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South Texas College of Law Houston Expands Student Support, From 1L to Bar Prep

Home Law School News South Texas College of Law Houston Expands Student Support, From 1L to Bar Prep

Strong student support is a key component of the South Texas College of Law Houston culture, and it aligns with the mission of providing an exceptional legal education.

“We are dedicated to providing the necessary resources to students at every level – from their first semester through bar exam preparation,” said Maxine Goodman, Associate Dean of Academic Success and Bar Readiness and Professor of Law. “This fall, we expanded our department to include Preyal Shah as Assistant Dean for Academic Success to give added support to our first- and second-year students.”

Assistant Dean Shah comes to STCL Houston from New York Law School, where she taught bar readiness and helped prepare students for the bar exam. Shah has also successfully worked with law students at St. Mary’s University School of Law and the University of North Texas Dallas – College of Law. She will oversee courses and programming for 1L and 2L students here at South Texas Law – such as the required Introduction to Law Study course.

“It’s important for students to have the skills they need to be successful in law school, and ultimately be ready to pass the bar exam,” Shah said.  The ILS course teaches the key skills students need for legal studies: issue spotting, note taking, case reading, case briefing, and outlining.  The course also encourages flexibility and intellectual curiosity.

“Academic Success provides access and opportunity early on,” Shah said. “We are meeting students where they are and empowering them.”  She and her colleagues work to provide a welcoming environment for students so they feel comfortable getting the additional support needed to improve their study skills. Coaching is available by appointment, and walk-ins are welcome. “We always have snacks and coffee, too,” she added.

Shah joins an experienced, dedicated team that includes Phillip McCrady, Assistant Director of Academic Success; Lisa Yarrow, Assistant Dean for Bar Readiness; Tony Zamora, Director of Bar Readiness; and Cara Shaffer, Director of the Legal Writing Center.

The Legal Writing Center, Academic Success office, and Bar Readiness team all play a vital role in the overall success of students. All students can take advantage of these services to help them improve their skills and — in their third year — prepare in earnest to take the bar exam.

“Unlike some other law schools, we are proactive, and we offer enrichment opportunities,” Goodman said. “Our doors are open, and we are here for everyone.”

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