Practicums link substantive law courses with practice experience. They combine doctrinal courses with either field placements (live-client practicums) or simulation-based clinical courses (simulation-based practicums). Practicums are designed to integrate teaching of substantive law with training in real-world practice skills.
In live-client practicums, students participate in both a seminar with a specific substantive law focus and an externship where students apply that substantive law in the context of representation of actual clients. For example, the seminar may have employment discrimination law as its focus and the associated externship would be with the EEOC, where students would assist in the investigation and prosecution of employment discrimination claims on behalf of actual clients. Live-client practicums are structured so that student practice experiences at the associated externships are systematically incorporated into seminar discussion and typically provide the basis for any required writings for the seminar.
Generally, participation in the seminar component of the practicum is a pre- or co-requisite to enrollment in the associated externship or simulation-based clinic. At the instructor’s option, however, students may be permitted to enroll in the seminar component of the practicum without also enrolling in the associated externship or clinical course.