Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Why Are Law Students Not Always Prepared for the Rigor of Law School?

Academic support professionals at law schools have noticed that new law students are often coming in to the study of law without the same basic study habits and critical reading and thinking skills that we would have seen previously. Although the knee-jerk reaction would be to blame it on the falling number of applicants and those applicants' credential erosion, I think that would be a mistake. The lack of study habits and skills is not just limited to those with the lowest credentials. It is prevalent across entering classes and cannot be explained just by LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs.

A number of factors in undergraduate education (and no doubt earlier education) seem to be linked to students coming into law school without the background study habits and skills that we have long expected entering law students to have. Here are some of the things that students who did very well in college commonly tell me about their undergraduate experiences:

  • Most students studied only 15-20 hours per week at the most. Many will tell me that they made As and Bs with even less studying.
  • The course examinations often required them to memorize information and merely regurgitate it onto the paper to get high grades.
  • Examinations were not comprehensive over the semester's entire course material; exams typically covered no more than 2-4 weeks of material.
  • Because examinations covered limited material, cramming was the successful study method for high grades. Students did not study to retain information for long-term memory and later use, but rather to dump it and forget it.
  • Students often took courses and had majors that they never planned to use the information from in the future. Thus, cramming for high grades had few or no long-term effects for many of them.
  • Students often were allowed to drop the lowest grade among the 4 or 5 tests they took for a course.
  • Students often commented that professors rarely graded papers for punctuation, grammar, word choice, or style. "They just wanted to know my ideas."
  • Many students mention they had never written a paper longer than 5 pages in college. Some had never written anything longer than 2 pages.
  • Students delayed any work on papers until a few days before they were due because they could get high grades on first drafts.

Although students are warned throughout orientation programs about the differences in law school, students who end up in academic difficulty often state that "I thought they were talking to everyone else." It is often difficult for students who have been successful on little studying and cramming to change their habits.

The students who listen to the warnings that law school is different and "up their game" with more study hours often choose study habits that focus only on class survival and required papers. They do not always realize the importance of regular review and long-term memory for comprehensive semester exams, the future bar exam, and practice. They do not realize the importance of practice questions to apply concepts. They may miss the importance of building skills across classes that will be used every day in practice.

Professional practice as a lawyer requires a different approach toward education by law students. Our dilemma is to determine how to provide the study habits and skills not attained in lower education so that law students can be successful in law school and ultimately in practice. (Amy Jarmon) 

 

June 28, 2016 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Associate Director Position at BU

Excerpt from listserv email regarding new position:
 
I invite you to consider joining our wonderful group at BU Law in the new role of Associate Director for Academic Enrichment.  The new position will report to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and will be responsible for the development, implementation, and assessment of academic and bar support programs for students at Boston University School of Law. The Associate Director will provide leadership and support for assessing and responding to students’ progress on academic learning outcomes; writing and oral performance; and study strategies. The AD will also develop and implement programming that complements the JD curriculum, while coordinating and promoting available resources to foster deeper understanding of legal concepts for JD students. In addition, the position will oversee bar examination preparation for 3L students and graduates.
 
Please see the attached position description for a more complete list of the position’s goals, and click here to apply: https://bu.silkroad.com/epostings/index.cfm?fuseaction=app.jobinfo&id=23&jobid=298980&company_id=15509&version=1&source=ONLINE&JobOwner=1017164&level=levelid2&levelid2=4271&startflag=3.
 

 

June 27, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

University of Louisville Postion

Program Manager, School of Law (Job Id: UL619)

Institution:
 
Location:
Louisville, KY
 
Category:
Faculty - Law and Legal Studies
 
Posted:
06/23/2016
 
Type:
Full Time
 
Job ID: UL619
Location: School of Law

Equal Employment Opportunity
The University of Louisville is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities Employer, committed to community engagement and diversity, and in that spirit, seeks applications from a broad variety of candidates.

Minimum Qualifications
J.D. and three years of related experience. Additional experience may be used on a one-to-one basis to offset the educational requirements. The university offers market competitive salary and benefits. Grade EG

Preferred Qualifications
Prefer candidate to be a member of the bar of any state.

Position Description
  • Develop, implement, and manage the Law School's academic success program for 1Ls. Prepare and lead academic success presentations for the Summer Enrichment Program, KLEO, and Pre-Orientation programs for entering law students. Design and implement the academic success components of first-year orientation. Coordinate and supervise the Structured Study Group program for first-year law students. Recruit, train, and supervise up to 12 students to serve as Academic Fellows while acting in a managerial capacity, supervisor, and mentor. Also, duties include monitoring, coaching, and supervising Academic Fellows while tracking and managing weekly hours submitted with weekly reports.
  • Design, develop, implement, and conduct academic success workshops and programs to improve students' learning skills necessary for success in legal studies, including instruction for refining students' analytical, learning, and time management skills, as well as guidance in case briefing, note taking, outlining, exam preparation, and exam taking. Maintain records regarding first-year participation in the Structured Study Group program and attendance at Academic Success Workshops. Direct, implement, and execute a 3L bar prep program for 3L students in the spring. Analyze bar results and determine best practices in bar preparation. Track correlations between bar prep program implementation and other Academic Success Programs to Bar Passage Results.
How To Apply
To apply for this position, follow the "Online App. Form" link below and then click on the title. You must answer all required fields and submit your application by clicking the "Submit" button. Vacancies are routinely removed from the jobs portal around 7:00PM each Monday.

