The Lawyering Program focuses on teaching the real-life skills employed by practicing attorneys. All first-year students are enrolled in the program’s full-year Lawyering course, which incorporates legal writing, legal analysis, legal research, client counseling and interviewing, and oral presentation.
All first-year students are enrolled in the program’s full-year Lawyering course, which is taught in small sections. The course curriculum incorporates myriad lawyering skills, including:
Client counseling and interviewing
Written assignments are set in the context of working in a simulated law office (or judge’s chambers). Students’ work is extensively critiqued (by the professor and teaching assistants), and regular professor-student conferences are the norm.
In the fall semester, students work primarily on predictive memoranda (memoranda that objectively analyze the merit of a potential or ongoing legal dispute) and an oral presentation. Just before the spring semester, an intensive week of classes devoted to the course allows students to hone and expand their legal skills.
In the spring semester, students focus on preparing persuasive documents (those that might be submitted to a court). The course culminates with a moot-court argument, in which students orally argue the position taken in their written document.
Throughout the academic year, skilled law librarians teach the fundamentals of conducting legal research through both print and on-line resources. Various assignments, moreover, allow students to enhance and refine their research skills.
Upper-class students also play a significant role in the Lawyering Program. Each year, approximately twenty-four upper-class students serve as teaching assistants — known as Honors Fellows — for the Lawyering course. Honors Fellows, who receive both individual and group training, work closely with their professor and the first-year students. By all accounts, Honors Fellows not only greatly aid the first-year students but also benefit from a rewarding and immensely educational experience.
Written assignments are set in the context of working in a simulated law office (or judge's chambers). Students' work is extensively critiqued (by the professor and teaching assistants), and regular professor-student conferences are the norm.
Thanks to a generous donation from an alumnus
In September 2022, the Lawyering Program faculty engaged in an interactive legal-writing workshop with national expert Ross Guberman, author of Point Made and Point Taken. The workshop covered proven techniques for writing persuasively and giving feedback.
Lance Kaplan and Enrique Gonzalez '91 have been tapped to take over as co-chairs of the firm, effective Jan. 1, 2023, Fragomen announced Wednesday. Its founder and current chairman, Austin Fragomen, will transition to a chairman emeritus role.
George Washington Fields
Artist: Terry Plater, 2022
George Washington Fields was born into slavery. Majoring in law, he would become Cornell University’s first African American graduate in 1890.
In 1854, he entered the world on a plantation in Hanover Courthouse, the seat of Hanover County, Virginia. During July 5-8, 1863, his mother led her children on a dramatic escape from the plantation to Hampton, Virginia, which was in Union hands. He told the story in his inspiring autobiography, entitled Come On, Children.
He worked at various manual jobs, and then received an education at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute, Class of 1878. More work followed up North, culminating in a long stint as butler for Alonzo Cornell, Governor of New York and son of Ezra.
Next he entered Cornell University as a member of its new law department’s first class in September 1887. The law department was inadequately housed on the fourth floor of Morrill Hall, up under the roof. That building, Cornell’s first new construction, still stands on the southwest corner of the Arts Quad. His graduation photograph from 1890 was the basis of the portrait you now see.
After Cornell, George Washington Fields returned to Hampton, where he became a leading lawyer, and a very successful one, despite being blinded in an 1896 accident. He was prominent in racial matters and a devoted family man until his death in 1932.
Visiting professor, Michael L. Huyghue ’84, advises NFL on diversity hiring.
"For Huyghue, a sports business expert and former NFL general manager, teaching and mentoring at Cornell complement ongoing work he considers the most important of his career – advising the NFL on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in its hiring practices."