Program on Professionalism

The Program on Professionalism is designed to introduce students to a set of skills that they will need in the first years of their career, regardless of the type of law they practice. The classes are designed to be hands-on and interactive so that each student will have the opportunity to practice the skills. The program will be offered in J-Term 2019 with a class schedule that runs from January 7 to January 18. The classes are not for academic credit.

The program will be limited to 40 students from the J.D. class only, and students will be selected by application. At the end of the program, students will be required to complete surveys and participate in interviews/focus groups to help assess the program's success.

Apply to the Program

Curriculum

All students are required to participate in all courses.

Kickoff Dinner

At a kickoff dinner for all participants and invited guests, students will meet other participants and listen to leaders discuss the program, its purposes and what participants should expect.


Technology for Lawyers Course

All students will take (i) Excel Fundamentals, (ii) PowerPoint for the Legal Profession and (iii) either Microsoft Word for Litigators or Microsoft Word for the Transactional Attorney. The Technology Course also includes a technology audit that allow students to test their technology skills. Craig Brody, a professional technology trainer, will lead the classes. Brody has taught technology to law students at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for many years.

Excel Fundamentals
Having Excel skills can be an important advantage for today's legal professional. Excel can analyze case data, track costs, calculate interest on court judgments, manage client information and create impressive charts and reports. This practical course introduces you to fundamental Excel commands using legal examples.

Microsoft Word for Litigators
Leverage the power of Microsoft Word to format litigation documents effectively in this hands-on workshop. Learn to setup Table of Contents and Table of Authorities in a sample brief. Work with Styles, Section Breaks and Header/Footers in order to create beautiful briefs. (Students who take Word for Litigators will not take Word for the Transactional Attorney.)

Microsoft Word for the Transactional Attorney
Word is an essential application in many law practices, yet too much time is often spent formatting contracts and other legal documents. In this hands-on workshop, learn efficient methods to format documents with Multilevel lists, Styles, Cross Referencing, Footnotes and other commands. You will learn how to review documents with comments, track changes and compare. (Students who take Word for the Transactional Attorney will not take Word for Litigators.)

PowerPoint for the Legal Professional
Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful presentation tool for legal professionals. You can use it to support your arguments, organize your topics, convey your points and keep your audience engaged. In this hands-on workshop, use PowerPoint to create slides and learn tips to build an effective presentation.


Resilience and Grit

Research on professional success has repeatedly confirmed that the possession of grit and a growth mindset are better predictors of success than cognitive intelligence or academic success. Grit is defined as perseverance, dedication and a strong drive and commitment to achieve goals. A growth mindset is the belief that our abilities are flexible and adaptable, and can be improved through conscientious effort. The program will present real-world scenarios depicting difficult moments that often arise during a legal career and how both grit and a growth mindset can be used to overcome obstacles. Resilience and Grit will be divided into two sections of 20 students. Each section will be taught by UCLA Law alumna Michelle Banks who was general counsel of Gap Inc. and now is a senior advisor and executive coach. She is a co-founder of UCLA School of Law's Women LEAD.


Oral Presentations Outside of the Classroom

This class on oral presentations will emphasize presentations outside of the courtroom setting. Many lawyers never set foot in a courtroom but they still need to know how to make effective oral presentations to boards of directors or trustees, community groups, the press, client groups and others. The class will focus on the physical aspects of a presentation: presence, posture, eye contact, gestures, and voice. Each student will be required to make at least one short presentation. Each presentation will be videotaped and the instructor will sit with each student and provide feedback and suggestions. Students will be divided up into two sections for this class. One section will be taught by Lee Broekman and the other section will be taught by Nicole Wells. Both Broekman and Wells specialize in teaching the skills of oral presentation to students, lawyers and other professionals.


Wellness

While it is a given that analytical skills are essential for being an excellent practitioner, building a practice, sustaining a high level of performance and establishing solid professional and personal relationships while maintaining one's health and well-being requires a set of skills. These skills—aspects of emotional, social and somatic intelligence—include understanding the impact of mindset, motivation, values and stress on practice. Learn how young lawyers could avoid declines in health and well-being that often accompany practice, and build a sustainable career. The Wellness class will be divided into two sections of 20 students. Each section will be taught by UCLA Law lecturer Judith Gordon

Apply to the Program

A detailed schedule of classes can be found on MyLaw. For more information, please email uclaprofessionalism@law.ucla.edu or contact Joel Feuer at feuer@law.ucla.edu.