Practical Skills Activities



Please note: this section is in continuing development. The activities included in each area are merely suggestions provided by sections or OSB practitioners.

This section provides some suggestions for completing the 6th curriculum requirement: the practical skills activities. Each section has just a few activities listed as suggestions, though the mentor and new lawyer are free to identify any 10 practice area activities that support the goals of the participating new lawyer. They are also free to draw from several practice areas, for their total of 10 activities. Mentors need not participate directly in each activity, but can connect their new lawyers with others in the community who may be particularly suited to a given role.

We also welcome guidance regarding the suggestions to include in this area of the manual. Please feel free to contact the NLMP with recommendations for further activity content.






Administrative Law

  1. Review and discuss the Oregon Administrative Procedures Act.
  2. Review and discuss the Attorney General's Model and Uniform Administrative Rules.
  3. Review and discuss the administrative rules promulgated by the Office of Administrative Hearings.
  4. Review and discuss the Oregon Public Records Law and the Oregon Open Meetings Law.
  5. Meet the Chief Administrative Law Judge and available administrative law judges from the Office of Administrative Hearings.
  6. Attend several types of administrative law contested case hearings which are open to the public.
  7. Participate in or observe an administrative law case from intake through hearing and final order.
  8. Review the OSB Oregon Administrative Law Handbook.
  9. Review the Attorney General's Administrative Law Manual and the Attorney General's Public Records and Meetings Manual.
  10. Review and discuss selected Oregon administrative law appellate case law.
  11. Review and discuss the OSB ethics opinions related to administrative law.


Alternative Dispute Resolution

  1. Review and discuss Oregon statutes on mediation including requirement to screen for potential conflict of interest of mediator.
  2. Discuss the differences between arbitration and mediation and the considerations for using each method of dispute resolution.
  3. Observe, participate in, or prepare for a mediation.
  4. Observe, participate in, or prepare for an arbitration.
  5. Discuss how to prepare a client for mediation or arbitration.


Appellate Practice

  1. Review and discuss the Oregon and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, as applicable.
  2. Attend and observe an appellate argument in the Oregon Supreme Court, the Oregon Court of Appeals, or the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  3. Review and discuss ORS Ch. 138 through ORS 138.504 regarding appeals in criminal cases.
  4. Review and discuss ORS 183.400 and ORS 183.480 to 183.497 regarding judicial review of administrative agency actions.
  5. Review and discuss the Appellate Court Settlement Program.
  6. Review and discuss the Oregon Appellate Court Style Manual.
  7. Attend a CLE on a component of appellate practice (e.g., brief writing, oral argument).
  8. Review and discuss the OSB Appeal and Review CLE.
  9. Review discuss ORS ch. 19 Appeals and those portions of ORS ch. 21 Attorney Fees; Costs and Disbursements, ORS ch. 21 Fees Generally and ORS ch. 22 Bonds and Other Security Deposits related to appeals.
  10. Read and discuss an article or book on oral advocacy or brief writing.
  11. Participate in the drafting of a brief.
  12. Review and discuss the Appellate Practice Section Pro Bono.


Business Law

  1. Discuss the various forms of business entities (corporations, LLCs, partnerships, LLPs, etc.) and the considerations for choosing each one.
  2. Discuss key considerations in choosing Oregon, Delaware, or other jurisdiction for incorporation or organization of new entities.
  3. Draft or review basic documents involved in the formation of a business entity such as Articles of Incorporation, Articles of Organization, Bylaws, Operating Agreements, Partnership Agreements, corporate minutes and resolutions.
  4. Discuss basic blue sky and other securities issues associated with formation of entities.
  5. Conduct blue sky research for a proposed issuance by a private company.
  6. Draft or review Form D and related blue sky notices.
  7. Discuss or review one or more of the following documents commonly developed in a business practice:
    1. shareholders’ agreement;
    2. buy-sell agreement;
    3. stock purchase agreement;
    4. asset purchase agreement;
    5. noncompetition agreement;
    6. security/collateral agreement; or
    7. promissory note.
  8. Participate in the due diligence process for mergers and acquisitions.
  9. Prepare UCC filings.


