In simulation courses, students develop lawyering skills in a controlled setting. Much of the work involves hypothetical exercises resembling real case situations. Through seminars, critiques of videotaped role-playing and of presentations before mock judges and juries, and one-on-one review with instructors, students learn and refine specific lawyering skills. These courses build confidence to prepare students for the demands of live-client representation. Current offerings include:
In addition, there are a number of student extracurricular programs which expand and strengthen students' lawyering skills:
The ABA Counseling Competition Project supports student teams to compete in national competitions involving simulated client-counseling sessions. In 2004-2005, the Regional competitions will be held at Pepperdine law School in Los Angeles. Six team members, a coach, and a faculty adviser will fly down to compete.
Moot Court Competitions at Hastings cover a wide range of current legal issues. Team members are selected from open tryouts held in the spring. The student team members are selected on the basis of resume, writing sample, a 5-10 minute oral argument, and a short interview. Hastings Moot Court competition team members receive two units for their participation. Hastings pays all travel costs, including airfare, food and hotel, for competitions held outside of the Bay Area. Hastings scored the ultimate Moot Court victory by winning the 2002 National Moot Court Competition.
The Negotiation Team offers students individual coaching and mentoring outside of the classroom. In recent years, the Team has brought home a string of victories, including Gold Medals in the International Competition for Online Dispute Competition's enegotiation and mediation competitions, the Regional Championship and National Semi-Finalist titles in the ABA's Representation in Mediation Competition, and Second Place in the California Environmental Negotiation Competition.