First Year Programs

Orientation – First Year Academic Skills Program

Two days in the 1L orientation are full day sessions led by a recognized expert in academic success that introduces students to the basic skills and processes they need to succeed in law school. Students are taught how to read and brief cases, take notes, create outlines and answer law school examinations.

Orientation – Mentors

During Orientation, each incoming first-year student is assigned to a small group led by a second- or third-year student mentor. Mentors facilitate the law school acclimation process during Orientation and beyond.

Academic Success Program (ASP) Fellows

The study habits and skills that made students successful in undergraduate school may not be sufficient to bring them success in law school. Law school requires more than just simple reading of assignments, memorization and restating what students have memorized. Students must develop additional skills essential to excelling in law school including:

  • Enhanced Time management
  • Efficient and effective study techniques
  • Critical reading
  • Case briefing
  • Outlining
  • Effectively writing law school essay exams

Each student is assigned an ASP Fellow at the beginning of the 1L year. ASP Fellows are second- and third-year students who have been successful at STU Law. Each student’s ASP fellow is available for help with developing the above skills to succeed in first-year courses.

Legal Skills (1L Class) – Required

Legal Skills is a required first-year class. It consists of a workshop series designed to help students to develop the skills they need to succeed in first-year classes and beyond by actively practicing those skills, including critical thinking, legal analysis, and law school exam-taking skills. The class is graded pass/no-pass (P/NP).

Students will attend a series of mandatory Academic Success Workshops in the fall and again in the spring for one hour of academic credit.

1L Academic Success Workshops

In addition to the legal skills, required workshops, there are first-year optional workshops targeted to specific critical skills such as time management, outlining, issue spotting, matching facts to legal rules and elements, the IRAC essay writing format, essay writing skills, and multiple choice strategies. The Academic Success team schedules multiple presentations of each workshop to accommodate all first-year schedules. Dates and times of the sessions will be provided to all students at the beginning of each semester.