Frequently Asked Questions Academic Success Program FAQs
What is the Academic Success Program?
Through one-to-one work, academic counseling, skills workshops, time management assistance, exam preparation materials, and links to other helpful resources the ASP is a program designed to help every student perform the best he or she can in law school.
Who is the Academic Success Program for?
Any student who wants or needs additional help or guidance.
Are any of the Academic Success Program activities required?
ASP activities are voluntary for all first year students with one exception. Any first year student who is on academic probation in the second semester of the first year, as a result of first semester exams, is required to attend Professor Baker's Analytical Skills Workshop during second semester.
Am I the only first year student who thinks most of first year doesn't make sense?
No, and you won't be the last either. Although we hate to say it because it seems so cliched, the process of "learning to think like a lawyer" is often frustrating, confusing, and exhausting. But, it will all make sense eventually!
I was successful at my career before law school. Why am I having so much trouble now?
Probably because law school requires mastering new skills and ways of thinking (see answer to previous question). Your previous career, while important in shaping the person you are today, called on knowledge and skills you already had. Think back to your first few weeks or months in your previous career. Did it seem as easy then as it did just before you left to come to law school? Probably not because you were new at that career then, just as you are new at lawyering now.
Are there things I can do to help myself?
Sure! There are plenty of things you can do. For example, you might study with a partner or a group. You can work with a course or ASP Teaching Assistant ("TA"). You can go to ASP workshops. You can talk with the professor teaching the course that is giving you trouble. You may be able to get help from an upper year student in a group with which you are affiliated such as APALSA, BLSA, LALSA, OWLS, Queer Caucus, or others. You can look into study aids (but be careful about which ones you use and don't over rely on them). You can also see the ASP Director, Melinda Drew, for help and additional ideas.
Can anyone else help me?
Absolutely. It depends on what other kinds of help you need. For example, you may find talking to a counselor helpful, or you may need some techniques to manage your stress. Or, perhaps you are struggling with a disability, or need testing to determine if you have one. All of these services are available to you. Just see Melinda Drew for accessing these sources.
Will the workload get any easier?
Well, yes in some ways and no in others. Studying law is time consuming and demanding. However, once you master the basics about how to think about law and what you are learning, the process becomes easier but some upper level courses are certainly more difficult than others. And, to get the most out of law school, many students take as many upper level courses as they can, which can keep a student very busy.
Where can I find information about resources to help me?
Here's a partial list, depending on what you need:
- Student Information Handbook
- Academic Success Program Handbook, website, and office
- Bulletin Boards
- Academic and Student Services
- Upper level students