The Student Initiative

Students at WSRSL have the unique opportunity to write the curriculum. Established in 2005, the Student Initiative invites students to participate in framing the goals, content, and methods of the Legal Practice I and II courses and advanced courses. Generally, the Student Initiative goals are to preserve what has been most successful about research and writing at WSRSL, including small sections with tenure-track professors and careful attention to multiple drafts; and to test new ideas for the purpose of discovering what will be good long-term goals for research and writing courses at WSRSL. All students are eligible to join the Student Initiative, and they work together in teams to expand experience and expertise in legal research and writing. Students may apply for three opportunities: Research Assistant, Teaching Assistant, and Senior Writing Associate. In any of these roles, students research and offer possible methods and goals of teaching, calendars for the curriculum, content for the assignments, and methods for review. Members of the Student Initiative research and write the actual assignments for the following year; teach the assignments through classes, individual meetings, and tutorials, all in conjunction with the Director and faculty. Acting as associates in the “laws offices” of Legal Practice I and II, clerks for the judges who hear arguments, and mentors for the individuals who seek their assistance, they are developing their roles as creative, confident, comfortable lawyers who interact as equals with each other, the Director, and the faculty. The Student Initiative is designed to build capacity for professional interaction and intellectual development in the legal community, including techniques for effective teamwork and negotiation, flexibility in intellectual problem-solving, and independence in research and writing.