Computers are available for application submission at the Human Resources Department located at 1980 Arthur Street - Louisville, Kentucky 40208. For more information, please contact us by email at employment@louisville.edu or by phone 502-852-6542.

If you require assistance or accommodation with our online application process, you may schedule an appointment at (502) 852-6542 with Employment Services at the Human Resources office located at 1980 Arthur Street, Louisville, KY 40208.

Application Information

Contact:
School of Law
University of Louisville
 
Phone:
502-852-6542
 
Fax:
502-852-5665
 

June 26, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Law Success Instructor Positions at St. Mary's University

Excerpt from listserv email from Zoe Niesel, Service Professor and Director of Law Success,  St. Mary's University School of Law:
 
St. Mary’s University is excited to announce that we are dramatically changing our academic support approach.  We have performed a comprehensive review of our program and are now in the process of rolling out our new Law Success program.  This new approach includes new graded academic support courses, enhanced programming, and dramatically increased funding.
 
Most pertinently, we are significantly expanding our team of academic support professionals.  For the Fall 2016 semester, St. Mary’s is looking to hire multiple Instructors of Law Success.  These full-time teaching positions will provide formal instruction within a required legal skills program that is designed to stretch across the entire law school curriculum.  Additionally, Law Success Instructors will provide individual student advising, design and coordinate programming, and assist in curriculum development. 
 
The posting is available here: https://stmarytx.applicantpro.com/jobs/412107.html.  (Please note that although the title for this position in the posting is Associate Director, Bar Studies & Academic Success, we will be changing the title as soon as we complete the restructuring of our office.)

From the ad posting:

In the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, assists in the execution of the functions of the Academic and Student Affairs Office at the Law School, including counseling students, providing lectures, assessing and grading written work, managing data systems, and developing curricula. 

The Associate Director must also have a commitment to leadership in a Catholic and Marianist institution, which fosters quality education in a family spirit; to pursue service, justice and peace and prepare for adaptation and change, while encouraging each person in their own way in their formation in faith.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:

  • Coordinates, plans, and executes academic support programming for 1L, 2L, and 3L students, including classes, workshops, bar preparation events, and individual academic counseling with students, irrespective of year in law school, who want to improve their grades generally, or who have specific questions about study or test-taking skills;
  • Provides course advising to law students;
  • Works with both day and evening students;
  • Creates and executes mandatory programming targeting the lower half of the 1L, 2L, and 3L class, including a number of Fundamental Skills Programs helping students develop the skills they need to succeed in law school, on the bar exam, and as lawyers, along with helpful feedback mechanisms;
  • Creates, plans, and executes voluntarily attended programing targeting 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls, LLMs, and Masters of Jurisprudence Students;
  • Works to improve opportunities for both in-person and online programming and feedback mechanisms;
  • Works closely with Bar Review Companies in the development of jointly created programming for the law students;
  • As appropriate, assists students in completing materials necessary for the Financial Aid Office;
  • Provides updates and feedback regarding programming and student performance to the law school administration;
  • Works with law students needing accommodations;
  • Assists with the Summer Skills Enhancement Program;
  • Plans, hosts, and executes occasional special events (such as conferences) and presentations to provide learning opportunities and collaboration with peers in the academic support profession;
  • Works with the Office of Career Services at the Law School to create and implement joint programming for 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls, and LLM Students;
  • Tracks and keeps records of academic counseling appointments and mandatory and voluntary programs;
  • Executes the curriculum used by advanced law students to teach skills such as briefing cases, creating outlines, and writing law school essay exams, helps train these students as they work directly with students, and provides feedback;
  • An Associate Director is expected to be available for both day and night appointments and programming.

SUPERVISION RECEIVED:  General direction from the Director(s) in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs and/or the Assistant Dean of Law Student Affairs.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Must possess positive interpersonal communication skills, both oral and written;
  • Must be proactive and possess a positive customer service oriented attitude.  Creativity and positive leadership skills are mandatory;
  • Fluency in English is required, but a language other than English is an advantage (although not a requirement); 
  • Must respond professionally to inquiries and provide services to students requiring academic counseling and advising;
  • Must have knowledge of Microsoft Office;
  • Must be able to travel and to work some evenings and weekends; and
  • Must be prepared and willing to provide leadership in a Catholic and Marianist institution committed to fostering quality education in a family spirit; to pursuing service, justice, and peace; to preparing for adaptation and change; and to encouraging each person in their own way in their formation in faith.

