Academic Achievement Program

First Year Students

  • Orientation Academic Sessions

Orientation includes several sessions for 1Ls designed to introduce incoming students to the foundations to being successful in law courses. These sessions cover topics including, but not limited to, the U.S. legal system, sources of law, legal reasoning, briefing cases, preparing for class, the Socratic method, note-taking, study methods to synthesize material after class, and preparing for exams.

The Writing Specialist, Professor Kate Stoker, meets individually with first year students to help them with writing assignments for Lawyering Process and other first year courses as well as general writing concerns.  Professor Stoker also administers a writing diagnostic and proficiency testing process, including individual meetings, weekly writing tips, and workshops, to help assure that all first-year students are proficient in formal grammar, punctuation, and usage. 

  • Learning Styles Survey for Incoming Students

AAP provides an opportunity for all first year students to take a learning styles survey. Students can use the results of the survey to identify their preferred method of learning and develop strategies to enhance individual learning.

  • AAP Leader for each Section of First Year Substantive Courses

Upper level students work with first year students in a variety of settings under the training and supervision of Professor Diane Kraft, Director of the Academic Achievement Program, and Professor Kate Stoker. Each semester, outstanding upper level students are selected to work with AAP in coordination with the professor of the class. The focus of the group meetings is on development of academic skills in the context of a particular substantive course. Leaders also work individually with first year students to address specific concerns. Topics addressed by the leaders include case reading and briefing, note taking in class, outlining, exam preparation, and exam writing. DU students may find more specific information about schedules and leader contact information on the AAP TWEN site.

  • Individual Conference with Professor Diane Kraft

Any student is encouraged to make an individual appointment with Professor Diane Kraft to discuss academic performance issues, particularly after receiving midterm exam results. If a first year student receives a final grade of C or below for any course, the student is required to meet with either Professor Kraft or the professor for the course for an exam review. This review is intended to help the student diagnose substantive problems as well as exam writing issues.

Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.6 after the first semester will meet with Professor Kraft to undertake a diagnostic review to determine the reasons for the low GPA and to develop a program to address any issues identified.

First year students on academic probation must meet with Professor Kraft as well as the Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. These students must develop a plan for academic improvement and participate in the Academic Achievement Program.

The AAP maintains some study aids and selected materials for first year courses in the AAP Resource Center, Rm. 457. These materials may be checked out through that office.

Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208