Becoming an able practitioner of the law requires far more than the ability to pass a bar examination. A practicing attorney must combine a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge with practical know-how and sound ethical judgment. In addition to skillfully researching the legal precedents, a competent lawyer must be able to interview a client and investigate the facts of a case. A lawyer must be able to prepare appropriate pleadings and motions for the court and must develop the negotiating skills necessary to reach a fair settlement out of court.
Attorneys often face complex ethical questions, such as, "Where does the duty to the client end and the duty to the court begin?" If there is a conflict between ethical duties, a lawyer must be fully prepared to resolve it in accord with the accepted standards for the profession. At UDC-DCSL, the curriculum has been designed to produce lawyers whose basic knowledge of the law and competence in the essential tools of legal practice have been thoroughly tested and confirmed.
Preparation for the responsibilities inherent in the practice of law requires a depth of understanding of the law as an instrument of society. UDC-DCSL students learn to appreciate the active role of law in society. They explore the often ironic realities of the law, such as the fact that the law is both a preferred tool of those who would change society and the mechanism used by those who seek to control or limit social change. Students are also encouraged to view the law as it is, complex and valuable, yet inherently limited. A UDC-DCSL graduate knows that the law in the hands of an intelligent, skilled, and compassionate practitioner is a tool which can contribute to the enhancement of human life.