The Academic Success Program exists to help students identify and strengthen their academic abilities and provide assistance to students facing the challenges of law school. Through the collaboration of the law school administration, faculty and students, the Academic Success Program assists students in developing and enhancing the critical skills necessary for success in law school, on the bar exam and in the legal profession.
Guidance from Faculty
Faculty members are available to meet with students outside of the classroom and can provide valuable insight into classroom discussions, points of law and approaches to successful learning. Many professors have open door policies, while others have posted office hours or appointment times. Students should take the initiative to meet each of their professors and be prepared with specific questions or items to be discussed. The UC Davis faculty is dedicated to the academic achievement of its students, and is the most important key to student success.
Tutorial Assistance Program
UC Davis School of Law offers first year students a unique experience by providing 2L and 3L tutors for each first year class. Tutors regularly attend the first year class, hold office hours and obtain instruction from the professor for whom they are tutoring. In addition to substantive law reviews, the tutors assist the Director of Academic Success by providing instruction in the traditional law school study skills: taking notes, briefing cases, outlining courses, and writing essay examinations. The tutors critique the students' briefs and outlines, stressing the legal reasoning process rather than simply commenting on the students' grasp of the substantive law. The tutors also hold group review sessions, provide feedback on practice exams or sometimes just provide a friendly face, a willing ear, and an encouraging word.
Academic Success Resource Center (ASRC)
The ASRC is located in Room 2086 on the second floor of King Hall and open to all students interested in enhancing their academic performance. Resources available include:
- Study aids, commercial outlines and sample practice questions for each required course and many electives.
- Learning styles assessment and study plan development assistance.
- Information Sheets on different aspects of the study of law.
Bar Exam Preparation
Workshops, counseling and graded practice essays are just a few of the Academic Success programs offered for 3L’s preparing to take a state bar exam. Though the Demystifying the Bar Program, workshops and lectures are offered on many substantive law subjects, multiple choice questions, writing bar exam essays and performance tests, and handling time and life management while taking the exam. The Director of Academic Success also provides one-on-one counseling for every 3L in order to design a bar study plan and discuss best practices for bar exam success.
Academic Success Workshops
During fall semester, workshops on case briefing, note-taking, outlining, case analysis and synthesis, and exam preparation are offered for each first year section. 2L and 3L students are welcome to take advantage of these important information sessions as well. In addition, the Academic Success Program provides workshops for all students throughout both semesters, spotlighting important aspects of the study of law including: “A Refresher Course in the Basics of Analysis”, “How to Excel on Multiple Choice Exams”, “Taking it to the Next Level: Going from B’s to A’s”, “Think Critically, Act Quickly: Outlining Exam Questions” and many others. Look for the full schedule at the beginning of each semester.
Sample Practice Exams, Examples and Problems
For some students, it helps the transition from college to law school to think about law school as “practice” rather than another “school”. Why? Because the exams students take in law school tend to present a problematic fact pattern as if a real client had just walked through the office door to tell his story. Therefore, the primary method to prepare for exams is to “practice” through sample exams, examples and explanations and short problems. Most professors offer a midterm, or hand out prior year’s exams for students to review. Faculty members and Tutorial Assistance Program tutors can provide great feedback.
Personal Academic Counseling and Study Plan Assessment
The Director of Academic Success is available to all students for personal academic counseling and study plan assessments. Students at all levels of academic performance can benefit from feedback on practice exams, study plans, time management, course selection, or study group effectiveness. In addition, the Director can help students complete a learning styles assessment which provide students individualized information about their own personal learning style and how best to study, take notes and write exams.