FAQ for Academic Achievement

What is the Office of Academic Achievement, and what assistance do you offer students?

The Office of Academic Achievement (OAA) is a learning resource center located on the 7h floor Faculty Suite in the 1430 building. OAA is dedicated to preparing students to succeed in the classroom, on exams, and, ultimately, to pass the Bar examination upon graduation. The Assistant Dean and the Director of the Office of Academic Achievement are available to serve the academic support needs of the AJMLS students and alumni. Their services are designed to sharpen students’ academic skills such as critical reading, critical thinking, logical reasoning, legal analysis, exam writing, and understanding doctrinal material. They also work with students to help set and achieve academic goals.

Do you offer one-on-one tutoring?

The Office of Academic Achievement provides academic counseling. one-on-one tutoring is available to students upon request, or if a student is referred by faculty.

What are the OAA Facilitated Study Sessions?

The OAA Facilitated Study Sessions are facilitated study groups. The facilitators do not teach substantive law, but facilitate and moderate discussion among the student participants based upon hypotheticals the professors provide. The OAA Facilitated Study Sessions take place midway through the semester and are 90 minutes in length. The calendar is published on the OAA web page.

All 1L’s (and Part-Time 2L’s) are invited to participate in the facilitated study groups offered for each doctrinal course. These courses include: Contracts, Civil Procedure, and Torts. The upper-level course for advanced full-time and part-time students is dependent upon Professor interest. The Study Groups are organized by substantive area of law and professor, so students engage in thoughtful discussion with their fellow classmates.

Professors in the covered courses work with an assigned upper-class student who serves as the Study Group Facilitator. The professors provide hypothetical questions and direction through the professor’s selected material. These Study Groups provide students an opportunity to gain insight into a professor’s expectations. The Study Groups also allow students to work collectively to develop and reinforce areas of understanding, as well as to identify gaps in knowledge before the exam. Successful students use the discussions from their Study Groups to formulate well-reasoned questions to ask faculty during office hours.

Since the Study Session leaders can only facilitate these sessions, do you provide assistance to students for the substantive portions of their classes outside of the study sessions, or just general study tips?

Students should defer to their doctrinal professors for clarification of substantive material. However, OAA is available to guide students through formulating and articulating responsive answers to doctrinal exercises, and to assist with general study tips.

What is the Professional and Academic Success Seminar (P.A.S.S.) program?

The Professional and Academic Success Seminar (P.A.S.S.) program is a required course for all incoming, first-year students their first semester of law school. The course trains students in the academic skills needed to maximize their academic performance. Students will practice and develop competencies in critical reading, case briefing, logic and legal analysis, note-taking, creating course outlines, and strategies and tactics for approaching multiple-choice and essay exams. The course also emphasizes developing effective study habits, and time management. P.A.S.S. program is a skills only course, and is separate from your doctrinal courses. It coincides with the material that is taught in those first-year required courses and acts as a laboratory.

The PASS course for part-time students will follow a separately published schedule.

Do you offer Bar examination preparatory resources?

The OAA provides students with Bar examination preparatory resources. The Advanced Bar Studies course is offered to students in their final semester. The course covers Bar examination test-taking strategies and skills.

Do you provide support to 1L’s for their Legal Writing, Research, & Advocacy (LWRA) courses?

The OAA provides writing skills assistance to first-year law students only by referral from their LWRA professor. The Office does not review drafts or guide students through research; however, assistance can be offered to students to help them process and review the faculty critique of their work once the assignment is completed and returned.

How accessible are you to the 1L, part-time students?

The OAA is accessible to all students, and offers evening and weekend office hours by appointment.

If my first semester test scores are unsatisfactory, what assistance can you provide to help me improve my test scores?

The OAA works with students to sharpen academic skills such as critical reading, critical thinking, logic and analysis, and essay writing through structured exercises. In addition to skills development, the Office works with students to help them to process and organize doctrinal material and to develop academic success plans.

Is the Office of Academic Achievement available for all students, or just 1L students?

The OAA welcomes all students.

(updated 7/23/15)