News - Capital University Law School

Capital Announces CapLaw Graduate Success Fund

12/2/2016  -  Capital University Law School’s story has always been about providing greater access to legal education and to the legal profession. To further enhance our efforts to make a legal career a reality for graduates, the Law School has established The CapLaw Graduate Success Fund aimed at promoting success on the bar exam.

Thanks to a generous, multi-year gift from Capital University Law School alumnus Brian W. Brokate, L’ 79, the new Fund will support existing bar resources, while adding some new ones.

“The Law School is fortunate to have dedicated alums such as Brian,” said Rachel M. Janutis, Interim Dean of the Law School. “His support will allow us to raise our bar success efforts to an even higher level.”

One of the first major initiatives supported by the fund will be the creation of a Summer Substance Refresher Lab. The Refresher Lab will be an online interactive program intended to assist students whose performance in a particular foundational course during the first-year of law school indicates difficulty in mastering the material. The Refresher Lab will employ the cutting-edge principle of “spaced-repetition” in assisting students in improving their mastery of substantive areas of law tested on the bar exam. The Refresher Lab will eventually grow to provide assistance with all courses taught in the first year of law school.

The Fund will also support the Core Bar Studies Lecture Series – a collection of videos featuring Capital faculty discussing substantive areas of law tested on the bar exam. Recently, the Law School added several new videos to the library to cover additional bar-tested topics, including equal protection, substantive due process, claim/issue preclusion, character evidence, impeachment, and lay/expert witness testimony.

To support the Law School’s faculty, the Fund will sponsor a series of professional development workshops. These workshops will bring to the Law School experts in pedagogy, test preparation, and bar-tested subjects to help Faculty provide cutting-edge instruction on bar-tested topics in the classroom, provide effective advice on test preparation, and design valid, reliable multiple choice, essay and performance exams which replicate the types of exam questions used by bar examiners.

The Fund will also support the development of a common Law School bank of Multi-State Bar Exam-style questions. Teams of faculty members will work together to create multiple-choice questions that will then be available to any instructor to include in exams and to use as during classes. These questions will supplement the 400 Multi-State Bar Exam MBE questions recently licensed from the National Conference of Bar Examiners for use by students preparing for the bar.

The new initiatives supported by the Fund will augment the Law School’s comprehensive efforts to help students prepare for the exam. In addition to the Law School’s two “for-credit” courses – Advanced Bar Studies and Core Bar studies – the Bar Services department provides a variety of additional offerings for students preparing for the bar.

This year, for example, even prior to the graduation ceremony, Bar Services offered a weeklong program of Multistate Performance Test instruction, practice, and exam-condition testing. During the summer, Bar Services provided numerous substantive strategy/Q&A sessions led by Capital faculty, as well as two commercial law workshops targeted toward students who did not study the material in law school. In addition, students could choose from essay writing workshops, half-day mock exams, and mental health workshops addressing stress management and confidence.

“Preparing students to pass the bar exam remains a key component of the Law School’s long-term strategic plan,” said Dean Janutis. “The new Graduate Success Fund is another big step in achieving our mission.”