In their first year, all Epstein Program students are enrolled in a special section of the required Lawyering Skills course. The special section, like all other sections of Lawyering Skills, introduces students to the legal system and instructs them in some of the basic skills necessary to legal problem-solving: legal analysis, legal research, analytical and persuasive writing, client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, and advocacy. In the special public interest section, however, problems and materials emphasize public interest clients and causes, and skills instruction incorporates lawyering situations frequently faced by lawyers working in public interest areas.
In addition to discussing substantive public interest law issues, the course also introduces students to common procedural and ethical issues faced by public interest lawyers. For example, the course includes readings and discussions about class actions, selecting impact litigation cases and clients, working with clients from diverse communities, and resolving conflicts between public interest lawyers, communities, and clients over legal strategies and objectives.