Academic Support Program
Mission Statement It is the mission of the Academic Support department to help Texas A&M University School of Law students achieve the academic success they desire.
Texas A&M University School of Law is committed to providing students with the skills necessary to achieve academic success. The Academic Support Program is designed to help all students attain their full academic potential, while providing extra assistance to students who need more guidance as they adjust to law school life.
Successful students put in many hours of efficient work outside of class to prepare for the rigors of classroom discussions. Academic Support will help you transition into this new learning environment and increase your chances of succeeding academically.
In particular, the Academic Support Program at the law school provides various programs, including: (1) weekly academic support groups; (2) practice exams; (3) seminars and panels; (4) academic resources and advising and (5) peer tutors.
Weekly Academic Support Groups
What is it? The goal of the weekly Academic Support Groups is to help you adjust to the challenges of your first year of law school. Each 1L student is assigned to an Academic Support Group for first-year students led by a successful upper-class student, called an Academic Support TA. Your TA will provide you with instruction on how to read and brief cases; how to take adequate notes; how to perform legal analysis; how to create an outline; how to prepare for exams and how to balance your demanding schedule.
Who is my TA? During orientation, your TA will meet with you to introduce himself/herself and provide you with information on when and where your study group will meet. Your first meeting will take place the first week of school.
When do we meet? Your Academic Support Group meets for one hour each week. For day students, this will be one day a week from noon to 1 p.m. For evening students, this will be one evening a week from either 5:00 to 5:50 p.m. or 8:00 to 8:50 p.m. or on every other Saturday from 10:00 to 11:30 am. Your TA will also hold weekly office hours for individual appointments.
Should I attend? Absolutely. Most students who regularly attend TA sessions find them extremely valuable, and the law school highly encourages 1L students to participate in these sessions. Remember that you have made a significant financial investment in your legal education. Active participation in Academic Support TA sessions will help you maximize your chances of success at the law school.
What are these? In both the fall and spring semesters, Academic Support will administer practice exams for each of your first-year doctrinal courses under actual test-day conditions. First-year professors frequently create the exams themselves and provide representative sample answers. In addition, students who take the practice exams will receive written feedback and specific input on how to improve from their TA.
Why do I need to take practice exams? Law school final exams are unlike anything you have ever done before. Your course grade will likely be based on your performance on one 3- or 4-hour exam. That exam will require much more than straight memorization. You will be required to decipher long fact patterns and spot the legal issues they raise. Then you will need to apply the relevant law to the given facts, through an organized paradigm, to generate answers. Students need to practice the skills necessary to successfully complete law school exams, and the practice exams provided through academic support are a great step in that process. Your 1L professors encourage you to take all of the practice exams, and our research shows that students who do so are more likely to be academically successful at the law school.
Seminars and Panels
What are these? Throughout the year, Academic Support will present several seminars and panels designed especially for you, including (1) a TA Q & A panel on law school success strategies; (2) a professor Q & A panel on the format of each of the exams, covering how the professors grade and test taking advice (this input will be invaluable as you prepare for your final exams) and (3) in the spring, an orientation to the structure of the Texas bar exam, in which you will learn what is tested on each of the three days of the exam, how you should strategically plan for the bar exam while still in your first-year of law school, and how to select classes suited to a particular area of practice and to prepare for the bar exam.
Academic Resources and Advising
Tell me more. The Academic Support department serves as a small general resource center where students can obtain past multiple-choice questions, past bar exams and select copies of past law school exams. Students can also receive help with various law school related “how to” problems such as time and stress management, how to take various types of exams, how to outline, course selection, etc.
Can I come by anytime? Yes. If you would like access to our resources or would like assistance with exam preparation, course selections, bar preparation and other matters relevant to your academic success, please make an appointment or drop by the Academic Support offices.
How do I make an appointment? E-mail Marta Miller, director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peer Tutoring Program
What is this? The one-to-one peer tutoring program is for students who feel like they need additional assistance. This voluntary tutoring program is open to all students at any stage of their law school careers. The goal of the program is to help students improve grades, stay on track throughout the semester and provide students with individual attention. The peer tutors do not teach substantive law; rather, they reinforce the skills taught in the weekly Academic Support Groups in a one-to-one setting and help you overcome academic obstacles.
How do I sign-up? If you would like to participate, please contact Marta Miller who will do her best to match you with an upper-level peer tutor.