Academic Achievement and Bar Success

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The Office of Academic Achievement and Bar Success’s (AABS) mission is to provide instruction, support, mentoring, and well-rounded educational programming to bolster and accelerate the learning process for students of all backgrounds in pursuit of achieving their academic goals. We serve as a resource for students seeking understanding, guidance, and direction as they pursue their legal education. Through the utilization of learning sciences combined with a focus on proactive engagement with students, faculty, and staff, our team helps maximize each individual student’s legal knowledge, skills, and competency while in law school. Additionally, we assist students in preparing for and achieving success on the bar exam through our Bar Support Program.

AABS serves as a resource center focused on enhancing and optimizing the academic and critical thinking skills that underline law school success. AABS offers multiple opportunities for students to identify, strengthen, and leverage their academic skills through individual assistance, group workshops, and formal course offerings. Below is the programming offered through AABS.

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Academic Achievement

Law school is an endeavor like no other, and AJMLS is committed to ensuring that students are provided with the resources and instruction necessary to build a solid legal foundation. Beginning during orientation, AABS is actively involved in helping students develop the required skills and habits to perform well during law school and beyond. The Academic Lab programming kicks off during orientation and continues throughout the first semester, focusing on developing critical skills and methods to engage with doctrinal courses designed to enhance exam performance. In addition, the second semester provides first-year law students with the opportunity to participate in Legal Methods, further refining and reinforcing skills developed during Academic Lab.

Bar Success Programming During Law School

Although most students will spend significant time preparing for the bar exam after graduation, AJMLS students are provided a unique advantage by jumpstarting their bar preparation through a variety of workshops designed to provide helpful insights, develop impactful study strategies, and increase confidence. Additionally, to further support future successful outcomes on the bar exam, the following specialized course offerings based on learning theory and data analytics are offered to students during their second and third years of study. The AABS website is also filled with helpful resources and information to provide students with direction and guidance.

Mastering Legal Principles (‘MLP I/II’)

The “Mastering” series is a set of three courses beginning in the second full-time (or third part-time) year of study designed to enhance student success outcomes on the bar exam. The courses, MLP I and MLP II, provide skill-building, strategies, and opportunities to engage in an intensive review of heavily tested bar exam subjects. Students will apply, practice, and assess the skills learned and legal concepts reviewed by engaging in simulations of the various components of the Multistate Bar Exam (‘MBE’) and through practice essays. Students will gain exposure to and practice with each subject tested on the MBE through Mastering Legal Principles I and II.

Mastering Legal Skills (MLS)

MLS introduces third-year students to the Multistate Performance Test (‘MPT’), a component of the Georgia bar exam and the vast majority of bar exams in other jurisdictions. Through this course, students actively enhance, enrich, and develop analytical skills through multiple assessments, exercises, and formative feedback. Students will receive instruction and practical guidance with regard to improving their individual MPT performances, along with reviewing and discussing strategies to achieve overall success on the written components of bar exams.

Bar Success Programming After Law School

After graduation, alumni are invited to participate in the Bar Success Program. The supplemental bar success program is not intended to be a substitute for a commercial bar review but rather is intended to be an added benefit and support program for alumni sitting and preparing for the upcoming bar exam. The program focuses on engagement, opportunities for improvement, and individual development through a series of panels and workshops, one-on-one coaching with a bar review coach from the AABS team, small group discussions, and experienced guidance in utilizing best practices to achieve success. In addition, AABS provides students with opportunities to engage with alumni who have recently achieved success on the bar exam. This coordinated approach with various institutional resources and a strong partnership with commercial bar review ensures that our alumni are in the best position to experience success on the bar exam.

Bar To Do Checklist

___ Research Bar Exam Information from State Bar Website

___ Review application and fees

___ Gather required application documentation

___ Calendar important deadlines

___ Fill out a petition to graduate form with the Registrar’s Office

___ Submit your Character & Fitness Application

___ Take and pass the MPRE

Scot GoinsAssistant Dean of Academic Achievement
and Bar Studies and Associate Professor of Legal Practice 916-2652
Sharon Phillips-BiondiniAssistant Professor of Legal 916-2648
Nicholas SmithAssistant Professor of Legal Practice and Assistant Director of Academic Achievement and Bar Studies 916-2635