What does the Office of Academic Success do?
Why does the College of Law have an Office of Academic Success?
Isn't Academic Success just for students needing remedial help or those at the bottom of the class?
How much should I study?
What are gouges?
What study aids should I buy?
When should I start outlining?
Where can I find practice problems?
What is academic probation?
Will I be able to pass the bar?
What does the Office of Academic Success do?
The Office of Academic Success helps students maximize their law school success by fostering key study, analytical, and life skills. Academic Success offers workshops, study sessions, talks by experts, academic advising and counseling, and more. See Academic Success services.
- Many law students earned top grades without ever learning basic academic skills such as effective reading, note-taking, and effective time management. In the demanding law school environment, mastering these skills is essential to success.
- The study of law demands a new set of skills such as briefing cases and applying the law to new, ambiguous fact patterns. The College provides Academic Success to help students develop these difficult skills.
Every student entering the College is fully qualified to attend this law school. Academic Success is for any law student wanting to study more effectively. Many top students use Academic Success services. As one top student put it, "Academic Success is especially helpful for students who have lives outside law school.";
On the first day of law school you are beginning the professional practice of law; therefore, you should devote as much time to law school as you will to the practice of law. Few full-time lawyers work as little as 40 hours a week; 60-70 hours is more common. Especially during the first two semesters, you should plan on devoting a minimum of 60 hours a week to your practice of law here at the College of Law.
"Gouges" is a generic term for supplemental materials, or study aids. The term covers a range of products from highly-respected hornbooks to items that are largely worthless. Study aids are marketed as supplemental materials to help you understand material in your casebook.
Buy a good hardbound legal dictionary before classes start. You will use it not only through law school but throughout your professional life. At this writing, no truly useful legal dictionary is available online. Don't buy any other study aid until you have used it at least twice and found it genuinely useful. You can "try before you buy" by using materials in the Academic Success Library or at the Law Library reserve desk.
In the first semester, you should start outlining sometime between the fourth and sixth weeks. At this time you will have both enough legal understanding and a sufficient mass of material to start creating a personal summary of the law in each of your courses.
The best source is actually the hypotheticals your professor has posed in class, which you should be writing down in your class notes. Another fertile source is writing your own hypothetical fact patterns that test your knowledge of the course as the professor taught it. Other sources include the professor's past exams on the Exam Archives page, problems in Examples and Explanations and other study aids, and CALI questions online.
UI law students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 or above to remain in good academic standing. If your cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0, you will be placed on academic probation during the following semester. You must generally bring your cumulative GPA up to a 2.0 to remain at the College. See the Catalog & Law Student Handbook for more detailed information
Passing the bar exam depends on you and your own hard work. In a six-year study of 312 UI law students, 78.5% passed the Idaho bar exam on the first try when they took it within 2 years of graduation. Approximately 95% passed by their third attempt. You can maximize your chances of passing the bar exam the first time by (1) mastering the skills of writing and legal analysis, (2) learning early about the bar exam in your chosen state and gathering together materials well before law school graduation, (3) reviewing the subject matter (especially first-year courses) even before the bar review course (4) enrolling in comprehensive bar review course and devoting at least 40 hours a week to it, (5) writing the answers to dozens of actual bar exam essay questions and taking MBE practice questions, (6) not working over 20 hours a week between graduation and the bar exam.
Do you have a question you would like answered on the FAQ page?
Email Academic Success.