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Academic Excellence Program

Be FIU Law Excellent

FIU Law’s Academic Excellence Program provides students with resources to help them succeed in law school, pass the bar examination, and develop strong practice skills. Starting in each student’s first semester, the AEP acts as an extended orientation detailing academic expectations and introducing students to the methods used on law school examinations.  The principles at the heart of the program include contextualization (i.e. that all skills are learned

in the context of students’ doctrinal classes), self-regulated learning (i.e. that students must monitor their own learning to ensure success), and formative assessment (i.e. that quality feedback enhances learning). Since the AEP began, students have commented repeatedly that the program helps them prepare for exams more effectively and efficiently.  The AEP is FIU Law’s way of ensuring that its students have everything they need to maximize their performance. 

Available AEP Classes:

Fall of 1L Year

Students take the Introduction to the Study of Law class, which meets weekly and is coordinated with each section’s doctrinal professors.  The class has three units:  (1) fundamental law school skills (i.e. briefing cases, outlining, reading case law, etc.); (2) Legal Analysis (learning how to write law school exams, using hypotheticals similar to those on actual exams); and (3) Exam Prep (including a multiple choice question workshop and a “mock exam” simulating the real exam environment).  As students have put it, this class “teaches you how to do law school.”

Spring of 1L Year

Academic Excellence Classes.  Now that students know the fundamentals of studying law, we can focus on exam performance.  The Academic Excellence Classes meet intermittently to present students with opportunities to experience mini-law school exams.  These mini-mock exams are set in the context of students’ doctrinal classes, often include guest appearances by doctrinal faculty, and allow students to maximize their exam skill performance.

2L Year

Students may take the Legal Analysis course for two credits.  Coupled with the popular and bar-tested Evidence course, the Legal Analysis course sets out to expand students’  analytical skills in ways that assist them in doctrinal classes and on the bar examination.  Students receive extensive, personalized feedback on essays and multiple choice questions focused on the law of Evidence (a recommended co-requisite).

3L Year

Students may take the U.S. Law and Procedure class, formerly known as FLAP, for four credits.  Taught by Prof. Raul Ruiz and available in students’ final semester of law school, this class teaches students how to succeed on the bar examination.  One day of the class each week focuses on the Multistate Bar Examination (multiple choice questions), and the other day focuses on the state day (essays, performance tests, and multiple choice questions).

Post-Graduate Resources

Prof. Raul Ruiz has created BESP:  the Bar Exam Success Program. Just after law school graduation, and as students study for the bar examination, students enrolled in BESP will benefit from a number of critical resources.  These resources include a faculty or alumnus bar exam mentor, frequent bar preparation workshops, continual logistical support, and access to personalized feedback on bar exam preparation essays. The goal of BESP is to provide students with the tools they need to pass the bar examination.

Bar Exam Resources

Bar Exam Information

First-Year Students
In Florida, and in some other jurisdictions, first-year students have an opportunity to register early  for admission to The Bar. In Florida, these registrations are due in January and are filed with substantial savings in application fees. The process may take weeks as you gather your personal history and other information so be mindful of the deadline.

Upper-Level Students
If you have not already done so, all upper-level students should be nearing the completion of their Bar applications. If you do not know what jurisdiction you will be applying to, you  should still begin to gather the information that is  required on  The Florida Bar’s application as it will prepare you for other applications.

Beginning the Florida Bar Application Process
Visit the Florida Board of Bar Examiners  which contains helpful links and frequently-asked questions.

  • Dean’s Certificates for Florida: These are sent electronically from the Registrar’s Office.
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts ordered by you through the are sent upon your request.
  • Birth Certificates: All applicants to the Florida Bar are required to send an official copy of their birth certificate.
  • Electronic Fingerprinting: Electronic fingerprinting will be available on campus  October 21 & October 22, 2015 from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m the cost is $56.50.  Watch for an email with instructions on how to register.

Disclosures on your FIU Law application
Please see Assistant Dean Ortega Fridman if you have any questions about disclosures on your application.

Contact Information

Raul Ruiz, Assistant Professor of Academic Support & Director of Bar Preparation

The AEP’s extensive offerings reflect FIU Law’s commitment to its students’ success.  Rather than simply sitting students in a classroom and keeping academic expectations a secret, FIU Law aims to teach its students explicitly what they need to do to maximize their performance.  This is a very different approach to law school learning, but its students’ success is FIU Law’s top priority.  Experience this difference with FIU Law’s Academic Excellence Program.

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