FAMU LAW News

FAMU College of Law Launches Post-Admit Program to Prepare Students for Success

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law has kicked off its Summer Comprehensive Academic Legal Enhancement (SCALE) Program, an initiative designed to assist entering students with their transition to law school by helping them to reach their full potential and achieve success. The voluntary two-week program – which includes housing, meals, course materials and faculty instruction – runs from Monday, July 9, 2018 to Friday, July 20, 2018 and is being provided FREE of charge to a select number of students.

What makes SCALE unique is that the post-admit program is focused primarily on enhancing participants’ problem solving, legal reasoning and critical reading and thinking skills in a law school classroom setting, said LeRoy Pernell, interim dean and professor of law.

“Deficiencies in these skill areas are directly related to why students who may have otherwise performed well academically prior to law school, may not perform well on the LSAT exam and in-turn not succeed in law school,” Pernell said. “SCALE is designed to bridge the gap in developing these core skills, as well as provide a strong foundation by which SCALE participants can excel in their first year of law school.”

SCALE offers students already admitted to law school several key experiences, including enrichment activities, mentoring and the opportunity to jump start their law school careers by acquiring, through practice, the legal study skills necessary for success –i.e. case reading and briefing, legal analysis, self-regulated learning, Socratic method, etc. – in advance of the rest of the admitted class. Finally, because SCALE is limited to a small number of participants, each will receive individualized feedback and in-depth support throughout SCALE from faculty teaching in the program.

Sixteen students are participating in the 2018 SCALE program, which was previously offered to entering students in Summer 2016. Of the 16 students who took part in the previous SCALE program, several have excelled in law school, including many who now hold leadership positions in student organizations, some who were invited to participate on Law Review, others who took part in high-profile internships and Study Abroad programs; and two who serve as student assistants for the 2018 SCALE program.

“My experience with SCALE was very beneficial, including the classes on organization and how to brief a case,” said Brittany Bennett, a rising third-year law student who assists the 2018 participants in the daily Review and Study Lab. “My biggest takeaway was learning how I learn. That was a new concept to me and it’s something I’ve continued to be aware of throughout law school.”

Having recently completed a Study Abroad program in South Africa, former SCALE and rising third-year student Ashanti Breeden is also serving as a student assistant for the 2018 SCALE program. “The SCALE program truly aided me in my transition to law school because it provided me a safe place to practice certain skills without the typical pressures of law school,” Breeden said.

SCALE marks the latest phase of FAMU College of Law’s Project PASS (Performance Assessment and Strategic Support) initiative, which was launched last fall to take a comprehensive approach to enhancing student learning, beginning with an assessment of students’ prior academic experiences, continuing through law school, and culminating during bar exam preparation.

Project PASS utilizes proven methods to target first-year and upper-level students with uniquely designed teaching tools that complement existing course work or are integrated into the current curriculum.

Project PASS activities previously implemented include a two-week extended orientation entitled, “Foundations for Law School Success: Boot Camp 2017” for entering students; a mandatory diagnostic exam that focused on knowledge, comprehension, analysis and application of the law for upper-level students; complimentary course materials for the Multistate Bar, Law and Skills and the Florida Bar, Law and Skills courses for third-year students; and several externally-administered simulated exams for graduates studying for the Bar Exam.

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About FAMU College of Law

The FAMU College of Law is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, just steps from the George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building; and blocks from governmental offices, major law firms, large corporations and legal service agencies.

The college’s prime location provides students with direct access to the area’s largest employers of individuals with law degrees, offering our students and graduates ample avenues to gain practical experience in the legal profession.

With tuition among the lowest of the 13 law schools in Florida, along with a full-time day program and a part-time evening program, the college is distinctly positioned to offer the traditional student and the working professional a chance to earn a law degree while accruing minimal debt.

The College of Law’s student body is diverse – 72 percent minority and 56 percent women – helping to enrich a campus community where intellectual freedom and self-discovery are encouraged. Thanks to its renowned faculty, the college focuses on academic excellence in the classroom; emphasizes practical experience and public service within its clinical programs; and stresses professionalism through its co-curricular activities.

CONTACT: Mildred Graham, (407) 254-3206, mildred.graham@famu.edu

Robin Holmes, (407) 254-3290, robin.holmes@famu.edu