Every student admitted to Berkeley Law has the ability to succeed in law school. But adjusting to the demands of the first-year curriculum can be difficult. Berkeley Law is committed to fostering an academic environment in which all students can achieve their full potential. Through a variety of programs and services, the Academic Skills Program (ASP) helps students build the skills critical to success in law school and in practice.
During the five days preceding 1L Orientation, we offer an introduction to law school teaching methods and skills. You will receive a letter over the summer with information about how to apply. This is a unique opportunity to better understand and practice the skills you will need to succeed in law school, as well as meet some of your classmates and faculty members.
Teaching Fellows and Labs
We offer weekly small-group workshops (“labs”) during the fall semester of your first year. Student teaching fellows lead the labs, which are designed to introduce you to core academic and lawyering skills such as case briefing, rule analysis and synthesis, outlining, and exam-writing. Each first-year module is assigned to a specific lab and teaching fellow. The labs are optional, but students in past years gained the most through regular attendance, as each week’s session builds on prior material. We also offer labs during the spring semester, as you continue to practice and refine these important skills.
The ASP faculty are available to meet with you one-on-one to answer specific questions, review concepts and skills, discuss study strategies and exam preparation, assist with time management, etc. Our contact information is below.
The ASP faculty teach a number of courses through the lens of academic skills. This means that in addition to teaching you the relevant substantive law, we will focus on honing the skills essential to academic and professional success. These courses typically include Constitutional Law, Advanced Legal Writing, Trusts & Estates, and Lawyering As Problem-Solving. Some classes require a short application.
If you have questions about the program, concerns about the academic demands of law school, or would like to schedule an individual advising meeting, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can schedule a meeting with Professor DiGennaro using this link.