What People are Saying
" I think that this class is the most valuable asset to my success [in] law school. It opened my eyes to deeper thinking, better test taking, greater, stronger analysis and so much more. "
" It took me over a year to learn what ACTLA taught me in a few weeks. "
" I am a huge fan, [of] the learning pyramid. I was able to self-diagnose my weak areas after my exam by evaluating my post-exam self-assessment. The personal action plan pushed me to set goals I do not believe I would have achieved. "
" My abilities have definitely improved after having been in ACTLA. I feel that now I truly know how to study for law school exams. I feel that I have really grown a lot, and that, I will continue to apply the skills I’ve learned in ACTLA throughout the rest of my law school career. "
" The tools and skills I have learned in ACTLA I will take with me throughout my entire profession. I value everything this course has given me. "
" [T]he course is providing me with an arsenal of skills and tools to sharpen my reading and critical thinking skills…. The class is definitely meeting the objective of strengthening the skills that will serve us well in the study and practice of law. I perceive a clear difference in my own thinking. "
" The learning pyramid changed my life (and my sister’s as well). I used to spend about 80/hours per week all semester long reading and re-reading cases without any true learning gains until I adjusted my schedule this year. My 1L sister (at another law school) is #1 in her class. She and I both credit my teaching her the learning pyramid and its serving as the foundation of her schedule with this 🙂 "
" ACTLA has proven to be very beneficial because it provides a framework that can be used to approach and understand subject matter effectively and efficiently. Through critical thinking and product-reflection knowledge is developed and translated it into meaning. The process is rigorous refinement of work and self...."
" [T]his course helped me build my confidence and my strengths as a soon to be attorney. I feel much more equipped to pass the bar and only wish I could have had the opportunity first year to go through this course. "
" First year provides students with classes they need, but requires them to learn how to study while they are trying to keep up with all their classes. If I already knew how to read and brief a case, and how to study for a law school exam, I think I would have gained a stronger understanding of my first year classes. "
" If I would have only been given the opportunity to take this course, I would have honestly rocked my first year. "
" I schedule everything into blocks of time. I use the learning pyramid in all my classes and will continue though out law school. I read and comprehend at a much higher level. I will use almost everything I have learned in this class and have a new way of thinking because of this. "
" I think I’m able to approach final exams with a better understanding of organizing my answer using IRAC and that by following IRAC I’m less likely to miss things. Also, the learning pyramid and its 3 tiers is key. Also, keep going back and reviewing and editing and rethinking all. "
" I think the course helped me to organize my learning better. It helped me think of tasks in tiers and focusing on the tasks specifically before I could move on to the next. Before, I would’ve just taken a rule and put it in my outline then study the outline before an exam. Now I see the benefit in taking the time to read each case, and pull the rule from it, then seeing how it fits into a specific doctrine or whatever it is, and then practicing applying it. "
" I think like a lawyer. I understand, and can put on paper what I could not last year. "
" Before I took this class, I did not possess the level of confidence that I now have. "
" I am developing a deeper sense of analysis, stronger source of identifying key concepts and principles, I am developing great study habits for all courses and deeper understandings for mastering materials at hand in a general. "
" As a 3L, I wish I would have had this class earlier on as I could see what I should have been doing all along. "
" I have experienced breakthroughs due to ACTLA. Such achievements consist of appropriately briefing, synthesizing outlines, and answering tests questions on time and accurately. This has translated into higher than normal test scores and reduced anxiety associated with class and testing. "
" I liked each of the metacognitive tools. I think it all allowed me to organize the tasks and what I was doing. I also think the assessments made me think about what I was doing, which allowed me to think about what I was doing, and what I could do to change. "
" I LOVED the case files! Taking them through each tier was incredibly helpful for me and even fun. "
" I have experienced a meaningful breakthrough that relates to identifying and synthesizing rule statements. When I began this class this was the single skill I identified as being my weakest. At this point, after all the readings and [their] careful application I think it is one of my greatest strengths. "
" Overall, I think the course was very beneficial for me. I’m extremely glad I took it, and I think everything I learned in this course is going to continue being beneficial for me in the rest of law school, taking the bar and in my career one day. "
" The way I write my tests is much different. Before I [was] writing them like a college student. Now I see how law school exams need to be written. "
