To help ensure the academic success of first-year students, UND School of Law provides a number of avenues for advice and guidance about studying the law.
Student Academic Success Tools
Beginning with Orientation Week, students learn strategies and skills to help them prepare for class and exams. During orientation, small groups of students are paired with second and third-year law students who can answer any questions that have gone unanswered.
First-Year Lawyering Skills Course
Support continues beyond Orientation. The first-year Lawyering Skills class is, in many ways, a program for academic success, giving each student lessons in legal reasoning, writing, and research. In addition, the School of Law faculty employ an informal "open door" policy and are available to talk with students about study strategies, including study groups, outlining, and preparing for exams.
To supplement these efforts, the School of Law also offers a peer-led Academic Success program. Over the course of the academic year, two upper-level students give monthly presentations to the first-year class on strategies to succeed in law school.The sessions and agendas are briefly outlined below:
Fall Semester Events
Professionalism in the Classroom
- Professionalism throughout law school
- Conduct in the classroom
- Building professional relationships
September (Session 1)
Getting the Most out of Class
- Class preparation
- Reading and synthesizing cases
- How to brief a case
- Being engaged in class
- Study groups
September (Session 2)
- Why outline?
- Outlining Tips
- Outlining with a study group
Studying and Preparing for Exams
- Time management
- Study strategies such as practice questions, commercial study aids, summarizing an outline, creating a checklist, etc.
- Organizing an answer
- Writing and thinking clearly
- Writing and thinking logically
- Common mistakes
- Practice question
The Academic Success presentations continue during the second semester with a focus on adjusting and improving study strategies.
Debriefing fall semester exams: what went right, what went wrong, and how to improve
February & March Review
- Exam Preparation
- Concrete ideas for improving study skills and strategies