The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University recognizes that the well-rounded graduate needs to apply classroom theory to real-world situations. Hofstra Law offers extensive skills and simulation-based training that teaches students to practice law. Through clinics, externships, moot courts and other experiential learning programs, students have the opportunity to practice law before obtaining the J.D. degree.
Hofstra Law is committed to providing students with classroom training in how to think like a lawyer, and skills and simulation-based training, which teaches students how to practice like a lawyer. The skills courses are ones in which the emphasis is on active participation by the student, who performs the skill under the watchful eye of experienced faculty, who give immediate and constructive critique.
Hofstra Law enjoys a rich tradition as a pioneer in fully integrating clinical education into a traditional law school curriculum. Over the years, the Clinical Program has become a well-known presence in legal circles in the metropolitan area. The experience is both deeply challenging and immensely rewarding, and often serves as the highlight of a student’s legal education.
Hofstra Law’s Externship Program enables students to gain hands-on legal experience while earning academic credit. Students work directly with judges, governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, prosecutors’ offices and publicly funded criminal defense agencies, as well as in other legal settings. Externships allow students to develop practical lawyering skills and connections with practicing attorneys while building legal experience.
Institutes and centers allow the faculty and administration to focus attention on legal issues of special importance to the Hofstra Law community, the legal profession and society in general. These centers of excellence foster research, education and action on critical issues; attract thought leaders to the campus each year for research, debate and the exchange of knowledge; and immerse students in collaborative research — in some cases internationally — that impacts scholarship and helps translate legal theory into practice.
Students can gain membership in Hofstra Law’s publications through outstanding academic performance, a writing competition or submission of an article chosen by the editors. Student editors and staff are responsible for soliciting articles from legal scholars, considering unsolicited manuscripts for publication, editing published works and publishing articles that expand the frontiers of legal scholarship.
The student-run, faculty-supported Moot Court Association is dedicated to the development of appellate and oral advocacy skills in preparation for upper-level courses and moot court competitions. The association sponsors two intra-school competitions, one in the fall for transfer students and one in the spring for those interested in joining the association. Members compete in a number of regional, national and international moot court and trial competitions.