Academic Enhancement Program

Our Philosophy

"Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives-choices, not chance determine your destiny." - Aristotle

The Academic Enhancement Program (AEP) is a collaborative effort involving law school administration, faculty and students with the goal of assisting all students in developing the critical experiences and skills necessary for academic success in law school and beyond.

The AEP program is designed to promote academic excellence through enhancement and supportive services for students at all levels of academic performance.

For first year students, the learning curve for mastering the law school curriculum can be steeper than expected because the study of law is unique and challenging.


Orientation

JD Orientation

Welcome class of 2020! We look forward to meeting you during the 3-day orientation for all new law students between August 30th and September 1st, 2017. We will be making a short presentation on a variety of AEP offerings and how you may take advantage of our resources and services.

In the meantime, please explore our website to learn more about the Academic Enhancement Program. 

New International JD Orientation

The AEP welcomes you to the University of Wisconsin Law School. Beyond orientation activities and events, we encourage you to schedule an appointment to meet with our professional staff for an individual "meet and greet." Learn more about the AEP.  

Transfer/Visiting Orientation

Welcome to UW Law School and to Madison. The AEP is available to support you with your legal studies as you need. Please take advantage of the resources and services the AEP offers. We look forward to meeting with you sometime, if necessary, to strategize with you on how the AEP can support your efforts to attain academic success.

LLM-LI Orientation

The AEP welcomes you to the University of Wisconsin Law School. We look forward to meeting you during the orientation program organized for you by the Graduate Studies Program. In addition to AEP presentations during your orientation, the AEP will schedule large-group skills workshops designed for your academic needs every month during the fall semester. 

As LLM-LI students taking elective courses, you are allowed to use AEP library resources as needed. Learn more about AEP Library resources and the expectation of student users

Academic and Learning Skills Assessment

The AEP is committed to equipping law students with academic, learning, and study skills they need for mastery of course contents and to achieve sound academic success. To that end, the AEP subscribes to the notion that law students must be self-regulating and strategic learners. To achieve that goal, law students must be proactive and avoid procrastination. 

There are 3 ways the in which the AEP encourages students to become self-regulating and strategic learners

The AEP:

  1. Assists students in evaluating learning and study skills needed for academic success with the goal of helping each student identify areas of strength and skills needing improvement. The Learning and Skill Skills Inventory (LASSI) helps achieve this goal and all incoming 1Ls are required to take this assessment in the fall semester.
    To brainstorm with AEP staff about this semester and beyond, schedule an appointment. 
    View the LASSI Instruction Sheet.
  2. Encourages students to learn the law by understanding who they are and their learning preferences. The AEP offers workshops to help students with self knowledge that is then applied to how to take effective class notes, how to study, and best strategies for taking law school exams. Be proactive by planning to attend these workshops during the Fall semster.
    View the workshop schedule.
  3. Strongly encourage students to engage in a reflective academic self-assessment following the release of fall semester grades, or any other semester that any student seeks to improve their academic performance. Objective of the academic self-assessment exercise:
    • Identify obstacles form the previous semester that impacted your ability to attain your full potential. 
    • Evaluate current course load.
    • Create a plan for success for each class you are currently taking for this semester.
    Fill out the academic self-assessment exercise

Study Groups

In conjunction with 1L faculty, the AEP administers a study group program for all 1Ls in Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law (Crim. Law) class. In addition, we also organize select Contracts sections as requested by faculty. In collaboration with the Graduate Studies Program, all graduate law students taking Contracts as an elective course will also have weekly discussion sessions on Fridays.   

The AEP study groups are designed to provide out-of-classroom opportunities for students to further clarify topics, and to discuss practice questions sometimes provided by the professor. Study groups are led by 2Ls who took the class with the same professor during their first year of law school. Weekly discussion sessions are on Fridays during the semester. Participation is not required but strongly encouraged. View the study group program handout for more information.

For 2017 fall semester:

  • Crim. Law Study Groups: there are 2 lecture sections for Crim. Law. There will, therefore, be 2 discussion groups for each lecture session.
    • First discussion group meets Friday, September 22, 2017 at 12 noon.
    • Information about study group assignments and classrooms venue will be forthcoming at Orientation and after classes begin.
  • Contracts Study Groups: the study groups for Contracts will meet beginning Friday, September 15, 2017
    • All JD-only sections meet at 1 p.m. and
    • All LLM-only sections meet at 12 noon.
    • Information about study group assignments and classroom venue will be forthcoming at Orientation and after classes begin.

