Academic Success Program (ASP)

The Academic Success Program exemplifies our commitment to the success of each of our students. The program consists of several elements, including small-group tutorial sessions, exam-writing seminars, an upper-level skills sequence and a third-year course in Legal Analysis: Skills and Strategies.

First-Year ASP 

  • Some students are required to participate in the first-year ASP as a condition to their admission and continued matriculation. These students will be notified of this requirement as part of their acceptance to the College of Law. Other first-year students may participate in ASP as space permits.
  • Weekly small group tutorials are offered for each first-year substantive law course. Second and third-year students facilitate the sessions, which focus on learning skills such as note-taking techniques, case briefing skills and exam writing techniques.
  • ASP study group leaders/tutors offer regularly scheduled office hours open to the entire first-year-class. ASP coordinators and legal writing faculty are also available to discuss students’ concerns.
  • First-year students with a cumulative fall semester GPA of 2.2 or lower are required to participate in spring ASP tutorial sessions even if they were not required to participate during the fall semester. These students will also be required to participate in an intensive six- to eight-week exam-writing seminar to provide practice in responding to hypotheticals similar to those used on final exams.

Upper-Level ASP 

  • Second-year students with a cumulative first-year GPA of 2.4 or lower are required to participate in the upper-level ASP to help improve fundamentals such as outlining and note-taking skills. ASP coordinators/legal writing instructors also provide individualized feedback on practice exam questions.
  • Students with the ten lowest cumulative GPAs in their class at the end of the second year are required to enroll in Advanced Legal Analysis: Skills and Strategies (Law 616) during the spring semester of their third year. Any remaining slots in this limited enrollment course are open to the rest of the third-year class. Law 616 helps students further develop skills required to pass the bar examination.

Testimonial

The Academic Success Program was one of the most useful programs, helping me to succeed in my 1L year. For me, it was an extra study group that would help me refresh my memory of cases and topics. In addition, my ASP tutors helped me ‘learn the ropes’ of what professors wanted, what was important, how I should brief cases, read cases, how to outline to prepare for finals, and how to write answers for essay questions.

I consider myself fortunate that I was in the program because I wanted all the help I could get to survive the ‘dreaded’ first year of law school. I enjoyed it so much and I was fortunate to be hired to be one of the ASP tutors. It has been a privilege to be on the other side by being a tutor and helping first-year students.

– Alex G.

Contact Us

Admissions
Swen Parson Hall 151
815-753-8595
law-admit@niu.edu
Dean's Office
Swen Parson Hall 270
815-753-1068