Small Firm/Solo Practice Pathway
Small Firm or Solo Practice includes many different substantive areas of practice. Examples include Criminal Law, Education Law, Elder Law, Family Law, Immigration Law and Tax Law. Small Firm or Solo Practice lawyers must be trained not only in the substantive law relevant to the field, but in the lawyering skills that are most needed for the specific area of practice. Common lawyering skills include client counseling, litigation, and negotiation, but particular fields may involve other skills as well.
Some students begin their course selection with their Small Firm or Solo Practice focus already defined. Other students are interested in learning about a variety of different practice areas before developing their focus. For students who begin with a preliminary focus, some gain an increased commitment to the area and search for ways to pursue their study of that field. Others learn from their initial experience that they would prefer to work in a different substantive area and continue their course selections based on that change of focus.
There is a range of opportunities available to all students interested in Small Firm or Solo Practice. The first stage of the pathway begins with a menu of specific practice areas, connecting students to the specific pathway for their chosen area of focus. Courses from that pathway may be designated as recommended courses for the Small Firm or Solo Practice Pathway as well. Students wishing to dive right into these practice areas may simply jump from the Small Firm or Solo Practice Pathway to the pathway for their chosen substantive area.
However, for students who begin with a goal of testing different potential areas for their eventual practice focus, the Small Firm or Solo Practice Pathway may remain the best tool for organizing their curriculum. The second, third, and fourth stage courses suggest routes for acquiring fundamental lawyering skills essential to a Small Firm or Solo Practice, as well as some advanced skills, while continuing to learn about new areas of law. The recommended courses offer choices in the areas of clinics, skills, and substantive areas. Students who jump to substantive pathways at the outset may return to the general Small Firm or Solo Practice Pathway as their interests change.