The Academic Success Program is designed to teach students the skills they need to be more successful in law school and to begin to prepare them for the bar exam. Through various programs and courses (Fall ASP Workshops, the Spring Academic Success 1L Skills Program, Critical Legal Analysis, Fundamentals of Legal Analysis, and individual academic skills conferencing) the program hopes to teach those students who seek assistance, the skills they need to be successful. The Academic Success Program professors believe that with the right support and opportunities, our students can learn the skills they need to be successful law students and eventually successful lawyers.
Fall ASP Workshop Series for Summer Jumpstart and First Year Students
First Year students are highly encouraged to attend a series of voluntary workshops designed to introduce them to strategies that will assist them in transitioning from their last educational or workplace experience to law school. Workshop topics include: reading and briefing cases, note-taking and learning styles; time management strategies; outlining; exam-writing for essay exams; exam taking techniques for multiple choice exams and exam period time management.
First Year Professor Panel
Each fall, a panel of 1L professors discusses exam-taking skills with the 1L students. The 1L professors give advice on outlining, studying and exam writing. The professors also answer specific questions from students during a question and answer session.
Spring 1L Voluntary Academic Success Skills Program
First year students who need additional assistance after their first semester, are invited to participate in this voluntary program. The spring program consists of a classroom component, short reading assignments and practice exams. The 1L students are also assigned to an ASP Fellow. ASP Fellows are successful upper-class students who review the 1L students' practice exams, provide feedback and act as mentors. The classroom component covers study and exam skills and students have the opportunity to take three practice exams covering materials and skills addressed in the class sessions.
Critical Legal Analysis Course
Critical Legal Analysis is designed for those students who after their first year have a particular GPA or need additional assistance. During Critical Legal Analysis, the focus is on advanced legal reading, analytical and critical thinking skills. Students complete multiple written assignments and receive individualized feedback designed to increase legal problem solving acumen and ability to communicate analysis effectively. Individual conferences will provide opportunities to monitor progress and reflect on legal analysis skill development.
Fundamentals of Legal Analysis
This course is designed to assist 3L students in mastering specific skills needed to successfully prepare for and pass the bar exam. The course introduces students to the three major components of most bar exams: (1) multiple-choice questions; (2) essays; and (3) performance tests. The focus of the course is on improving our students' writing on essays and performance tests through the use of multiple assignments and providing students with feedback and rewrite opportunities. Professors also meet individually with each student to discuss their individual diagnostic exam results and individual bar examination plans. The course also addresses student attitude, stress and time management as they relate to the bar exam.
Individual Student Academic Skills Conferencing
Individual counseling is available to all students regarding their academic performance. Individual conferences are available for all types of students, from those who are struggling to remain in law school to those successful students who are not satisfied with their performance. Feeling overwhelmed? Just can't get all of your reading finished for your courses, concerned about how to take notes or are you worried about getting called on during class? Make an appointment to see Professor Nissen at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison M. Nissen
Clinical Associate Professor of Law
Director of Academic Success
Rutgers School of Law - Camden