W E L C O M E

STUDENTS

 
LSASP
 L E A R N I N G  O P P O R T U N I T I E S

Whether you're in law school or are thinking about attending, it's never too early or too late to work on the skills you'll need to succeed.

If you are a pre-law student or are presently in another career, consider exploring the ABA's website on legal education. That site contains a Pre-Law Tool Kit full of useful information.

Legal educators agree that the core skills students need to acquire to prepare themselves for law study are:

    Critical reading skills (the ability to read fluently and to engage fully with a text)

    Clear writing skills and solid use of proper grammar

    Analytical reasoning skills (the ability to think logically)

    Oral Expression skills

    Self-care skills and self-confidence (the ability to keep life balanced, even under pressure)

    Time Management skills (the ability to juggle many demands on your time in a healthy way)

    Judgment (the ability to weigh choices and make wise decisions)

Development of all of these skills takes time, a commitment to acquire them, and some natural ability.

For students who are presently enrolled in law school, it is not unusual to find that the skills and habits that you brought with you to law school need reframing or fine-tuning in order to serve you well. The study of law is hard. Succeeding requires the ability to work efficiently and in a focused manner, a willingness to try new things, an open mind and a humble heart, and a commitment to honor your personal values and goals despite the many demands on your time.

If you are presently enrolled in law school and feel overwhelmed, you should not continue to tolerate those feelings for long. Some discomfort is part of the natural growth process and comes from trying new things and stretching your mind, but prolonged discomfort, sadness, or anxiety aren't good for you. They can even interfere with your learning and your health. If you feel overwhelmed in law school, contact someone in your school's office of student affairs or in the academic support program for your school. Also explore the resources on this website under Wellness.

Whether you are considering law school or are presently enrolled in law school, the following resources may be useful to you.


Related eLearning modules on this website:

The following multimedia lessons can be viewed from your computer. They were created for this website by expert legal educators to help law students and pre-law students like you succeed.

Expert Learning for Law Students: Part I
16 minutes
By Michael Hunter Schwartz, Washburn University Law School

Expert Learning for Law Students: Part II
26 minutes
By Michael Hunter Schwartz, Washburn University School of Law

Expert Learning for Law Students: Part III
21 minutes
By Michael Hunter Schwartz, Washburn University School of Law

Stress Basics: Understanding Stress to Craft Effective Interventions
37 minutes
By Marty Peters, Elon University School of Law

Learning Styles: Absorption
20 minutes
By Amy Jarmon, Texas Tech University School of Law

Learning Styles: Processing
20 minutes
By Amy Jarmon, Texas Tech University School of Law

Outlining Course Materials - The Essentials
18 minutes
By Laurie Zimet, Hastings College of Law

Outlining Course Materials - Practice Exercise
22 minutes
By Laurie Zimet, Hastings College of Law

Legal Reading and Law School Success: Students
14 minutes
By Leah Christensen, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Reading Like an Expert
19 minutes
By Ruth Ann McKinney, The University of North Carolina School of Law

Related books and articles

There are many good resources on the market and some may fit your learning style preferences better than others. The following books and articles have been recommended by experienced legal educators in the field of academic success.

Richard Michael Fischel & Jeremy R. Paul, Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams (1999)

Wilson R. Huhn, The Five Types of Legal Argument (2d ed. 2008)

Lawrence S. Krieger, The Inseparability of Professionalism and Personal Satisfaction: Perspectives on Values, Integrity and Happiness, 11 Clinical L. Rev. 425 (2005)

Ruth Ann McKinney, Reading Like a Lawyer: Time saving strategies for reading law like an expert (2005)

Gary A. Munneke, How To Succeed in Law School (3d ed. 2008)

Denise Riebe and Michael Hunter Schwartz, Pass the Bar! (2005)

David S. Romantz & Kathleen Elliot Vinson, Legal Analysis: The Fundamental Skill (2nd ed. 2008)

Michael Hunter Schwartz, Expert Learning for Law Students (2d ed. 2005)

Ruta Stropus and Charlotte D. Taylor, Bridging the Gap Between College and Law School: Strategies for Success (2d ed. 2009)

Dennis J. Tonsing, 1000 Days to the Bar Exam But the Practice of Law Begins Now: How to Achieve Your Personal Best in Law School (2003)