Academic Readiness Programs

Academic readiness activities begin during orientation and continue through students’ second year of law school.  La Verne Law offers separate Academic Readiness Programs for first and second year students.

New Student Orientation

The College of Law’s mandatory New Student Orientation is held annually during the first week of the fall semester.  All entering 1Ls and transfer students must attend New Student Orientation. During the Orientation, members of the CABR conduct several workshops targeted at introducing 1Ls to basic skills that are fundamental to academic achievement. These workshops are designed to give students an overview of the types of skills that they need to practice and develop as they prepare for their first day of classes.

First Year (1L) Academic Readiness Program

DVS (Doctrine, Values and Skills) courses are designed to provide students with assistance in transitioning from college to the rigors of law school.  First year law students are also required to take Contracts and Federal Civil Procedure DVS courses in the fall semester and Property and Constitutional Law DVS courses in the spring semester. These uniquely structured courses blend the study of the substantive law with the development of critical skills normally taught separately as academic support.

Contract Law: Doctrine, Values, and Skills
(LAW 510 – 5 units) 
This course is a study of the formation of legally enforceable contracts and their enforcement. Topics covered include consideration, offer, acceptance, mistake, reliance, capacity, equitable factors, illegality, and the effects of the Statute of Frauds. Remedies for breach of contract, interpretation of contract language, factors affecting contract enforcement, persons entitled to enforce contractual obligations, and special statutory provisions affecting consumer and commercial transactions are also covered. One unit of the course is devoted to values and skills development.
Civil Procedure: Doctrine, Values, and Skills
(LAW 540 – 5 units)
This course is a study of the constitutional and jurisprudential aspects of civil procedure. Subjects covered include jurisdiction, venue, joinder of parties, and claims, including issues of standing, justiciability, pleading requirements, discovery, right to trial by jury, the effects of a prior judgment on subsequent proceedings, the interaction between state and federal court systems, and the scope of appellate review. One unit of the course is devoted to values and skills development.
Constitutional Law/Doctrine Values, and Skills
(LAW 590 – 5 units) 
This course is a study of the law of the United States Constitution. Subjects include the structure of the federal republic, the constitutional powers of the government, separation of powers, judicial review, and individual rights and liberties (including due process of law, equal protection, freedom of expression and association, and free exercise and establishment of religion). One unit of the course is devoted to values and skills development.
Real Property: Doctrine, Values, and Skills
(LAW 520 – 5 units) 
This course is a study of the rights and consequences of land ownership and problems in transferring interests in land. Subjects include common law estates and interests, duties and rights of landlord and tenant, easements, covenants, and the rights of neighbors, the government, and the public. Also included are such topics as contracts for sale and remedies for breach, non-contractual transfer, covenants of title, marketable title, implied warranties, recording statutes, title insurance, adverse possession, and equitable conversion. One unit of the course is devoted to values and skills development.

Second Year (2L) Academic Readiness Program

Strategic Legal Methods (SLM) is a mandatory year-long course for 2L students who have GPAs that are 2.7 or lower. This course is optional for students with GPAs higher than 2.7. SLM offers students remedial and advanced instruction and practice in academic and exam-taking skills.

Strategic Legal Methods (SLM) I and II

SLM is a year-long course that advances 2L students’ skill development to greater heights by increasing the depth of critical reading, critical thinking, and analytical writing related to exam preparation, exam taking, and lawyerly thought.  In SLM I, which is taught during the Fall semester, 2L students review those basic strategies, skills and techniques, and as the class progresses, students enhance and build upon those skills by performing exercises that are more advanced and targeted at developing exam-taking skills that are appropriate for bar exam essays and MBE questions.  In SLM II, which is taught during the Spring semester, 2L students apply and practice their academic skills by doing bar-style essay questions, MBE-style multiple choice questions and other practice exercises.

The SLM course is tied substantively to the doctrinal courses taught in the second year, for both full-time and part-time students. We believe that connecting these doctrinal courses with SLM enhances students’ overall performance in both courses because students are learning the black letter law in their doctrinal courses while contemporaneously practicing critical reading, legal analysis, rule synthesis, essay organization and other skills in the SLM course.

Individual Academic Support Counseling

The Center for Academic & Bar Readiness (CABR) offers personalized one-on-one academic support counseling to all La Verne Law students. Students may schedule an appointment with a CABR instructor for personalized academic support counseling; however, CABR has an “open door” policy so a CABR instructor is usually available to offer immediate counseling and support to students on a walk-in basis.