While your 1L year is filled with endless doctrinal classes, your 2L year you get to choose your own class schedule. In my case, I chose to take numerous experiential learning classes that would allow me to enhance my practical skills. Two of these classes are Lawyering Process and Advanced Legal Writing.
Lawyering Process gives you experience working on two mock case files from the initial intake through settlement of the cases. Some of the activities include conducting the initial intake interview with a client, drafting complaints, discovery requests and responses, as well as taking depositions. For students with no previous law firm experience, this class is invaluable. Many of the skills you learn in this class are being exposed to students for the first time (outside of media exposure), so it gives you a chance to see how it works in the real world, and learn how to do it yourself.
The Advanced Legal Writing course that I am taking is focused on criminal law. My class is working with the Public Defender’s Office and assisting with research and writing memorandums and briefs for the court. It has given us the opportunity to work with some fabulous attorneys, help real clients, and make a difference. We have had the opportunity to see cases argued that members of the class worked on, and have seen the judge suppress illegally obtained evidence as the result of the combined effort of the students and the public defender. It is a tough class, but very rewarding, and the experience you can gain while only in your 2L year is invaluable.