Phoenix School of Law Launches Its “FIRSTClass” Program For Incoming FALL 2013 Students

October 21

Transforming Legal Education…

Phoenix, Arizona (October 21, 2013) – Phoenix School of Law (PSL), an ABA accredited law school, is pleased to announce that, beginning in the fall of this year, it will introduce an innovative first-year curriculum known as the FIRSTClass Program: Full Integration of Real-life Skills with Teaching. The FIRSTClass Program is the perfect combination of innovation and the traditional foundations of legal education.

“PSL has always been a leader in its emphasis on practice-ready skills; however, now we are adding an even greater focus on application as well as acquisition of knowledge.   We want to teach students rules and traditional skills, which are critical for bar success, but we also want to teach the rules in context, so that our course content more closely mirrors practice areas” stated Susan Daicoff, Professor at Phoenix School of Law.
The FIRSTClass Program has two distinct features:
•    “Integration”:  Traditional first year subjects combined with skills training.
•    “Practicum”:  Robust, expanded package of skills-based activities.

PSL, already recognized as one of the top 20 most innovative law schools in the country by National Jurist magazine, was founded on the belief that a program of legal education should incorporate both theoretical and practical applications of the law. This belief came, in part, from an early survey of the Arizona bench and bar conducted by PSL Professors Stephen Gerst and Gerald Hess, which identified the subject matters and skills the state’s lawyers valued in new graduates.  The FIRSTClass program reflects the need for law school graduates to excel in legal writing, communicate well with clients and develop a heightened sense of professionalism.

“We are extremely excited to offer our students a broad base of information and experience from which they can benefit. Our goal is to deliver the tools for our students to be successful not only during their studies at PSL, but also in whichever career path they choose upon graduation. This transformational process continues for us as we begin to enhance our curricula for second and third years of law school as well,” stated Shirley Mays, Dean of Phoenix School of Law. 

About Phoenix School of Law
Phoenix School of Law (also referred to as PhoenixLaw) is a private law school located in the heart of downtown Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 2005, Phoenix School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association, receiving approval in 2007. PhoenixLaw‘s mission is based upon three pillars: 1) commitment to underserved communities; 2) a student-outcome centered educational experience; and 3) supporting programs that allow for practice ready graduates.

  • Clinical Programs: PhoenixLaw houses a Mediation Clinic and other clinical programs designed to develop and enhance practice skills. Courses are offered in trial and appellate practice, mediation and alternative methods of dispute resolution. Clinical methods are used in various courses throughout the curriculum.
  • Externships: PhoenixLaw offers qualified, upper-level students in good academic standing opportunities to participate in a for-credit externship program. Students attend a classroom component that provides a link between the placement setting and the learning process. The dedicated team at the Center for Professional Development (CPD) coordinates and supervises the externship programs.
  • Mentoring Programs: Each student is assigned a faculty member as their mentor. The faculty member helps to guide the student through their law school experience and form a professional relationship that will carry into their future career.
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