Study Aids

The AEP has a collection of 1,000+ books that focus on subject areas of most law classes. These books and other study aids serve as secondary sources to help students get a better grasp of legal concepts. These resources give suggestions about good ways to analyze law school questions, as well as learning tips and study strategies for specific subjects. Ultimately, we want students to take advantage of these resources as they aim at helping students acquire insights into how to study smarter even as you study hard.
View the full list of study aids and learning resources.


Using AEP Resources

The AEP allows students to check-out books from the AEP Library. Here a few things you should keep in mind:

  • The AEP library circulation operates on an honor system---we expect students to use AEP resources responsibly because we have invested limited resources to acquire and maintain the collection of study aids.
  • Students may borrow books for up to 3 weeks and are expected to return or renew by the due date.
  • We may recall any book in your possession if another student needs it.
  • We expect you to be responsive to AEP's communications and expectations of the use of AEP resources.

View the expectation of student users for more information.




1L

Welcome to your first year of law school! The AEP has the following support services specifically designed to help make your first year at law school a success. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with AEP programs and services, then plan to take full advantage of them.

LASSI Skills Workshops l Individual Consultations l Enrichment Workshops l  AEP Study Group Program l AEP Library Resources l Exam Period at AEP l Academic and Learning Skills l Additional Resources

Not sure where to start? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions guide

1. LASSI

The Learning And Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) is an online assessment tool which assesses skill-sets proven to help students maximize academic performance and be strategic learners. All incoming 1Ls are required to take the LASSI.

View the LASSI instructions

Your results will be emailed to you shortly after completing the assessment. The AEP also gets a copy. If you have questions about your LASSI results, you may discuss the results with the AEP assistant Dean by scheduling an appointment

2. Skills Workshops

There are academic, learning, and study skills that are essential to achieving academic success with the study of the law. AEP offers workshops that are intentionally designed to focus on these skills throughout the fall and spring semester. We believe that applying these learning and study tips will equip students to master the law school curriculum, and help prepare students for writing well-structured answers on final exams.

Download the PDF of the fall 2017 skills workshops schedule.

Download the PDF of descriptions fall 2017 skills workshops.

3. Individual Consultations

You are able to meet one-on-one with the AEP Assistant Dean to brainstorm and strategize about how to academically succeed in law school.

The following are a few topics that students often address during one-on-one meetings:

  • Individualized study strategies
  • Outlining: feedback on your drafts
  • Exam prep: planning ahead for finals
  • Exam-writing skills: practicing questions and getting feedback
  • Time-management tips
  • Grade follow-up: to highlight the good and brainstorm on improving performance
  • Stress Management: to achieve balance and avoid over-loading
  • Other related topics

Please make an appointment to meet with the AEP Assistant Dean.

4. Enrichment Workshops

The AEP works collaboratively with Moot Court, Mock Trial, and Law Journals to provide workshops as requested. Be sure to watch for email announcements about these workshops. Descriptions of past workshops will be available here.

5. AEP Study Group Program

The AEP offers study groups to all 1L students enrolled in Criminal Law. The AEP also works with faculty members who request a study group for Contracts.

View the study group program handout for more information.

6. AEP Library Resources

There are over a 1,000 books and numerous handouts available to assist law student's studying.

See a list of AEP resources and learn more about how you can use the resources.

7. Exam Period at AEP

We consider the last 6 weeks of each semester as "AEP Exam Period". This means:

• Room 6113 is reserved as a quiet space to study (8am – 5pm, M-F).
• Healthy snacks are provided (brain foods) for students using the AEP exam prep resources.
• Practice questions and model answers are available (i.e. Contracts and Civil Procedure). 
• UW law past exam and student answers for (select) professors. These materials may not be removed from the AEP and is based on an honor-system.
• One-on-one exam prep appointments with AEP Assistant Dean is encouraged to establish individual study and exam prep plans.

For 2017 fall semester, the exam period begins Monday, November 13th, 2017. 

8. Academic and Learning Skills 

The AEP is committed to equipping law students with academic, learning, and study skills they need for mastery of course contents and to achieve sound academic success. To that end, the AEP subscribes to the notion that law students must be self-regulating and strategic learners. To achieve that goal, law students must be proactive and avoid procrastination.

Learn more about how the AEP equips students to be strategic learners and high performing.   

