Memphis students are able to take simulation courses throughout the fall and spring semesters to focus on specific legal skills through practice-focused work. Our current simulation course offerings at Memphis are listed below.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: Labor
This course offers students an understanding and experience in representing clients in designing dispute resolution processes as well as how to prepare for and present to alternative dispute resolution forums.
Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mediation
This two credit course offers negotiation and mediation skills to prepare the student to properly represent clients in mediation. While students will likely gain insight into how the mediator conducts a mediation session, the goal of the course is lawyering skills in mediation, not skills as a mediator. Students must complete Professional Responsibility and Evidence before or concurrently with the course.
Advanced Criminal Prosecution
Advanced Criminal Prosecution is a one-credit intersession course offered annually over the Law School's Spring Break week in conjunction with the Tennessee District Attorney General's Conference's (TNDAG) Trial Advocacy Course. Advanced Criminal Prosecution is intended to offer a select number of students (maximum of eight) interested in criminal trial advocacy intensive training in and exposure to prosecutorial litigation skills and strategy. In a "master class" approach to learning, experienced prosecutors from across the state of Tennessee will present instruction on all aspects of criminal trial practice, including jury selection, pretrial motions, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, evidentiary objections, and closing argument. Devoted sessions will focus on interviewing and preparing witnesses, selecting juries, case analysis, charging decisions, discovery, prosecutorial ethics, and professionalism. In those sections requiring student performance (of examinations, opening statement, and closing argument), students will receive critique, including individual reviews of their performance.
The course covers the basics of appellate advocacy: analyzing an issue on appeal, writing an appellate brief, and preparing and delivering an oral argument. The course offers instruction in brief writing through regular writing assignments, culminating in an appellate brief. It also offers instruction in how to prepare and deliver an oral argument. Students write a brief and give and judge oral arguments. Grades are based on the written work, oral arguments, and other aspects of class participation. The course will be scheduled around the Advanced Moot Court Competition. Classes will focus on brief-writing until the Advanced brief is due. Classes from the time the brief is due until the competition starts will discuss oral argument. The class will not meet during the Advanced Competition so students can devote their attention to competing. Students who complete the Advanced Moot Court Competition and one other competition are eligible for one credit in addition to the two credits for this course.
This two credit course covers the pre-trial practices used by one party to obtain facts and information about a case from another party in order to assist the party's preparation for trial. Students study depositions, interrogatories, production of documents, requests for admissions, and other pre-trial discovery practices. The course is hands-on and requires students to draft pleadings, conduct discovery activities, and participate in a mediation. The course also includes electronic discovery and discusses counsel's duty to properly identify, preserve, collect, review, and produce electronically stored information (ESI), as well as on the basic technological knowledge litigation counsel should possess. The course covers the growing case law in the area and prepares students through exercises in mock depositions, and exercises in properly written discovery practice and an exercise in a mock mediation.
Divorce Law Practicum
The Divorce Law Practicum is a semester-long course designed to convey the essential principals, skills, and values that a lawyer must embrace and master in order to provide competent counsel in the practice of divorce law. Working in the context of a simulated case file and related mock writing and advocacy opportunities, students will consider the potential effects of the substantive law, procedural rules, and ethical guidelines, as well as the accepted customs and practices of lawyers. This course will satisfy the Experiential Course requirement. Designed for students who have completed the fundamental Family Law survey course, the 3-hour Divorce Law Practicum will closely examine the primary areas of divorce practice. Student must complete Civil Procedure, Evidence, and Family Law before or concurrently with the course.
Legal Drafting: Contracts
This course is a transactional drafting course for second- and third-year law students. The course is designed to provide students with the analytic skill of translating the business deal into contract concepts, and an understanding of the rules and techniques for good transactional drafting to enhance clarity and avoid ambiguity. Students will be challenged to learn to think like lawyers and develop skills in translating that thinking into the contracts they draft, utilizing a variety of contracts and transactional practice areas.
Legal Drafting: Litigation
This course is designed to provide second- and third- year law students with the skills and knowledge necessary to draft client letters, pleadings, and motions involved in civil litigation. Students will be challenged to refine their writing skills and strategic analysis of pre-trial issues in this practical based course.
Negotiation & Mediation
This course offers an introduction to negotiation theory and provides the opportunity to apply that theory in various negotiating contexts. Students will be exposed to basic concepts of principled and strategic negotiation and engage in in-class negotiating exercises. Students will also learn about the mediation process and how to negotiate effectively as advocates in mediation through role-playing in mock mediation exercises at the end of the semester. This course is team taught with another section.
An intensive simulation-course designed for students who plan to be civil litigators. Through a case file assigned at the beginning of the semester, students are encouraged to explore how lawyers strategically use each step in the pretrial litigation process to advance their clients' interests. Students will engage in a wide range of typical pretrial tasks as time and opportunity permit , such as analyzing the law and investigating the facts in the context of the assigned case file; drafting relevant pleadings; preparing and responding to discovery, including interrogatories and document requests; taking and defending depositions; briefing and arguing a pretrial motion; and engaging in settlement negotiations with an opposing party, all while maintaining client relations and expectations. Student must complete Civil Procedure prior to this class, and Evidence is strongly recommended.
This course examines tools of researching and advising in written form about tax law; the course will involve 2-person teams preparing to enter the ABA Tax Section Tax Challenge (attorney memo and client letter). Students will be expected to prepare at least one practice attorney memo and a client letter. Students must complete Basic Income Tax before this course, and are recommended to also complete Corporate Tax and Partnership Tax.
Trial Advocacy is a simulation course wherein students will learn about the various phases of jury trial in civil and/or criminal contexts, as well as the differences between a jury and non-jury trials. Students will simulate jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments, and will learn how to introduce exhibits, present expert testimony, raise and respond to objections, and deal with problem witnesses. Students will have weekly simulation assignments and, in most sections, will conduct a full trial at the end of the semester.