The USF School of Law offers a variety of services to students to help them succeed in their law school classes and on the bar exam.
The Academic Support Program (ASP) provides assistance to specially selected incoming students through a two-week summer program that introduces the challenges of law school with hands-on exercises and exam rehearsals during the students’ first year.
The Academic and Bar Exam Success Program (ABES) begins for all students on the first day of orientation and ends after students pass the bar exam. During the first year, ABES offers workshops that teach study techniques and exam-taking strategies to help students transition into law school and excel on final exams. ABES also provides bar preparation services to second- and third-year students through group programming and one-on-one sessions.
Academic Support Program
USF recognizes that the rigorous demands of a legal education may be especially challenging for applicants who have been culturally, educationally, economically, or historically disadvantaged, or who have not been in an academic setting for several years. USF created the Academic Support Program (ASP) to provide resources for these well-qualified individuals to excel in law school. The Admissions Committee carefully evaluates performance indicators and other criteria to determine who may benefit most from ASP.
ASP assists students in developing skills that enhance academic readiness and performance. Students selected for the program attend a two-week summer orientation program designed to foster a sense of community and to introduce strategies for academic excellence. These students also participate in study groups led by second and third-year students throughout the first year. Finally, they attend a course that focuses on analyzing hypothetical problems and writing answers to develop skills for taking law school exams. The program directors also meet individually with the students to evaluate academic progress, develop individual study plans, and work on writing skills.
As a graduate of USF's Academic Support Program in 1997, I understand first-hand the positive impact the program had on my law school experience and on my subsequent career. I was fortunate to practice in three states and finally returned home to USF as the ASP Co-director because I wanted to give this same support to the next generation."
Assistant Professor Heidi Ho Co-Director of the Academic Support Program
Our academic support programming sets USF apart from other law schools. We challenge, inspire, and support our students through the demands of their legal education."
Assistant Professor Carol Wilson Co-director of the Academic Support Program
From the start, ASP felt like a community that I could rely on and that was going to help me.”
Katiuska Pimentel JD ’23
The Academic Support Program teaches you all of the tools that you need to be successful as a law student, and that translates directly into being a lawyer. Once I had the tools, implementing them into my study routine was a piece of cake. ASP provided me with the skills to be successful from the first day of law school.
Daniel Dellafosse ’16
Academic and Bar Exam Success Program
The Academic and Bar Exam Success (ABES) Program provides comprehensive and holistic academic support to all USF students, starting during orientation and continuing through passing the bar exam.
Meeting one-on-one with the ABES professors is incredibly valuable. I appreciate their feedback on my writing and how to structure exam answers, as well as the supplemental resources they provide. The ABES class tutors also helped me succeed in my 1L classes."
Angela Roze ’20
1L & 2L Support
Co-Director and Professor Katie Moran leads the 1L and 2L support through a Fall class called Skills for Future Lawyers, which teaches students the necessary skills and mindsets to be successful in their substantive law classes. Support continues in the Spring of the first year through skills sessions linked to Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure. Students needing extra academic support after their first year complete Academic Foundations in their second year with Prof. Moran. Each 1L and 2L bar class has an assigned ABES tutor who holds office hours and supports students in that class.
3L and Bar Support
Co-Director and Professor Jonathan Chu teaches a class that all 3Ls take called Advanced Legal Analysis, which teaches students how to write essays for the California Bar Exam and how to take bar multiple choice questions. Students receive personalized feedback on their essay submissions. ABES also provides comprehensive programming, grading, feedback, and a suggested bar study schedule to all graduates to supplement their chosen bar preparation company.
Upper-division students can arrange individual meetings with ABES faculty to discuss their bar preparation plans anytime during the second, third, and fourth years. If a graduate does not pass the exam on their first attempt, ABES provides support to repeaters through intake counseling sessions that help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and focus their study strategies.
Jonathan Chu, Associate Professor & Co-Director (Bar Success)
Zief Library, 008
Katie Moran, Associate Professor & Co-Director (Academic Foundations)
Zief Library, 007
Sebastian Letheule, Law Faculty Fellow
Zief Library, 006