- A Practice-Oriented Curriculum: In 2013, Valparaiso Law began a new chapter in legal education by immersing first-year law students in a law school curriculum that has been completely rethought. The innovative new curriculum starts with courses on legal analysis, legal communications, and practical legal skills, including live client contact starting in the very first semester. Now in its second year, the new curriculum is continuing to change the face of legal education to reflect the needs of today’s legal marketplace.
“Valpo Law’s new curriculum and its emphasis on writing and practical skills is giving students the training necessary to succeed in the increasingly competitive job market. As a former managing partner of a small law firm responsible for hiring new lawyers, I can confidently say that Valpo’s new offerings and focus are exactly what legal employers would dream up. With more skills and writing courses, Valpo has truly restructured itself to make its program responsive to the changing realities of the legal market.”
– Assistant Professor Faisal Kutty
- Exceptional Legal Research and Writing: Among the most important skills for lawyers are writing and research. Rigorous training in legal writing begins in the first year and extends into the second and third years. This includes not just traditional semesters but courses on appellate advocacy, legal drafting, legal journalism, and subject-matter specific advanced legal writing and drafting courses. Valpo Law graduates have a reputation for strong legal writing and research skills, and the new curriculum has embraced and enhanced that strength.
- Clinics and Experiential Education: Students gain extensive professional and practical experience through nine in-house live client clinics, externships, internships, skills courses, pro bono work, and moot court and other competitive competition teams. Our graduates start their careers with confidence that grows from experience.
“Valpo Law’s new curriculum surprised me because it gave me such an edge at my first legal internship. The curriculum provided me with various practical legal skills that set me ahead of law stdents under a traditional curriculum.”
– Justin Camper, second-year law student
- Diversity: Valparaiso Law is constituted by students of every racial group, and of countless ethnicities, religions, nationalities, orientations, backgrounds, and beliefs. The diversity of the Law School is central to who we are.
“I chose to attend Valparaiso Law because I wanted a law school with a diverse community. When I came for a visit, I noticed Valparaiso’s collaborative environment of students and faculty that included all diverse backgrounds, including members of the LGBTQ community. Having classmates of all ages, races, and ethnicities made me feel comfortable that I had made the right choice to attend Valparaiso Law. Coming from Kentucky, it was nice to be welcomed and accepted by both my peers and the Valparaiso community as a whole.”
– Sam Bussey, third-year law student
- Called to the Law: We are a community dedicated to imparting not just skills and knowledge, but values, self-understanding, and a commitment to service. Our graduates are not just good lawyers, but good people, who use their knowledge and influence to provide service for good. Valpo Law students are required to perform 60 hours of pro bono work before graduation, but most Valpo graduates exceed that requirement. Pro bono opportunities are available for Valpo Law students from the beginning of their first semester, reflecting the mission of Valparaiso University Law School, which embraces law as a calling to leadership and service.
“Mock client interviews may help prepare our 1Ls for their first real client meeting, but hearing a client’s unique story is a game changer. If a client tells you that she needs a power of attorney because she has just been diagnosed with cancer, you understand, as never before, just how much law matters. That’s the real value of the 1L live-client pro bono program.”
– Professor Linda Whitton