Academic Success and Peer Tutoring

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: 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

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 Program Presentations & Handouts:

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.


Peer Tutor Program

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. 

Other Resources

Academic Resources

CAN-ning Resources

Exam Resources

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.