The skills curriculum is a mandatory component of the Program of Study for all JD students. Through this unique experiential learning program, judges, practitioners and professors serving as skills instructors provide hands-on training to Loyola law students in the development of fundamental legal skills and the performance of discrete lawyering tasks typically required of practicing attorneys. The skills and lawyering tasks taught may be broadly applicable to a wide range of practice areas or narrowly tailored to advocacy in a particular field. Skills courses typically last for three hours over the course of one or two days, are ungraded, and appear at the end of a student’s transcript under institutional coursework.
In order to graduate, all students must earn a minimum of eight skill credits, including one skills credit in each of the following required categories known as skills competencies:
- SKR1: Client Interviewing;
- SKR2: Negotiation;
- SKR3: Cultural Competence; and
- SKR4: Law Office Management and Professionalism.
The Office of Skills & Experiential Learning offers a wide variety of both general and required skills courses each semester. Courses with the SKR designation and a corresponding numeral at the beginning of the course number satisfy one of the four skills competency requirements while courses conferring general skills credits begin with the designation SKL.
Many skills courses are placed in one of five practice tracks: Civil, Criminal, Transactional, Maritime, and Social Justice. Students are not required to take skills courses in any particular practice track. The practice track designation (CIV, CRIM, TRAN, MAR and SOCJ) in the course number is for informational purposes only allowing students to select skills courses related to a particular area of interest.
Grading and Transcript
All skills courses appear at the end of a student's official transcript under institutional coursework. Skills courses are ungraded. In order to receive skills credit, students must attend all sessions of a skills course, submit any required assignments on time, and participate in accordance with the expectations of the skills instructor and coordinator.
The Local Rules
“Local Rules” for the skills curriculum govern the procedure for enrollment, registration, attendance, withdrawal, grading, assignments and awarding of skills credit. The Local Rules are available on the skills curriculum website.
Earning Skills Credit in Clinic
One semester of LAW L897 Clinic Seminar earns three skills credits and fulfills skills competency requirements SKR1: Client Interviewing; SKR3: Cultural Competence; and SKR4: Law Office Management and Professionalism. A second semester of clinic earns an additional three skills credits and satisfies the remaining SKR2: Negotiation requirement. Skills credit from each semester of the clinic seminar will appear on a student’s skills transcript beginning with the designation SKC in the course number.
Earning Skills Credit in Academic Courses
Students are able to earn a maximum of four skill credits from non-clinical experiential courses and certain other qualifying academic courses. The courses that earn skill credit have been approved by a faculty committee and are published in an inventory on the skills website. Skills credit from non-clinical academic courses will contain the designation LAW in the skills course number appearing on the skills transcript.
Earning Skills Credit through Continuing Legal Education
Students are able to earn a maximum of two skill credits by attending qualifying professional Continuing Legal Education presentations. To receive skills credit for attending an external CLE, students must submit the proper application form and supporting documentation during the year in which they attended the CLE presentation. The CLE presentation must meet all of the criteria established on the application form in order to qualify for skills credit. Students are encouraged to seek pre-approval of a CLE for skills credit as far in advance of the presentation as possible. Skills credit from approved external CLE presentations will contain the designation CLE in the skills course number appearing on the skills transcript.
To view the Skills Calendar, Local Rules, course descriptions and relevant forms, please visit law.loyno.edu/skills-curriculum.