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Program Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Program Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes for the California School of Law Juris Doctor Curriculum

What are student learning outcomes?

Student learning outcomes describe what students should know, be able to do, and value by the end of our law school program.

The Law School focuses substantial attention on the learning objectives aimed at passing the bar examination and to practice law ethically and effectively.

The J.D. Student Learning Outcomes are:

 Obtain a legal education through a curriculum that develops:

1.    understanding of the theory, philosophy and role of legal institutions
2.    proficiency in legal analysis, reasoning, problem solving
3.    proficiency in legal written and oral communication
4.    proficiency in legal research
5.    understanding of fundamental professional practices necessary to participate effectively in the legal profession
6.    mastery of substantive law as is necessary to effectively and responsibly participation in the legal profession through completion of the required curriculum
7.    Demonstrate the ability to identify and understand key concepts of procedural law
8.    Promote the development of students' critical thinking skills and other intellectual tools that will serve their life-long learning needs, and enable them to provide contributions in research and practice
9.    Collaborate effectively with others in a variety of legal settings and contexts
10.  Understand ethical responsibilities as representatives of clients, officers of the court, and citizens responsible for the quality of justice

Knowledge and Comprehension
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the pertinent principles, concepts and theories of law, including parameters qualifications and limitations, interdisciplinary boundaries and in relation to the legal community at large
• Recognize and apply the correct controlling statutory or case law to a given legal situation
• Apply basic principles of legal reasoning and logic to a given legal situation
• Recognize the underlying value of academic study to the actual practice of law
• Demonstrate an understanding of the potential impact and practical implications within both the legal community and upon society in general related to the practice of     law
• Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical, social and moral implications and responsibilities related to the practice of law
• Demonstrate an understanding of the applications of legal knowledge to the individual student's life outside the actual practice of law
• Demonstrate an understanding of the importance and value of legal study as an academic pursuit and its possible applications to alternative Juris Doctor related programs as well as the legal support industry

Analysis and Application
• Identify and analyze the applicable facts at issue, distinguishing primary from second ary or immaterial facts, and applying the relevant rules of law to the facts upon    which the resolution of the issues turns
• Apply generalized legal principles to complex and simple, complete and incomplete as well as clear and ambiguous fact patterns with accuracy, acuity and insight
• Abstract legal principles from cases and apply them to other fact situations, often related to actual and important current issues, and reason to sound conclusions of law    based on theory and practicality of solution
• Demonstrate proficiency in legal methods of research, including identifying relevant and timely case law, at a level of proficiency sufficient for use in an internship or   extern ship position
• Demonstrate an understanding of legal reasoning and logic as the basis for all legal analysis and its practical application to classic legal analysis
• Demonstrate and apply legal reasoning and logic in the form of actual case analysis, synthesis and statutory analysis; thereafter applying classic techniques of briefing   judicial opinions
• Understanding the various forms and structures of legal analysis and their communicative impact on the prospective reader
• Analyze primary and secondary legal materials and deduce how rules from those materials apply to a given legal situation
• Select, organize and interpret facts and apply the law to potential problems and situations within each legal subject area
• Offer instruction and assign individual and group projects designed to simulate actual law office and courtroom conditions

Planning and Communication
• Access and use online and other legal resources to research and identify relevant cases, statues and codes to accurately support or refute a legal position in the context of   each legal subject area
• Communicate various legal positions and issues, possibly in the alternative in the appropriate written format and in a thorough, organized and legally accepted,   cognizable manner
• Apply problem solving skills to generate primary and alternative solutions and develop clear, legally recognized strategies related to the eventual disposition of the issues   in controversy
• Demonstrate legal writing and analysis skills including fluent and precise command of legal terminology and a well- structured and persuasive argument
• Demonstrate an appreciation for the nature and functions of various legal documents while developing a practical writing style appropriate for the task at hand
• Demonstrate an understanding of and the difference between neutral, legal and persuasive argument styles and their applicability to the legal profession

Legal ethics and professionalism
•    recognize the importance and practice the following components of professionalism:  timeliness; honesty; quality, appearance and thoroughness of work product; compliance with ethical responsibilities; compliance with local court rules; independent thought and work; and courtesy to the court, opposing counsel, and all persons involved in the legal process.                   

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