Professor Russell McClain,
Director, Academic Achievement Program
Phone: 410-706-AAP1 (2271)
The University of Maryland is one of the finest law schools in the country. The simple fact that you were admitted to this institution says volumes about both your intellectual capacity and the kind of addition we believe you can be to the legal profession. Given that our students have traveled such diverse educational paths, we understand that the law school learning process may not be intuitive for every student. Indeed, law school can be quite challenging and different from most prior academic experiences, and there may be other impediments to realizing your full potential. The law school, committed to helping every student develop the skills necessary to become successful lawyers, has created the Academic Achievement Program (AAP) to address your needs in this regard.
The AAP is aimed at (i) helping students get acclimated to the law school learning process, and (ii) empowering students to become strong, independent learners. To this end, the program includes a comprehensive network of resources for first-year students, including workshops (about class preparation, note-taking, outlining, and exam skills), supplemental coursework, and one-on-one tutorials designed to promote strong learning skills and increase the effectiveness of your learning in the classroom. For individual students of all years, the program offers assistance in helping students understand and become more comfortable with legal analysis, synthesizing class materials, and presenting that knowledge clearly and comprehensively on law school exams.
Because law school can be challenging and even frustrating at times, we encourage you to seek assistance from the AAP any time you experience academic difficulty or frustration. We will work with you to help you figure out how to respond to challenges so you can achieve the academic success of which you are so capable. Whether you need help analyzing cases, synthesizing course materials, or applying that knowledge to new fact situations (such as those presented on law school exams), we can provide you with successful strategies for improvement. Part of rising to the challenge of law school is knowing when to ask for help.
Look for announcements on seminars and section-specific workshops, and please contact Professor McClain if you feel you might benefit from any of the services offered by the AAP. We will do everything we can to help, and when appropriate, we also will refer students to the Office of Student Affairs and/or the Legal Writing Center. Also, please feel free to contact any one of our Academic Achievement Program Teaching Fellows, all of whom will be delighted to assist you.