Male law student

Academic Success

Academic Success: Your success is our success Success

We take a holistic approach to your education at WNE Law, and provide access to the resources you need to be successful in law school, on the bar exam, and ultimately in the legal profession.  Working together as a team (which includes Admissions, the Deans and Administration, the Library Staff, and the Faculty) we work collaboratively to promote your success.  Attorney Justin Dion is the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success, as well as Professor of Legal Skills, and helps you utilize our Academic Success resources, some of which are outlined here.  Dean Dion can also be reached at  justin.dion@law.wne.edu.

Pre-Matriculation

Before the start of your law school experience, students enroll in a class called “Lawyering Fundamentals” over the summer before the start of law school.  Lawyering Fundamentals prepares new law students for success in law school. The two-week optional online course includes classes in which you are introduced to analytical reading, case briefing, outlining, essay writing and other learning success strategies.  Students are given opportunities to reflect on the ways they learn best, as well as how to track their progress and self-evaluate.  The course demystifies the law school teaching methods to help students acclimate more quickly and succeed in law school.

Academic Support During 1L Year

1L Academic Success Support includes the following resources available to all students:

  • 1L Course Supplemental Support Materials – Students have access to outlines, study materials, bar exam materials/questions to help supplement the materials they are using in class;
  • Access to Writing Coach - Attorney Katharine (“Kat”) Shove is our adjunct writing coach, and is available to give personalized writing feedback on how to improve a student’s legal writing;
  • Required Academic Success Course – All first-year students are required to take a one (1) credit first semester course that focuses on acclimation to law school and on developing the specific skills needed for academic and bar success. This course also assigns each 1L student to an upper level student mentor to provide additional support during the first semester;
  • Personalized Academic Success Counseling - The Dean of Academic and Bar Success is available and works with students individually to help build/reinforce study skills; and
  • Academic Warning and Supplemental Academic Support – As a safety net, if after the first semester a student shows signs of struggling with (i) a GPA of 2.67 or less; or (ii) less than C+ in any of their first semester 1L doctrinal law courses, the student will receive additional support as follows:
           1. the students must attend regular meetings with the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar     
              Success to discuss study skill adjustments needed, as well as what classes are recommended
              going forward;
          2. prior to graduation, the students must take at least three (3) “bar exam” relevant upper level
              elective courses from a provided course menu;
          3. enroll in the Legal Writing and Analysis course (LAWW678) which is designed to strengthen   
              writing, legal analysis, and exam performance;
          4. enroll in our Academic Enrichment Workshop series (LAW777), which is designed to reinforce 
              academic success foundations, such as case briefing, utilization of study groups, and how to 
              maximize exam practice feedback; and
          5. during the summer between 1L and 2L year, students are required to take a multiple-choice bar
              exam simulation. Although not awarded academic credit, the results provide students and the
              Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success with data regarding doctrinal areas of strength
              and weakness that can be used to make decisions about academic improvement.

Academic Support During 2L Year

  • Legal Writing Course - All 2L students are encouraged to enroll in the Legal Writing and Analysis (LAWW678) class. This is a two (2) credit writing elective course that focuses on writing and analytical strategies exclusively utilizing Multistate Essay Exams (“MEE”) and Multistate Performance Tests (“MPT”), with personalized feedback.
  • 2L Course Supplemental Support Materials - Students will be provided upper level outlines, study materials, bar materials/questions to help supplement class notes and readings.
  • Access to Writing Coach - Students continue to have access to the Writing Coach to give personalized writing feedback on how to improve legal writing.
  • Personalized Academic Success Counseling - The Dean of Academic and Bar Success continues to be available work with students to help build /reinforce study skills.

Academic Support During 3L Year

  • Bar Exam Preparatory Courses - Each student is required to pass two required bar exam preparatory courses, each for two credits, that focus on content, structure, strategy, and analysis of MBE, MEE and MPT bar exam questions.
  • Extended Bar Mentorship Program - Graduating students are paired with recent WNE graduates who passed the bar exam for an extended mentorship that runs from January through the July bar exam.
  • Access to Writing Coach - Students continue to have access to the Writing Coach to give personalized writing feedback on how to improve a student’s legal writing.
  • Personalized Academic Success Counseling - The Dean of Academic and Bar Success continues to work with students individually to help build/reinforce study skills and bar exam preparation.

Academic and Bar Support After Graduation

Our investment in your success continues even after graduation.  Post-Graduation Academic Success Support includes (in addition to the graduate’s summer commercial bar exam preparation program) the following:

  • Supplemental Doctrinal Law Reinforcement Sessions - The Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success has regular summer meetings/sessions to reinforce doctrinal areas of particular complexity;
  • Family and Friends Bar Exam Support Session - The Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success runs a session for families to help maximize a supportive environment for their bar taker;
  • Access to Writing Coach – Graduated students continue to have access to the Writing Coach to give personalized writing feedback on how to improve a student’s legal writing for the bar exam;
  • Extended Bar Mentorship Program - Graduated students were paired with recent WNE graduates who passed the bar exam for an extended mentorship that runs from January through the July bar exam and;
  • Counseling - The Dean of Academic and Bar Success will continue to work with graduated students individually to help build/reinforce bar success skills.

 

Contact Information

Justin Dion

Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Success

Professor of Legal Skills

Blake Law Center, Room 118

413-782-1751
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