The Third Year in Practice Program (3YP) provides qualifying students with a unique third-year experience engaging in the actual and simulated practice of law. The 3YP program employs a combination of select courses and field placements, tailored to a student’s professional interests, in order to facilitate a student’s transition into the practice of law. Students can apply for the 3YP program after completion of their first year of law school. Eligibility criteria will include academic performance and a demonstrated commitment to spending one’s third year in practice.
Students admitted to the 3YP program will be required to complete 24 credit hours of experiential courses, including a one semester 5 to 9 credit intensive externship and to enroll in the 3YP Seminar course. In addition, students choose from an array of Skills courses, Legal Drafting courses and Legal Clinic courses to create a fully immersive third year in practice. Admitted students can apply up to 6 credits of experiential courses taken during their second year toward the 24 credit hour requirement. Admitted students are allowed to take up to 21 credits of out-of-classroom courses.
The five components of the 3YP program are described below.
Professional Skills Courses
Professional Skills courses teach fundamental lawyering skills. Professional Skills courses first focus on the purpose and strategic uses of such skills and then require students to employ those skills in a supervised simulated setting. You can see a list of Skills Courses here.
Legal Clinics teach the practice of law through the representation of real clients in a supervised setting. DePaul clinical programs feature a variety of practice areas and allow students to gain experience before state and federal trial courts, state and federal appellate courts, and state and federal administrative agencies. In addition, our clinics offer students transactional experience focusing on the provision of legal counsel. Learn more about DePaul's legal clinics.
Legal Drafting Courses
Legal Drafting courses teach students how to draft the most important legal documents used in a specific practice area. DePaul offers legal drafting courses in a range of areas. Learn more about DePaul’s Legal Drafting courses here.
Externships are an integral part of the 3YP program, allowing students to work off-site spending a significant amount of time working in a multitude of practice areas. The College of Law places students in hundreds of externships each year. Students participating in 3YP will be eligible for select placements in government agencies, law firms, nonprofit organizations and corporations. While Externships will be available to all students, those admitted to the 3YP program will be required to complete a one semester intensive field placement of at least 21 hours per week.
The 3YP Seminar
The 3YP Seminar is a two-credit course required for those students admitted to the 3YP program and complements the 3YP intensive externship. This course will bring together students of different practice interests to further develop the litigation and transactional skills learned in other parts of the 3YP program.