9. Additional Resources 

The AEP has listed helpful links on a variety of subjects including outlining, stress management, and exam taking strategies form vetted sources. As with all other resources, please use information at these links as secondary study and learning suggestions only. Faculty members for your classes are the primary sources on all instructions regarding course contents.

View the Additional Resources page (Net ID required). 

2L

As you know, the AEP provides support services and resources to assist you with your legal studies. For 2Ls, we highlight the following: 

Skills Workshop l Individual Consultations l AEP Library Resources l Exam Resources at AEP

Academic and Learning Skills l Additional Resources

1. Skills Workshops

Students in the second (and third) year of law school tend to take classes that require research papers on assigned topics or topics of the students' choosing. To assist students to be efficient and effective with this, research paper tasks, the AEP has designed 2 relevant skills workshops in collaboration with professional law librarians. Students who will be writing research papers should attend these workshops:

  1. Practical Writing and Citation Tips
  2. Practical Legal Research Tools and Tips

Download the PDF of fall 2017 skills workshops.

Download the PDF of descriptions of 2017 skills workshops

2. Individual Consultations

One-on-one appointments with the AEP Assistant Dean to brainstorm and strategize about any topic you may want to discuss to enhance your academic performance is available to you.

The following are a few topics that students often address during one-on-one meetings:

  • Individualized study strategies
  • Outlining: feedback on your drafts
  • Exam prep: planning ahead of finals
  • Exam-writing skills: practicing questions and getting feedback
  • Time-management tips
  • Grade follow-up: to highlight the good and brainstorm on improving performance
  • Stress Management: to achieve balance and avoid over-loading
  • Other related topics

Please make an appointment to meet with the AEP Assistant Dean.

3. AEP Library Resources

There are over a 1,000 books and numerous handouts available to assist law students learn the law more efficiently. In addition to first year classes, the AEP has resources for most required law classes (i.e. Evidence, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, etc.) as well as a few upper level classes (i.e. Federal Income Tax, Business Organizations, etc.). 

View the list of AEP resources and lean more about how you can use the resources

4. Exam Resources at AEP

Stop by the AEP Office at Room 6210 to inquire about any exam resources we have for classes you are enrolled in each semester.

5. Academic and Learning Skills

The AEP is committed to equipping law students with academic, learning, and study skills they need for mastery of course contents and to achieve sound academic success. To that end, the AEP subscribes to the notion that law students must be self-regulating and strategic learners. To achieve that goal, law students must be proactive and avoid procrastination. 

Learn more about how the AEP equips students to be strategic learners and high performing. 

6. Additional Resources

The AEP has listed helpful links on a variety of subjects including outlining, stress management, and exam taking strategies from vetted sources. As with all other resources, please use information at these links as secondary study and learning suggestions only. Faculty members for your classes are the primary source on all instructions regarding course contents. 

View the Additional Resources page (Net ID required). 

3L

In addition to academic support services that the AEP provides for all law students, we provide comprehensive information for getting a license to practice law in all 50 states in the U.S. We also offer classes to help you learn the academic expectations and goals of Bar Examiners in the 3 major section of bar exam.

Below are the list of academic support and related services that the AEP makes available to all 3Ls:

Bar Exam l Skills Workshops l Individual Consultations l AEP Library Resources l Exam Resources at AEP l Academic and Learning Skills l Additional Resources

1. Bar Exam

General Information

If you are planning on taking the bar exam in another state, we have information about requirements and resources available. Learn more about resources and information about the bar exam (Net ID required).

Skills and Strategies in Prepartion

The AEP offers bar exam classes two times during an academic year. The classes are designed to teach skills and strategies needed to be well prepared in preparation for taking the bar exam. The class focuses on the 3 tests on the bar exam: the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)/State Essays Exam, and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). 

The AEP prep class is not intended to replace commercial bar preparation courses such as Barbri, Themis, or others. The AEP class complements such courses to enhance chances of success on the bar exam.

Learn more about the bar exam skills classes.

Note: Please check the National Conference of Bar Examiners website regularly for detailed information and/or updates to the syllabi of the bar exam. 

2. Skills Workshops

Students in the third year of law school tend to take classes that require research paper on assigned topics or topics of the students' choosing. To assist students to be efficient and effective with this research paper tasks, the AEP has designed 2 relevant skills workshops in collaboration with professional law librarians. Students who will be writing research papers should attend these workshops:

  • Practical Writing and Citation Tips
  • Practical Legal Research Tools and Tips
Download the PDF of fall 2017 skills workshops.
Download the PDF of descriptions of fall 2017 workshops.

