Academic Success Program

  • Capital University Law School’s Academic Success Program eases the transition into law school. Because study methods that may have been successful at the undergraduate level may not be as successful in the law school setting, the Academic Success Program offers a wide range of information to help Capital Law students maximize their potential for achievement.

    For Incoming Students
    The Academic Success Program begins with a program for incoming students shortly before fall classes begin and continues throughout the first year of law school. The summer pre-matriculation program takes place during several days and introduces new students to law school. During the program, the students:

    • attend mock class sessions that provide exposure to doctrinal subjects;
    • learn using the Socratic method;
    • take mock final exams;
    • confer with professors about exam performance; and
    • participate in sessions that teach study skills that have led to success for law students in the past.
     

    During the Fall and Spring Semesters
    During the fall and spring semesters, the Academic Success Program hosts a variety of workshops open to all first-year students. The workshops are lecture- and exercise-based and cover topics such as managing time, reading and briefing case law, performing under the Socratic method, note taking, participating in study groups, creating course summaries, conducting legal analysis, managing stress and preparing for exams. In addition, individual skills counseling sessions are available with the Director and Professor of the Academic Success Program to identify study skills that may need further development and to create and execute an individualized plan to achieve academic improvement using those skills.


    Academic Success Program: Spring 2014 Semester
    During the spring semester, the Academic Success Program is conducted by two full-time faculty members: Professors Peggy Cordray and Melinda Molina. The spring program provides students with a mix of structured workshops and individual counseling sessions.

    Workshops
    The workshops give students instruction, exercises, and feedback on critically important skills, including creating outlines, preparing for exams, writing essay exams, and strategies for taking multiple choice exams. These workshops are offered in both the morning and evening to accommodate student schedules. Material from one of the students’ substantive courses (Property II) is used as the basis for practicing the skills, so that the ASP assignments (outlining, exam preparation, exam taking) are directly relevant to the students’ current courses.

    Individual Counseling
    Throughout the semester, each student also has regular one-on-one meetings with his or her ASP professor to address the student’s particular weaknesses and concerns. To facilitate these individual counseling sessions, each student is assigned to a specific ASP professor, which enables the professor to better understand each student’s needs and track each student’s progress. The ASP professors also offer their students additional help in other areas, such as time management.

    The students’ evaluations of the spring program in 2013 were overwhelmingly positive. “I found it helpful to get one-on-one feedback, and it was especially helpful because I felt that the professor genuinely wanted to help me and did not judge me,” said one student. Another student noted, “I learned how to improve my outlining skills.” Many students praised the program’s student-focused approach: the personal sessions were “great” and “very helpful.” As one student said, ASP helped her make the “individual changes [she] needed to improve law school performance.”

    To learn more about the Spring Semester ASP, contact Professor Cordray