The practice of law begins with your first day in law school. One of the most important tasks for incoming law students is to understand and master the transition from their prior experiences in higher education to the unique demands of a law school curriculum. CSU College of Law's Academic Support Programs complements the law school curriculum by focusing on the process involved in developing the skills that are necessary to succeed in law school. These skills include the ability to understand, organize, and apply the law in a law exam and bar exam setting. Our Academic Support Programs also address time and stress management, effective study methods, and different value systems in the law and legal education.
We recognize that students have different learning styles and experiences that can affect their learning process and performance in law school. For these reasons, Academic Support uses diverse teaching methods including small group discussions, large group training, and one-on-one assistance.
Our fundamental goal is to take the mystery out of succeeding in law school and the practice of law. Additionally, Academic Support fosters an academic community to assist students in their adjustment to law school and the legal profession.
Student Success Staff
Nick De Santis, Assistant Dean for Student Success
Office: LL 214 B
Phone: (216) 687-2318
Michelle Landever Bond, Academic Support Specialist
Office LL 214 A
Phone: (216) 687-5166
Bobby Stevenson, Academic Support Specialist
Office: LL 214C
Phone: (216) 687-2331
Jenna Hosier, Director of Bar Preparation
Nick’s Office Hours: You can book 20-minute appointments through Calendly below or stop by my open office hours Fridays, from 2 pm to 4 pm.
Michelle’s Office Hours:
Bobby's Office Hours:
Jenna's Office Hours:
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The office of Academic Support is located on the second floor of the Law Library in the Legal Writing and Academic Support Suite. Enter through the rear of the Learning Commons.
academic support programs
- The Academic Excellence Program (“AEP”) – An academic support program conducted by high achieving upper-level students (known as Fellows) during the Fall and Spring Semester. In the Fall, Fellows are assigned to each first-year sections’ Contracts, Torts, and Legislation and Regulation classes. In the Spring one fellow is assigned to each sections' Criminal Law class. Fellows conduct weekly workshops on subjects such as reading and briefing cases, classroom preparation and note taking, outlining, exam preparation, and exam performance. Since Fellows attend classes side-by-side with their students, they provide valuable professor and course specific advice. Fellows also hold weekly office hours for students seeking additional help. Fall 2022 Schedule.
- Peer Tutoring Program – Successful upper-level students provide one-on-one tutoring to students seeking assistance. Tutors hold weekly office hours in the Legal Writing and Academic Support Suite (LL 214). The primary goal of our peer tutors is to help you develop sound study and exam taking skills. Info Sheet. Current Schedule.
- Individualized Assistance – Dean De Santis, Ms. Bond and Mr. Stevenson are available to provide individualized assistance to students. Assistance includes individualized assessments, assignments geared toward strengthening the students overall skills, and individualized timely feedback, including assistance with essay writing. Individualized assistance is open to all currently enrolled students.
- Legal Career Opportunity Program (LCOP) – Dean DeSantis teaches Legal Process, a component of LCOP. The goal of LCOP is to ease the transition from undergraduate school to law school. Participants are given a head start in the development of legal and analytical skills, as well as individualized feedback on multiple assignments. Admission to LCOP is determined prior to the commencement of Fall Semester.
- Study Skills Workshop Series – Study Skill Workshops are conducted several times throughout Fall and Spring semesters and are open to all students. Topics include note-taking, reading comprehension, metacognition and strategic planning, exam preparation strategies, and essay writing skills. Fall 2021 Schedule.
- CSU|LAW Jump Start – Jump Start is a four-week program offered to admitted students prior to fall semester that aims to help the transition to law school by providing an introduction to the law school experience, including instruction on basic study and exam-taking skills. Topics covered include: Structure of the American Legal System, Reading and Briefing Cases, Note-taking, Outlining, and Legal Analysis.
Gary Williams / Mary Jane McGinty Student Success Fund:
An unforeseen obstacle or financial difficulty should not impede your journey toward success in law school or bar licensure. If you are experiencing a financial barrier or emergency, applying for relief from the Gary Williams / Mary Jane McGinty Student Success Fund (the “Fund”) might help. Click here for more details.
Current Blog Post: /sites/default/files/academics/so_you_got_your_grades.docx
Bar Preparation Programs
Preparing for success on the Bar Exam starts in law school, that is why our motto at CSU|LAW is “Every day is a bar preparation day.”
Student Success offers numerous programs to assist you with your goal of applying for, taking, and passing the bar exam on the first attempt.
Our comprehensive bar preparation plan includes
- A personalized Bar Exam preparation plan for each CSU|LAW
- Period meetings with Student Success staff
- A Bar Exam Diagnostic in the Students second year
- Early start Bar Exam skills programs: Jump Start 2 and Jump Start 3
- Bar Exam Strategies and Tactics (B.E.S.T), our 2-credit bar exam preparation course offered in the final semester of law school
- Individualized counseling and support with our director of bar preparation
- Writing and multiple choice skills workshops
- Free access to the BarBri Bar Exam preparation course after graduation.