One of the factors that distinguishes the St. Francis School of Law Juris Doctor program from other traditional law school programs is the systematic mentoring students receive from professors as they progress through the program. In traditional legal education, students receive very little substantive mentoring or coaching along the path to becoming a lawyer.
In the St. Francis program, each week students submit assignments that develop their ability to apply the legal doctrine they are learning. Professors not only assign a grade to these assignments, but also provide feedback on the students’ work in order to help students improve their performance. This is possible because the St. Francis program leverages small class sizes to provide individualized attention for every student. Commentary from a highly experienced professional that improves student understanding in a significant way comes from professors experienced in the area of law they are teaching.
Students receive direct feedback from professors in live class discussions as well. Typically professors use the Socratic method during class. This is similar to traditional law schools. The key difference is that because St. Francis limits class sizes, there is a high level of interaction between professor and student.
Students can raise their questions orally during class or post them in a chat, and questions are answered in real time, much like a traditional classroom, only with far fewer students. This meaningful and immediate feedback keeps students on track. Programs with large class sizes cannot provide this type of weekly feedback and student interaction.
Becoming a lawyer is challenging. Providing weekly practice and feedback to students improves student learning.