Based on ABA Standard 302, students graduating from the University of Washington’s Juris Doctor program should be able to:

  1. Understand substantive and procedural frameworks. This includes the ability to:
    1. Synthesize information, doctrines, and arguments from a diverse body of sources such as judicial opinions, statutes, regulations, and other relevant materials;
    2. Apply foundational legal principles;
    3. Identify and analyze novel legal questions and ambiguities within the law;
    4. Integrate the application of procedural and substantive law; and
    5. Recognize the roles played by legislative, executive, and judicial actors in the legal and policy-making arenas.
  2. Communicate effectively—both orally and in writing—with a variety of audiences, such as clients, lawyers, judges, other professionals, and the public. This includes the ability to:
    1. Understand that different forms of communication may be more effective for different audiences;
    2. Explain legal arguments and advice in both formal and informal settings;
    3. Draft motions, briefs, memoranda, emails, and other standard forms of written communication; and
    4. Present persuasive arguments during a hearing, mediation, negotiation, or appellate argument.
  3. Provide client-oriented legal services. This includes the ability to:
    1. Listen to and engage with clients to identify objectives and interests;
    2. Counsel clients by assessing, developing, and evaluating both legal and non-legal options to meet client goals;
    3. Engage in appropriate legal research, factual development, and strategic analysis;
    4. Advocate for clients; and
    5. Manage a complex workload diligently, reliably, and within deadlines.
  4. Work collaboratively with others. This includes the ability to:
    1. Give and receive criticism effectively;
    2. Reflect and reassess work on an ongoing basis;
    3. Understand and appreciate the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of clients, colleagues, adversaries, and others; and
    4. Engage in active listening.
  5. Fulfill proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system. This includes the ability to:
    1. Pursue clients’ interests, as guided by the relevant rules of professional responsibility;
    2. Manifest professional and ethical behavior and encourage others to do the same;
    3. Commit to improving the law, access to the legal system, and the quality of service in the legal system; and
    4. Become a person with whom others want to work, always demonstrating a professional, courteous, and civil attitude toward all.
  6. Situate issues in their extra-legal context. This includes the ability to:
    1. Understand the law from diverse and global perspectives;
    2. Recognize the political, social, and economic forces that shape various areas of the law; and
    3. Consider not only the likelihood of an argument or strategy’s legal success, but also the moral, economic, social, political, and other factors implicated by the argument or strategy.

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