The Lewis A. Swyer Lectures and Workshops is an academic support program created for the purpose of enhancing student success at Albany Law School through skills training. Swyer Lectures and Workshops are now offered from the first through the third semester, but may also be offered at the sixth semester and beyond.
The Fall Swyer Lectures are about "how we learn" as well as "how to study" or "how to take an exam" and are interwoven throughout bi-weekly sessions held during the Fall semester. Faculty offer presentations on such topics as time management, effective reading, case briefing, note taking, legal reasoning, case analysis and synthesis, writing, stress management, study skills, and exam preparation.
The Swyer Lectures are open to all first-year students.
The Swyer Workshops, like the Swyer Lectures, provide academic support through skills training but stress active learning as the means to academic achievement. Readings, discussions, and exercises focus on developing such skills as note taking, legal reasoning, case analysis and synthesis, outlining, and exam preparation. Workshops involve large and small group work as well as intensive one-on-one support by faculty and selected upper-class teaching assistants.. Workshop faculty and teaching assistants offer written feedback on exercises as well as individual meetings with students to address specific problems.
The Workshops, offered in Spring semester to first-year students, are designed for those who, based on objective criteria and law school academic performance, could most benefit from skills training. Most strongly encouraged to attend are those whose law school academic experience has fallen below expectations. Others who may be invited include: students who have been out of the academic environment for several years; those whose academic or other backgrounds differ substantially from their classmates; and students for whom English is not their first language. Although participation in the Workshops is voluntary and does not carry academic credit, invitees are strongly encouraged to participate.
The Workshops are also offered in Fall Semester for second-year students whose law school academic experience has fallen below expectations. The Fall Semester Workshops are linked to substantive courses and involve intensive one-on-one faculty support and small group sessions.