Academic Resources: Academic Achievement Program

Golden Gate University School of Law strives to ensure the success of every student. Academic Achievement supports every student at the Law School by helping to improve their academic performance and skills. The Academic Achievement department advises students, provides skills workshops, and runs both the Practice Intensive Course Program (PIC) for first-year law students and the Group Leadership Program for upper-division students.


RESOURCES FOR GGU LAW STUDENTS

Academic Achievement is committed to helping you succeed and to easing your transition into law school. We do this through the PIC study groups and through one-on-one meetings. We encourage you to contact one of our team members to set up an appointment.

PIC STUDY GROUPS

PIC stands for “Practice Intensive Course.” All first-year students are enrolled in mandatory skills study groups that are linked to two doctrinal courses. The PIC groups meet for one hour per week and are taught by upper-division students. The groups focus on the critical skills needed for success in the first year and throughout law school, including reading and briefing cases, outlining, legal analysis, and exam-taking techniques. There are multiple opportunities for written feedback on practice assignments. Students also have opportunities to practice their skills under exam-like conditions toward the end of each semester through a simulated essay exam and a simulated 25 question bar-style multiple choice exam.

GROUP LEADERSHIP PROGRAM

Good lawyering means communicating effectively with a variety of people and explaining complex topics in simple terms; working as a Group Leader allows students to develop and refine their skills in these areas. Upper-division students have the opportunity to mentor and teach first-year students in PIC groups as Group Leaders. Each Group Leader runs their own small discussion section for an hour each week. Our Group Leaders are carefully selected from a diverse pool of applicants, many of which are leaders in their communities and on campus. Group Leaders are trained by professors and staff, and receive one-on-one feedback about their work in the classroom.

WORKSHOPS

Essential Skills for 1L Success Workshop Series

LEGAL ANALYSIS

Legal Analysis is an intensive skills-based course for first-year law students in their spring semester, designed to improve their academic skills in a small group setting with the one-on-one support of a skills professor. Specifically, the course focuses on the following essential skills for success: reading cases at a deep level, effective briefing, synthesizing course material down to a precise outline, using multiple choice strategies to get to the best answer choice, and engaging in a thorough analysis of the facts against the law. The course is hands-on; students are expected to turn in assignments regularly for feedback, and take timed and untimed practice exams.  

The course takes place in lieu of the first-year spring semester 1L Lawyering Elective and is graded on a credit/no credit basis. Enrollment in Legal Analysis requires approval from Academic Achievement and Student Affairs. 

LEGAL METHODS

Legal Methods is an intensive second-year, fall semester skills-based course designed to build upon the academic skills learned in the first year. The course utilizes material students are currently learning in their second-year required courses, such as Constitutional Law I, to hone their ability to read deeply, synthesize effectively, and engage in thorough analysis. Additionally, students routinely practice the skill of self-assessment, thereby developing the ability to move their own learning forward. The course is hands-on; students are expected to turn in assignments regularly for feedback, and take timed and untimed practice exams. Most students who take Legal Methods see improvement in their GPA at the end of the semester.   

The course is graded on a credit/no credit basis. Enrollment in Legal Methods requires approval from Academic Achievement and Student Affairs. 

ONE-ON-ONE ADVISING

Students may make appointments with any member of the Academic Achievement team to discuss study skills, exam strategies, legal analysis, learning tools, time management, substantive law, and/or get feedback on outlines and practice exams. Meetings can be conducted in person or via Zoom.


ADDITIONAL ACADEMIC RESOURCES

THEMIS BAR PREP PARTNERSHIP

GGU School of Law has partnered with Themis Bar Review to provide students with additional tools and support for both law school and bar exam success.

PAST EXAMS

The Law Library posts prior exams and best answers for five years for current professors, and for professors who have taught at the School of Law within the past three years. Older exams are available in bound volumes in the Law Library.

THE CENTER FOR COMPUTER-ASSISTED LEGAL INSTRUCTION (CALI)

CALI offers a variety of lessons on substantive law and skills, complete with exercises. ALL GGU Law students receive CALI login account information at orientation. If you have additional questions about how to access CALI, please contact Dean Daw (mdaw@ggu.edu).


ADDITIONAL SUPPORT RESOURCES

Golden Gate University School of Law has a comprehensive network of resources to address students' needs.

DISABILITY SERVICES

If students think their academic struggles are due to a disability, they may see disability services for additional resources that may be available.

WELLNESS RESOURCES

Wellness Resources assist students in effectively managing stress, performance and test anxiety, as well as personal and health issues.


ADDITIONAL ONLINE RESOURCES

Read some of the helpful articles written by our expert faculty:


CENTER FOR STUDENT SUCCESS TEAM

Associate Dean of Online Education, Director of Academic Achievement, and Associate Professor of Law

Professor Reichi Lee
Office: Suite 2349

Director of Bar Services and Associate Professor of Law

Professor Rana Boujaoude
Office: Suite 2348

Associate Director of Academic Achievement and Adjunct Professor

Heather Varanini
Office: Suite 2342