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 simulation-based practicums, students participate in both a seminar with a specific substantive law focus and a simulation-based clinical course where students apply that substantive law in the context of simulated exercises. For example, the seminar may have corporate transactions as its focus and the associated simulation-based clinic would use a simulated mergers and acquisition transaction to train students in such practice skills as negotiation, preparation of term sheets and due diligence. In the simulation-based clinic component of the practicum, practice skills are typically taught through lectures, demonstrations, and hand-on exercises where students are videotaped and receive one-on-one feedback from the instructor.
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.