" I feel more comfortable with where I am at right now, as opposed to how I would’ve felt before. It’s also given me a sense of motivation and encouragement, because I’ve seen how my learning has improved and I now feel comfortable in tackling my other courses and exams. "
" I think my biggest takeaway is just learning to focus on each specific task. By breaking it down, I think I am learning everything better than I would’ve been otherwise. I think this has really changed the way I approach each course, and I think everything I’ve learned is going to benefit me when it comes to taking exams this semester. "
" Critical Reading was most helpful because previously it was extremely difficult to pull rules and key facts out of cases – so then I would come to class not exactly knowing what a professor was looking for when he asked questions. "
" My law school essay exams will definitely go smoother because of the time I have spent working through each tier and repeatedly testing in this class. [The bar exam] diagnostic showed me that all the doctrine implicated herein, was there too! "
" I feel like I’ve learned how to filter out the “noise” in the cases I’m reading and can find the information I need more quickly. [M]y performance in this class has given me a huge confidence boost and I feel better about being in law school in general. "
" The best way to explain it is that one “DOES NOT KNOW what he or she DOES NOT KNOW.” I was very enlightened by the material in this class I think it should be taught to all 1Ls. "
" I have become more dedicated to my studies, schedule, and desire to excel. "
" I discovered that I was stuck in first or second gear and now I can get to higher-order thinking which puts me into fifth gear. "
" The psychology and theories behind learning and problem solving [are the] greatest trait[s] of this course because I believe they offer a different perspective and insight that is unlike any other courses. Similarly these techniques and skills have a long term benefit that I appreciate and welcome. "
" I would say the point where studying for an exam became fun was a breakthrough. "
" This course has helped me with critical thinking and reading, analyzing, synthesizing rules, formatting my exams as well as applying. These have changed because this course has made me read in a different and more efficient manner and efficiently pick out the correct rules. "
" I feel the exams in ACTLA have shown me tremendous breakthroughs on how to accurately, effectively, and efficiently attack my exams. I now answer my exam questions much more thoroughly and with more analysis on the legal issues at stake. I find myself finishing confidently before time is up and feel that I have deep understanding of the material that I have learned over the semester. "
" I LOVE these tools! The learning pyramid is the most useful of all because it is the cornerstone of all my law school learning and the basis of a truly effective study schedule. I plan around it and refer to it daily. I truly don’t think I would be able to enjoy any degree of success without my study schedule which is based on the learning pyramid. It allows me the peace of mind to actually know that I have done enough and even, sleep without guilt. "
" I honestly loved this class....the actual skills that I was able to develop made a world of difference in my overall law school experience. "
" It gives you a strong foundation and confidence that you can do this if you just work hard and in the right way. "
" I am more prepared right now for exams that I was last year – I feel like I have a deeper understanding of the subjects I studied this year. That is why I feel more prepared. Also, the “mystery” in exam taking is gone.... "
" I like the discussions of cognitive strategies a lot because I am a trained educator and have spent the last decade of my life educating other educators about how to teach better. "
" I can see the big picture how, the whole briefing, outlining, and practice problem process makes much more sense now!!! "
" I am able to self analyze my work to determine where my gaps are before I get to an exam. I know how I work thanks to the self assessments that we did and now I can determine where I am lacking evidence and where I am OK. "
" The Learning Skills Pyramid really sets the structure for understanding the legal concepts in my classes. This has helped me to follow through with the application of the legal doctrine. "
" [T]hings have become more second nature and this course has assisted me in developing what to look for, how to approach situations, and best of all, how to see the big picture and thus facilitate my learning better. "
" When it comes to organizing my analysis this class has brought my confidence to a new level. "
" I have definitely become more adept at legal analysis even if only because the full scope of the task has been revealed to me. I can see how much I miss on a regular basis. I feel a lot like Socrates when he proclaimed that he was wise because he knew only that he knew nothing. "
" I believe I have experienced improvements in both my test taking and my organizational structure to my exams. "
" I think that I am much more equipped with what is relevant information in each case I read, what I am supposed to pull from it, and why the court ruled the way it did. Then I am able to apply what I pulled to new facts and feel confident in my application of the rule. "
" I am able to pull out the rule more easily in complex cases. "
" This course has restructured my format for exams where I find it easy to take exams because I have such a particular format. It makes it easy to answer the exam in a faster and more efficient manner."
