This program is offered on a voluntary basis to students who are experiencing difficulty with the written assignments given in their Legal Writing and Research course. Such students are referred by their legal writing professors to one of the Law School's two Academic Success Program specialists.
Students who need help developing their analytical skills meet with the Director of Educational Services, who teaches them how to brief cases and apply relevant material from those cases to other legal problems. Students who have basic problems in writing meet with the Writing Specialist, who guides them through exercises emphasizing principles of composition, elements of style, and rules of usage.
Each specialist works individually with a participating student. Individual conferences enable the specialist to adapt to each student's pace of learning and concentrate on the student's particular problems. During the initial consultation session, the specialist will read and critique a paper written by the student for one of his or her classes. In some cases, the student will be asked to do extra writing. Many students seen early in the fall semester encounter writing problems that stem simply from the confusion and anxiety which accompanies initiation into an unfamiliar type of discourse. Once these students become familiar with legal reasoning and understand the purpose and construction of legal analysis, they do not need to continue to meet with the specialist. Some students, on the other hand, have a continued need for remedial assistance and are given the opportunity to schedule additional conferences. Indeed, the specialists - enrollment load permitting - will accept students at any point during their law school years. In all cases, the specialists discuss and coordinate their efforts with the students' professors to ensure that the students receive sound, consistent advice.