EDUCATION:  Juris Doctor preferred; in the absence of a J.D., a candidate must hold a graduate degree and have teaching experience in a field within the programs curriculum. 

EXPERIENCE:

  • Prior experience in the practice of law preferred; 
  • Prior experience in writing curriculum proposals preferred;
  • Prior experience in data management, analysis and predictive modeling preferred;
  • If JD bar admission strongly preferred;
  • Student counseling experience, teaching, or other type of experience providing academic support to students in a law school environment preferred; and
  • Prior experience counseling J.D. candidate preparing for bar examination preferred.

CERTIFICATION: Not required.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  Ability to stand during lengthy presentations with good manual dexterity and ability to lift up to 25 lbs.  The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

 

June 25, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fear of the bar exam essay

With the law school terminal exam, the bar exam, about a month away, bar studiers are typically anxious and nervous for a variety of reasons. Some are overwhelmed by the limited amount of time remaining, others are fearful of not retaining and recalling information, and certain others are fearful that all the time and effort studying will not yield expected results.  These are all valid fears and concerns but should not distract bar studiers from developing the skills necessary to successfully attack this exam. 

One skill that bar studiers tend to avoid is writing answers to essay questions and I have heard a variety of justifications for why but the common theme is “fear.” Fear of what an answer to an essay question might reveal about knowledge of the law, ability to recall the law, lack of organization, ability to use facts effectively, ability to develop arguments and counter arguments, etc...  The most significant fear is the negative impact on moral and motivation.  Practice essays can be tough on moral and motivation but can help bar studiers uncover and acknowledge strengths and weaknesses.  Bar studiers, you have time to learn the law, memorize it, and develop better writing skills.  If you do not know what challenges you face, how can you positively progress?  Below are four points highlighted in my students’ weekly messages about essays:

  1. Just do it. If you wait until you are fully comfortable with the law to write an essay; you will never do it. You will never be fully comfortable with all aspects of each and every subject area but you can get better by writing.
  2. Build your muscles. You must dive in to build tough skin when it comes to critique/feedback. When you are faced with the unknown you will develop a strategy. You do not want to face your worse fear, the essay, on the day of the exam.  It just won’t work. “Remember that no one shows up for a marathon without preparation so why should you?” (Dean of Student Engagement quote)
  3. Keep it real. Be completely honest with yourself and the people who are trying to help you.  Complete timed questions, honestly critique your responses, and start to do it closed book.
  4. Close the book…or you will never get the timing right and you will never memorize the rules.  Only after you have made a good faith attempt and done your best should you look up rules you do not know or understand.

June 23, 2016 in Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Art of Rebutting Negative Self-Talk

Does that voice in your head ever cause you to feel anxious or defeated? Negative self-talk is something that many people have to combat.

What do I mean by negative self-talk? It is when you think: "I have never been any good at math, so Income Tax is going to be impossible." OR "The bar exam is so hard to pass, there is no way I can pass on the first attempt." OR "Law school is so hard. I just can't do this." OR "What if I get the format wrong on this memo - I'll fail for sure."

Negative self-talk is destructive. It causes us anxiety, lack of motivation to try harder, and defeats us before we have a chance to prove what we can do. It underestimates our abilities and considers us unable to improve.

It is important to learn how to rebut negative self-talk and replace it with positive self-talk. When that negative voice in your head starts carping at you, you want to stop it in its tracks. After all, lawyers practice rebuttal on a regular basis in their jobs. It is time to learn to do it in your private realm.

So, when the voice tells you that you will be hopeless at Income Tax, think positively to rebut: "Income Tax may use numbers, but I mainly am learning steps to analyze the scenarios. I can follow the steps to succeed." OR "I may not like math, but that is what a calculator is for." OR "If I study hard, I can learn how to succeed in Income Tax as a subject."

What about the bar exam negative talk? Rebut it with the following types of thinking: "The bar exam is hard, but I can pass it on the first attempt if I don't psych myself out." OR "I know lots of people who pass on the first attempt because they worked hard each day and completed lots of practice questions; I can do this." OR "I have a study plan and am doing all the things I need to do, so I will pass on the first attempt."

The law school challenge: "I was accepted to law school because I am able to do this; I need to believe in myself." OR "I need to learn new strategies; the Office of Academic Support can help me." OR "I can do this; I just need to go talk to my professor about the questions I have rather than stay confused."

The memo format: "I need to stop worrying about the format, and go to the professor for guidance." OR "I need to refer back to my assignment instructions and re-read about the format required." OR "I need to view the Power Point slides from class again, so I get the right format."

