Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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)

Reminder: AASE Registration Closes on Friday

REGISTRATION WILL CLOSE FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2016

4th Annual AASE National Conference

CUNY School of Law

Long Island City, NY

May 24-26, 2016 

To register go to:

http://www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/2016-conference.html

You can update your AASE membership at the time of registration!

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

Monday, May 16, 2016

Congratulations to Katherine Silver Kelly

Hat tip to Mary Beth Beazley for telling us the news from Ohio State. Congratulations to Katherine Silver Kelly, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Academic Support Program at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, on her selection as Professor of the Year by the graduating class. Katherine works in legal writing and ASP and is in her fourth year at Ohio State. Her faculty profile is here: Professor Katherine Silver Kelly. Below is a picture of Katherine giving her speech at this year's graduation.

Katherine Kelly
 

 

 

May 16, 2016 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Appalachian School of Law Director of Academic Success and Bar Prep Position

Assistant Professor & Director of Academic Support and Bar Prep Appalachian School of Law

Job Title:
Assistant Professor & Director of Academic Support and Bar Prep

Position Type:
Faculty

Base Pay Band (not including summer stipends or professional development):
$70,000 to $79,999

Job Summary:
To coordinate and supervise the Academic Support and Bar Prep Program at Appalachian School of Law (ASL).

Start Date:
ASL is seeking to appoint a Director of Academic Support & Bar Prep Program (ASP) to begin on August 1, 2016.

Principal Responsibilities:
To work collaboratively with all the faculty to support ASL’s students academically and in preparation for their bar examinations; to teach Legal Strategies I in the fall and Legal Strategies II in the spring to first-year students (ASL’s academic-support courses); to help teach ASL’s Intro to Law Orientation for first-year students; to meet individually with first-year and second-year students who are at-risk academically and other students if requested or if recommended by a professor; to host academic support and bar prep workshops; to monitor learning outcomes; to evaluate data concerning student performance; to support students in their preparation for their bar examinations, including post-graduate support; and to track and report information regarding bar passage and assessments.

Minimum Qualifications:
A JD from an ABA accredited law school; admission to the practice of law from at least one state bar; and at least three years of experience in law school academic support or teaching.

Preferred Qualifications:
Five to ten years of experience working in a higher-education setting in the areas of teaching, academic assistance, academic counseling or similar administrative, teaching, or practice experience; excellent written and verbal communication skills; and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents within the diverse law school community, including students served by the ASP, faculty, and administrators.

Law School Description:
ASL is located in the scenic, mountainous region of southwestern Virginia. All aspects of ASL’s academic program—from the structured curriculum and the required summer externship to the community service commitment—are designed to respond to the unique needs and opportunities of a law school in this region.

Status and
Appointment Length:
Full-time, 12-months

Closing Date:
The search committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and hopes to conduct a number of preliminary interviews in Long Island City, New York, between May 23 and May 27, 2016, to coincide with the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Support Educators. The search
committee will continue to review applications until the position is filled.

Special Instructions to Applicants:
Candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume, and names of three references with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers to personnel@asl.edu.

Appalachian School of Law
Assistant Professor & Director of Academic Support & Bar Prep
1. The position advertised: _X_ 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)
___ g. is for at will employment.

2. The professor hired: _X_ 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. ___ c. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

3.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.) ___ over $120,000 ___ $110,000 - $119,999 ___ $100,000 - $109,999 ___ $90,000 - $99,999 ___ $80,000 - $89,999 _X_ $70,000 - $79,999 ___ $60,000 - $69,999 ___ $50,000 - $59,999 ___ $40, 000-49,999 ___ this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000 ___ this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000

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

5. 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.
_X_ 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.
_X_ h. teaching other law school courses (If desired and subject to curricular needs).

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

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

This institution is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national and ethnic origin, age, veteran status or political affiliation.

May 13, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

An Interview with Carol Dweck on Mindset

Many of us in ASP have read Carol Dweck's book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, and used her mindset theory in working with students.  The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting article based on an interview with Carol Dweck in yesterday's issue. The link is here: Interview with Carol Dweck.

May 12, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How Gritty Are Your Students?

Hat tip to Scott Johns, University of Denver School of Law, for informing us about a Wall Street Journal article on grit which can be found here: The Virtue of Hard Things. The article talks about Angela Duckworth's research and her book, Grit. Duckworth developed the Grit Scale and found that grit often predicted success better than innate ability. Grit combines passion and perseverance. Duckworth has implemented the Hard Thing Rule in her own family: choosing and committing to one difficult activity that requires daily practice.

May 5, 2016 in Books, Learning Styles, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Time Management on Multiple-Choice Exams

As mentioned in an earlier post, many law students struggle with time management in exams. Time charting for multiple-choice exams is different than for fact-pattern essay exams. However, time charting is just as important to make sure that a student completes the full exam without rushing at the end or leaving questions blank.

Students often tell me that they have a minute, a minute and a half, or two minutes per question depending on how many questions the professor has announced will be on the exam and the time period allowed. Let's face it, trying to keep those small portions of time in mind over several hours is difficult. You would get whiplash from looking at your watch as you went through 100 questions if you tried to track the time used for most questions.

