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LEO program 2011 - Goals and Objectives

1) To provide a rigorous introduction to the first year law school experience through the use of a three week classroom process designed to develop legal reasoning and writing skills, to assess and improve writing competency, and to teach study skills strategies appropriate for law students.

2) To provide opportunities for students to interact socially with each other, the law school faculty and administration, and upper-class students as a means to ease the transition into law school, to reduce isolation and alienation, to introduce avenues of support, and to provide role models.

Morning Session I (tentative):  Introduction to Law and the Legal System 

Melanie C. Rodriguez, Associate Director of Student Life, Academic Support & Diversity Initiatives, will conduct daily morning classes using a set of cases and materials developed for the LEO Program. The classes will analyze the structure and function of the United States legal system and both the common law method and statutory lawmaking. Using a series of cases from the first year curriculum, students will be exposed to the rigorous study of law. All students will learn to read and brief cases, extrapolate rules of law from their readings and apply those rules to new fact patterns.

Morning Session II (tentative):  Law School Success
Essential to the overall success in law school and the law profession, presentations will be given topics such as time and stress management, wellness, and effective communication. Students will also be introduced to the Academic Achievement Program at the College of Law through skills classes that cover topics such as class preparation, note taking, outlines, and exam preparation and techniques. Students will learn strategies for handling the challenges of the first year of law school as well as where to find help in overcoming any difficulties that may arise. These classes will identify living and learning skills in order to create the foundation for a successful legal education. 

Afternoon Session I (tentative):  Small Group Study Sessions
Teaching assistants who are second year law students will attend all classes and meet with students at the end of the day to debrief the day’s material and work with students in an informal setting to answer questions and address any problems that students may be having. Students will have the opportunity to practice briefing cases and to perform other short assignments in a small group setting with immediate feedback from the Teaching Assistants. 

Afternoon Session I (tentative):  Legal Writing Workshop
Daily afternoon workshops led by Professor Richard Risman are designed to improve writing skills associated with the practice of law through individual and small group assignments and critiques. Classes will cover legal writing, case briefing and analysis, the legal system and hierarchy of authority, and deriving rules of law from cases and statutes. Students will be introduced to the office memorandum, including components, drafting, and organization, and will prepare an office memorandum for their final writing assignment.