This is part 2 of a 3 part series of my Solo Practice University Review. In the first part of my review, I provided an overview of the services offered. This post covers the substantive courses I took during my time at SPU.
Essentials of Family Law – John Harding
(Certified Family Law Specialist in California)
John Harding provides a detailed overview of many topics that recur in the areas of family law. His introductory lesson provides a nice discussion about how in his mind family lawyers are likely to advise clients on many different areas of the law, not just family law. Mr. Harding goes into detail about the various steps of handling a family law case. The lessons cover the basics of divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal support. Later lessons discuss issues involved with hiring experts to help with complex cases.
Child Custody: Start to finish…is there an end?? – Katherine Frye
(Certified Family Law Specialist in North Carolina)
Ms. Frye focuses exclusively on the area of child custody so her class is best viewed in conjunction with Mr. Harding’s class discussed above. This is my favorite class so far because Ms. Frye provides tons of examples from her own practice on dealing with clients and her general approach to practice. Her course inspired me because it confirmed that it is possible to have a family law practice without all the drama that lawyers associate with family law if you control and select your clients properly.
Prosecuting and Defending (and avoiding) Legal Malpractice Claims – Brooks Schuelke
Mr. Schuelke provides detailed information about the types of malpractice claims that are usually brought. His course will be useful if you are considering taking on malpractice cases against attorneys because it details all the work that is involved and what you have to prove. I viewed this course primarily as a tool to recognize malpractice risks and learn to minimize that risk. The course includes a lot of great information for this purpose, including information about the areas of the law that see the most malpractice claims and what form those claims usually take.
Criminal Law 101 – Marc Garfinkle
(Criminal and Civil Trial Lawyer in New Jersey)
Because every one of us has had some significant exposure to criminal law and procedure in law school, the course here focuses on areas not usually covered in law school. The first class provides a nice overview of the type of work one can expect from a criminal practice. Class two on building a client base provides an overview of networking. While much of this is covered elsewhere on the web site, there is some great criminal-law centric information.
Class three focuses on the initial interview with clients through numerous acted out scenarios between Mr. Garfinkle and his female assistant acting as the client. Class four focuses on the jailhouse visit that is necessary to dealing with a client sometimes. This class goes into detail on the sorts of things that you are likely to be asked by the client when you visit him in jail as well as unique considerations to ensure that the jailhouse visit isn’t overly inconvenient. At the time of this review, there were only four classes for this topic although future courses will cover bail and the courthouse experience.
There are many more courses available in other areas of the law.
I only watched the videos for substantive areas that I thought would be potentially useful to my practice areas of interest. There are many more areas available on the SPU for subscribers to watch and absorb. You can view the full list in the courses tab before signing up. I spent the majority of my time viewing courses in the areas of marketing and management. A review of those courses will follow in Part 3.