The Verdict is In: Students Praise First Apprenticeship Week

If you ask LSU Law student Robert Hoke, he’ll tell you that Apprenticeship Week is, “Definitely something that every student should experience.”  Hoke was one of over 130 LSU Law students who began the spring 2013 semester early to attend Apprenticeship Week, an innovative and unique new program of legal education at the Law Center.  The program was touted as exciting and relevant to practice.

From January 6 through 10, the program provided students an opportunity to learn about the practical aspects of legal education in focused, task-oriented, small enrollment mini-courses.  Sixteen master lawyers and judges from across the country volunteered their time and talent to provide students with training not generally available in law school courses and usually available only through actual practice experience.

“I visited almost every class,” said LSU Law Chancellor Jack Weiss. “Without exception, I saw excited students and expert faculty intensely discussing the choices real lawyers have to make. On top of that, students and faculty got to know each other at our daily coffees and lunches, and we really had some fun while we were immersed in the law.”

Students who participated in Apprenticeship Week had the following to say:

“In just the first two days I have learned a lot about the ‘ins and outs’ of practicing law that will be relevant immediately after law school. The class explored, in depth, the role of depositions in lawsuits, details about their costs, and ways that I, fresh out of law school, can be effective in a deposition.”
-William Wratee, Managing the Personal Injury Case

“It was great to get an understanding of what it might be like to practice in a mid-size firm, as well as gain insight into how to make a law firm a successful business.”
-Natalie Williams, The Ins and Outs of Mid-Size Firm Practice

“The learn by doing approach this class takes really puts me, and others taking it, at an advantage when we leave the Law Center to not lose our case before we ever present evidence in a case.”
-Dwayne Burrell, The Selection and Persuasion of Your Jury

“I was drawn to Lawyering and the Legislative Process because of my interest in public policy and governmental affairs. This course promises to illustrate how the skills I have gained from both the Law Center and the Manship School combine to influence public policy.”
-Lindsay Rabalais, Lawyering and the Legislative Process

“Professor Hunter has an incredible amount of knowledge about the practical aspects of practicing law in the offshore oil and gas industry. His dedication to this course has ensured that all of us will walk away with the skills to be practice ready.”
-Brooksie Bonvillain, Navigating the Complex Regulatory World of Offshore Leases

“Overall, I think the program was a resounding success. We certainly hope to build on it going forward,” said Chancellor Weiss.

Additional information regarding the Apprenticeship Program, including daily newsletters and a photo gallery, can be found at

Course offerings and visiting faculty included:

Advanced Appellate Brief Writing
Michelle Stratton (’09), Associate, Baker Botts

The Care and Feeding of Expert Witnesses
James Parkerson “Jim” Roy (’76), Managing Member, Brian Colomb, Member (’98), & Andrew J. Quackenbos, Associate, Domengeaux Wright Roy & Edwards, L.L.C.

The Ins & Outs of Mid-Size Firm Practice
Edwin G. Preis, Jr. (‘72), Founding Partner, & Robert M. Kallam (’90) Partner, Preis & Roy PLC

Lawyering and the Legislative Process
Mark D. Boudreaux (’84), Senior Director, Federal Relations ExxonMobil Corporation

Managing the Personal Injury Case
Edward J. Walters, Jr. (’75), Partner, & Darrel Papillion (’94), Partner, Walters, Papillion, Thomas, Cullens, LLC

Navigating the Complex Regulatory World of Offshore Leases
Jonathan A. Hunter (’87), Shareholder, Liskow & Lewis

Negotiating and Drafting the Commercial Lease
Sterling Scott Willis (’83), Partner, Fishman Haygood Phelps Walmsley Willis & Swanson, L.L.P.

The Selection and Persuasion of Your Jury
Timothy F. Daniels (’85), Member, Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC

The Strategy and Drafting of Dispositive Motions
R. Patrick Vance (’75), Partner and Leader, Business & Commercial Litigation Practice Group, Jones Walker

Why Should the Judge Listen to Me? What Makes Judges Read and Hear What Lawyers Say
Honorable Lee H. Rosenthal, United States District Judge, Southern District of Texas & Honorable Elizabeth E. Foote (‘78), United States District Judge, Western District of Louisiana

Workshop on Effective Mediation and Advocacy Skills
Lynne Rothschild Stern, Principal, Louisiana Mediation and Arbitration (LAMA)

Additional information about Apprenticeship Week, along with a photo gallery, can be found at