" I understand better how to deal with complexity. "
" I am reading faster and more closely the first time around. "
" The course really helped me in pulling out rules and synthesizing them. "
" I feel much more confident in the exam taking procedure and in creating rule statements than I was when I started the course. "
" I feel as though I am able to re-examine myself and how I am doing before moving on to the next topic. I also feel must more ready for finals due to the fact I have already taken three. "
" This class has helped me to become more confident in my ability to take exams.... This course has completely restructured my exam format and I believe this has made it substantially stronger. "
" I know how to learn [and] apply rules! "
" I have a greater level of analysis and comprehension that allows me to close the gaps and link my rule to the facts. "
" Overall critical thinking, which in turn has improved my rule making, analysis and ability overall to solve complex issues. I am better able to determine where I need improvements and know how to reach the goals I would like to. "
" Being able to take implied rules and synthesize a rule and be able to understand them well enough to apply them on an exam has helped a lot. "
" I feel that my rule formation on exams has improved, and also spotting rules from cases and being able to synthesize them to form a strong rule statement. "
" I like that I can track my progress when I advance to a new tier. For example, if my practice problem answers lack explanation in my rule section, then I can revisit Tier 2 to see if there is a gap in my outline or if I just missed something in my practice problem answer that actually was already included in my outline. "
" It translates into all of the other courses and thus helps in all facets, from studying to taking the exam. "
" I believe it will help with being able to structure my exam answers and also the entire process of looking into the problem at a deeper level to formulate a complete answer. "
" I really enjoyed this course because it strengthened how I approached my case reading and how I approach exams. Never before had I done a practice problem untimed to see how I would format my answer. This was helpful because I was direct applying what I was learning to a different fact pattern. This was calming and less stressful when it came to the actual exam because by that point, I had already done a practice problem untimed and timed. "
" The ABCs of rule-making is one of the most beneficial tools I have taken and will obviously use for years to come. "
" I think that ACTLA has helped me improve my techniques and has taught me to look at all the material as “the big picture” rather than as isolated cases. "
" I think my analysis has thoroughly improved through this course as well as my issue spotting. "
" I feel that I am better equipped not only to take final exams in regards to the written portion of the exam, but overall better equipped to successfully and effectively handle the coursework each semester. "
" ACTLA will help optimize my studies and practice of law. The class breaks down the driving forces of the legal system, and allowed me to maintain the driver seat of the cognitive process. "
" I’ve never had a course like this and it was an eye opener! "
" I feel that my ability to outline course material and better organize my thoughts for exams, prepare for, and take exams is exceptionally better than it was previously. "
" I am always conscious of the learning pyramid. I am aware of what tier I am in and how much time I should be alotting it. "
" Before ACTLA, I did not think about each step I was taking in my work, from the reading to outlining to taking an actual exam. I think from the start, my main focus was just an exam. Now, I think after ACTLA I think about each step that I am taking, and I focus on it, which I think helps my learning overall. "
" I loved the case files and exercises that demonstrate how to go through the tiers. "
" I have gotten significantly better at briefing cases. I also feel I have learned a lot about what techniques actually help me to prepare for exams. "
" I study smarter now rather than harder. "
" I can’t imagine how the ability to better think critically wouldn’t help me in the practice of law. "
" I think this course has already helped me in each of my other courses, just by teaching me different approaches and different ways of thinking. "
" In law school people are constantly telling you to brief your cases, then outline, and eventually do your practice problems, but it’s hard to take a step back and actually see the process. ACTLA breaks it down into the small picture so you can see how they all fit together. To me that has been tremendously helpful."
