The Academic Achievement program at the University of St. Thomas School of Law operates in concert with the mission of the law school, and has a primary goal of supporting students in their quest to excel in law school, and to develop academically and intellectually competent Servant Leaders. There are several facets of that program:
Incoming students are invited to take part in the School of Law's four-day Academic Success Program during First Week Orientation. In just four days, Scott Swanson, Director of Academic Achievement, will lead the class through the different types of work that will be required in a law school semester. The schedule includes:
Case briefs, class preparation, and discussion of case law regarding Homicide.
Continue discussion of Homicide and Defenses.
Create outline of Homicide and Defenses. Create group answer to practice Essay Test question.
Test Preparation and Practice Test (which will be individually critiqued during the early part of the semester, before midterms, so that you can consolidate what your have learned in your first law school testing situation.)
All first year, first semester substantive classes have mid-term examinations. A number of students find that they would like assistance in preparing for first year, first semester midterm exams--in addition to the assistance they have received as a result of their first exam-taking exercise in the Voluntary Academic Success Program. We help those students learn additional organizational skills, review practice exams, and prepare effective outlines for their classes.
Additionally, many students find that they would like additional specific, timely, concrete feedback on the outcome of their mid-term exams—feedback beyond simply the grade. We review exams with those students, help them understand what they have done well, and areas in which they can make improvements.
The Director of Academic Achievement is available to meet with individual students (for specific tutorial assistance) and will larger groups of students who would like assistance in preparation for final exams. That involves a wide range of options, from practicing specific skills to assistance and critiques of particular outline strategies.
The Director of Academic Achievement is available (again, for both individuals and groups) to help students on an ongoing basis with more effective study habits, classroom preparation, and ongoing assistance in understanding the substantive materials in their classroom work.
There are a few students who, for a variety of reasons, have a difficult time performing up to their own expectations in law school. We pride ourselves in providing support for those people, and will work in any way we can to make sure that law school is a productive experience.
The law school currently provides a seminar-sized class that works with third year students who identify themselves as students who continue to have concerns about their academic performance, particularly as it relates to taking and passing a bar exam.
Additionally, for those who do not take this class, the school provides an informal summer program for graduates that emphasizes the skills necessary to pass the bar exam. That program is available to all students. Samples of past Bar Prep Class Sessions.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Scott Swanson, Director of Academic Achievement.