Bloomberg Law recognizes the LLEAP program in Law School Innovation Program

LLEAP Faculty pictured in the faculty lounge

Bloomberg Law recently announced the finalists in its Law School Innovation Program. The program, which is in its second year, recognizes law schools and their faculty and staff that have implemented and led innovative programs into their curricula that advance new methodologies and approaches to student instruction, legal technology implementation and usage, experiential learning and other facets of legal education.

Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s Legal Writing, Leadership, Experiential Learning, Advocacy and Professionalism (LLEAP) program was among the finalists for the program. LLEAP emphasizes the holistic approach the School of Law takes to train students on how to represent clients and serve as valued members of their legal communities. Each LLEAP course includes training in legal writing, practical skills and professional development. 

LLEAP is unlike most legal writing programs in many ways: 

  1. It is a nine-credit, three-semester course
  2. Every semester includes an experiential component that gives students an opportunity to practice a variety of lawyering skills, such as client counseling, taking a deposition or negotiating the sale of a business
  3. The experiential component is taught by practicing attorneys who are experts in these skills
  4. Every semester includes professional development opportunities
  5. LLEAP 3 allows students to hone their skills in a context of their choosing
  6. LLEAP 3 transforms the classroom into a law firm where students research, write, advise, negotiate and advocate on a proceeding from start to finish; LLEAP 3 serves as a bridge from the first-year legal writing courses to our required capstone experience in the third year. 

Law schools “should prepare students for law practice by giving them many opportunities to do what lawyers do,” said Jennifer Cupar, LLEAP program director and professor of lawyering skills. By bringing this skill-focused instruction into the classroom, Case Western’s LLEAP program “ensures that all students have the benefit of learning, practicing and receiving feedback on complex lawyering skills,” Cupar said.

According to current 3L Antonia Mysyk, “My LLEAP classes gave me an apprenticeship-like experience in a controlled classroom environment. I had the opportunity to learn legal writing while gaining first-hand experience with networking, interviewing clients, taking depositions, negotiating settlements and so much more. I cannot advocate enough about the benefit of the LLEAP program as it prepared me for what it is like working in the legal profession versus just reading about it from a textbook.” 

The evaluators for the Law School Innovation Program include practicing attorneys, legal tech and legal operations professionals, in-house counsel, and Bloomberg Law experts who have worked with and alongside law firms, businesses and academic and professional institutions.