Learning Communities and Dean's Fellows

Learning Communities

The University of Dayton School of Law is committed to providing all incoming law students with the foundational skills necessary for success through placement in a Learning Community. Each Learning Community consists of approximately 8 to 10 students and is led by Dean’s Fellows, upper-level students selected for their academic achievement, commitment to the Law School community, aptitude for expert learning strategies, and interest in education.

Dean’s Fellows work with the Law School’s Academic Success department and the 1Ls’ doctrinal professors and assist students in developing effective strategies to maximize the opportunity for academic success.

Throughout the semester, Dean’s Fellows facilitate a 60-minute session for their Learning Community.  While not providing substantive legal instruction, Dean’s Fellows assist students in developing the five general skills areas that first-year students need to be successful in their studies: (1) time management; (2) note-taking; (3) reading and briefing cases; (4) synthesizing (weekly review and outlining); and (5) and test-taking strategies.

The Learning Communities also encourage and promote students’ participation in various professionalism and career services activities and workshops to ensure that 1Ls are not just proficient in the classroom, but are healthy and well-rounded law students that the Law School cultivates and honors.

Participation in a Learning Community during the first semester of Law School is a graduation requirement for all students.

How can I become a Dean's Fellow?

2018 Dean's Fellows

The University of Dayton School of Law is proud to present the Dean's Fellows:

Fall
Catherine Breault
I am very excited to be a Dean’s Fellow. I am passionate about helping others and relish the opportunity to share my knowledge and time with incoming Juris Doctor candidates. Empathy is a quality ingrained in my learning and I believe being empathic is closely related to being a morally ethical attorney. I view challenges as opportunities to grow, and live life with a positive, optimistic attitude. As a Dean’s Fellow, I look forward to aiding the new entering class, but also learning from them as well.
Ashley Caldwell
One of the most positive experiences I had as an incoming student at the University of Dayton was with the Dean's Fellow program and Leaming Communities. From the first day of Orientation, I was impressed at the amount of effort that was put into preparing students for success. The Dean's Fellows were there throughout the process to help whenever needed.
Emma Compton

UDSL sets itself apart because of its strong sense of community and support. The Dean's Fellows play an integral role in helping students feel acclimated and a part of the UDSL community. The Dean's Fellows were pivotal in my success. I owe a lot to them for their guidance, support, and leadership, and I am excited about the opportunity to do the same for the incoming class by sharing my experience as a first-year.

Kristin Hardy
Prior to law school there were so many emotions and questions running through my mind. Would I make friends? Would I like class? Would I be any good at it? Since then, I have found comfort in the unknown and continue to push myself to achieve academic success. The process has not been a sole endeavor, however. I have come to realize that it is okay to seek out the help of others and accept what I do not know. I have found that the most valuable resources which made my transition to law school a smooth and successful experience were the mentors and friends I made on the way.
Chase Kirby
I believe I was put on this Earth to serve other people. Ultimately, I plan to do that when I am practicing law, but at this point in my life, to be a friendly ear to any law student who may have the same worries that I had would mean a great deal. When I go on my way, through all the good and the bad, I want to be able to say I made a difference.
Mary Kraft
I am extremely excited about the prospect of becoming a Dean's Fellow because I believe in the value that Learning Community provides. Dealing with the stress of law school was the biggest hurdle I have had to overcome. Although this is something I continue to work on, I have learned ways to cope with and combat stress through a variety of outlets. Therefore, I believe that I will be a resource for students in managing their stress because I can offer advice and tips on how to let stress fuel motivation without letting it become debilitating, and offer guidance on how to productively release stress in a healthy way.
Alysa Medina
The Dean's Fellow Program functions as a great opportunity for upper level students to outreach to the first-year class at UDSL. The qualities involved in leadership and mentoring are important to develop from an early stage of our legal career. I am especially drawn to this program as the Dean's Fellow Program allows second-year students to outreach to the incoming classes both through small group settings in the Leaming Community and individual TA sessions on a particular subject.
Skyler Shaum
I believe this would be an amazing opportunity for me to grow as an individual as well as help lL's to grow. I am most excited about the prospect of being able to help students like myself adjust to the new environment that comes with law school. Law school is overwhelming and seems impossible at times, which makes it important to have someone there to help you to persevere, and that's what I hope to do for these students. 
Summer
Jaden Cleland

The primary reason I want to be a Dean's Fellow is that I enjoy being part of the successes of others. Everyone comes to law school with ambitious visions for how they plan to change the world for the better, and I believe the University of Dayton School of Law should do everything within its power to encourage and facilitate those dreams. I am particularly excited about the prospect of connecting with first-year students to hear what they envision for their careers.

Nova Levant

I am excited about the prospect of becoming a Dean's Fellow because no one should have to reinvent the wheel. As a Dean's Fellow, I will help my 1Ls not have to do so. UD law students are worth the time and effort of making PowerPoints, lunch appointments, and approaching the program with a real servant's heart because lawyers are vitally important to society.

Haley Napier

I am excited to become a Dean's Fellow because it will allow me to transform new students from having an intimidating perspective of law school to a position where students will succeed academically but still gain the best experience from their time at UDSL. I look forward to working with 1Ls because I believe that having a solid support system allows students to reach their academic goals, handle the stress of law school, and maintain a healthy, positive attitude.

Davis Schwartz

I hope to instill confidence and clarity in the incoming students. Engaging with others is my forte. Being a 1L is a turbulent time, but exhilarating in every facet. Most of this turbulence derives from the mystique that law school cascades upon incoming students. In my opinion, incoming students need a steady hand to guide them through the process. My goal is to use my compassion and energy to nurture these new students at the start of their law school career. 

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