Kirgis Fellows Programming

The Kirgis Fellows lead discussions on a variety of topics throughout the academic year. To give you a better sense of what your Kirgis Fellows will cover during these discussions, please consider the following information. 

Program Goals

The goals for the different phases of the Kirgis Fellow program are as follows:

Orientation Goals

  • Understand the role of your Kirgis Fellows
  • Understand the basic structure of the US legal system
  • Understand the court hierarchy for the Virginia legal system
  • Understand the court hierarchy for the Federal legal system
  • Understand your learning style/preference
  • Understand the implications of your learning style/preference
  • Learn and practice how to read a case
  • Learn and practice how to brief a case
  • Understand how to prepare for a law school class
  • Understand the Socratic Method
  • Understand how to effectively engage in classroom discussion
  • Understand how to effectively manage law school-related stress
  • Get to know the other students in your small section as well as your larger class
  • Develop a class-wide statement of professionalism
  • Understand the resources (Academic, Health, Extracurricular) available to W&L students
  • Learn about Lexington and the surrounding area

First Semester Goals

  • Understand how to navigate and to succeed during the first weeks of law school
  • Understand how to approach and to interact with professors
  • Understand how to synthesize notes
  • Understand how to make an effective outline/to organize course material
  • Prepare a professional resume
  • Prepare a professional cover letter
  • Understand how to conduct a professional job search
  • Understand how to effectively manage law school-related stress
  • Learn how to utilize and to manage time effectively in law school
  • Understand how to approach, to prepare for and to take law school exams 

Second Semester Goals

  • Understand the journal write-on and moot court processes
  • Learn about the MPRE
  • Feel confident about selecting classes for your second-year of law school
  • Build a relationship with a professor/recommender

Each month of the Kirgis Fellow calendar has a theme keyed to an important aspect of law school life. The Kirgis Fellow monthly themes for the academic year are as follows. The topics to be covered during a month's sessions appear below the month. These topics will often be supplemented by extracurricular sessions offered as part of the law school's academic success program:

August/September - Succeeding in Law School

  • Adjusting to life in law school
  • Self-directed learning in law school
  • Getting to know your professors

October - The Job Search

  • Conducting a professional job search
  • Crafting a professional resume and cover letter
  • Building relationships
  • Professionalism

November - Law School Exams/Wellness

  • Exam study strategies
  • Managing stress
  • Maintaining wellness during the final weeks of the semester

January - Grades/The Job Search Revisited

  • Planning for second semester
  • Conducting a professional job search
  • Building relationships
  • Professionalism

February - Second-Year Extracurricular Activities

  • Moot Court
  • Journals

March - Planning for your Second-Year/How to Use Your 1L Summer Effectively

  • Deciding what courses to take
  • The MPRE
  • Building relationships over the summer
  • Preparing for the second-year job search