Part of Santa Clara’s Jesuit educational philosophy is active engagement, learning through experience.
In-House Simulation Courses
Faculty members employ role playing techniques to replicate real life situations. Under direct supervision of faculty, students perform, observe classmates perform, and receive critical analysis. The following are taught annually: Trial Techniques, Advanced Litigation Techniques, Appellate Moot Court, Negotiation, and Client Counseling. Additional specialized simulation courses, such as Litigating Intellectual Property Disputes and International Dispute Resolution, are taught regularly. About 350 students enroll each year in simulation-based courses.
These programs are supplemented by an extensive trial and appellate moot court program that includes competitions where students match their skills against other students both at Santa Clara and at other law schools. About 100 students each year participate in such competitions.
Live Client Clinical Experiences
Real clients with actual legal problems consult with students under faculty supervision. Certified students may actually appear in court or administrative proceedings to represent clients. The Northern California Innocence Project, is on campus. Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center involves employment law, immigration, small business advice.
As many as 150 positions are available each year. Few, if any, students who desire a live client clinical experience are unable to secure one.
Experiential Learning Field Placements
Students are placed in law firms, corporate counsel departments, government offices including public defender and district attorneys offices, or judicial chambers where they work on real legal problems under the direct supervision of practicing attorneys or judges. A seminar directed by a faculty member allows exploration of issues and sharing of experiences among students in the various field placements.
Last year, 220 students were involved in field placements.
This extensive skills program builds upon a rich offering of more traditional courses and seminars that focus on building practical dispute resolution knowledge, such as Federal Courts, California Civil Practice, Juvenile Courts, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Federal Criminal Litigation, Forensic Persuasion, Advanced Evidence Seminar, and Post-Conviction Procedure. For more information, see our externships web page.