" I think critical thinking is something that everyone can improve on no matter how good they are at it there is always room for improvement. "
" I feel like I have learned how to work more efficiently, so even though I’ve not studied as much as I did last year, it has been more meaningful. "
" The class breaks down the way in which one should dismantle and then reassemble court opinions and overall themes. "
" I am learning basic concepts but more importantly how to master them. I feel this is the foundation for all my other course work. "
" I feel like my study time is more efficient – so even at times when I slack off and go relax or whatever I feel like a quick run through of my homework is enough to “get by.” On the other hand, when I’m working harder I feel like I more deeply understand and am better able to apply the material. "
" It helps me make connections between rules and a proper analysis. "
" The course…has taught me to think outside the box and to learn new ways to learn and to become a more expert learner by revisiting and revising the work. "
" I have a better understanding in almost all of my other classes. I am applying myself in more ways and focused on actually learning the material and not the end result. "
" I like the pyramid because I am able to see what specific areas I am working in as well as what level I’m at. If I need to improve in a particular area, I can see this on the pyramid and work my way back to the specific level that needs improvement. "
" I like the Learning Pyramid for tracking my progress. UDW, ABCs, Syllogisms, Just Right Approach, Inductive/Deductive/Analogical reasoning methods are all helpful b/c they build off of each other and now as we’re getting further in the semester it is becoming clear why we spend so much time in each separate tool/activity. "
" I think that it teaches you deep thinking, shows yourself where you are weak and allows you to always self-assess and in doing so you are always trying to understand deeper and become better. "
" I learned so much about the way we learn; it was quite fascinating. It really opens your eyes. "
" I think I have really improved my inference skills. I think before I would limit myself to just what was strictly in the fact scenario w/o considering what implications or inferences could be made as a result of the stated facts. I think this skill adds more depth to the analysis and I think it stands out more to professors when they see inferences being made in the analysis rather than just a reiteration of the facts. "
" I still have to make many improvements but I really think it’s true…I am not who I was at the beginning of this course because my brain has improved. "
" I mean this is it isn’t it? This is the crux of what lawyer’s do so it goes without saying that a course which makes you better at critical analysis would help on the bar. The framework is good and the language used in the course is precise/clear....I found the course substantively very good. "
" Personally, I am in the bottom of my class, but [the ACTLA] class has given me the tools and strategies that I can still compete with the #1 student in the school. "
" I received my first A on a midterm exam. "
" My test grades have dramatically improved as a result of this course. "
" I will continue using all these tools and cannot imagine being a successful legal scholar without them. "
" I LOVE common thread- I mean this skill is critical! Otherwise your entire brief could be wrong. I also love the learning skills pyramid in its entirety because I feel it keeps you tracking- sometimes I look at it and say oh wait a second I need to do more tier 2 activities or tier 3 etc. I honestly cannot say enough good things to really drive home my point. "
" The results I received on my midterm using these tools have been extremely encouraging. "
" I feel like my studying habits have grown. I use different techniques, like flow charts, to figure out rules and analysis. "
" Briefing the cases for classes is a lot easier. Practicing writing exam questions is easier because I'm more comfortable with the structure. "
" I love [the ACTLA] course and I'm glad I was able to be a part of this learning experience. "
" I can’t thank you enough for all the improvement I am experiencing in my life. "
" Great course, got a lot out of it. "
" This is a great course! The ACT department serves a great purpose to the students. "
" Thank you for an awesome semester. This course was really beneficial towards my academic success this semester and I would highly recommend It to other students. "
" I am a completely different student and have been given all the necessary tools to become a successful student. "
" I learned how to engage in self-directed learning and then self-assessment of my learning afterwards, which both these skills I'd never really thought of much before. "
" My thought process changed. I now see I can do better, and what I need to do better. "
" I feel significantly more equipped to extract important information from readings, formulate rules and assess the strength of concepts. Also, my approach to exam taking, writing structure and analysis have greatly improved. "
" I honestly believe that after taking this course I greatly improve in these areas because I have translated these skills taught in class and used them in my other classes. "
" I feel more confident in how I structure my essays and also I am better able to pick out the legal issues, which I previously struggled with. "
" At the beginning of the semester I wasn't able to break down each case and find the underlying rules. Now, I am able to identify some rules and make my own outlines as opposed to using someone else's. "
" I feel my writing has really strengthened. "
" I am definitely more comfortable now than I was before, I also see an improvement in my other classes with the I am thinking and analyzing various situations to come up with a probable conclusion. I am able to think of different reasoning for both sides of the arguments. "
" I am far more capable of creating a good rule statement and analysis than I was when the course first started. "