3. Individual Consultations

One-on-one with the AEP Assistant Dean to brainstorm and strategize about any topic you want to discuss to enhance your academic performance is available to you. 

The following are a few topics that students often address during one-on-one meetings:

  • Individualized study strategies
  • Outlining: feedback on your drafts
  • Exam prep: planning ahead for finals
  • Exam-writing skills: practicing questions and getting feedback
  • Time-management tips
  • Grade follow-up: to highlight the good and brainstorm on improving performance
  • Stress Management: to achieve balance and avoid over-loading
  • Other related topics

Please make an appointment to meet with the AEP assistant Dean.

4. AEP Library Resources

There are over a 1,000 books and numerous handouts available to assist law students learn the law more efficiently. In addition to first year classes, the AEP has resources for most required law classes (i.e. Evidence, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, etc.) as well as a few upper level classes (i.e. Federal Income Tax, Business Organizations, etc.). 

See a list of AEP resources and learn more about how you can use the resources.

5. Exam Resources at AEP

Stop by the AEP Office at Room 6210 to inquire about any exam resources we have for classes you are enrolled in each semester.

6. Academic and Learning Skills

The AEP is committed to equipping law students with academic, learning, and study skills they need for mastery of course contents and to achieve sound academic success. To that end, the AEP subscribes to the notion that law students muse be self-regulation and strategic learners. To achieve that goal, law students must be proactive and avoid procrastination.  

Learn more about how the AEP equips students to be strategic learners and high performing. 

7. Additional Resources

The AEP has listed helpful links on a variety of subjects including outlining, stress management, and exam taking strategies from vetted sources. As with all other resources, please use information at these links as secondary study and learning suggestions only. Faculty members for your classes are the primary sources on all instructions regarding course contents. 

View the Additional Resources page (Net ID required). 

LLM-LI

The Academic Enhancement Program provides academic support services and resources to ass you with most (not all) of your classes you take as electives. Below are the list of academic support and related services that the AEP makes available to LLM-LI students:

Bar Exam l Skills Workshops l Individual ConsultationsAEP Library Resources 

1. Bar Exam

General Information

If you are planning on taking the bar exam in another state, we have information about requirements and resources available. Learn more about resources and information about the bar exam (Net ID required).

Skills and Strategies in Preparation

The AEP offers bar exam classes two times during an academic year: winter session (in January), and during the spring semester. The classes are designed to teach skills and strategies needed to be well prepared in preparation for taking the bar exam. The class focuses on the 3 tests on the bar exam: the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)/State Essays exam, and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). 

The AEP prep class is not intended to replace commercial bar preparation courses such as Barbri, Themis, or others. The AEP class complements such courses to enhance chances of success on the bar exam. 

Learn more about the bar exam skills classes here.

Note: Please check the National Conference of Bar Examiners website regularly for detailed information and/or updates to the syllabi of the tests on the bar exam. 

 

2. Skills Workshops

Students in the LLM-LI program tend to take classes that require that they write research papers on assigned topics or topics of the students' choosing. To assist students to be efficient and effective with their research paper tasks, the AEP has designed 2 relevant skills workshops in collaboration with professional law librarians. Students who will be writing research papers are strongly encouraged to attend these workshops:

  • Practical Writing and Citation Tips
  • Practical Legal Research Tools and Tips

Note: You may attend any other skills workshops that are offered by the AEP. View the fall 2017 workshop schedule. 

3. Individual Consultations

As an LLM-LI student, you may be allowed to meet one-on-one with the AEP Assistant Dean to brainstorm and strategize about your academic support needs by following these steps:

Step 1: Go to the Graduate Studies Program and meet with Jason Smith to discuss your need for academic support. 

Step 2: Have Jason complete this form: Graduate Studies Program Referral Form here.

Step 3: Bring completed and signed form to the AEP office in Room 6210 to schedule an appointment with the AEP Assistant Dean.

4. AEP Library Resources

Books and Study Aids: There are over a 1,000 books and numerous handouts available to assist law students learn the law more efficiently. Note we do not have books for every law class. However, we do have them for most required law classes. View the list of AEP resources and rules about using the resources

Exam Resources at AEP: Stop by the AEP office at Room 6210 to inquire about any exam resources we have for classes you are enrolled in each semester. Note: We do not have exam resources for all law classes.

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