STEPPS Program Focus Areas - California Western
STEPPS Program Focus Areas


Professional Responsibility
  1. Lectures - a more traditional component of the program will cover the rules and their interpretations;

  2. Readings - a required text for the program will be Legal Ethics in the Practice of Law, co-authored by Prof. Nina Tarr, who taught during the first year of the program. The text relies heavily on the problem method and will be supplemented by court decisions and ethics opinions;

  3. Case handling and office meetings—students will work on simulated cases that contain realistic ethical issues which they will have to discuss and resolve.


Prevention and Problem Solving
  1. Readings—new materials have been assembled especially for the program by Prof. Tom Barton;

  2. Case handling—each student will represent a variety of clients in diverse matters that will present legal problems to be solved in context;

  3. Office meetings—like a law firm, each office will have “case rounds” meetings at which solutions to cases handled by the firm will be discussed so that students are introduced to solutions to problems beyond those in their own cases.


Legal Research & Writing
  1. Research and Memoranda--Students will perform research and memo writing on issues related to their cases;

  2. Legal Drafting--Documents will be drafted as appropriate for the type of problem;

  3. Case Management--Correspondence and file memos will be maintained as they would in a law office;

  4. Feedback--Firm partner/teachers will provide detailed and specific feedback on all writing.


Other Lawyering Skills (Interviewing, Counseling, Case Planning, Negotiation, Mediation, ADR)
  1. Lectures—some of the basic information about the theory and practice of each skill will be covered in course lectures;

  2. Readings—a required text for the course will be Essential Lawyering Skills, one of the leading texts in the field;

  3. Skills practice—students will have opportunities to practice the various skills in connection with work on cases and in classroom exercises;

  4. Client representation—work on behalf the simulation clients will require certain capstone lawyering performances in each skill area;

  5. Feedback—capstone performances on cases will be video recorded and reviewed by the Firm partner/teachers.


Career Satisfaction
  1. Portfolio—through case handling and course work, each student will develop a portfolio of demonstrated accomplishments;

  2. Law Office meetings—career satisfaction issues will be discussed at firm meetings in the context of the actual case work and client demands of the simulations.