of attorney. Working with pro bono lawyers, labs lead up to and debrief a volunteer experience drafting estate planning documents for first responders in community-based settings. During the course of the semester, you must attend two Wills for Heroes events from the following*:

    • 9-15-14 – White Bear Lake, Minn.
    • 10-20-14 – North St. Paul, Minn.
    • 11-3-14- Saint Paul, Minn.
    • *Other dates and locations may be available on request.

    Requirements:Wills & Trusts is a pre- or co-requisite. Preference will be given to students who are co-enrolled in Wills & Trusts.


    • Monday, September 8
    • Monday, September 29
    • Monday, October 6
    • Monday, October 27
    • Two volunteer slots from: Monday, September 15; Monday, October 20; and Monday, November 3