What is the Academic Achievement Program?
The Academic Achievement Program (AAP) helps students develop analytical and examination skills and integrate into the law curriculum. It is a collaborative effort involving the University of Miami School of Law administration, faculty and students. The program's focus is student learning and the various factors that can affect student performance in law school. The program has the following major components:
Dean's Fellow Study Groups
Dean's Fellow Study Groups offer first-year students a chance to participate in a weekly study group for a specific class, and the group is facilitated by a Dean's Fellow — an upper-level (2L or 3L) student who excelled academically in that class.
Benefits/Features of Study Groups:
- Dean's Fellows are trained to use interactive learning exercises geared toward different learning styles.
- The Dean's Fellow works with the professor, attends all classes, and facilitates two separate weekly study group sessions.
- These groups allow students to become acclimated to the study of law much more swiftly and to interact with their fellow students in a relaxed atmosphere.
Study Group registration takes place during the second week of classes.
Writing Dean's Fellows
The Academic Achievement Program Writing Dean's Fellows are available to meet with all law students on an individual basis throughout the week (Monday-Friday) at various times and locations. During the fall semester, Writing Dean's Fellows have office hours in several Law School locations, including the Career Development Office, The Clinical Program Office space, the Law Library, the Student Lounge and on The Bricks.
Writing Dean's Fellows assist students with organization, structure, style, Blue Book citation, grammar and composition. They also assist students with cover letters, writing samples, case briefs and outlines, as well as papers for seminar classes.
Writing Dean's Fellows may not review Legal Communication and Research Skills (LComm) class assignments in draft or final form.
The Writing Dean's Fellows' scheduled hours and locations are posted on the web and in the Academic Achievement Program Office (Room F-202). Students may see any Writing Dean's Fellow on a drop-in basis during regular office hours and may also make an appointment through the AAP office or by contacting a particular Writing Dean's Fellow.
Essentials of Law School Achievement Workshops / Bar Exam Workshops
Upper-level students who seek additional academic assistance should schedule a meeting with Academic Achievement Program Director Joanne Harvest Koren, or Academic Achievement Program Advisor Alex Schimel.
Upper level students may participate in the fall semester Essentials of Law School Achievement Workshops and all students are invited to participate in the spring semester. These weekly workshops are taught by Alex Schimel and are designed to assist students in further developing critical thinking, effective study skills and examination skills. The sessions focus on study strategies, legal analysis and writing skills as well as life, time and stress management techniques. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Students are expected to attend all weekly sessions.
The AAP also offers Bar exam workshops and seminars.
Attend a lunchtime workshop or visit the Academic Achievement Program's collection of videos and presentations from past workshops on everything from a professor's perspective on exam taking to how to write a case note. Examples of past workshops include:
Personalized Planning and Counseling
Law School Skills
Professor Fajer’s Exam Tips Workshop Fall 2014