Advising 2.0: Helping Students Achieve Academic Success Through Meaningful Academic Advising
The Learning Curve, A Publication of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Winter/Spring 2018, General Edition
3 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2018
Date Written: December 5, 2017
It is becoming increasingly clear that current law students are seeking more wraparound support than previously provided by legal education, which begs the question, why? The answer is simple - modern law students are different and come to law school with very different expectations and experiences than students from previous years. To aid our students in achieving academic success, it is essential that we understand the complex needs of our students by first examining their previous educational experiences.
Academic advising is commonplace at institutions that serve undergraduate students. In fact, some would argue that academic advising is the cornerstone of student success. Advising at the undergraduate level is viewed as a collaborative relationship between student and advisor that is designed to provide the meaningful support students need to achieve their academic goals throughout matriculation. Professional academic advisors, academic support and academic resource centers are as common to undergraduate students as hornbooks and supplements (or Westlaw and Lexis) are to law students.
Millennials make up the largest population of students currently in law school. Millennials often come to law school with the expectation they will receive academic advising and support similar to their undergraduate academic experience. However, to students’ surprise, law school generally does not provide the level of advising that Millennials are used to receiving. This often leaves law students feeling as though they are lost in the process of academic planning, and far too often results in students relying on their classmates for academic planning advice. In fact, more law students are noting the lack of academic advising and basic course planning assistance in their graduation exit surveys.
Millennials need as much structured guidance and support as possible to fulfill their goal of academic success and passing the bar exam, and a professional academic advisor can be instrumental in that process. Through this two-way relationship between student and advisor, Millennials will know how and where to access accurate information about resources, policies, procedures and requirements- while receiving invaluable individualized guidance to help them along their educational journey. Each of these components is essential to a successful and meaningful law school experience for Millennials.
Keywords: Advising, Millennials, Law Students, Law School, Law School Advising, ABA Standard 309, Faculty Advising, Professional Advising
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