by Andrew ’16
The Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) Project deadline has arrived! That means that it is time to submit the written portion of the social justice project we have been working on for the last seven months. Honestly, I think the deadline has been looming over the 1Ls for weeks. Each “law office” has had to tackle numerous challenges in preparation for the deadline. This likely included editing a document written by multiple authors for tone and cohesion. In addition, groups have been squeezing in last minute research and interviews. On top of the substantive work, some of the documents were 100 pages or more, so even simple grammatical editing was no small task. In spite of the last minute stress of the push to the deadline, it was rewarding to see the research come together.
The projects started at the very beginning of our law school experience. We met our “law office” on day one of orientation. By day two, we had already completed our first meeting and, within the first week, we had started the preliminary stages of our research. Since then we have spent a considerable amount of time on the project. Both in class and on our own, the group has devoted long hours to each piece of the project. We met during breaks and even teleconferenced in a snowstorm in order to turn out the best work product possible. Sure, there have been little bumps along the way, but ultimately it is great to see the culmination of all the efforts in physical, written form.
With the written portion of the projects submitted, each law office has turned their focus to their presentation. Essentially, each group will present their work for the NUSL community and their client. Each presentation will be different in format and content based upon the research project and the client’s expectations. Additionally, the presentations take place over the course of a couple weeks, giving us the opportunity to watch each other’s presentations. Even though there will be a good amount of work involved in the execution of the presentations, I am sure there will be a similar sense of accomplishment that follows.
It may seem like this is extra work, and in many ways it is. Certainly, the LSSC program at NUSL is extensive and unique to the 1L curriculum. However, the uniqueness is what makes the experience so invaluable. Our skills are only enhanced by working as a group on an in depth legal research project such as this, something you do not get in traditional legal education. For that reason, the effort is well worth the reward.