Lawyering and Legal Reasoning

Lawyering and Legal Reasoning (LLR) Program: Foundation Applied

Cumberland's LLR program seeks to build a solid legal reasoning foundation that can be applied to an assortment of lawyering tasks and academic coursework. Through the use of pinpoint, building-block writing exercises that focus on legal synthesis and analysis, students learn to think like a lawyer during their first semeseter of law school. This foundation-based curriculum is enhanced by substantial feedback from instructors and teaching assistants. 

"LLR taught me how to reason and write like a lawyer, and provided me with practical opportunities to hone my skills. Most importantly, LLR equipped me with the tools necessary to be successful during summer clerkships and after graduation." - J.D. Marsh, Valedictorian, Class of 2016

Once students have mastered the art of legal reasoning, their second semester coursework focuses on applying those foundational skills to typical lawyering tasks. Students are divided into law firms with LLR faculty as "senior partners." Each is assigned a case that involves client interviews, writing legal memoranda, filing a complaint and answer, and drafting a motion for summary judgment with an accompanying brief.

By investing in the student's foundation, while exposing the student to "real world" lawyering, the LLR curriculum improves the student's marketability and creates an exceptional legal writer.

Employers report that Cumberland School of Law graduates are given more responsibility in their first jobs than their colleagues who have attended other law schools. This success is attributed to the practical skills training gained during our LLR and advocacy programs.

Called to the Bar

Called to the Bar is a subcomponent program of the LLR course that begins during orientation and focuses largely on professionalism, ethics and the duties of lawyering. Eight required sessions are held during the year. The program also includes a forum for students to receive personal guidance and support through mentoring, as well as individual assistance on written assignments.

Caruthers Fellows

The Caruthers Fellows, chosen by the LLR faculty, are second- or third-year students who serve as mentors and assist first-year students with the development of research, writing, negotiation and other basic skills.