LSU Law Apprenticeship Week

By: Halee Snellgrove Maturin

apprenticeshipPaul M. Hebert Law Center will host its 3rd annual Apprenticeship Week program on January 4-8, 2016. The 170 participants of this program will consist of 2L and 3L law students who are looking to get one more course credit under their belt while also receiving a five-day educational insight into various legal topics. During this week, these students will be divided into one of twelve available course sections, each of which is taught by various lawyers and professionals in our Baton Rouge community.  This Apprenticeship Week program gives students an opportunity to get hands-on experience in various legal fields, gaining knowledge that likely would not have been taught in their other law courses, while also receiving one pass/fail course credit.

The courses offered in this program vary greatly, covering topics from appellate practice (“Advanced Appellate Brief Writing”) to personal injury law (“Managing the Personal Injury Case”), as well as everything else in between. Students participating in this program are given the chance to work either individually or in small groups on projects and assignments directly geared towards the topic of their course. This more intimate class environment has been regarded as extremely helpful and productive by many of the students who participated in the past programs. Albert Adams, a participant in last year’s program, expressed, “Apprenticeship Week gives you a great opportunity to get inside knowledge of a number of different legal skills. You learn things that your employer would have to teach you in practice and this puts you ahead of the curve.” The hands-on training and knowledge students gain from these courses is that which is usually available only through actual practice experience. The opportunity to learn these skills prior to graduation is priceless for participants.

John Church, the professor behind this unique program, has been blown away by the positive reviews that the program has received in the past two years, as well as the increased number of participants this year. Regarding his expectations for this January, “[He’d] like for the program to be just as successful as it was these past two years. Everyone who participates seems to enjoy it and learn a lot from it.” Professor Church also commented that the unique nature of this program is being able to learn from professionals who are currently practicing in the field of law that their course centers around. For example, the course titled “Prosecuting and Defending Federal Criminal Trials” is taught by 4 instructors with various legal experience: a U.S. Attorney and an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana, a law partner at the firm of deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus & Fruge, L.L.P, and a federal district court judge. Each course is similarly instructed by prominent legal professionals in their field of study. This offers the participating students a rare and valuable learning opportunity.

The courses being offered for January’s Apprenticeship Week:

  • Advanced Appellate Brief Writing.  Faculty: Michelle Stratton
  • Building Your Business and Your Brand – Strategic Lessons for Real World Success. Faculty: Samira Salman
  • Lawyering and the Legislative Process.  Faculty: Mark D. Boudreaux
  • Legal Opinions in Business Transactions. Faculty: Scott Willis
  • Managing the Personal Injury Case. Faculty: Edward J. Walters, Jr. and Darrel Papillion
  • Mergers and Acquisitions. Faculty: Caroline Blitzer Philips
  • Prosecuting and Defending Federal Criminal Trials. Faculty: Catherine Maraist, Honorable J. Walter Green, C. Frank Holthaus
  • Strategic Thinking for Lawyers. Faculty: Michael Walsh and Skip Philips
  • The Care and Feeding of Expert Witnesses. Faculty: James Roy, Brian Colomb and Andrew Quackenbos
  • The Selection and Persuasion of Your Jury. Faculty: Timothy F. Daniels
  • Why Should the Judge Listen to Me? What Makes Judges Read and Hear What Lawyers Say. Faculty: Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal and Honorable Elizabeth E. Foote
  • Winning at Mediation – Successful Strategies for Conflict Resolution. Faculty: Theresa Gallion