Sailing Against the Wind: How a Pre-Admission Program Can Prepare At-Risk Students for Success in the Journey Through Law School and Beyond

27 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2021

See all articles by Sonia Bychkov Green

Sonia Bychkov Green

The John Marshall Law School

Maureen Straub Kordesh

The John Marshall Law School

Julie M. Spanbauer

The John Marshall Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This Article provides a scholarly analysis of an innovative and recently created summer special admissions program designed to provide an opportunity for “at-risk” students. This new program, the Summer College to Assess Legal Education Skills (“SCALES”), was created to provide access and opportunity to students who otherwise would not be admitted to law school because their law school indicators fall below the minimum requirements for admission. Typically, the students enrolled in the program include immigrants, minorities, and nontraditional returning students, many of whom represent the first generation in a family to earn a college degree. To the delight and amazement of the faculty and administration, all thirteen of the first group of SCALES students who graduated in May of 2007 passed the Illinois Bar Examination on their first attempt. Armed with such favorable bar results, the authors of this article pondered the connection between programs operating before law school — at the admissions end — that are focused upon the skills necessary to successfully navigate law school and programs operating near the end of law school that are focused on the bar examination. The authors undertook research to examine the theories and practices of academic support programs in place at other law schools for J.D. students and to assess the newly emerging bar preparation courses at many law schools. As a part of these research efforts, the thirteen SCALES alumni were interviewed to gain their feedback and to learn more about their efforts as they progressed through law school and as they prepared for the bar examination. This Article presents the results of this research and the authors' conclusions and recommendations for how such a program could be run successfully.

Keywords: pre-law program, academic success, writing, analysis of the law, at-risk students

Suggested Citation

Green, Sonia Bychkov and Straub Kordesh, Maureen and Spanbauer, Julie M., Sailing Against the Wind: How a Pre-Admission Program Can Prepare At-Risk Students for Success in the Journey Through Law School and Beyond (2009). University of Memphis Law Review, Vol. 30, 307, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3862036

Sonia Bychkov Green

The John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

Maureen Straub Kordesh (Contact Author)

The John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

Julie M. Spanbauer

The John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
12
Abstract Views
124
PlumX Metrics