Sign in or create a free account to get FREE SHIPPING and DISCOUNTS

The Law Simulation Series: Wills, Trusts, and Estates

  • John K. Hanft
Series / Law Simulation Series
Teaching Materials
The Law Simulation Series is a series of simulated, experiential learning environments designed to provide students with an interactive law office environment suitable for the development and refinement of competencies needed for the real-world legal workplace.

Working as an intern at the Anytown, USA law firm of Murphy, Miller & Dorn, the student will assist one of the office’s attorneys in handling bankruptcy matters for two different clients. Assigned work is part of a supplied Task List that is designed to first indoctrinate and then challenge the student. The simulation provides a realistic environment in which the student may learn how a law office deals with a variety of ethical and substantive legal issues.

The instructor may follow the Task List directly, which will simulate approximately 15-20 hours of work, or customize the assignments by selecting only those client files and/or tasks that relate to the course material. The instructor may also supplement the work by uploading additional tasks, sample forms, and documents.

During their days at the office, students will participate in interviews with avatars of clients and their attorney and will learn, first hand, of the hardships these clients face and how the law office will help them. The student will be tasked with the preparation of forms and plans that will ultimately be filed with the court. Classroom lessons will take on new meaning as the student applies what he has learned to realistic client scenarios. Audio and video files will be available to the student for replay in order to reinforce lessons. In addition, the student will also have access to the firm’s policies and procedures manual and an extensive form bank of the law office’s administrative forms and sample documents.

In order to monitor the student’s work product and provide learning and feedback, conferences with the instructor (referred to in the simulation as the “Supervising Attorney”) are included in the task timeline. The flexibility and multiple uses of the simulation allow for those conference times to be one-on-one, by email, or during class time as an entire class works within the law office environment. An instructor resource center includes rubric/grading guides, links to additional teaching resources and supplemental assignments and projects that can be used to customize the student’s daily assignments.

Among the skills The Law Simulation Series will develop and refine are:
  • Understanding the role of the paralegal in the delivery of legal services
  • Knowledge of the basic principles of law in the course area
  • Ability to understand the purpose of documents and filings and their application to specific client needs
  • Ability to communicate effectively with clients
  • Ability to perform critical analysis of client legal issues
  • Ability to practice effective time management
Read More
Professor Materials
Please sign in or register to view Professor Materials. These materials are only available for validated professor accounts. If you are registering for the first time, validation may take up to 2 business days.
About the authors
John K. Hanft
San Francisco State University College of Extended Learning Paralegal Studies Program

John K. Hanft, Co-Director of the Witkin Legal Institute at Thomson West, has been a member of the California Bar since 1976, and a member of the Witkin staff since 1981. He and his co-director supervise the writing and publication of the Witkin treatises and oversee the programs of the Witkin legal Institute. These include the annual Roger J. Traynor Appellate Moot Court Competition, and annual programs in Oakland, Sacramento, Fresno, San Diego, and Los Angeles, and at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting. Mr. Hanft is the author of Legal Research in California (5th). A presentation he gave on electronic legal research, entitled A Model for Legal Research in the Electronic Age, has been published in 17(3) Legal Reference Services Quarterly 77 (1999). His one hour continuing legal education lecture video, entitled Effective Legal Research, was produced by the Rutter Group in 2001. Mr. Hanft has been a faculty member in the paralegal program at San Francisco State University since 1984, teaching (1) Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning; (2) Legal Research and Writing; and (3) Advanced Legal Research. He frequently appears as a guest lecturer at law schools and law firms. For ten years, Mr. Hanft performed pro bono estate planning for clients of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He received pro bono volunteer awards in 1989 and 1992. Mr. Hanft has a B.A. from Reed College, a J.D. from the University of Oregon, and an M.B.A. in taxation from Golden Gate University.

Product Information
Publication date
Copyright Year
Wills, Trusts, and Estates
Select Format Show Hide
Select Format Hide
Are you a professor?