Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs

Southwestern offers students a comprehensive academic support program at every stage of a student's law school career.

Programs for Entering Students

Southwestern offers academic support workshops in the summer which are specifically geared toward entering students, providing an introduction to legal writing, course review techniques, briefing cases and other concerns prior to the start of Fall classes. Click here for more information.

Programs for First-Year Students

First-year students can take advantage of a number of academic support opportunities in the fall semester. 

The First-Year Academic Skills Program (FYASP) - a series of workshops led by Academic Support faculty - covers the four general skills areas that first-year students must grasp in order to be successful in their studies:

  • time management
  • reading and briefing
  • outlining
  • exam-writing

Dean's Fellows
- upper division students with strong academic skills who have gone through a rigorous application and training process - are an integral part of the FYASP program. They are carefully selected from among the best in their first-year classes based on their academic success and ability to teach other students those study methods that will help them become acclimated to the study of law, and they are available to meet one-on-one with students.

The Dean's Fellows also teach Peer Assisted Skills Sessions (PASS). PASS sessions use a particular doctrinal course as a vehicle for students to get hands-on practice and enhance core academic skills.

In addition, various courses are offered in the Spring Semester designed to help students improve their overall academic performance as well as critical thinking and analysis.    

Programs for Continuing Students

Southwestern offers many courses specifically designed to further develop an upper division student's critical thinking, analysis and exam-writing skills, as well as improve their overall academic performance. These courses also provide students with an early start on bar preparation.

Bar Preparation Programs

The Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs Office switches focus to success on the bar examination during the final year in law school and into bar preparation. Detailed information is provided as students progress toward completing their degree.

For more information on any of these topics, contact the Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs Office. Current students can also find additional details and resources on MySouthwestern (log-in required).

Note: For information about academic support programs for SCALEĀ® students, please contact the SCALE Office.


Westmoreland Building, 6th Floor


Professor John Heilman and Professor Natalie Rodriguez
Co-Directors of Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs
(213) 738-6813 /