You see the difference? You don't want to let discouragement become your mantra. Often you can take a more positive stance and even think of actions to resolve a situation.

Can you think of the negative things that you commonly tell yourself when you get discouraged, find something overly hard, are tired, or are feeling low? Take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. On the left column put the heading "Negative Self-Talk" and on the right column put the heading "Positive Self-Talk." Now list the negative things your voice in your head tells you in the left column. In the right column, write the rebuttal to that negative statement. In fact, write several rebuttals if they come to mind.

Next time you hear that negative self-talk, rebut it immediately. You may find a new negative self-talk phrase pops up or one that you forgot about. Write it on your list and add the rebuttal. As you practice rebuttal, your negative self-talk should become less frequent. (Amy Jarmon)

 

 

June 21, 2016 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Congratulations to Alex Ruskell

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_Small
Congratulations to Alex Ruskell who was a awarded a Top Ten Badge by the Texas State Bar's Texas Bar Today for his June 3rd posting Goldilocks and the Bar Exam.

June 20, 2016 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 17, 2016

How to Improve Your Multiple Choice Scores on the MBE

Many students are frightened of the MBE because they have never done well on multiple choice tests.  If you fall into this category, the important thing is that you do as many practice questions as you can during bar prep.  As you do them, try to figure out exactly what the problem is.

Students who do not like multiple choice exams usually go back and change answers.  Whenever I have my students take a look at their work later, it usually turns out that changing answers only hurt them.  If you have the tendency to go back, study your exam and see if this helped you even once.  Usually, people are only hurt by going back, or at least hurt more than they are helped.  Do the next few sets of practice questions promising yourself that you won't go back.  You'll probably discover you did better.

Some students do poorly on multiple choice exams because they read too fast and miss important words.  If you go over your answers and discover that you are doing this, slow down your reading.

But, some students have a problem with running out of time.  For that, the only thing you can do is do as many practice questions as possible until you have the cadence of the questions down and you naturally want to move when 1.8 minutes are up (the time you have for each MBE question).  It's fine (actually, I think a fantastic idea) to do the same questions more than once, so the materials you have now will be plenty.

Don't skip questions to come back to the harder ones later -- you will run out of time, and likely screw up the Scantron sheet, which is a disaster.  Just answer the questions as they come, and give each 1.8 minutes.

In working to improve student scores, the thing that seems to help the most is doing the questions, then going over them and creating a list of "Things I Did Not Know" -- either the reason you missed the question, or the wrong reason that still lead you to the right answer.  Keep the things you did not know short.  For example, "Did not know the amount in controversy has to be over $75,000."  Study that list.  Multiple choice questions are designed for you to be able to spit out one particular factoid.  If you have a list of all the ones you didn't know memorized, you'll never miss questions based on those factoids again, and the same ideas tend to repeat themselves. (Alex Ruskell)

 

June 17, 2016 in Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Would your school like to be the 2018 AASE conference venue?

Hello Academic Support Professors:

Even though we just concluded the conference in New York City, the AASE executive committee is already looking to identify possible conference venues for 2018.  To identify the pool of possibilities, we are asking for your help.  If you have an interest in hosting the 2018 AASE annual conference at your school, will you please let us know? 

This is a formal request for proposals.  The deadline to submit proposals is July 15, 2016.  Interested academic support professors should let us know the answers to the following questions:

(1)   Do you have large room capacity–i.e., the ability to have as many as 175 people meeting together in a single room–for plenary sessions?  (The room must be available in late May, which may rule out schools that already have made commitments for other conferences or for bar review lectures.)

(2)   Are there smaller rooms available for breakout sessions?

(3)   What are the general technical features (e.g., projectors/audio/wifi) in the building?

(4) How easily can your school be accessed from airports and other public transportation?

(5) Have you ever hosted a conference before (local, regional, or national)?  Please identify the conference(s) you hosted. (Prior hosting experience is not required.)

Please respond directly to Jamie Kleppetsch, who can be reached at JKleppetsch@jmls.edu

Thanks in advance for responding!

Best regards,

The AASE Executive Committee

Jamie Kleppetsch, President

June 14, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thoughts for New 1L Students

Congratulations to all of the new 1Ls who will be arriving on our campuses this August! We look forward to your joining us in your journey to being attorneys.

