Academic Success & Bar-Related Programs

Southwestern offers students a comprehensive academic support program at every stage of a student's law school career.

Programs for Entering Students

Southwestern offers academic success workshops in the summer which are specifically geared toward entering students, providing an introduction to legal writing, course review techniques, briefing cases and other concerns prior to the start of Fall classes.

Academic Skills Lab

Southwestern offers as part of its first-year curriculum a 1-credit course called Academic Skills Lab. These Labs are tied to Criminal Law for all day sections and to Torts for the evening section. The primary goal of the Labs are to help students adopt learning strategies and study habits in their first year of law school that will lead to academic success, both in law school and on the bar examination. These skills include:

  • The ability to manage time and stress
  • The ability to take proper notes during class
  • The ability to read and understand information (reading and briefing)
  • The ability to synthesize, process and organize large volumes of information (note-taking, regular review of their materials, outlining, flow-charting)
  • The ability to demonstrate knowledge by applying this information in an organized and analytical fashion (exam-writing and exam-taking)

Programs for Continuing Students

Southwestern offers many courses specifically designed to further develop an upper-division student's critical thinking, analysis and exam-writing skills, as well as improve their overall academic performance. These courses also provide students with an early start on bar preparation.

The Academic Success and Bar-Related Programs Office switches focus to success on the bar examination during the final year in law school and into bar preparation. Detailed information is provided as students progress toward completing their degrees.

For more information on any of these topics, contact the Academic Success and Bar-Related Programs Office. Current students can also find additional details and resources on the MySWLAW portal (log-in required).

NOTE: For information about academic success programs for SCALE® students, please contact the SCALE Office.