" This course has molded my mind to think critically and interpret some of the most complex levels of legal thinking. Starting with the basics and working my way up, each step was a building block that helped me grow and perform on a high level of intellectual reading, comprehending and performing. "
" I learned how to be a better writer. I learned how to create practice questions to start studying, create outlines for classes months before exams. This class put me on track. "
" I have become much better at structure/writing for my exams as well as time management. This has helped me greatly while taking exams. "
" I just wrote a full blown essay question and grouped my thoughts and concepts in a logical manner, which I thought was impossible until I tried to do it. "
" I think I improved greatly in areas such as my developing of concise rule statements and organization and structure. "
" I am more confident in understanding the material, and structuring my essays in a way that I can be assured that I have Incorporated all of the concepts I need to talk about. Previously, I lost points on my essays because I would miss things I needed to talk about since my writing was all over the place. "
" My analysis has gotten much better. I am able to organize and better connect my rules to my analysis. This has helped me score higher on exams for the midterms. "
" I have learned many different ways to assess problems and how to formulate rules. These rules will provide me with what I need to analyze in order to show that I understand different course materials. "
" I am better at reasoning and identifying specific issues and create good analysis, which helps me in terms of supporting my conclusions. "
" I had improved with my rule and my analysis section. "
" It truly feels like I have been opened up to a new world and the level of confidence I now possess is astonishing. "
" I learned different skills, that help break down cases, into simplistic terms. I discovered how, to prepare for exams, not the week before but two months prior. This was so far, the best class that I have taken while in law school. "
" I just simply don't know of any more helpful strategies that exist which weren't in the book. "
" I feel as though I really developed my ability to engage in self-directed learning, in any topic, whether a doctrinal course or not. "
" I believe this course creates a great advantage on the students who take the course and embrace the change because it will take you to limits you would not know you were capable to achieve and that gives you a competitive advantage over your classmates. "
" So how do you succeed in law school? You use your most POWERFUL resource on campus — the Advanced Critical Thinking Department. From the very first ACT presentation I attended, it was abundantly clear that they had law school learning literally down to a science. The ACT department understands how students can and must digest the material to successfully perform on their exams. I cannot emphasize enough what a powerhouse this department can be if you accept the process and listen to their advice. "
" The ACT department is the most critical and valuable legal development program offered at Ave Maria. Professor Brosseit built a custom program of development for me and together, we worked to improve and master the critical skills needed to be a proficient student and an excellent future lawyer. I improved my writing skills, my critical reading skills, my deep analysis skills, and my issue-spotting skills. With constant review of the skills pyramid, I was able to fully utilize my time management plan to effectively identify weak areas in the doctrines. I have ACT to thank for making me a better student. The skills I’ve developed through ACT will pay off in the rest of my legal career and I am truly grateful to have been blessed with the opportunity to work closely with that amazing department. "
" As a former teacher, I know the importance of tailoring the material to each learning style. The ACT Department helps individual students investigate how they best absorb information. It encourages not only higher-level thinking in each subject area but in the area of learning itself. They offer support in whatever way you need. I would recommend every student sit down with the ACT Department at least once. It is a wonderful department that can help you learn—to learn your way."
" I was first introduced to ACT in orientation when Prof. Brosseit taught us the basics required to brief a case and the categories required. I saw a dramatic swing in my grades using his methods. I was better prepared for finals which made me more comfortable while I being tested. Students should know that there is more to law school than just sitting in class and reading. How you digest the material matters and how you approach a final determines how high your grade rises. Also you are never completely down and out on any subject as long as you have the ACT Department. ACT is a tool that maximizes student growth and should be proud part of every law student's scholastic life."
" I am more confident in understanding the material, and structuring my essays in a way that I can be assured that I have Incorporated all of the concepts I need to talk about."
" The nice thing about ACTLA is that it helps students identify the type of work that they should be doing in their courses and directs them to it. Students also make frequent self-assessments of their progress and can meet with the ACTLA professors for further guidance to make sure that they stay on track. "
"[The ACTLA course] opened my eyes to new ways of dealing with legal problems and new ways to obtain optimal solutions. I am more confident going into exams and most importantly, I can assess pretty accurately how well I did on an exam based on the skills I've acquired. It changes the way students view legal doctrines/concepts and allows them to formulate new trains of thought. I would recommend it even to anyone for the simple reason that even if you think you know it all, I'm sure this course can help you know more. [The ACTLA] course allows law students to fully reach their potential in legal analysis. "
" I believe [the ACTLA] course not only helped me with the law school, the bar exam, the practice of law but also in my personal skills while performing my everyday tasks in life. I focus, go for it and achieve. "