Academic Success Program & Peer Tutoring
The Peter A. Allard School of Law offers an Academic Success Program that provides a variety of resources to law students. This program includes Academic Success Presentations and handouts, the Peer Tutor Program, and links to other valuable academic resources. Kaila Mikkelsen, the Assistant Dean of Students, is also available to meet with students to discuss their academic questions and concerns. She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Students in the Indigenous Legal Studies Program may also contact Lee Schmidt, Associate Director of Indigenous Legal Studies, for additional support. She can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Law Library is also a great resource for students. Check out the Library's Academic Success Guide with avialable resources.
The following resources are also available on this page:
Academic Success Presentations are presented throughout the year by the Assistant Dean of Students and peer tutors. The presentations are aimed at providing first-year students with practical information and tools for their academic endeavors. In addition, the presentations allow a forum for students to ask questions and have their concerns addressed. Below are brief summaries of each presentation, as well as the relevant power points and handouts from each.
The 2019-2020 Academic Success Lectures Schedule:
Law School Basics: Tuesday, September 10
Canning for Success: Tuesday, October 1 and Wednesday, October 23 (both lectures are identical)
December Exam Tips: Tuesday, November 5 and Wednesday, November 20 (both lectures are identical).
Revamping Your Law School Strategy: Monday, January 13
April Exam Tips: Monday, March 30
These sessions are open to Allard Law JD students. Room information is available in the Allard School of Law online events calendar.
Law School Basics: An Academic Success Lecture (September)
This lecture provides information regarding effective academic strategies that can be used throughout the year including reading a case and preparing for and participating in class. Students may raise questions and concerns regarding their law school experience thus far, and what they can expect going forward. Professor Nikos Harris also delivers a lecture on the value of handwriting notes in class.
- Law School Basics Lecture (PowerPoint slides from September 2018 Peer Tutor lecture)
- Academic Strategies Lecture (Professor Nikos Harris, Sept 2018)
- The Risks of Technology in the Law Classroom: Why the Next Great Development in Legal Education Might be Going Low-Tech, (2018) 51:3 UBC L REV 773
- Resource Materials for First Year Courses
- Latin Dictionary
- Reading, Notetaking, Briefing & Reviewing
CAN-ning for Success: An Academic Success Lecture (October)
This lecture provides information regarding effective methods for creating and utilizing Condensed Annotated Notes (CANs). This lecture helps students plan out how and when to CAN for their December Exams in order to ensure timely and effective studying.
- CAN-ning for Success Lecture (PowerPoint slides from October 2018 lecture)
- Dos & Don'ts of Canning
- Examples of Canning styles can be picked up from Assistant Dean, Students' office
Exam Writing Strategies: Tips for December Exams (November)
This lecture provides information regarding exam-writing techniques. Upper year students will also be present to share their own exam-writing experiences. This session can be very helpful for alleviating concerns about the first set of exams. Students are free to ask questions about the examination process and the best ways in which to succeed.
- Exam Writing Tips (PowerPoint slides from November 6, 2018 lecture)
- Peer Tutor Advice: Before, During and After the Exam
- Hutchinson, Allan C. "In the Belly of the Beast." The Law School Book: Succeeding at Law School. Toronto: Irwin Law Inc., 2009. 205-230.
Re-vamping your Law School Strategy: An Academic Success Lecture (January)
This lecture provides direction to students who wish to adjust and refocus their academic strategies. January is an excellent time for first year students to review their December exams and their first semester to determine where improvements can be made. This lecture helps students refine their approach to studying and make positive changes for second semester.
- Revamping Strategy Power Point Slides (PowerPoint slides from January 2019 lecture)
- Revamping Your Law School Strategy (one page handout); and
- Learning from Experience: How to Interpret Your Exam Results and Plan Ahead
Exam-Writing Strategies: Tips for April Exams (March)
This lecture provides additional exam-writing strategies that pertain to the increased duration and additional content of the April Exams. This is an important session for refining exam-writing strategies regardless of a student's performance in December.
- Exam Writing Strategies: Tips for April Exams (March 25, 2019 lecture)
- Peer Tutor Advice: Before, During and After the Exam (April)
The Peer Tutor Program at the Allard School of Law matches first-year students with upper-year student volunteers who provide guidance on study skills, learning strategies, and exam-writing strategies. Students will be matched with tutors according to their professors, their learning and study style, and their personality. This ensures both academic and personal compatibility for a positive learning experience.
In addition to one-on-one guidance, peer tutors also provide valuable input for the academic success lectures presented by the law school. (Please see above). Please note that Peer Tutors cannot provide assistance with legal research & writing, public law or transnational assignments, nor can they provide tutoring during the December or April exam periods.
Sign Up for Peer Tutoring
The Peer Tutoring program operates from late September each academic year. An email will be sent to the first-year class when the program is open for matching. Students that are interested in being matched with a peer tutor should contact Kaila Mikkelsen. Students should indicate the name of their small group, their learning style and any academic concerns they may have.
- Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams (Richard Fischl & Jeremy Paul), esp. Chapter 11
- Chicago-Kent College of Law: How to interpret your Exam Results and Plan Ahead
Books (Available to be borrowed from Assistant Dean, Students)
Calleros, Charles R. Law School Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win. New York: Aspen Publishers, 2007.
Fischl, Richard M. and Jeremy Paul. Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams. North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 1999.
Hutchinson, Allan C. The Law School Book: Succeeding at Law School. Toronto: Irwin Law Inc., 2009.
McClurg, Andrew J. 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor's Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School. Minnesota: Thomson/Reuters, 2009.
McKinney, Ruth A. Reading Like a Lawyer: Time-Saving Strategies for Reading Law Like an Expert. North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 2005.
Ramy, Herbert N. Succeeding in Law School. North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 2006.
Check out the books available in the Law Library too.