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Academic Success Programs

To achieve the twin goals of ensuring academic success and increasing one’s likelihood of passing the Bar exam, the Office of Academic Success offers a variety of programs.

Academic Skills Program

First year students are invited to apply to participate in the Academic Skills Program. Under this program, first year students meet in organized study groups for one hour per week for each of their substantive courses. The study groups are facilitated by successful third year students, referred to as Dean's Scholars, who focus on legal analysis and exam preparation. Through weekly discussions and constant exposure to exam-type questions, students are better able to make the transition to law school learning. In addition to offering weekly study sessions, Dean’s Scholars hold weekly office hours open to all first year students. During this time, the Dean’s Scholar is available for individual mentoring and study skills assistance. In addition, Dean’s Scholars administer and critique sample exam questions throughout the semester as well as one full practice exam at the end of the semester.

Study Skills Workshops
Study skills workshops are designed to provide assistance to law students as they acquire the skills that are necessary to be a good law student. Each semester, the Office of Academic Success encourages all first year students to attend a series of workshops. The workshops, which focus on study skills, range from briefing to time and stress management to exam preparation. Skills workshops are offered to upper level students as well. Significant emphasis is placed on exam writing and legal writing style.

Individual Tutoring and Mentoring Sessions
Individual skills-mentoring is available to provide additional learning resources to those students who are need additional help in writing and analytical skills. Danielle Bifulci Kocal, Director of the Academic Success Program (ASP), and Elizabeth Corwin, Associate Director of ASP, are available to provide such assistance to such students. Students with a GPA below a 2.8 are strongly encouraged to meet with either professor on a regular basis. Students who take advantage of this assistance often see a great improvement in their legal writing and analysis and, subsequently, their academic performance.

Principles of Legal Analysis
This course is designed to increase the analytical skills of second year students with an eye toward increasing their GPA and assuring a greater likelihood of success on the Bar Examination. The course, which is required for those students who do not perform well during their first year of law school, is designed to assist students in developing their writing and analytical skills.  Students are required to produce several written assignments, and will receive individual feedback throughout the semester.

Advanced Analytical Skills
Pace Law School is proud to be among the first law schools in the country to offer a for-credit supplemental Bar preparation course. Advanced Analytical Skills builds on the analytical, writing and organizational skills necessary to enhance a student’s ability to prepare for the Bar exam. Students will become thoroughly familiar with the format and components of the Bar exam. Students will review and outline some substantive topics, learn methods by which to review the tested areas of law, write outlines, complete practice essays, complete Multistate Performance Test questions, multiple choice exam questions and receive feedback on written answers.

Students will learn to apply the critical skill of legal analysis writing. They will improve their ability to analyze facts, use legal authorities to identify the issues and sub-issues presented by a problem, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of legal arguments. Students’ writing skills will be developed through an emphasis on audience assessment and attention to legal and factual analytical reasoning. Memorization skills, time management and stress management techniques will also be taught.

Bar Preparation Workshops
In addition to the Advanced Analytical Skills course, the Academic Success Program also offers a series of workshops for third and fourth-year students during the spring semester, geared towards preparing them for the different components of the Bar Exam.  Workshop topics include The Nuts and Bolts of the NY Bar Exam, The MPT Explained and Making the MBE Your Strong Point.

Supplemental Bar Skills Program (SBSP)
SBSP is a four-week program that runs concurrently with the commercial bar review course you will be taking post-graduation.  SBSP involves four one-hour classes and a minimum of four essays submitted for review. During the sessions, we will be going over test-taking skills and strategies that will help you as you learn the substantive law. On your assignments, you will be getting substantial feedback from two graders, with rubrics that are either directly from the bar examiners, or very similar to the style of those used by the examiners. SBSP has proven to be a very successful program in helping students pass the bar exam on their first try.