The STEPPS Program utilizes a wide array of teaching and learning methods. The traditional lecture appears only on rare occasions. The “lecture sessions” led by Professor Casey focus on solving ethical problems through a collaborative approach.
The law office sessions utilize a vast array of pedagogical methods, including the “fish-bowl,” role-plays, video recordings, “quick-writes,” individual reflections, and peer review. Students learn through active experiences and through reflecting on their experiences.
Students in the STEPPS Program develop lawyering skills through a variety of methods.
- Reading about the skill,
- Engaging in practice exercises,
- Applying the skill in a recorded performance,
- Conducting a self-evaluation of the performance, and
- Receiving feedback on the performance from an experienced practitioner.
Students in the STEPPS Program introduces a variety of forms of legal writing, including:
- A research memorandum for a supervising attorney;
- An advice letter to a client;
- A motion in an adversarial proceeding;
- A contract outlining the obligations of parties in a transactional setting.
The ability to work collaboratively is a key skill for new lawyers.
- Students work together on projects within the simulated cases.
- Students share research, strategies and approaches to solving legal problems.
- Although students work in teams, each student has the opportunity to perform the skill or write the assignment.
- The law office setting is conducive to simulating the progress that an associate would make on the path to increased responsibility within the office.
- By the end of the program, students will be able to perform many common lawyering tasks at a level close to what would be expected of new members of a real law office.
- Each student will also accumulate a portfolio of work product that can be used in connection with future internship opportunities and ultimately for job search purposes.