What should you be doing this summer to prepare for law school? Here are some suggestions:

  • Spend time with family and friends. Your time as a law student will be very busy, so you want to have quality relaxation time this summer. Take advantage of this time to have family trips, lots of conversations, and companionship with the people who are special in your life.
  • Get your finances in place as soon as possible. Make a budget that you can stick to during the semester so that you will not run out of money or run up credit card debt. Working during your first year of law school as a full-time student is not doable.
  • Use the summer to get yourself in shape: regular exercise, good nutrition, a regular sleep schedule of 7-8 hours. Your brain will be doing heavy lifting for the next 3 years. You need to be healthy to have optimal learning. Many law students run into trouble because they do not take care of themselves, and their academics suffer. Undertake solid routines this summer to prepare yourself for a rigorous academic year, and then continue good routines during the year.
  • If at all possible, move into your law school apartment at least two weeks before orientation begins. Get all of the boxes unpacked, the cable hooked up, the pictures hung, and the refrigerator stocked with nutritious foods. Explore your new city. Locate the pharmacy, dry cleaners, grocery store, and other necessities. You will have first-day reading assignments for your classes, and the work will not let up until the end of exams. You want your living situation completely settled before you start orientation and classes.
  • Realize that law school is not the same as undergraduate school. You need to learn new study strategies to succeed in law school. Although you study cases on a daily basis, you need to synthesize material through outlines. Law school exams test differently than other disciplines; you are asked to apply the law to analyze new fact scenarios. Pay careful attention in orientation to study skill sessions and attend fall workshops provided by the academic support professionals at your law school.
  • Realize also that you need to study more hours per week than you have ever had to study. You need to be organized, efficient, and effective in your studies. To achieve the best grades, you need to do more each week than just daily class preparation. You need to synthesize the material into outlines and review regularly to prepare for exams. You also need to complete practice questions throughout the semester to monitor your learning. Cramming does not work in law school. There is too much material to learn in the last few weeks. The rule of thumb to get all tasks done every week (class prep, outlines, review, practice questions, legal research and writing) is 50-55 hours per week.
  • Analyze what your main distractions are and how they cause you to procrastinate. For many law students, the distractions are electronic: cell phone calls, email, texting, gaming. Law students cannot afford to waste hours a day on distractions. Weaning yourself from your electronic handcuffs over the summer will help you use time more effectively during the semester.
  • Read as much as possible. Read a mix of fiction and non-fiction books. You need to get into training for reading 30-60 pages per night for each course. You will not be as shocked by the workload if you spend lots of time reading over the summer and practice reading for comprehension.
  • I do not recommend trying to read torts, contracts, civil procedure, or other legal course materials over the summer. For the most part, you will get little out of it without the classroom experience. Plus, most law courses will not cover all of the topics that you are reading about on your own.
  • There are some very good books on law school written by academic support professionals. I would recommend starting with Herb Ramy's Succeeding in Law School as summer reading. Ruth McKinney's Reading Like a Lawyer would be another good summer choice. During the school year, Alex Ruskell's A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student can keep you on schedule. Carolina Academic Press has a wide variety of good books on law school, legal reasoning, and other law school topics.
  • Non-lawyer family members will not fully understand what your future 3 years will be like - unless you go to law school, it is hard to understand the demands. You may want to share Andrew McClurg's book entitled A Companion Text to Law School with them to help them to understand what your three years will be like.

Have enjoyable and battery-charging summers. You want to hit the ground running when you arrive in the fall. (Amy Jarmon)

June 9, 2016 in Orientation, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Thoughts for Rising 2L and 3L Students

Ah, summer is finally here. Congratulations to all of you for completing a year of your law degree! For rising 2L students: Isn't it fabulous not to be 1Ls any longer! You are now seasoned (and let's hope, not too battle-scarred) law students. For rising 3L students: Wow! You will soon be sitting the bar exam and begin your professional lives as lawyers.

So what should you be doing with your summers?

First of all, you should get some relaxation and rest and have some fun. Recharge your batteries. Spend time with family and friends. Play with your pets. Laugh with your children, nieces, and nephews. Catch up on all of the movies you missed. Read fluff novels. And enjoy.

If you are working in a legal job, make the most of the experience. Learn as much as you can in whatever type of position you are in for the summer. If you are observing, ask questions. If you are researching, learn how to hone your skills. If you are writing/drafting, concentrate on improving your word choice, punctuation, grammar, and conciseness. Pay attention not only to the legal content of your work, but also how to be effective and efficient in that work. Watch attorneys to see how they organize their work and approach legal problems. No matter how small the task, you can learn something about lawyering.

If you are in summer courses, take the opportunity to improve your study habits. Summer courses speed by, so stay on top of each class in preparation and review. Build your outlines each day, if possible, but at least each week. Prepare well for class so that you will increase your learning and have a better idea of what is important in class discussion. Review subtopics and topics regularly so that you can start practice questions early. Summer courses are often a way to improve your grade point average if you stay on top of the material.

If you are in a study abroad program, work hard in your courses so that you get good grades and expand your global knowledge. If financially possible, take the opportunity to travel in the region. Expand your language skills. Meet local residents so that you can learn about the culture from those who live there. A study abroad program is often a good line on your resume to start an interview conversation. And, for some of us, study abroad programs lead to later international employment or LLM opportunities.

If you are in a non-law job, enjoy the break that you are having from the law. Save up your money to help with costs during the school year. Enjoy being around people who do not want to discuss cases every minute! Get the most out of the opportunity to show your versatility when you job hunt.

