Academic Enhancement Program

Lewis & Clark recognizes that diversity plays an important role in legal education. In our admissions process, we regularly look beyond the numbers to find students whose life experiences, perspectives and perseverance in overcoming challenges suggest that they would make extraordinary contributions to the law school community. It is this commitment to a diverse and stimulating classroom that was the impetus for the development of this program.

Knowing that the transition into what might be deemed the “culture” of law can be challenging, the Academic Enhancement Program is designed to help students successfully make the adjustment to law school. To do this, AEP offers a cultural approach to law school and the legal profession. The program has been in existence at Lewis & Clark since the 1970’s.

The program is designed for those people who are strong candidates for law school but who may face cultural or social obstacles to reaching his or her highest potential and who may find that potential more fully realized through participation in the program. The Academic Enhancement Program is designed to enhance what the student brings to law school. This is not a remedial program, nor is it designed to offer every entering student a crash course in outlining, note taking, and studying for exams.

The Academic Enhancement Program consists of a Summer Institute in August just prior to the start of school and of weekly Skills Building Sessions during the first year.

All entering students may apply to participate in AEP. We typically have room for 50 people. If more than 50 apply, a committee determines which applicants get into the program. The most important factors to the committee will be those that indicate the legal profession and law school are likely to be a new or challenging environment.

In selecting participants for the program, the committee considers whether:

a) the student is the first in her family to attend college;

b) English is the student’s second language; the student has limited experience with the legal profession;

c) the student has been out of college for many years; and the student will face other cultural and social challenges in his or her transition into law school.

Those who apply and are accepted to the program are expected to participate fully. Those accepted, must attend all of the summer institute and not have any unicast absences from the sessions during the school year. Some of the students who participate in the program opt to take one less class each semester of the first year and make up the hours in summer school following the first year.

In addition to the program open by application, the Academic Enhancement Program offers sessions during the first semester of law school open to anyone in the first year class on outlining and on exam taking. The program also offers assistance to students after the first semester of law school and in the upper division who find themselves in academic difficulty. Contact the AEP Director J.B. Kim at or visit the AEP website.