American legal education had been almost exclusively focused on teaching legal analysis and doctrine. However, The College of Law and other leading law schools, as well as the American Bar Association, now recognize the importance of teaching professional legal practice skills and strategies as critical to educating lawyers for successful careers.
The Center for Practice was established in 2001 to provide additional curricular and extra-curricular professional skills development for both law students and practitioners. Originally focused on negotiation and dispute resolution, the Center now works to foster curricular, extra-curricular and professional development opportunities across the broad range of legal practice skills, including client interviewing and counseling, decision analysis, trial advocacy and presentation skills, as well as negotiation, mediation, and mediation advocacy. The Center also provides a forum for professional exchange between the academy and legal practitioners.