But, most of all, enjoy your summers! All of us in ASP will look forward to seeing you back on campus in August. (Amy Jarmon)

 

 

 

 

 

June 8, 2016 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Congratulations to the AASE 2016-2017 Executive Board

The newly elected organizational board members for the Association of Academic Support Educators are:

    President: Jamie Kleppetsch (John Marshall)

    President-Elect: Betsy Brand Six (Kansas)

    Immediate Past President: Pavel Wonsowicz (UCLA)

    Vice-President for Diversity: Russell McClain (Maryland)

    Secretary: Louis Schulze (Florida International)

    Treasurer: Haley Meade (CUNY)

    Host School Representative: Camesha Little (Texas A&M)

The next conference will be May 23-25, 2017 at Texas A&M in Fort Worth, Texas.

 

 

 

 

June 7, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 3, 2016

Goldilocks and the Bar Exam

As the dulcet birdsong of spring gives way to the blistering Hades of summer in South Carolina, I spend a lot of time working with students as they prepare for the essay portion of the bar exam. 

Students struggling with this portion of the bar exam seem to fall into one of two groups.  For one group, the problem is that they are writing too little.  So, for example, if there is a question involving the UCC and a sailboat, they won't write down what the UCC is, what it covers, or why a sailboat might fall under the UCC rules.    

For the other group, the problem is that they are writing too much.  In that case, if the question involves what happens when a guy calls up his attorney and tells her to toss his will in a fire, this group will start with "A will requires two signatures ..." and eventually write down absolutely everything they know about wills.

Either way, even if the student actually knows the applicable law and how to apply it, the exam grader can't tell.  If the exam grader can't tell, the exam grader is not going to award points.  I've seen students fail bar exam essays for both of the above reasons.    

Consequently, when evaluating essays, I remind the student to write essays as if he or she is speaking with a client.  A client is not an expert in the situation, and the student needs to explain to him or her what rules apply and why those particular rules apply.  On the other hand, if the student hits the client with a firehose of information, he or she will have no clue as to what things are important, what the rule actually is, or why that rule applies, even if the actual information is buried in there somewhere. 

(Alex Ruskell)

 

 

June 3, 2016 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

CLASP Counselor and Director of Bar Data Collection and Assessment at Barry

Barry University School of Law seeks a CLASP (Comprehensive Legal Academic Success Program) Counselor & Director of Bar Data Collection and Assessment.  This is a full-time exempt position. The CLASP Counselor & Director of Bar Data Collection and Assessment is responsible for providing support to students from matriculation through admission to the bar examination, with the primary goal of enhancing the learning and study skills of students.  Responsible for all academic support and bar data collection and assessment initiatives.

Additional information and application here (search for CLASP): http://www.barry.edu/jobs/

Posting - ASP Job Opportunity


Where appropriate, more than one option may be checked when responding to the below listed questions. Checking all options, for example in regard to salary, in an effort to avoid specifying a legitimate range is discouraged. You may provide additional textual explanations after each item. The completed form must appear within the body of an E-mail posting about a posting, and the completed form must be included within the text of any file attachment.

The position advertised: ___ a. is a tenure-track appointment. ___ b. may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years. ___ c. may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years. (Full Time Position) ___ d. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed. ___ e. is part of a fellowship program for one or two years. ___ f. is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment. (One-Year Visitorship only) _X_ g. is for at will employment.

The professor hired: ___ a. will be permitted to vote on all matters at faculty meetings.
___ b. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on matters except those pertaining to hiring, tenure, and promotion. _X_ c. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.)
_X_ Pay is commensurate with experience and no pre-set range is available

The person hired will have the title of:
___ a. Associate Dean (including Dean of Students).
_X_ b. Director.
___ c. Professor (tenure track).
___ d. Professor (clinical tenure track or its equivalent).
___ e. Professor (neither tenure track nor clinical tenure track).
___ f. no title.

Job responsibilities include:
_X_ a. working with students whose predicators (LSAT and University GPA) suggest they will struggle to excel in law school.
_X_ b. working with students who performed relatively poorly on their law school examinations or other assessments.
_X_ c. working with diverse students.
___ d. managing orientation.
_X_ e. teaching ASP-related classes (case briefing, synthesis, analysis, etc.).
_X_ f. teaching bar-exam related classes.
_X_ g. working with students on an individual basis.
___ h. teaching other law school courses.

The person hired will be present in the office and work regularly during the summer months (June – August).
_X_ a. Yes.
___ b. No.

The person hired is required to publish, in some form, in order to maintain employment.
___ a. Yes.
_X_ b. No.


Note: The Association of Academic Support Educators strongly recommends that this disclosure form accompany all E-mail postings for academic support positions sent to subscribers of the ASP listserv (asp-l@chicagokent.kentlaw.edu).

