Q: How much does it cost to take the course?
Typically, prep courses cost a student $750 or more. This course is being provided free of charge, as part of a research study, thanks to our sponsor, ETS.
Q: If I don’t get college credit for this course, why would I take it?
Compared to other graduate and professional degree programs, the JD is one of the few for which no particular curriculum is a necessary prerequisite. This lack of common preparation may disadvantage students who come to law school with less exposure to legal concepts, language and reading skills, and analytical frameworks. This program will expose matriculating JD students to the materials and methods of legal education, with the hope of preparing them for success in JD programs.
Q: Is this going to be the same material I’ll learn in my law school Contracts course?
While helping you develop your skills in case reading and analysis, this course uses some of the classic Contracts law cases, which also appear frequently in law schools across the country. Because JD-Next primarily teaches the skills required to succeed in any doctrinal law class, it may focus on different aspects of Contracts cases and concepts than your Contracts law professor. Your first year Contracts class will be much more comprehensive.
Q: What will I actually be doing each week?
The course includes approximately 10 hours of video, broken into dozens of smaller parts, including concept introductions, lectures, and takeaways. At the beginning of the course, Professor Williams introduces critical “skill workshops” for law school, explicitly and directly showing participants how to read a case and to extract the key rules and facts. After completing the skills workshops during first four weeks of the course, students will move onto doctrinal law and the application of the skills practiced in the skills workshops. Without purporting to preview an entire 1L Contracts course, the readings include 11 classic cases (e.g., Hawkins v. McGee), with simple reading quizzes keyed to each one. Consistent with optimal curricular design principles, each lesson also includes a written “problem of the day” so students begin practicing the application of their newly acquired concepts. The final exams will be largely multiple choice, but will also include a writing component.
Q: Why do I even need Contracts after taking this class?
The contracts law cases and concepts covered in JD-Next represent only a portion of the doctrinal law a 1L would study in his or her contracts law class, and perhaps for different purposes. The primary purpose of JD-Next is to teach the general legal skills required of a student at law school, using case law and doctrine from contract law as the vehicle.
Q: Will this help me perform better at law school?
This course is being evaluated by the University of Arizona College of Law to answer that very question! The course is designed to teach the fundamentals of legal analysis, case briefing, and legal writing. It's our hope and hypothesis that students will significantly improve their odds of success at law school by (1) focusing the course on these core skills used in every law school class and (2) providing students frequent opportunities to practice and improve through skill modeling, guided exercises, and self-evaluations fostering deliberate practice.
Q: Is this class synchronous or asynchronous?
JD-Next is a fully online project. You will be to access the course anywhere you have a computer and internet access. It will be primarily an asynchronous course with synchronous virtual office hours.
Q: What kind of weekly schedule can I expect?
Students can expect to complete assignments for three classes per week. Students can expect each class to take two to three hours. We expect you to spend roughly six to nine hours per week. Students can work at their own pace in completing the classes each week, though we strongly recommend students complete the modules as scheduled each week.
Q: What if I need to take a vacation or have other plans during the summer?
We recommend students stay in sync with the course schedule week by week, which students can complete from anywhere they have internet access.
Q: Can I stop at anytime?
Q: What kind of feedback can I expect in this course?
Students will receive immediate feedback for all multiple choice questions and exercises completed. For larger written assignments, students will be guided through a self-evaluation process using both guided rubrics and model answers.
Q: How is my personal information going to be used?
Your information will be kept confidential. While you are participating in the program, only members of the team will know your identity or see your responses. When the program is over, your name will be removed from your data. Once we have received all relevant data from you, the link between your name and your identification will be destroyed. Only the team will have access to the file. Your participation in this program is completely voluntary and your professors will not know whether you participated.
Q: Will I see my grade on the final exam?
You will not receive a grade for JD-Next, but you will receive feedback on your assignments and exercises completed throughout the course whether automated or through guided self-evaluation. Also, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and seek further direct feedback.
Q: Is it possible for me to still participate in the program even if my school is not partnered with JD-Next?
No. At this time we can only offer JD-Next to students invited by one of our partner schools.
Q: If I have a disability and need reasonable accommodations, who do I contact?
Contact Jess Findley at firstname.lastname@example.org .