Dear First Year Student:
Welcome to USD! I’m very pleased you will be joining us in the fall, and trust you are looking forward to the beginning of your legal career. The next few years will provide you the opportunity to discover the amazing avenues of the law and develop your own path for your legal future. Believe it or not, you are about to begin an incredible journey of self-discovery as well. You will not be alone in this! The faculty, staff, alumni and your student colleagues at USD are here to help you reach your own personal level of success in law school and in the practice of law.
As the Dean of Students it is my job (and pleasure) to assist you in meeting your academic goals and to provide you with whatever information you may need to be an active, engaged, successful law student. Toward that end, here are just three quick, yet vital tips for success:
Get to Know Your Professors:
- The faculty members at USD are top notch legal scholars and teachers who can provide valuable insight into how you can be successful. Be sure to meet with each of your professors at least once during each semester. Utilize their office hours to clarify points of the law or follow up on a class discussion.
Get to Know Your Classmates:
- Your classmates are a great resource for continuing class discussions, contemplating different sides of an argument, or providing motivation and support. While you shouldn’t stretch yourself too thin during your first year, becoming involved in USD student organizations is a great way to get connected with the USD community. In addition, all first year courses have 2L or 3L Academic Success Fellows that can give you one-on-one feedback about each course. These students are helpful, supportive and very knowledgeable about each subject area.
Get to Know Your Resources for Academic Success:
- In addition to your professors and your student colleagues, take advantage of all of the academic success resources USD has to offer! Attend all aspects of the mandatory orientation August 19-22. Get to know your Director of Academic Success, Kiyana Kiel, who runs our Academic Success Program (ASP) and the Academic Success Resource Center (Room 206). Look for academic success workshops throughout the semester to assist you with study strategies and techniques.
During the school year, I invite and challenge you to come tell me about what you are learning. Did you finally finish a brief for a difficult case? Can you now recite the elements of a contract? Have you just realized a key concept in Criminal Law? I want to hear about it! Stop by my office on the second floor, Warren Hall Room 218, send me an email or call me at (619) 260-6851.
I look forward to meeting you in just a few short weeks!
Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs