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Academic Success

The Law School Academic Success Program provides assistance to students who need additional support in developing their writing, studying, and/or analytical skills. The program is administered by the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success. The Academic Success Program helps students work on skills such as time management, case reading and briefing, case analysis and analytical reasoning, and legal argumentation. It also assists students with study techniques, class preparation, outlining, and exam preparation and exam writing techniques. Although the program is open to all students, it is required of all entering 1L students. The Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success is also available to meet with all students to discuss their plans for academic success. 

The Academic Success Program provides academic support assistance in both group and individual sessions. Active participation in the program is considered by the Academic Standards and Student Appeals Committee in the event a student is academically disqualified and seeks readmission.

To learn more about the Academic Success Program, contact Assist. Dean Justin Dion, Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success and Professor of Legal Skills, at justin.dion@law.wne.edu

Academic Warning - The “academic warning” status is informational to assist students in achieving academic success and is an internal designation only that is not noted on students’ transcripts.  At the end of every first-year semester for full-time students and every first- and second-year semester for part-time students, a student will be placed on academic warning if either of the following conditions exist: 1. the student’s cumulative final grade point average for all of the following courses taken as of that date is at or below 2.67: Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Property, Torts, and Lawyering Skills; or 2. the student has one or more final grades below a “C+” in Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Property, or Torts.

If on Academic Warning, you will meet with the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success and develop a personal academic success plan.  During the meeting, you should (i) evaluate your class preparations, exam preparations, and exam performance; (ii) determine specific steps you can take to produce improvement; and (iii) review larger strategies to be successful in law school, on the bar exam, and ultimately in the legal profession.  Improvement requires hard work, however rest assured you have all the resources and guidance you need for improvement and success. 

Academic Warning requirements include:

  1. Regular Meetings with the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success - You should meet to discuss your personal academic success plan a minimum of two (2) times each semester – (i) at the beginning of the academic semester, (ii) mid-way through the semester (at least three weeks prior to final exams).  It is your responsibility to schedule meetings by emailing justin.dion@law.wne.edu.  

  2. Academic Advising, Class Selection, and Schedule Approval - After considering your individual academic needs and professional goals, you will work with the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success will formulate a curriculum plan that supports law school and bar exam success.  Course selection will be approved after we have a chance to discuss and review your academic options.   In addition to your required courses, and in order to best prepare you for success in law school and the bar exam, the Academic Support Program requires that you also take and pass the following two course requirements: (Part I) Legal Writing and Analysis requirement, and (PART II) three (3) upper-level bar exam topic courses.

    PART I. LAW678 or LAW679 - Legal Writing and Analysis (2 Credits) - This limited-enrollment, two-credit course is designed to provide in-depth training in legal reasoning for law school exams, the bar exam, and legal practice. This course is intended to benefit students who wish to improve their legal analysis skills; improve their exam performance; and prepare for bar-related performance exams. The course will encourage students to learn how to apply substantive law in the context of performance tests. This course addresses how to prepare for and take essay and performance exams; prepare a course study outline; synthesize and formulate a rule of law from one or more legal authorities; place a rule in a rule-structure; analyze application of the rule to a set of facts; and organize legal discussion of that analysis. Students will receive guidance and feedback on all written work from the professor about ways to improve their legal reasoning skills. The final grade is based on two performance exams and other small projects, assignments, and quizzes. (Limit to 16) (This course counts towards the upper-level writing requirement.).  You can take either LAW678 (Fall) or LAW679 (Spring).


     PART II. -Choose Any Three (3) Upper-Level Elective Bar Exam Relevant Courses from the Following 

     1. Real Estate (this requirement can be satisfied by taking LAW998 Real Estate Survey; LAW694
         Conveyancing; or LAW730 Real Estate Financing);

     2. Uniform Commercial Code (this requirement can be satisfied by taking either LAW670 Uniform
         Commercial Code Survey; LAW746 Secured Transactions; or LAW744 Sales);    

     3. Criminal Procedure (this requirement can be satisfied by taking LAW784 Criminal Procedure Survey;
          LAW796 Criminal Procedure Adjudication; or LAW706 Criminal Procedure: Investigations);

     4. Trust and Estates LAW748; and

     5. Additional Bar Exam Relevant Courses (Family Law LAW748 or First Amendment Rights LAW716).  


Individual Counseling

Dean Dion is available to meet with and counsel students at any time regarding study techniques, time management, supplemental materials, study groups, and other matters related to academic progress.

At the end of the first year, those students placed on academic warning status, whose academic performance is sufficient for advancement but in need of improvement, meet individually with Dean Dion to form a course and study plan for the coming year, and have periodic support meetings to check on progress.

Resource Room

The first floor Center for Academic Success and Bar Programs reading room provides a variety of helpful study aids for student use.