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Instructional Methods

The custom electronic technology platform used by Northwestern California University is called eJuris®. Students use this dynamic internet-based course management platform to access the school's course material, to collaborate and communicate in online class sessions with fellow students and faculty members, and to view and listen to recorded audio and video lectures from anywhere in the world.

Faculty members are available to all students for course-specific questions in “real-time” online classes, through posting on the school’s discussion boards, and by email.

Students typically take 20 semester units per one-year term of studies. Each semester unit requires a minimum of 15 hours of verified academic engagement (VAE), plus 30 hours of preparation or additional study. Thus, over the course of each term, students taking the standard 20-unit course load must complete 300 hours of VAE, plus an additional 600 hours of independent preparation and study. On average, therefore, students should expect to spend 18-25 hours per week on their law studies.

Each course includes required materials which students must purchase, usually a case book and a commercial outline. Students are provided a syllabus for each course, which provides detailed information about required assignments and exams. Additionally, students are provided a thumb drive containing digital audio recordings of important legal terminology, so they can easily download it to their phones for listening on the go.

Most courses include assignments such as a definitions assignment, in which students define key legal terms and provide illustrations showing their use; a case briefs assignment; and a short thesis paper on a topic of the student’s choice related to the subject of the course. Some courses, notably those for the first year, also include an online open-book quiz designed to acquaint students with their course materials. Finally, most courses include an open-book midterm essay exam; and a closed-book, proctored final exam.

For final exam proctoring, the school uses an online remote system so that students may take exams in their own homes or offices. Students also have the option to take final exams with in-person proctoring at an authorized college or university testing center.

Many resources are available to assist students with their studies, including access to LexisNexis®, which provides 139 billion documents and records with 1.9 million new legal documents added daily. LexisNexis is the top resource for lawyers performing legal research for actual cases.

Additionally, Northwestern California University is a member of The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI). Over 1,000 interactive legal tutorials written by faculty from a variety of U.S. law schools are available to students, including lessons using a variety of formats and methods for teaching doctrine, analysis and critical thinking skills.

While it can be overwhelming to have so many resources available to learn the law, each course syllabus provides a suggested study plan for each course to help students pace their studies through the year for maximum learning and retention.

Students are required to complete a minimum number of hours of learning activities that qualify as verified academic engagement, but they are provided multiple options, including attending real-time online classes of their choice; viewing previously recorded classes online at any convenient time; listening to audio or video presentations of key legal topics, terminology, or legal writing and analysis skills; completing CALI lessons; responding to professor-led discussions on the discussion boards, and more.