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Academic Success

LMU Law's Academic Success Program is designed to enable students to internalize, develop, and apply legal knowledge and essential lawyering skills in a way that will enhance their performance in law school, on the bar exam, and throughout their legal career.

The law school's extensive Academic Success Program begins before enrollment, offers students support through graduation, and continues until students have passed the bar examination.  The Academic Success Program collaborates and works in conjunction with the law school’s Bar Preparation Program.

Significant components of LMU Law’s Academic Success Program include:



LMU Law’s Orientation program introduces new students to academic success techniques and builds skills in context by integrating their first Torts class session into Orientation. This innovative approach provides students with the opportunity to learn and practice their skills in context by completing actual homework assignments with the hands-on instruction of our faculty.

Other opportunities include strong upperclassman and faculty involvement to stress the importance of class preparation, hard work, and grit—all designed to instill knowledge of the support and communities awaiting the incoming 1L class.



LMU Law’s Academic Success Program benefits all students. This is achieved through courses designed to introduce, reinforce, and develop skills inherent to most successful law students and bar examinees.


Legal Foundations (first year, first semester)

This course is required for all students and builds upon the material introduced during the Orientation program. Students focus on the ability to read, analyze, synthesize, and brief cases; create and understand class outlines, and apply the law and other authority through essay exam writing and systematically problem-solving multiple-choice questions.


Advanced Legal Reasoning (first year, second semester)

This course is designed to enhance the skills necessary to succeed in law school with increased emphasis on the ability to apply the law and other authority through essay exam writing. The course provides further insight and strategies for approaching multiple-choice questions and improving study techniques. Course instruction includes both small-group and one-on-one meetings. This course is required for first-year students with a cumulative GPA of 2.320 or below or who received a course grade of “D” or below in Legal Foundations, and it is an elective for all other first-year students.


Legal Practice Skills (second and third years)

This course is designed to strengthen students’ legal problem-solving abilities by focusing on activities that newly licensed lawyers are likely to encounter. While this course is required for upper-level students with a cumulative GPA that places them at high risk of attrition and failing the bar exam on the first attempt, any student may voluntarily request enrollment. Students focus on improving how they learn and apply the law so they can draw on their understanding when analyzing the wide variety of legal problems that they are likely to encounter in law school exams, the bar exam, and in legal practice.



In addition to formal classroom instruction, LMU Law provides students and graduates with other opportunities to enhance their performance in law school, on the bar exam, and in the legal profession.


Dean’s Fellows Program

The Dean’s Fellows Program is designed to help facilitate first-year students’ self-regulated learning skills by focusing on studying strategies, organization, time management, and exam preparation for their first-year courses through scheduled workshops, office hours, and one-on-one tutoring sessions. The program is primarily student-run by Dean’s Fellows, who are upper-level students who have demonstrated the highest potential for leadership, academic achievement, and a diversity of life experiences. These additional learning sessions provide 1Ls with an informal but invaluable opportunity to ask questions and further dive into independent learning skills and exam strategies.


Workshop Series

LMU Law conducts a series of workshops primarily during the first semester. These workshops are designed to complement the skills discussed and practiced in the required Legal Foundations course that all first-year students take in their fall semester. Sessions have included providing tips on creating an effective study schedule, developing course outlines, writing law school essays, taking multiple-choice questions, and maintaining a positive and healthy mindset throughout law school.


Individual Tutoring

Students who need more attention in a specific area may meet one-on-one with members of the LMU Law faculty for further instruction and assistance.


Study Aids

LMU Law provides a vast library of study aids and other review materials from a variety of different publishers—all free of charge—including, just to name a few: CALI (Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction); Lexis OverDrive; Quimbee; West Academic Study Aids; Aspen Learning Library; and Spaced Repetition.


Lincoln Scholars Program

Despite a proven record of success and the vote of confidence that necessarily comes with each offer of admission, some students from underrepresented groups deal with self-doubt and unseen influences that can ultimately interfere with academic performance. The Lincoln Scholars Program is designed to assist eligible students by offering additional academic success, professional, and networking resources to help them navigate these challenges.


Faculty Advisors

In addition, LMU Law's commitment to academic success continues with our Faculty Advising program throughout law school. At the start of each academic calendar, LMU Law assigns each student a faculty advisor: a member of the full-time faculty who provides guidance on course selection, career opportunities, and other issues. This program connects every student to an individual member of our faculty, each of whom is a specialist in their field. If students are interested in a particular area of the law in which their advisor is not a specialist, their faculty advisors will assist the students to seek out other faculty members who teach or specialize in that area.



Katie Tolliver Jones

Director of Academic Success and Assessment

and Associate Professor of Law

Phone: 865.545.5341



Anna X. Rickels

DIRECTOR OF BAR SUCCESS Assistant Professor of Law

Phone: 865.545.5340