two professors with student in faculty lounge

Academic Excellence Program

The Academic Excellence program provides academic support to law students during all three years (or four years, if part-time) of their legal education. All students are invited to enroll in any of the Academic Excellence workshops or courses, attend structured study groups, borrow materials from the Study Room, or request an individual one-on-one appointment. For more information about the program or to schedule an individual appointment, email the Director of Academic Excellence.

Workshops and Courses

Legal Skills I

Legal Skills I is an optional, no-credit course available to first-year students during the fall semester. Legal Skills I provides first-year law students with an overview of the legal system and helps students develop the lawyering skills necessary to be successful in both law school and in legal practice. Students will be exposed to case briefing and the IRAC formula of legal analysis. Students will also learn how to develop detailed outlines to aid studying and prepare to take law school exams.

Legal Skills II

Legal Skills II, offered in the spring semester of the first-year, builds upon the techniques introduced in Legal Skills I. Students receive additional, supplemental instruction on rule synthesis, legal application, course outlining, exam preparation, and time management.

Advanced Legal Reasoning

This two-credit, fall course is designed to provide in-depth training in legal reasoning for law school exams, the bar exam, and legal practice. The course will encourage students to learn how to apply substantive law in the context of a Performance Test. The course is geared toward second year students, and is designed to serve as a bridge between learning substantive law in the first year and completing Core Competencies during a student's final year. Students will receive guidance and feedback on all written work from the professor about ways to improve their legal reasoning skills. The final grade is based on two performance exams and numerous small projects, assignments, and quizzes. 

Study Sessions

Structured Study Groups, Peer Tutors

Each year the Academic Excellence Program recruits academically successful upper-level students to serve as Academic Excellence Peer Tutors. Peer Tutors agree to assist other law students by holding weekly Structured Study Groups, during which the Peer Tutor helps the group review their class notes, practice rule synthesis, and develop application skills through analyzing complex hypotheticals.

Individualized Sessions

Don't like group work? Want some individual attention? Simply email the Director of Academic Excellence to schedule an individual appointment to discuss your case briefs, class notes, outlines, study habits, time management, stress management, or even just law school in general. The Director is available to meet any time, including: during regular business hours, on nights and weekends, and even during the summer!

Additional Resources

Study Room

The Academic Excellence Study Room, located in Room 128 of the Law School, is stocked with hundreds of study guides, including: hornbooks; flashcards; commercial outlines; practice exams; and even digital media, such as online tutorials, CDs, and DVDs. Students may borrow these resources, free of charge, throughout the year.

Blackboard Learning Management System

All law students are automatically enrolled in the Academic Excellence Community Blackboard page. The Blackboard page has tons of free outline templates, study guides, study group schedules, and numerous other tips for law school success.