Gain Access to Personalized Support Heading link
The Office of Academic Achievement and Bar Preparation offers personalized support to law students at any stage in their law school journey. One-on-one academic advising can be used as either an intervention or a preventative measure to keep students on track. Individualized study plans and strategies are provided to individuals seeking support, as well as assistance with course scheduling. Students can meet with any Academic Achievement staff by appointment or by stopping by their offices.
Helpful Classroom Tips Heading link
The Office of Academic Achievement hosts programs throughout each semester on outlining, essay exam writing, and class preparation. Check out the tabs below for more information on study techniques:
Preparing For Class
Use a “road map” for your reading assignments:
- Before you read the assignment, look at the chapter headings and table of contents in the case book to get a sense of where this topic fits in the overall course.
- Skim study aids covering the topic prior to reading your assignment.
READ assigned cases:
- Read carefully and critically. Read your assignment twice: once without taking notes or briefing; then brief or take notes during the second reading.
- Don’t skim.
- Don’t read while tired or distracted.
Use a law dictionary as you read through your assignment:
- Stop when you come to words you don’t understand and look them up – write definition in margin of book if it’s helpful.
- Briefly state essential facts.
- State judgment or decision in trial court.
- State issue(s) raised on appeal.
- State the disposition on appeal and the rule of the case.
- Rationale – why did the court arrive at that holding.
Don’t book Brief during your first year of law school!
What To Do In Class
Go to class.
- Don’t check e-mail, surf the internet or play games.
- Listen attentively and write down relevant information.
- Accentuate the rules of law and their elements as your professor mentions them (underline them or highlight them to mark their importance).
- Put the pages numbers of the cases next to your briefs so that you can refer back easily.
- Write down the hypotheticals and answers your professors give in class. These may show up again on the final exam.
- If you professor writes something on the board, put it in your notes.
- Make notes on the professor’s opinions on how issues could have been handled differently or the social policy on the issues.
Pay attention for summaries.
- If your professor repeats something, make sure you put it in your notes.
- It may seem uncomfortable at first, but this is one of the best ways to learn a subject and it teaches you how to argue like a lawyer
- Consider both sides and make your own judgment
- Answer open questions or hypotheticals
After Class Follow Up
- Review your notes. Review and organize your notes within 24-48 hours after your class.
- Fill any gaps in your notes by discussing them with classmates or your professor.
- If you don’t understand something, make an appointment with your professor to go over it as soon as possible.
- If you add information to your notes after class, use a different color ink to separate class notes from review information.
- SAVE REGULARLY!!!! Keep handwritten notes in a notebook or copy them or back up your computer regularly.
- Summarize your notes when you come to the end of a section or chapter.