The State Bar Association of North Dakota Fall 2014 Gavel Magazine - Page 15

Long-term goals for the position include designing a new secondyear legal writing course; aligning academic support, student services, and bar passage efforts with national best practices as well as the School of Law’s curricular mission and goals; maintaining a strong relationship with the state law examiners, state courts, and SBAND in areas related to student success; and assisting the law school in assessing the impact of the school’s graduation requirements, curriculum, student services, and policies and procedures on student success in law school and on the bar exam. The new bar preparation course will have an initial focus on students who have lower grades in law school. “The most reliable predictor of whether a graduate will pass or fail the bar exam is that graduate’s law school GPA,” explained Professor Dauphinais. “We want to start with the students who, based on the data, are most in need of help in preparing for the bar exam.” The bar preparation course will not replicate a commercial bar review course; in fact, students will be encouraged to invest both time and money in effectively completing a commercial course during the weeks leading up to the exam. As most practicing attorneys will attest, commercial courses can provide useful refreshers on substantive topics tailored to the subjects tested on the bar exam. Nor will the bar preparation course focus solely on test-taking skills that won’t serve students beyond the bar exam. Instead, it will be an intensive legal writing and analysis course that helps students apply practical skills to the bar exam. As an example, students might focus on efficient and thorough reading comprehension—a skill that not only helps them identify the “call of the question” on the essay portion of the bar exam, but also will serve them well in practice. “The School of Law would be taking these steps regardless of our most recent pass rate. It’s the right thing to do for our students, and it’s the right thing to do for our profession,” said Dean Rand. “I’m delighted that Professor Dauphinais is bringing her talents and skills to this new role. We’re excited to make these meaningful changes in our curriculum and in the support we provide to our students.” ALPS NORTH D -=Q)e=UH