June 1, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Watch for a Future Announcement of a New BU Position

Boston University School of Law will be creating a new position - the Associate Director for Academic Enrichment – to provide greater coordination and assessment of the School’s academic skills development programming, bar preparation, and student support services. This position will collaborate with faculty, administrators and students for the shared goal of fostering student excellence in a dynamic and diverse community. Once the AD for Academic Enrichment position description is finalized, it will be posted here, and on the Boston University Human Resources site. Those interested in a preliminary discussion of the position are encouraged to reach out to Associate Dean Gerry Muir at gmmuir@bu.edu.

May 31, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Director of Academic Success Position at Georgetown

Summary of Job Description
Job Number: 20160405
Job Title: Director of Academic Success - Office of the Dean of Students
Department: Law Center - Dean of the Students
Grade/Level:  
Salary:  
Date Posted: 19 MAY 2016
   

Responsibilities & Qualifications:

Director of Academic Success – Office of the Dean of Students

The Georgetown University Law Center seeks applicants for a senior administrative position, the Director of Academic Success (DAS), to begin on or before August 15, 2016.    

Reporting to the Associate Vice President/Dean of Students and serving as a member of the student affairs leadership team, the DAS has six primary areas of responsibility, with additional responsibilities as assigned.

First, the Director develops, implements and manages co-curricular programs to support the academic development and success of the school’s nearly 2,000 JD students, with a primary focus on first year students. Currently, such programs include individual and group tutorial programs for first year JD students and the 1L 101 continuing orientation program, which features seminars on topics such as study habits, case briefing, outlining and exam-taking. Second, the Director develops resources for and counsels JD students who are having academic difficulty, with a focus on exam preparation and exam-taking strategies. Third, the Director supervises and advocates for the Barrister’s Council, one of the nation’s premier student-run appellate advocacy, trial advocacy and alternative dispute resolution competition programs. Fourth, the Director serves as a senior academic adviser, counseling individual students on academic policies, upperclass course selection, the intersection of academic and career planning, and related personal and academic development issues. Fifth, the Director plays an important role in developing and expanding co-curricular experiential learning opportunities for students, partnering with the Dean of Students and other senior staff to develop and deliver programs that enhance students’ professional success skills. And sixth, the Director supervises the head of wellness programming at the Law Center and collaborates with the Dean of Students to develop the strategic direction for the school’s nationally acclaimed wellness programs.

Requirements: 

  • JD from an ABA-accredited law school with a record of academic and extracurricular success in law school
  • At least two years of law practice experience
  • At least one year of law teaching experience or the equivalent, ideally with a focus on legal writing and analysis with superior written, oral and interpersonal communication skills 
  • Ability to think imaginatively and critically about how to measurably improve law students’ academic development, and to design and implement programs to promote that development
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a highly diverse population of students, faculty and administrators, including many students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in law schools
  • Ability to juggle multiple competing priorities and meet firm deadlines
  • Ability and initiative to forge partnerships with faculty, staff, students, alums and the DC legal community
  • Knowledge of and interest in recent changes in legal pedagogy and the legal profession
  • Excellent judgment and natural compassion
  • An appreciation of the wellness challenges confronting law students and practicing lawyers
  • An appreciation of the Jesuit tradition and mission of Georgetown University.   

Preferred: Significant experience as a competitor in or coach/instructor of law school moot court and/or trial advocacy competitions. 

   
 

EEO Statement
Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital status, protected veteran status, disability or other categories protected by law.

 
 

 

May 31, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Director of Academic Success Program at University of Tennessee

POSITION NOTICE
THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF LAW


THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF LAW invites applications for the position of
Director of its Academic Success Program (ASP). This is a new, full time, non-tenure track position,
added to complement the College’s commitment to helping students develop analytical and other skills
necessary for law school and, after graduation, law practice.

The Director will coordinate and manage the academic success programs at the College of Law.
This includes:
• the fall 1L ASP, which currently consists of a series of lectures regarding time
management, preparing outlines, studying for exams, etc.;
• the spring 1L ASP, which currently involves second and third-year students leading
weekly review sessions for first-year students;
• lectures during students’ second and third year regarding essay exam writing strategies;
• a bar preparation course, given in the third year.

In addition to these coordination and management duties, the Director will have significant
creative input in shaping the future direction of the program, including identification and
implementation of strategies to enhance students’ learning.

This individual, in consultation with the Director of Legal Writing, will also administer and grade
a writing diagnostic for all incoming students and, on the basis of that diagnostic, coordinate writing
workshops throughout the first year for those incoming students in need of additional instruction. The
ASP Director will also meet with, counsel, and tutor students who have been identified as potentially
benefitting from one-on-one instruction regarding legal analysis, legal writing, class preparation, etc.