Civil Litigation

  1. Rules and Pleadings
    1. Review and discuss the local rules of the Federal District Court of Oregon or the Oregon Uniform Trial Court Rules, as applicable, focusing on issues that frequently arise.
    2. Review and discuss the Supplemental Local rules for your county's Circuit Court focusing on issues that frequently arise.
    3. Review and discuss pleading standards.
    4. Participate in preparing a complaint.
    5. Review, discuss and prepare a summons and cause it to be served.
    6. Participate in preparing an answer to complaint, counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint.
    7. Discuss and participate in a “conference” before filing a motion (include why is it required, what constitutes conferral, provision of authorities for one's position, necessity for dispositive motions.)
    8. Discuss the pros and cons of a motion to dismiss in federal court or state court.
    9. Prepare, file, and argue a motion. Review and discuss.
  2. Discovery and Summary Judgment
    1. Prepare for and observe or participate in a discovery planning conference with opposing counsel in a state or federal court case.
    2. Participate in or observe a Rule 16 scheduling conference in the Federal District Court of Oregon.
    3. Participate in or observe a scheduling conference in state court.
    4. Participate in or observe an interview of a witness. Discuss how to take a proper statement from a witness for use at trial.
    5. Discuss common issues of professionalism in a litigation practice including scheduling courtesies, who will produce documents or be deposed first, where will depositions occur, personal attacks in briefs or hearings, proper usage of email and fax communications, returning phone calls, appropriate courtroom conduct by counsel and client, preparation of a client for the courtroom, and others.
    6. Prepare one of the following: a Request for Production of Documents, a Request for Admissions, or, if in Federal Court, a set of Interrogatories.
    7. Prepare a Response to one of the following: a Request for Production of Documents, a Request for Admissions, or if in Federal Court, a Set of Interrogatories.
    8. Discuss the proper preparation of a witness for a deposition and the proper conduct of an attorney taking and defending a deposition.
    9. Participate in the preparation for and the taking of a deposition of a witness or adverse party in a civil.
    10. Participate in the preparation for and defense of a deposition of a witness for your client or of your client in a civil action.
    11. Participate in identifying expert witnesses and producing expert witness reports.
    12. Discuss or participate in preparing motions and memoranda in support of summary judgment in state or federal court.
  3. Trial preparation and trial
    1. Discuss or participate in final trial preparations including preparing pretrial order and making pretrial disclosures of witnesses and exhibits.
    2. Attend to observe or participate in a final pretrial conference in state or federal court.
    3. Participate in an evidentiary hearing in a state or federal court.
    4. Participate in or observe a trial (or significant parts of one) in a civil or criminal case in either a state or federal court.
    5. Discuss the mechanics of trial, including where to be when questioning a witness or addressing the court, proper attire, when to stand, courtroom decorum, addressing opposing counsel, judge’s bench books, etc.


Constitutional Law

  1. Review and discuss the most common federal Constitutional claims used by attorneys in Oregon. This could include one or more of the following:
    1. Rights of communication and expression.
    2. Anti-establishment and religious freedom.
    3. Equal protection and due process.
    4. Privacy.
    5. Search and seizure.
    6. Habeas Corpus.
    7. Supremacy.
  2. Review and discuss how the Oregon Supreme Court interprets and applies the State Constitution and the claims that are used more frequently by practicing attorneys in Oregon. This could include one or more of the following:
    1. First-things-first doctrine and primacy of state constitutional issues.
    2. Independent state constitutional rights.
    3. Interpreting state constitutional provisions.
    4. Expanded rights in criminal proceedings.
    5. Expanded rights of expression.
    6. Impairment of contract, open court and remedies, privileges and immunities, or the religion clauses.
  3. Review and discuss advantages and disadvantages of raising federal constitutional claims in state or federal court.
  4. Review and discuss some of the common issues that arise in claims filed pursuant to Section 1983 of the Civil Rights Act Review and discuss some of the issues related how and where constitutional claims can be raised and what record will be necessary (challenging referendums or initiatives, administrative actions, state statutes, actions by judge during trial, constitutional claims in administrative proceedings, appeals, removal to federal court, referral from federal court to State Supreme Court).


