Academic Success Program
Our robust Academic Success Program (ASP) provides guidance and support for all students, from before the first day of classes through the bar exam. There is something for everyone.
One of the key strengths of our Academic Success Program is the instructional methodology we developed to improve the learning process. We provide students with learning strategies on how best to study legal concepts while simultaneously learning legal theory. Our unique program empowers students to develop important writing, study, and self-assessment skills. They will use these skills in law school and throughout their professional careers. Through a combination of our Learning Skills course, subject specific workshops, the use of Learning Assistants, and the support of our ASP team, TJSL offers students a legal education that is both innovative and comprehensive. ASP teaches students not only what to study but how to study.
Pre-Orientation Assessment and Support
Your legal education begins before the Week One orientation program with an initial course in the basic skills you need to succeed in law school. This two-week, asynchronous course is presented in partnership with BARBRI® and will instruct new students on how to prepare for class, read and brief cases, create an outline, and write in IRAC format. Students also participate in a doctrinal class session to become familiar with the Socratic method. These lessons will lay a foundation that will be built upon during the following Week One orientation and Learning Skills course.
Additionally, students will complete a program that focuses on grammar for use in the legal context. This online program is geared toward preparing students for legal writing, and it helps students assess their strengths and areas for improvement. For students who discover they need additional support, the online program will continue to be accessible for the entirety of your first year of law school and the ASP team can recommend additional resources you are likely to find beneficial.
Week One (Orientation)
Starting before regular law school classes, our innovative Week One orientation program helps prepare students for the demands of law school by further explaining and sharpening basic law school skills. The mandatory Week One program helps bridge the gap between undergraduate studies and the demanding reading, analysis, and writing required in law school.
During Week One, students participate in sessions to learn strategies for approaching their doctrinal coursework. These sessions are led by TJSL’s ASP professors who are knowledgeable about what it takes to succeed in law school. Students learn how to read case law and write case briefs and how to prepare for law school exams. They also take a simulated law school exam where they receive graded feedback. Because of this intensive introduction to law school, students begin the academic year with confidence in their ability to succeed and an understanding of the basic skills necessary to do so.
The Week One orientation experience continues through the first semester with our Learning Skills course, which is required for all first semester students. Learning Skills helps prepare students for success throughout their legal careers by focusing on how to study and learn the law. Through weekly class meetings, students have the opportunity to practice new strategies and approaches for reading and writing for law school and for preparing and studying for law school exams. Learning Skills also gives students the opportunity to reflect on their studies and to receive regular feedback on study materials and simulated exams.
Mentoring, Counseling, and Academic Support Throughout Law School
Ongoing academic support is provided to all students, whether they are in their first or final semester, through individual counseling and feedback from ASP faculty to help students succeed. We meet with students individually and in small groups to address concerns, to plan approaches to tackling law school course work, and to celebrate student success.
Workshops and mentoring are also made available to all students as they prepare for exams they will take throughout their law school career – both those required as part of the courses they are enrolled in as well as for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, which is a requirement for licensure in California for all applicants.
Academic Probation and Referral Services
Students may be referred to ASP any time during law school. Referrals can come from any source, including course and seminar professors or based on exam performance.
Students who underperform in their courses may be required to participate in workshops designed to enhance analytical writing and test-taking skills. Students who find themselves in this position may also be required to establish regular meetings with ASP faculty to assist in getting their grades back on track.
Most first-year courses at TJSL have midterm exams, so students get individual assessment and personal feedback to help prepare well before finals. If students do not perform to expectations on their midterms, they can schedule appointments with ASP faculty to review and re-write their midterms so that they can better understand what they need to correct in order to prepare appropriately for final exams.