The New 1L: First-Year Lawyering with Clients


The New 1L: First-Year Lawyering with Clients



In The New 1L, leading teachers in the field describe how, in the first year of legal education, they teach students to act, as well as think, like lawyers. In their courses, clients are central not extraneous. Working under a lawyer’s supervision, students interview clients, conduct factual investigations, draft pleadings, and write memoranda and briefs. The authors argue that, in isolation, theory and practice are incomplete, and first-year educators must integrate the two. They discuss the benefits and challenges of this new 1L approach, and also provide a range of successful models for any teacher who wants to adopt this pedagogy to a first-year course. What they say is particularly relevant today, when many are criticizing law schools for their over-reliance on the Langdellian teaching method and failure to produce practice-ready graduates.

The innovative courses the authors describe bring about collaborations between classroom instruction, legal research and writing (LRW), and interactions with clinical teachers and lawyers (appointed, or not, as adjunct faculty). These collaborative teaching models are essential to the future success of legal education, the authors contend. These models include LRW courses that base assignments on actual legal work, core courses that add practice components to traditional theoretical instruction, courses adding skills instruction and actual client work to the 1L curriculum, and courses that invite 1L students to enroll in clinics.

This book is a must-read for deans, curriculum committees, and legal educators.

TMLL catalog entry

call number: KF282 .N49 2015



Publication Date



Carolina Academic Press


Durham, NC


law school teaching, legal education


Legal Education

The New 1L: First-Year Lawyering with Clients