Academic Skills Office

UCI Law’s Academic Skills Program (ASP) is a resource for all students seeking to maximize their academic success in law school.  From identifying the keys to effective class preparation, to solidifying legal analysis and legal writing skills, to demystifying the bar exam, ASP professors provide critical skills instruction to help students excel in all stages of their legal education.

Academic Skills Staff

Mary Basick

Assistant Dean of Academic Skills
mbasick@law.uci.edu 
MPAA 226-B / (949) 824-1908

Mary Basick joins UCI Law from Southwestern Law School, where she led the law school to historic bar passage success. For over a decade, she has successfully designed programs, developed innovative and engaging curricula, and taught courses in academic skills and bar preparation. Dean Basick utilizes best practices, effective teaching pedagogy, and cognitive learning theory to develop academic skills programming, which enables students to master legal skills and maximize their efforts.

Dean Basick has written several popular books on bar preparation with longtime collaborator Tina Schindler. Their bar preparation books are concise and practical, condensing vast amounts of substantive law into manageable concepts presented in a useful and easily understandable format. Together they authored the bar preparation bestsellers Essay Exam Writing for the California Bar Exam (Wolters Kluwer, 2nd ed. 2020) and California Performance Test Workbook (Wolters Kluwer, 2nd ed. 2020). Their most recent book, MBE Decoded-Multistate Bar Exam (Wolters Kluwer 2021), takes a fresh approach to Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) study. The book was inspired by redesigning an MBE course for their students, resulting in vastly improved MBE scores. In addition, Dean Basick authored the Multistate Bar Exam flash card set for the Emanuel Law in a Flash series and other various bar preparation materials.

Dean Basick has spent her career as an educator devoted to assisting all students in achieving  their full potential, with particular focus on students from backgrounds that are under-represented in the legal profession. Her upcoming research agenda includes writing a chapter for a book on fostering law school success and inclusion for first generation law students.

Christine Francis

Associate Director of Academic Skills
cfrancis@law.uci.edu 
MPAA 226-G / (949) 824-4396  

Christine Francis has been working with the Academic Skills Program at UCI Law since 2017 before joining the department full-time in June 2021. Professor Francis’s extensive experience includes developing and teaching curriculum at both the law school level as well as for major bar exam preparation companies. She is well-versed in both the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and other state-specific bar examinations, with an emphasis on the California bar exam. Professor Francis has presented at the yearly Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) conference and actively participates in the AASE Programming Committee. She also serves as a Legal Volunteer at the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law in Los Angeles. Professor Francis received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. While in law school, she led the Diversity Committee and interned at the San Diego Family Justice Center. Prior to law school, she graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Sociology, with minors in English and Political Science.

Portrait of Queena Mewers

Queena Mewers

Associate Director of Academic Skills
qmewers@law.uci.edu
MPAA 226-K / (949) 824-7546

Queena Mewers has been teaching in UCI Law’s Academic Skills Program (ASP) since 2015.  Professor Mewers is passionate about helping students learn how to learn by adopting a growth mindset and applying effective, science-backed study strategies.  She is also dedicated to helping law students become practice-ready attorneys with a strong foundation in legal analysis and legal writing.

Before joining UCI Law, Professor Mewers taught first-year Legal Writing and Advocacy at USC Gould School of Law for four years.  She was also Counsel at Crowell & Moring LLP’s Orange County office, where she practiced as a litigator for 10 years.  Professor Mewers received her J.D. and her B.A. in Classical Civilizations from UC Berkeley.  While in law school, she worked at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the East Bay Community Law Center, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Professor Mewers has always been passionate about teaching, advising, and mentoring students and new attorneys.  While in college, she served as a Peer Advisor, Resident Assistant, and Community Coordinator, as well as a Student Outreach Coordinator for her scholarship, the Incentive Awards Program (IAP), which helped students from underserved communities throughout California who faced socio-economic barriers and personal hardships.  In law school, she taught 1Ls as an ASP Tutor, and she also designed and taught a course for undergraduates to acquaint them with the law school application process, law school coursework and expectations, and possible post-graduate career paths.  While at Crowell, she served for many years as Co-Chair of the Orange County office’s Recruiting and Summer Associates Program Committees and as Co-Chair of the Mentorship/Pipeline Committee of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA).  Now at UCI Law, Professor Mewers serves on the Teaching and Learning Committee and also helps teach in the summer Pre-Law Outreach Program (POP), which helps students from disadvantaged backgrounds prepare for and understand the demands of law school. 

Portrait of Javier Miranda

Javier Miranda

Program Assistant
jmiranda@law.uci.edu
(949) 824-6313