Criminal Litigation

  1. Observe or participate in client interview or in a meeting with a key prosecution witness.
  2. Discuss factors considered by prosecutors in making charging decision.
  3. Participate in charge negotiations between defense counsel and the prosecutor's office.
  4. Participate in making a discovery request in a criminal case, including request for exculpatory materials.
  5. Discuss defense discovery obligations in state cases.
  6. Participate in engagement of private investigator for defense to interview witnesses and discuss the ethical issues involved in the use of state or federal investigators.
  7. Review information or indictment for constitutional and/or pleading defects.
  8. Research elements of crime charged or under investigation; discuss.
  9. Review and discuss pretrial diversion options.
  10. Review and discuss plea in abeyance statute in a particular case and study applicable statute.
  11. Discuss alternatives to prosecution in state cases such as specialty courts, diversion, and civil compromise.
  12. Review and discuss criteria in federal cases for a one- or two-level reduction of offense in a particular case and study applicable statute.
  13. Discuss elements of greater and lesser offenses and range of mandatory and discretionary sentences in a state case.
  14. Participate in discussions about and make or oppose a bail or pretrial release request .
  15. Observe and participate in trial.
  16. Observe and participate in entry of plea in state or federal court.
  17. Review and discuss Presentence Report; participate in filing objections.
  18. Research and participate in analysis of federal sentencing guidelines in particular federal case.
  19. Research and participate in analysis of sentencing guidelines in a particular state case.


Debtor-Creditor/Consumer Law

  1. Discuss and prepare or review a motion for provisional process.
  2. Discuss and prepare or review documents for the appointment of a receiver or an assignment for the benefit of creditors.
  3. Discuss and review statutory and possessory liens and their enforcement.
  4. Discuss and review how to file and enforce a foreign judgment.
  5. Discuss and prepare appropriate documents for garnishment or execution on a judgment.
  6. Discuss fraudulent conveyances and how to challenge or set aside a transfer.
  7. Discuss and review state and federal consumer protection laws including the UTPA, the Fair Debt Collection Act, the Fair Credit Act, TILA, and vehicle “lemon laws” and the claims and defenses they offer.
  8. Discuss and review a standard retail installment contract.
  9. Discuss and review the family expense doctrine.
  10. Observe or participate in a hearing on a consumer law issue.


Environmental Law

  1. Discuss or write a legal memorandum analyzing a significant question under one or more of the following statutory areas: RCRA Hazardous Waste (State and Federal), Solid Waste Management, Storage Tanks, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, NEPA/SEPA, Endangered Species Act, Asbestos Management.
  2. Discuss the obligations under applicable Right-to-Know statutes.
  3. Discuss obligations to report the discovery of preexisting contamination.
  4. Discuss or assist in preparing environmental permits needed for a project under both state and federal laws.
  5. Discuss or prepare a checklist for a multimedia compliance audit for an industrial facility.
  6. Discuss or observe a rulemaking process.
  7. Discuss or write a legal memorandum analyzing Superfund liability.
  8. Discuss or participate in preparation for and management of an agency inspection.
  9. Discuss or review agency penalty policy.


Estate Planning

  1. Participate in drafting and reviewing basic estate planning documents.
  2. Assist in gathering and organizing client information.
  3. Prepare diagrams of specific estate plans for clients.
  4. Prepare estate planning binders for clients.
  5. Participate in drafting and reviewing probate pleadings.
  6. Prepare notice to creditors and arrange for publication.
  7. Prepare the inventory of an estate.


Family Law

  1. Review and discuss the Rules of Civil Procedure, Uniform Trial Court Rules, and applicable Supplemental Local Rules specific to Family Law.
  2. Prepare a petition for dissolution.
  3. Prepare a Statement of Assets and Liabilities
  4. Create a child support worksheet.
  5. Observe or participate in a hearing on motion for temporary orders.
  6. Observe or participate in custody evaluation settlement conference Participate in a collaborative law meeting.
  7. Participate in a mediation.
  8. Observe or participate in a family law trial.
  9. Participate in preparing a premarital agreement or review and discuss statutory requirements, case law, and necessary terms of premarital agreements.


Immigration Law and the Representing of Foreign Nationals in Oregon

  1. Review and discuss the substantive law and procedures related to admission and exclusion.
  2. Review and discuss the substantive law and procedures related to removal, including relief from removal (voluntary departure, prosecutorial discretion, regularization of status, extreme hardship).
  3. Review and discuss the availability of judicial review and habeas corpus on matters related to admission, exclusion and removal.
  4. Review and discuss the most common grounds for seeking admission, delaying removal or changing immigration status to avoid removal. (Could include one or more of the following: creating a business, employment, family, victim of domestic violence or human trafficking, refugee, political asylum).
  5. Review and discuss common legal issues related to advising and representing foreign nationals in Oregon. This could include one or more of the following:
    1. Future impact of a guilty, no contest plea, or criminal conviction on admissibility and removal under immigration law.
    2. Effect of immigration status on right to work, buy land, create a business, serve on a board of directors, and similar matters.
    3. Requirements that employers check immigration status at time of hiring and in response to Social Security mismatch letter, I-9 audit, or other notice to employer from the federal government.
    4. Effect of immigration status on rights of employees under labor protections statutes.
    5. Effect of immigration status on eligibility for various government benefits and the potential impact of seeking benefits on immigration status.
    6. Practical considerations in civil litigation related to discovery or retaliation.
    7. Getting a drivers license and insurance under the REAL ID act.


