What is Lawyering Lab?

When my classmates and I heard we had to return a week early from winter break we let out a collective groan. We had to come back for 1L’s Lawyering Lab. Much of your doctrinal focus during 1L is on briefing cases, extracting laws, understanding legal theories, and not so much actually learning about being a lawyer.

Lawyering is great for developing our legal writing and research skills as well as client counseling and partner simulations. However, there is more of a litigation focus. For example, we were given a hypothetical of a man who is seeking counsel to sue a landowner when he dove into a pond on the landowner’s property and became paralyzed. We counseled our “client”, doctored a research memo, and met with a “partner” to discuss the research and recommendations.

Lawyering Lab, however, is focused on transactional law. We are first given a lecture on contract basics. This lecture differed from our Contracts doctrinal course, because it was more concrete in looking at a sample supply contract between two companies. We then focused on teamwork and how to work on a team of lawyers effectively by leveraging one another’s strengths. As a team we then learned about our client, who they are, what they want out of a deal, and what their risks and concerns are through an email. As a team, we then collaborated on analyzing the options available to our client and how we can best present these options to our client. Later in the day, we met with a BU Law alumna who served as our “client” and we had the opportunity to simulate a client counseling session. It was great to receive real feedback from a practicing alum, discuss their careers since graduating from BU Law, and we had a networking event with them later in the day.

The following day we had a negotiation simulation. We learned about negotiation skills, tactics, and planning strategies through our lawyering lecturers. Then, as a team, we created a game plan for negotiating with an opposing team for our client who we had met with yesterday. Later in the day, we negotiated directly with the other team, which was a great way to simulate a real negotiation. Some students tried to be difficult in negotiations whereas others tried to provide more of a relationship before task attitude. Our teams continued to negotiate until we felt comfortable we had reached a contract that was fair to both of our clients.

Ultimately, our moaning and groaning was because we had to come back a week early from break. However, the introduction to transactional law was informative and helpful and the Lawyering team definitely did their best to make it as fun of a simulation with alumni as possible.

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