MSU College of Law

Academic Success Program

MSU Law's Academic Success Program provides support to students as they develop the skills necessary to become both academically and professionally successful.

We’re here to help.

MSU Law’s Academic Success Program can help you develop the skills you’ll need to be a successful law student – and a successful lawyer.

The ASP will guide you through the challenges of law school and work with you to strengthen your academic abilities. Through workshops and services, we support students as they develop critical skills for achievement in law school, on the bar exam, and in the legal profession.

Sometimes skills-building happens in a group setting, and sometimes in one-on-one consultations. No matter what style of learning you prefer, we have resources that can help.

The ASP team believes that you are capable of succeeding at MSU Law. We’ve been through law school and we know that your academic success is connected to your emotional well-being. Our programming will help you to develop non-academic skills (like time management and stress management) that will see you through an intense three years.

How do we do this?

  • Enhancing your confidence, abilities, and self-efficacy
  • Helping you to recognize that you are the center of your own learning
  • Providing you with the tools to become an independent learner

Worrying over rumors about the rigors of law school? Wondering how to succeed on high-stakes exams? Want to start reading now to prepare for your 1L year? The ASP staff is here to ease your anxiety! Email Meghan Short or Goldie Pritchard for answers to your pre-law-school questions.

  • Resources for 1L Students: Throughout the academic year, the ASP co-Directors will lead skills workshops on key topics such as exam-writing, synthesizing course material, outlining, taking notes in class, reading for law school, study strategies, and time management. These workshops are open to all interested first year students.

    The Academic Success Program also coordinates a teaching assistant program offered in conjunction with several first year courses. The ASP staff trains and supports a team of highly qualified upper-level students who provide additional reinforcement of class material through practical exercises during regularly offered TA labs. These labs are subject and professor specific and are open to all interested first year students.

    ASP offers a Critical Skills Program during the spring semester for students who wish to take advantage of more intensive academic skills instruction. CSP is a weekly study group led by one of ASP’s Co-Directors, focusing on a variety of academic skills taught within the context of the material being covered in a spring semester doctrinal course. In CSP, students revisit study and test-taking skills, complete practice questions, and discuss analysis and sample answers.

    The ASP staff is also always available for individual consultation with 1L students desiring extra attention. Whether a student's issue is academic or emotional (or a combination of both), the ASP staff are well-equipped to counsel and guide students through the, oftentimes, tumultuous first year of law school.

  • Resources for Upper Class Students: Academic support does not end with completion of a student's first year. ASP staff provides individual consultation and/or support to students whose academic performance raises concerns about their mastery of first-year material or their adoption of strategies for succeeding in their future courses. ASP also provides support to upper level students as they contemplate and prepare for the bar exam.

  • Resources Available to Graduates and Alumni

    Finally, Michigan State University College of Law is invested in its students' bar exam success and offers programs and individual counseling to support graduates as they prepare for the bar.

The ASP staff is available by appointment for one-on-one consultation throughout the year. Students should take advantage of this resource to discuss with MSU Law's ASP professionals any issues related to their law school experience. To quote oft-used legalese, individual consultation can address the following subjects, including, but not limited to:

  • Time management/scheduling
  • Reading/Case Briefing
  • Note-taking/ Getting the most out of class time
  • Outlining
  • Stress Management
  • Emotional support/Resource referral
  • Exam preparation
  • Test-taking skills
  • Exam Review
  • Upper Level course selection
  • Bar application process
  • Bar preparation process

Additionally, ASP staff keeps an ever-growing collection of reference materials and study aids for both first year and upper level courses. We are happy to discuss the pros and cons of specific study guides and will allow for their perusal during individual meetings.

Contact Meghan Short or Goldie Pritchard to schedule an appointment.

During the fall semester, the Academic Success Program, with the cooperation of the first year doctrinal professors, offers bi-weekly TA-run labs for each section of Civil Procedure and Torts.  These labs are not intended to function as Q&A sessions and their purpose is not to review the material covered in the professor’s class.  Instead, the ASP TA labs are a way for 1L students to actively engage with the subject matter through practice with hypotheticals, multiple-choice and essay questions, and various other hands-on exercises geared toward enhancing students’ academic skills, while simultaneously reinforcing the doctrinal material.

Similar TA labs are also offered during the spring semester in conjunction with the 1L Property classes.

Please refer to the ASP 1L TWEN page for regularly updated materials provided during the TA labs.

MSU Law offers several one-credit bar skills courses to 3Ls seeking a head start at practicing the types of multiple choice and essay questions that will be covered on the bar exam. ASP also provides access to the National Conference of Bar Examiners' practice question bank and offers a workshop on the Multi-state Performance Test (MPT). In addition, we’re always available for individual consultation with upper level students who have questions about the bar application process, commercial bar-prep programs, or bar study skills.

Looking for additional bar prep resources? Check out the Student Handbook and OSE’s bar exam info.