Academic Success Program
Cincinnati Law is committed to providing the resources and assistance to help our students succeed. From your first year through the bar exam, we are here to support and guide you throughout your law school career.
First Year Students
First year law students are invited to participate in Structured Study Groups (SSGs), led by trained second- and third-year law students. Groups meet twice weekly for one hour. One meeting per week focuses on developing and applying the skills needed to successfully navigate the learning process in law school (case study method, Socratic method, case briefing, outlining, memorization, legal analysis, time management). During the second weekly meeting, students focus on strategies for exam preparation and performance including the completion of practice exam questions. This weekly exercise throughout the first semester helps students understand and prepare for law school exams; the primary basis of grading in the first year of law school. SSG Leaders do not tutor or teach the law; rather they guide participating students in developing the skills to teach themselves the law.
First year students also may schedule individual meetings or participate in a second semester study group with the Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs.
Upper Level Students
Second and third year students who are interested in enhancing their academic performance are encouraged to schedule one-on-one meetings or attend subject-specific study groups with the Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs. During these meetings, students complete various legal reading and writing exercises to help improve their analytical and writing skills, as well as memorization exercises and quizzes to assist in acquisition of law needed for strong exam performance.
Students may also schedule exam preparation meetings in the month preceding an exam period. Students will take practice exams, receive individual critiques of their work, focus on improving areas of weakness, and learn strategies to enhance their exam performance.
In the month prior to registration, upper level students may meet with the Director of Academic Success for assistance with class selection.
Bar Exam Preparation
In the spring semester, the College of Law offers Legal Analysis and Drafting: The Bar Exam for third year students. This course serves the dual purpose of equipping students to succeed on the written portions of bar examinations and preparing for legal practice by developing and honing skills relevant to legal analysis, professional and effective written communication, principled advocacy, and management of legal work. Students taking the course receive instruction, practice, critical peer review, and coaching in these skills that will be valuable in taking a bar examination in Ohio or any other jurisdiction. Students practice these skills using model and previously-administered essays and Multistate Performance Tests (MPTs). Students also engage in self-assessment exercises addressing learning styles and time/work management issues. Although students will have an opportunity to review some core legal concepts, the focus of this course is on building a strong foundation in the skills necessary to be successful on a bar exam.
This course is not intended to substitute for a commercial bar review course taken after graduation, necessary for reviewing core concepts learned throughout law school and legal concepts not studied in law school or required by the jurisdiction in which students wish to practice. Students also should familiarize themselves with the bar exam requirements for the state in which they plan to take the exam.
In the month prior to registration, upper level students also may meet with the Director of Academic Success for assistance with class selection useful for the bar exam.