Intellectual Property and Patent Law

  1. Discuss or participate in patent search/evaluation.
  2. Discuss or participate in drafting and filing a patent application.
  3. Discuss or participate in filing an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS).
  4. Discuss or participate in drafting an Office Action response.
  5. Discuss or participate in a telephone conversation with an Examiner.
  6. Discuss or participate in preparing and drafting an appeal brief.
  7. Discuss and review techniques for successful patent prosecution.
  8. Observe or participate in patent litigation.
  9. Observe or participate in a client interview.
  10. Discuss or participate in trademark search/evaluation.
  11. Discuss or participate in drafting and filing a trademark application.
  12. Discuss or participate in drafting an Office Action response.
  13. Discuss or participate in preparing and drafting an appeal brief.
  14. Discuss and review techniques for successful trademark prosecution.
  15. Discuss or participate in trademark litigation.
  16. Discuss or participate in drafting and filing a copyright application.


Juvenile Law

  1. Dependency cases
    1. Attend a shelter hearing.
    2. Discuss the standards used by DHS for removal in ICWA and non-ICWA cases and reasonable efforts to avoid removal, achieve permanency.
    3. Discuss placement options for children including involvement of relatives and visitation arrangements.
    4. Discuss the role of the court, DHS, the CASA, and the district attorney or department of justice lawyer (and the tribe in ICWA cases).
    5. Attend a jurisdictional hearing and discuss preparation of the parent to testify.
    6. Discuss the grounds for initial and continuing juvenile court jurisdiction and the relationship with “reasonable” or “active” efforts by the state to reunite the family.
    7. Attend a permanency hearing.
    8. Attend a termination of parental rights trial or review a transcript .
    9. Discuss the role of counsel for a child who is capable of considered judgment; discuss best interests representation of a child not capable of considered judgment.
    10. Discuss Special Immigrant Juvenile Status for non-citizen child clients.
  2. Delinquency cases
    1. Discuss formal and informal treatment of juvenile offenders and scope of court’s discretion.
    2. Discuss capacity of juveniles to aid and assist and waive constitutional rights.
    3. Discuss the role of counsel in delinquency cases and the need to follow client directives as in criminal cases.
    4. Discuss pre-petition issues for juveniles, detention, and waiver to criminal court.
    5. Discuss direct and collateral consequences of juvenile adjudications.
    6. Attend a detention hearing.
    7. Attend a jurisdictional hearing.
    8. Attend a dispositional hearing.
    9. Discuss post-dispositional issues.


Labor and Employment

  1. Review and discuss the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries/EEOC administrative process. Review or participate in drafting a charge or the response to a charge.
  2. Participate in or observe the BOLI/EEOC administrative process, including a resolutions conference or an appeal to the Labor Commission.
  3. Participate in drafting or review and discuss a separation or settlement agreement.
  4. Participate in or discuss consultation with management on HR issues.
  5. Prepare for and observe or participate in an unemployment benefits appeal hearing.
  6. Review and discuss an employment law issue, such as a claim under Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or other substantive federal law or its state counterpart.
  7. Discuss or participate in drafting one or more of the following: basic defined contribution plans, including 401(k) plans; basic cafeteria plans; basic umbrella welfare plans; routine amendments to plans; determination letter requests; summary plan descriptions; summary of material modifications and summary annual report; distribution forms.


Legislative and Administrative Lobbying

  1. Discuss and review the roles that an attorney could play in advising or advocating in legislative or administrative lobbying for a client.
  2. Discuss the state and federal laws that require lobbyist to register, the definitions of lobbying, the restrictions on making gifts, and the requirements related to reporting time and certain expenditures.
  3. Discuss and review the characteristics of effective legislative lobbying, including how to make connections with legislators and legislative staff, build credibility and trust, testify, participate in work groups, join coalitions and similar matters.
  4. Attend and, if possible, participate in a legislative hearing.
  5. Discuss and review how to build relationships with agency representatives and the formal and informal ways to influence the agency in its decision-making.
  6. Become familiar with the OSB Public Affairs Program.


