Through the entire first year, there are optional weekly Skills Sessions, for each section, designed to support students in developing the skills necessary for excellent work. The sessions track the required first-year doctrinal classes. Topics include preparing for class, case reading and briefing, note taking, outlining, and studying for and taking exams. In addition, the Skills Sessions address time and stress management, study groups, use of study aids, and some doctrinal review.
The Professional Skills Center runs optional review sessions for exams in all required courses, which include doctrinal review and practice exams.
During the first semester (and to a limited extent the second semester as well), individual appointments are available to students to discuss any issue related to their legal education. These appointments are useful for addressing specific problems with doctrine, skills, and generally how law school is going. There will be a sign-up sheet outside the Skills Center (room 305) with the times available for appointments.
Second- and third-year students who have done well academically and have demonstrated an aptitude for instruction are available to work with first-year students individually and in groups. They hold periodic workshops, facilitate guided study group meetings, and meet with students one-on-one. The Graduate Fellows are supervised by Susan Markus.
In the spring semester of first year, David Nadvorney teaches Legal Methods, an intensive academic support class. The class tracks the required second-semester courses, usually Torts, Law and Family Relations, and Contracts. Students work on building and refining academic skills such as course mapping and outlining, class note taking, and extensive exam practice. Enrollment in Legal Methods is limited; students on probation are required to attend; those with first-semester grade point averages of 2.3 - 2.7 are strongly encouraged to attend, and other students are admitted as space permits.