Dear First Year Student:
Welcome to USD! I am very pleased you will be joining us in the fall and trust that you are looking forward to the beginning of your legal career. The next few years will provide you with the opportunity to discover 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, and successful law student. To get you started, here are three quick yet vital tips for success:
Get to Know Your Professors:
- The faculty members at USD are accomplished 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 should not stretch yourself too thin during your first year, becoming involved in USD Law 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 who 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 programs and sessions during orientation on August 17-20. Get to know your Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs, Kiyana Kiel, who runs our Academic Success Program (ASP) and the Academic Success Resource Center. 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 and how you are enjoying law school. 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 in Warren Hall Room 218, send me an email, or call me at (619) 260-4651.
I look forward to meeting you in just a few short weeks!
Assistant Dean for Law Student Affairs