Natural Resources/Land Use

  1. Discuss or research a significant question under one or more of the following statutory areas: National Environmental Policy Act/SEPA/CEQA, Endangered Species Act/Marine Mammal Protection Act/Magnunson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Clean Water Act/Rivers and Harbors Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Federal Land Policy and Managements Act/Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act/National Forest Management Act, reclamation Laws/Reclamation Reform Act, state and local land use laws, water rights laws, and wetlands laws, substantive mining and oil and gas laws.
  2. Discuss environmental, natural resources, and local land use permits needed for a project under federal, state, and local laws.
  3. Discuss or assist with the preparation of a permit application at the federal, state or local level.
  4. Discuss or review Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments.
  5. Discuss or participate in due diligence investigations, such as compliance with applicable local land use requirements or existence of water rights.
  6. Discuss or review a property transfer assessment.
  7. Discuss or draft a site access agreement for survey work (legal survey, fish and wildlife survey, wetland delineations, remedial action).


Negotiation

  1. Discuss how to prepare for the negotiation of a legal matter (e.g., release of a personal injury claim, lease agreement, etc.).
  2. Discuss when and how negotiation should be initiated.
  3. Discuss when and how to involve the client in negotiation.
  4. Discuss ethical and professional obligations of negotiators.
  5. Discuss skills needed to be an effective negotiator and how to acquire them.
  6. Observe or participate in a negotiation.


Real Estate Law

  1. Discuss the steps involved in negotiating and completing a commercial real estate transaction.
  2. Draft or review one or more common real estate documents such as real estate purchase agreements, deeds of trust, mortgages, commercial leases, residential leases, Notice of Default.
  3. Discuss the basic provisions of state and federal law affecting real estate and the enforcement of legal rights associated with real estate.
  4. Discuss the taxation of real estate.
  5. Discuss title concepts and issues including marketability of title, priority of interests, forms of ownership, forms of conveyances, recording requirements, statutory and nonstatutory liens and other similar concepts.
  6. Discuss title insurance policy forms, available endorsements and customary insurance and endorsement practices in different transactions.
  7. Discuss distinctions between real and personal property and the methods of transfers of and creation of liens on different asset types.
  8. Discuss easements, reservations, covenants and the enforcement of such rights, common interest ownership options and the applicability of real estate doctrines such as partition.
  9. Discuss survey concepts and issues including metes and bounds legal descriptions, access and title issues presented by surveys.


Securities Regulations

Issuances:

  1. Understand basic premise of registration or qualifying for an exemption from registration (both at a federal and state level).
  2. Become generally familiar with definitions of “security,” “offers,” “sales”.
  3. Learn basics of common exemptions for securities issuances under the Securities Act of 1933
    1. Section 4(2), private placements.
    2. Regulation D, safe harbors.
    3. Section 3(a)(10), exchange transactions.
    4. Section 3(a)(11) and Rule 147, intrastate offerings.
    5. Rule 701, issuances under compensatory plans of non-reporting companies.
  4. Learn basics of common resale exemptions
    1. Section 4(1).
    2. Rule 144, safe harbor.
    3. “Section 4(1-1/2)”, exemption.
  5. Become generally familiar with process of registering securities transaction or company with the SEC.
  6. Become generally familiar with qualification and exemption under Blue Sky laws.

SEC:

  1. Understand general structure of Division of Corporation Finance and the basic SEC review process.
  2. Become generally familiar with SEC website and EDGAR filings, including access to forms, interpretations and company filings.
  3. Understand which forms are typically used for what purposes (S-1, S-3, S-4, S-8, 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K, proxy materials, Schedule 13D and 13G, Form 144)
    1. Review precedents of each.
  4. Review Regulation S-K (heart of SEC disclosure) and incorporation by reference into forms.
  5. Generally understand scope of coverage of Regulation S-X.
  6. Review Regulations FD and G.
  7. Become generally familiar with concept of “materiality”.


Tax Law

  1. Discuss the principal tax considerations associated with various forms of entities (corporations, LLCs, partnerships, limited partnerships, etc.).
  2. Discuss the general tax considerations associated with taxable and tax-free acquisitions and divestitures, equity compensation, like-kind exchanges and the procedures associated with federal and state tax controversies.
  3. Assist with the basic tax tasks associated with entity organizations, including federal EINs, S corporation and OSub elections.
  4. Discuss the tax forms and publications applicable to the basic types of entities.
  5. Analyze and discuss one or more complex tax matters.
  6. Prepare and analyze tax calculations.
  7. Participate in preparing IRS tax forms.