Academic Success Program

Academic Success and Bar Readiness

UNT Dallas College of Law is deeply committed to the academic success and bar readiness of its students. “Academic success” focuses on helping students develop and improve the skills and knowledge necessary for their most successful performance in law school. “Bar readiness” focuses on reinforcing and further developing the substantive knowledge, legal analysis, and skills that are critical to success on the bar exam.  The College of Law carries out its commitment to academic success and bar readiness through several key resources, courses, and programs. These include:

Resources and Programming
The Office of Academic Success and Bar Readiness
Director of Writing Resources

Courses Focusing on Academic Success
Fundamentals of Being a Lawyer (Required)
Legal Methods (Required)
Legal Skills and Analysis (First-year, second semester small section course)

Required Courses Focusing on Bar Readiness
Capstone I
Capstone II
Capstone III
These courses are taken over the last three semesters of a student’s legal education.

The Office of Academic Success and Bar Readiness

The Office of Academic Success and Bar Readiness: (1) provides resources and programs relating to academic success and bar readiness, (2) coordinates with doctrinal faculty members throughout the curriculum to incorporate skills and bar-focused materials in substantive courses, (3) develops and teaches the law school’s course offerings focused on academic success and bar readiness, and (4) works with individual students seeking to reach their best performance, including attention to different learning styles, bolstering core skills and knowledge; and time management and other challenges. The Office currently occupies a suite of offices on the third floor of the law school.  Professor Preyal Shah serves as the Director, with additional personnel including Professor Jessica Haseltine and two new assistant directors anticipated by January 2018. 

Director of Writing Resources

Professor Diana Howard is the College of Law’s Director of Writing Resources. In addition to providing one-on-one writing support for students throughout their time at the College of Law, Professor Howard delivers a popular series--“Quick Lessons for Clear Writing”—that are video-recorded and remain available for students.

Courses Focusing on Academic Success

Fundamentals of Being a Lawyer (“Fundamentals”). All entering students complete this one-credit-hour course before the start of other Fall first-year courses. The course introduces students to the fundamental skills and methods of law school, including case analysis, case-briefing, and structured problem-solving.  Students complete assignments and take a final essay exam that is used to provide insight into, and feedback on, law school essay-writing.

Legal Methods.  This is a one-credit-hour course required of all first semester students. The class extends the themes of Fundamentals by focusing on demystifying and developing the analytical skills and methods that form the foundation of “thinking like a lawyer.”  Further, each semester, professors teaching this course coordinate with other first-year instructors, aiming to align topics in Legal Methods with topics in the other courses.

Legal Skills and Analysis.  This is a one-credit-hour course required for all students who, after the first semester, are on academic probation.  The course concentrates on core skills and analysis necessary for success in the curriculum.

Required Courses Focusing on Bar Readiness

At the College of Law, all students take a three-semester sequence of courses that are focused on bar readiness. The courses are taken in a student’s final three semesters of law school.  These courses are Capstone I, Capstone II, and Capstone III.  Each is a 2-credit-hour course; thus, the sequence totals 6 credit hours.  The courses are not meant or designed to replace a commercial bar review course.  Rather, the courses build on the doctrinal, analytical, and skills foundation that students already have developed.  The courses consolidate doctrinal understanding and strengthen skills with the aim of readying students for success in preparing for and taking the bar exam.   

Page last modified on November 2, 2017 at 10:14 am.