This individual may have the option of also teaching an upper-level legal writing class to
students who have been identified as potentially benefitting from an additional legal writing class
designed to improve analytical and writing skills. The individual may also have the option to teach the
third-year bar preparation course.

A law degree from accredited law school and indicators of academic success in school are
required. Additional desired qualifications include two years in an academic setting or equivalent law
practice or other experience; superior writing, editing, and analytical ability; and the ability to
understand and criticize legal writing and analysis.

This is a ten-month position with a renewable two-year contract.

In furtherance of the University’s and the College’s fundamental commitment to diversity
among our faculty, students body, and staff, we strongly encourage applications from people of color,
persons with disabilities, women, and others whose background, experience, and viewpoints would
contribute to a diverse law school environment.

To apply, please send a cover letter that addresses your background and experience, with
emphasis on why you would be interested in the position and your teaching philosophy; curriculum
vitae; and the names of at least three references to Alex Long, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at
along23@utk.edu or to the address below:


    Alex Long, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    The University of Tennessee College of Law
    1505 W. Cumberland Avenue
    Knoxville, TN 37996-1810

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment and admissions without
regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender
identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

Eligibility and other terms and conditions of employment benefits at The University of
Tennessee are governed by laws and regulations of the State of Tennessee, and this non-discrimination
statement is intended to be consistent with those laws and regulations.

In accordance with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990, The University of Tennessee affirmatively states that it does not discriminate on
the basis of race, sex, or disability in its education programs and activities, and this policy extends to
employment by the University.

Inquiries and charges of violation of Title VI (race, color, national origin), Title IX (sex), Section
504 (disability), ADA (disability), Age Discrimination in Employment Act (age), sexual orientation, or
veteran status should be directed to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), 1840 Melrose Avenue,
Knoxville, TN 37996-3560, telephone (865) 974-2498 (V/TTY available) or 974-2440. Requests for
accommodation of a disability should be directed to the ADA Coordinator at the Office of Equity and
Diversity.

May 21, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Academic Support Gets a Nod from Pop Culture!

Boing Boing is one of my favorite websites.  When I was looking at it the other day, I stumbled across a mention of my last academic success book, A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student, which was pretty cool (Amy Jarmon was kind enough to review the book on this site last November, and she said nice things about the illustrations in it, which, if you've ever looked at my cartoons, you know was an incredibly kind and generous thing to do).  Boing Boing mentioned A Weekly Guide to talk about my favorite case of all time, Mayo v. Satan and His Staff, which I use to start off the book. 

Man Sues Satan

Then, I followed the link and saw that Weird Universe, another pop culture website, quoted the entire "academic-success-point-I-was-trying-to-make."

Weird Universe 

So, I am now keeping my fingers crossed for an inexplicable law school academic support shout-out in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or in a posthumous Prince song.  In my dreams, I have hope that Prince left a song in his vault called "Law School Academic Support Professionals are 2Funky."

On the serious side, we're going to be using A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student as the required text for our new 1L Orientation at South Carolina, and if you'd like to ask me any questions about it, I'll be at AASE next week.

(Alex Ruskell)

 

May 20, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Law School Action Comics

Lsac20

(Alex Ruskell)

May 18, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

AASE: Want to be an ASP Mentor next week at CUNY? Need an ASP Mentor to show you the ropes next week at the CUNY conference?

Are you an experienced ASP or bar prep person at a law school? We need volunteer Mentors who have worked in ASP for a number of years to help at the ASP conference. We are also looking for Mentors for next academic year.

The newly formed AASE Mentoring and Continuity Committee will be matching interested ASP mentors with first-time attendees for the annual AASE conference at CUNY next week. If you are willing to Mentor a first-time attendee at the conference, please e-mail Elizabeth Bloom, Chair of the Mentoring and Continuity Committee, at EBloom@nesl.edu.

If you are a first-time ASP attendee, the registration form asks if you are interested in a having an assigned Mentor. Please check the “yes” box, and we will happily match you with a seasoned ASP Mentor for the entire conference.  Mentors will assist you with selecting appropriate sessions during the conference, introduce you to other ASP professionals, and answer questions that you might have about ASP in general.

In addition, the Committee provides new ASP members (zero to three years) an opportunity to develop a professional relationship with an experienced ASP professional for an academic year. A sign-up sheet for Mentors and Mentees will be available in the conference packet. Come see us at our table Wednesday morning during the Committee meetings to drop off your sign-up sheet and chat with us about being an academic year Mentor or Mentee. The Committee is currently looking for enthusiastic Mentors for the 2016-2017 academic year. Some of the ways that Mentors can assist new colleagues is to offer professional guidance and support, help develop an ASP or bar-related course, provide feedback on scholarly works, identify professional development opportunities, and assist the Mentee with overall career growth.

We look forward to discussing the Mentoring and Continuity Committee’s future strategies with you at the conference next week.

May 17, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)