For over thirty years, the UNC School of Law has offered incoming first-year students the opportunity to participate in a structured pre-orientation program. Initiated by two of the nation’s law school academic success pioneers, Charles Daye and Ruth Ann McKinney, the Legal Education Advancement Program (LEAP) offers a menu of services designed to help first-year students transition to the study of law in a welcoming learning environment.
The LEAP pre-orientation program is an excellent opportunity for incoming students to meet and work with other students prior to the first day of law school. It also provides students with training on how to be effective and successful law students. For example, during the sessions, students receive instruction on court systems and precedent, reading and briefing cases, and essay exam writing. They then practice and refine their newly-acquired skills with their peers in a supportive environment before the beginning of classes.
In addition to the pre-orientation programs, LEAP students are given the opportunity to participate in several enrichment groups during the fall semester. In these enrichment groups, students will further develop the skills that they learned in LEAP pre-orientation and apply them in the context of their coursework. The enrichment groups are led by successful first-year students who have been selected and trained by WLRC faculty because of their potential to teach and mentor incoming students.
Any incoming first-year student can apply to participate in LEAP. Students who feel that a jump-start to law school would be beneficial to them are encouraged to apply. Because of the popularity of LEAP, the law school now provides two separate LEAP programs: a two-day LEAP program and a three-day LEAP program.
All newly-admitted students receive information about LEAP during the summer before they begin classes and are invited to apply for the program. Students may also contact Professors McClanahan, Bishop, and Salinas for information on LEAP.