The Academic and Professional Success Program (APSP) is an integral part of Albany Law School's commitment to provide the opportunity for all students to succeed in law school. The APSP is a collaborative effort involving law school administration, faculty and students with the goal of assisting students in developing and enhancing the critical skills necessary for academic success in school, success on the bar exam, and success as an attorney. The program consists of several components, including a required first-year class that focuses on skill development in the context of substantive coursework, a series of workshops for upper-division students, a writing center, individual tutoring, counseling, an alumni mentoring program, a specialized bar course and a bar mentoring program for third-year students.
The professional success Seminar is a required first-year course that concentrates on enhancing students' skills. It involves completing written and oral exercises in case reading, briefing, analyzing, synthesizing, note taking, outlining, communicating and exam taking skills. The course also addresses career pathways and professionalism.
Tutors work with students assigned to first-year doctrinal courses and assist the students in working through problems and understanding the doctrinal coursework, as well as developing their skills.
This is an Honors Teaching Fellowship program in which second-year students in the top 10 percent of their class are assigned to a section of a first-semester required course as a teaching fellow. The fellows attend the regularly scheduled classes, conduct or assist in conducting small group review sessions, provide individual tutoring and assist faculty in critiquing individual students' responses to sample questions and problems.
During the 2015-2016 academic year, The Swyer Academic Success Workshops will be devoted to assisting students to prepare for the recently adopted Uniform Bar Examination. Faculty will conduct Workshops in select subject matter areas that are tested on the Multistate Essay Exam including Business Organizations, Conflicts, Family Law, Trusts & Estates, and Secured Transactions. Workshops will also cover skills such as critical reading, issue spotting, legal analysis, and writing organized essay answers in IRAC format.
Our Writing Center has a new space on the fourth floor of the main building and is staffed by our Writing Specialist who oversees the Center. The Writing Specialist is available to meet and work individually with students, to assess student writing to determine individual student problem areas, assist students with outlining, drafting, and revising both first-year and upper level writing assignments, assist students with creating effective cover letters, job applications, and resumes, to coordinate with lawyering faculty, and also to provide support for faculty. The Writing Specialist also oversees the Peer Writing Assistance Program, a group of upper division students with excellent writing and analytical skills who are carefully trained and closely supervised who assist peers with their law school-related writing.
All second-year students take
diagnostic exams to measure their knowledge retained from core courses and gauge essay writing in preparation for the bar exam. The exam will produce individual reports for each student, and also report on groups that will show student performance by subject matter and skills.
Albany Law School also provides a bar mentoring program for third-year students. The Bar Exam Mentoring Program provides students with an opportunity to ask questions and receive guidance on study tips, test procedures and other general questions and concerns regarding the exam.