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Academic Support Programs and Academic Counseling


Department of Academic Support Programs

One of the most comprehensive Academic Support Programs in the country is administered by Southern University Law Center. Through its Office of Academic Support Programs, the law school offers an comprehensive four week Summer Pre Law Program during the month of July. Both the Academic Success Skills Program and the Academic Skills Enhancement Program is offered during both the fall and spring semesters. An Academic Counseling component and Disability Services for Testing is also available throughout the academic year.

Academic Support Programs are designed to assist students who have not been in an academic setting for a number of years and for those making the transition from undergraduate education to professional legal education. The programs provide opportunities to analyze and synthesize precedent, interpret statutes, construct policy arguments and train students to write and speak with clarity and precision. Once basic law school learning skills have been developed, students are expected to proceed with their studies without significant supplemental assistance.

Summer Pre law Program (July)

Academic Support starts building the foundation, knowledge and understanding of the structure and content of the legal system, law school pedagogy, and learning theory through its extensive four week Summer Pre Law Program. Through instruction in three substantive courses (Torts, Contracts, Basic Civil Procedure), students are introduced to legal skills, emphasizing legal writing and legal analysis through a skills orientation component of the program. Participation is selective. Because most students welcome any assistance offered to help them succeed in law school, students do not object to being invited to attend the summer program. Every indication is that students who complete the pre law program are considerably more confident, perhaps the most important ingredient in exam success beyond learning applicable law.

The Academic Assistance Program (Fall and Spring)

The weekly sessions are mandatory for all students enrolled in first-year courses and helps students understand doctrines and develop or refine their study and analytical skills. The program consists of weekly sessions of two-hours each during both the fall and spring semesters where emphasis is placed on study techniques, analytical skills and exam writing. Each session or seminar is designed to help students become independent learners. The substantive law is used as a tool for teaching students how to read and analyze cases, how to brief cases, how to organize their notes and briefs, how to outline, how to prepare for exams, how to analyze exam questions, how to organize exam answers, and finally how to write exam answers.

During the fall semester, the weekly sessions are presented for Torts I, Criminal Law, Basic Civil Procedure, Contracts and Legal Writing I. During spring semester Civil Law Property, Constitutional Law, Obligations, Torts II and Legal Writing.

The required legal writing courses for first and second year students emphasize clarity, organization, legal analysis and exposition. Individual and small group instruction in communication skills is also provided.

Academic Enhancement Skills Program (Fall and Spring)

The Academic Enhancement Skills, an progressive exam writing program, emphasizes clarity, organization and legal analysis. The hands-on skill sessions uses progressive exercises to demystify the exam writing process and reinforces the practical skills learned in academic assistance workshops.

The self-directed format allows students to advance at their own pace as they gain confidence in their study and exam taking skills. Participation is mandatory for students with academic probation status and voluntary for others.

Participants receive individual assessments and tutorials from the academic counselors.

Academic Counseling/Advising Component

During the school year, students are encouraged to use the academic counselors for informal discussions about the students' undergraduate background, career goals and concerns that the student might have about their legal education.

Academic Counselors provide tutorials for at-risk students, advise students of law school expectations, motivate students in the pursuit of their legal studies, assist students in their development of effective study strategies, time management skills and examination techniques, and proctor special accommodation exams. Academic Counselors are available for both the day and evening divisions.

Disability Services: Testing Accommodations

The Law Center welcomes students with disabilities and wishes to publish our commitment to making programs and services accessible to all persons. Students requiring accommodations must contact the Office of Academic Support Programs, Suite 220, 225-771-4913.

Students MUST provide adequate documentation of disability.

Application for Testing Accommodations

Fall Application Deadline: October 14, 2011
Spring Application Deadline: March 9, 2012

Complaint and grievance procedures are provided for students who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Staff

Berryl Gordon-Thompson, Esq.
Assoc. Vice Chancellor
Email: bthompson@sulc.edu

Angela Mason, Esq.
Academic Counselor
Email: amason@sulc.edu

Marla Dickerson, Esq.
Academic Counselor
Email: mdickerson@sulc.edu

Pamela Thomas Anderson
Administrative Assistant IV
Email: panderson@sulc.edu

Teaching Assistants

Mailing address:
Southern University Law Center
Department of Academic Support Programs
Post Office Box 9294
Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Physical address:
Southern University Law Center
Department of Academic Support Programs
2 Roosevelt Steptoe Drive, Suite 220/221
Baton Rouge, LA 70813