Office of Academic & Bar Success

About the Office

The Office of Academic & Bar Success is dedicated to assisting and supporting all students in successfully achieving their academic goals.  The Office provides individual academic counseling and support, including regular programs specifically targeted to the academic needs and skills development of each law school class, skills workshops, academic development sessions, and coordinated programs with other Charleston School of Law offices.

Dyann Margolis

Dyann Margolis joined Charleston School of Law in August of 2017 as the Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Success.  In this role, she oversees and has developed a comprehensive curriculum to support our students from their first day at the school through the bar exam.  She teaches Academic Skills, Legal Skills and Bar Preparation, and provides one-on-one support to current students and bar takers.

Prior to joining the Charleston School of Law, she worked for the legal education company, BARBRI.  At BARBRI, as the National Director for Institutional Partnerships, she worked with law schools nationwide on building programming and implementing curriculum to support student and bar success.  In her time at BARBRI, she also supported and counseled students through 14 bar exams.  During this time, Dean Margolis also served at an Adjunct Professor at the University of Akron School of Law teaching in both an Academic Success course for 1Ls and Early Bar Preparation.

In her first two years after law school, Dean Margolis worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Lake County, Ohio. In this role, she represented the State of Ohio and the Department of Job and Family Services in Juvenile Court.  She tried over 75 cases before the bench and completed oral arguments in front of the 11th District Court of Appeals.

Allyson Haynes-Stuart

Allyson Haynes Stuart joined the Charleston School of Law faculty in 2004 after serving as a director of the legal department at Sony Corporation of America. She also served as law clerk to the Hon. David C. Norton, U.S. District Judge for the District of South Carolina, and was an associate in the New York firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton.  She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School and at the Institut de Empresa (I.E.) Law School in Madrid, Spain.

While a student at the University of South Carolina School of Law, Stuart was a member of the Law Review and Moot Court, and was awarded the Order of the Coif and the Order of the Wig and Robe.

In addition to her role as Co-Director of Academic & Bar Success, she teaches Contracts, Civil Procedure, Evidence, Information Privacy Law and E-Discovery.

Michael Sweet

Professor Sweet joined the Charleston School of Law as the Assistant Director of Academic and Bar Success in October 2018. In this role, Professor Sweet teaches Legal Skills and Bar Preparation classes, meets one-on-one with students to enhance their learning, and holds academic workshops throughout the year on a variety of subjects designed to advance student success.

Professor Sweet graduated with honors from the Charleston School of Law in 2012 where he was a member of the Charleston Law Review and a Legal Writing Teaching Fellow. He is licensed to practice law in the state of Maryland.

Prior to joining the Charleston School of Law, Professor Sweet was in private practice where he focused on civil litigation and corporate law; and prior to law school, he worked as Director of the English Department at an international private school in Prague, Czech Republic.

Leo Brown

Professor Brown joined Charleston School of Law as the Composition Specialist in January of 2018. In this role, Professor Brown teaches the Upper-Level Writing Workshop; provides feedback on student writing for LRAW, Externship, and Legal Skills classes, in a classroom environment; and meets one-on-one with students to improve their writing.

Professor Brown identifies areas to improve upon in student writing, including grammar, punctuation usage, word choice, word order, and clarity and concision. He then meets with students individually and reviews the documents to reduce and eliminate those errors. Students correct their errors; he does not. In the event students do not recognize any of the above errors in their writing, he provides instruction and recommendations to prevent their further occurrence.

Prior to joining Charleston School of Law, Professor Brown taught English, Business Writing, and Composition to native and non-native English speaking students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in the United States and Shanghai, China, as an Adjunct Professor and Senior Instructor.

Success on the Bar Exam

We offer the following courses and post-graduation support to ensure our students are in the best position possible to succeed on the bar exam:

Legal Skills for 2Ls

Legal Skills is a two credit hour course for second-year students that focuses on the Multistate Performance Test (MPT)–the practical writing component of the UBE and worth 20% of their score. Students are guided through the intricacies of the test while also being introduced to the various formats the MPT may take on the UBE. At the end of the course, students will walk away with a systematic approach to efficiently and successfully perform on the MPT.

Bar Prep for 3Ls

This is a three-credit hour course for students in their third-year–and typically, final semester–of law school. In this course, we focus on the multiple choice component (MBE) and essay component (MEE) of the UBE. In addition to providing instruction on particular UBE subject areas, the Bar Prep course teaches students how to approach the exam in a strategic and focused manner, as well as familiarizing students with what it takes to be successful to ensure they hit the ground running after graduation.

Post-Graduation Bar Support

All incoming students receive BARBRI’s Bar Review course built into their tuition. This means, upon graduation, students have access to BARBRI’s full-service bar prep course and materials.

In addition, the Office of Academic and Bar Success provides alumni studying for the bar continuous support and guidance until the day of the exam. We also offer weekly Writing Workshops where students have the opportunity for additional writing practice and receive comprehensive, written feedback on their writing. Finally, in the closing weeks before the exam, our doctrinal faculty present at our Bar Bootcamp Series in which students receive personalized instruction on each MBE topic and the opportunity to dive deep into the particular subject matter with our resident experts.

Academic Success

Charleston Law’s Orientation Program

This week-long orientation program is aimed at introducing incoming law students to core concepts and preparing them with the the skills necessary to succeed in their new law school environment.

Academic Skills for 1Ls

Academic Skills is a course for 1Ls in their second-semester that provides a deeper dive into core concepts, including issue spotting, rule synthesis, fact application, and well-reasoned analysis. Skills are illustrated in the context of law school hypotheticals so students also learn a systematic approach that can be applied to law school assessments and exams–and ultimately, the bar exam.

Academic Success Fellows

Academic Success Fellows are second and third-year students selected by the Office to help students focus on things like class preparation, essay writing, study techniques, and other skills to help become a successful law student.  After the first three weeks of school, you can meet with Professor Sweet or Dean Margolis to request a Fellow.

Academic Success Workshop Series

The Office provides a five-part Workshop Series focusing on the essential skills necessary to be a successful law student.  Workshop topics for Fall 2019 include:

  • Outlining, Class Preparation, and using Learning Science to Maximize your Efforts;
  • Introduction to Essay Writing and IRAC;
  • Advanced IRAC; Approaching Multiple Choice Questions;
  • Exam Preparation and Study Strategies.

For dates of upcoming workshops, click here or see “Events Calendar” below.

ASW 1: Starting off on the right foot, Wednesday 1/22, 12-1 PM

ASW 2: Approaching essay questions, Wednesday 2/05, 12-1 PM

ASW 3: Approaching multiple choice questions, Wednesday 3/18, 12-1 PM

ASW 4: Putting it all together for finals, Wednesday 4/15, 12-1 PM

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