Academic Success & Bar Preparation


The vision of the Academic Success & Bar Preparation Office is to offer academic readiness programs and courses centered around developing personalized learning strategies to maximize intrinsic motivation for achieving a student’s desired full academic potential.

Programs for Entering Students

Southwestern offers academic success courses in the summer which are specifically geared toward entering students. These workshops provide an introduction to legal writing, course review techniques, briefing cases and other academic skills prior to the start of Fall classes.

Academic Skills Lab

Southwestern offers a 1-credit course in both the Fall and Spring called Academic Skills Lab as part of the first-year curriculum. The primary goal of the Academic Skills Lab is to help students adopt learning strategies and study habits in their first year of law school that will lead to academic success, both in law school and on the bar examination. These skills include:

  • The ability to manage time and stress
  • The ability to take proper notes during class
  • The ability to read and understand information (reading and briefing)
  • The ability to synthesize, process and organize large volumes of information (note-taking, regular review of their materials, outlining, flow-charting)
  • The ability to demonstrate knowledge by applying this information in an organized and analytical fashion (exam-writing and exam-taking)

Programs for Continuing Students

Southwestern offers many courses specifically designed to further develop an upper-division student's critical thinking, analysis and exam-writing skills, as well as improve their overall academic performance. These courses also provide students with an early start on bar preparation.

Early bar preparation workshops are offered for graduating students to provide a jumpstart on bar review during the academic year. A customized bar preparation course is also offered in the winter and summer in partnership with a commercial bar review company. Detailed information is provided as students progress toward completing their degrees.

For more information on any of these topics, contact the Academic Success & Bar Preparation Office. Current students can also find additional details and resources on the MySWLAW portal (log-in required).

NOTE: For information about academic success programs for SCALE® students, please contact the SCALE Office.