Duquesne University School of Law

New Student Introduction to Academic Excellence

Event Date: 
Monday, August 14, 2017 - 3:00pm to Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 6:00pm

Event Location:

Event Audience:

To give incoming Duquesne Law School students a head-start on a successful semester, the Academic Excellence Program is offering an optional orientation program, Introduction to Academic Excellence. Success in Law School and in the practice of law requires more than a knowledge of the legal rules. To excel, a lawyer must know how to use the law to create the most persuasive arguments for his or her client. To prepare to be an outstanding attorney, a law student must learn to “think like a lawyer.” The Academic Excellence Program helps students succeed in Law School by teaching students how to prepare for class and study for exams in the most efficient manner so that students will be able to enjoy quality of life while getting the most out of law school. The Academic Excellence program also meets regularly throughout the academic year to help students improve the essential skills required to excel in law school, including reading and briefing cases, legal analysis, outlining a course in preparation for an exam, and writing the most effective exam answer.

Introduction to Academic Excellence is an optional orientation program designed to alleviate the stress of starting law school by introducing students to the skills needed for effective class preparation. Students will be introduced to legal analysis and will learn how to read and brief a case using the first case they will read in Contract Law. This optional program is simply a guided class preparation exercise, not a substitute for class. Contracts professors will cover these cases as they would if we did not offer the optional preparatory program. Attendance is optional, but students are encouraged to attend both sessions.


Time Location Event
Monday, August 14, 2017    
 3:00 – 3:45 Room 303  Welcome and Introduction
 3:45 – 4:10 Room 303  Rules and Rule Types
 4:10 – 4:30  Break
 4:30 – 6:00 Room 303  Introduction to Legal Reasoning
Tuesday, August 15, 2017    
 3:00 – 4:10 Room 303  Introduction to Briefing Cases
 4:10 – 4:30  Break
 4:30 – 5:30 Room 303  Brief Lucy v. Zehmer (first Contracts case)
 5:30 – 6:00 Room 303  Evaluation and Closing


Register for the Event


Please bring the following books with you to both sessions:

Your Legal Research and Writing book
Richard K. Neumann, Jr., Ellie Margolis, & Kathryn M. Stanchi, Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing (8th ed. 2017).

  • We will use the material in Chapters 1 – 3, which is part of your assignment for the Legal Research and Writing Class conducted during Orientation, as the basis for our discussion.

Your Contracts casebook
Christina L. Kunz & Carol L. Chomsky, Contracts: A Contemporary Approach (2d ed. 2013).

  • We will use the material on pages 236-245, which is your first Contracts assignment.

Contact Information

Please contact Professor Maryann Herman, Director of Academic Excellence, at hermanm1@duq.edu or (412) 396-4617 with any questions.