A time chart with checkpoints is a useful method to make sure you finish the entire exam but do not become hyper about your time per question. The checkpoints provide times when you will evaluate your progress through the exam to see if you are going too quickly or too slowly through the exam.

Most students find that 1/2-hour checkpoints work well if the multiple-choice exam is over two hours long. For shorter multiple-choice exams, 1/4-hour checkpoints may be desirable. The checkpoint alerts you to how many questions you should have been completed by that point in the exam.

Let's say that you have 100 questions to complete in a 4-hour exam. The exam starts at 1:00 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. If you have 1/2-hour checkpoints, the questions will be divided into eight segments. 100 divided by 8 = 12.5 questions. If you round up to 13 questions per checkpoint, you will have 9 questions left to complete in your last half hour of the exam. If you round down to 12 questions per checkpoint, you will have 16 questions left to complete in your last half hour of the exam.

Most students would prefer to complete the 13 questions at each checkpoint and have less pressure at the end of the exam. If they complete the 9 questions in the last segment earlier than 5:00 p.m., they will have time to go back and selectively review some questions. Strategically, most students would choose to have the time chart below using 13 questions per segment:

TIME

NUMBER OF QUESTIONS COMPLETED

1:30 p.m.

13

2:00 p.m.

26

2:30 p.m.

39

3:00 p.m.

52

3:30 p.m.

65

4:00 p.m.

78

4:30 p.m.

91

5:00 p.m.

100

 You can modify the number of checkpoints that you choose to reflect exam issues that you might have with multiple-choice. If you know that you tend to rush through and misread or not spend sufficient time analyzing answer options, you may want additional checkpoints to slow you down. If you know that you tend to overthink and get behind in an exam, you may want additional checkpoints to prevent your bogging down. In either of these cases, you might decide you want 20-minute checkpoints instead of 1/2-hour checkpoints.

Should your reserve time in your chart for review of the test? In the time chart above where you only have to complete 9 questions in the last segment, you will garner a few review minutes automatically if your pace stays the same in that segment. However, if you want specific review time, you will need to subtract your reserved review time from the total exam time and then distribute the remaining time appropriately over the questions to determine your checkpoints. For example, if you reserved 20 minutes out of your four hours, you would have 220 minutes to distribute for 100 questions. You would still need to complete 12.5 questions per segment (rounding up to 13 or down to 12).

If you reserve review time, just make sure that you do not review every question because you are more likely to second-guess yourself and change right answers. Instead go back to select questions where you were unsure about the answer. When you initially complete a question, put a check mark in the margin to indicate when you want to review that question later; always bubble in an answer on the Scantron (if using one) and circle on the test paper the choice you have bubbled. If you do not have time to go back to the question, you at least had an answer indicated rather than a blank.

With the check mark noting later review, also indicate how sure you are about that answer choice - 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, less than 50%. (Some students do not review questions they are at least 80% sure of initially and only indicate lower percentages.) The estimate tells you when you return to the question that you should not second-guess yourself and should only change the answer if you are now more than that percentage sure that the new answer is correct. Practice estimating your degree of certainty when you complete questions during your exam study; you do not want to waste time in the exam trying to determine what 70% certainty is compared to 60%.

If you practice time charting and completing questions at the appropriate pace during your exam study, the methods will be natural when you get into the actual exam. You can also determine ahead whether you are someone who needs additional checkpoints because you are too slow or fast and whether you want to reserve review time or complete the exam using the full time for answering questions once. As soon as the proctor indicates you may begin, you will quickly build your time chart to follow.

If an exam has both a fact-pattern essay portion and a multiple-choice portion, then you will complete two time charts - one for each portion of the exam. For information on time management for fact-pattern essay exams, please see the post on Saturday, April 30th. Good luck on completing your exams! (Amy Jarmon)

May 4, 2016 in Exams - Studying, Exams - Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

AALS Balance Section Topic Call on May 4th: Understanding the Impact of Inadequate Feedback

The AALS Balance Section’s next topic call features Prof. Paula Manning, speaking about her excellent article "Understanding the Impact of Inadequate Feedback: A Means to Reduce Law Student Psychological Distress, Increase Motivation, and Improve Learning Outcomes." 

Here are the details for the call.  Please forward to your colleagues.

What:                   AALS Balance Section Topic Call
                                Effective Feedback

                                Presented by Prof. Paula Manning, Western State

                                College of Law

When:                  May 4, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Call-in #:              (712) 432-0850, access code 422626#

Readings:            "Understanding the Impact of Inadequate Feedback: A Means to Reduce Law Student Psychological Distress, Increase Motivation, and Improve Learning Outcomes." 

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1967280

Format:                Presentation by our speaker, followed by discussion                           

May 3, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reminder: Deadline for Need-Based Travel Scholarships for AASE is May 6th

AASE is aware that law school travel budgets are dwindling.  In fact, some of you may not even have a travel budget at all.  The purpose of the AASE National Conference is to further the professional development of the academic support community.  To do this we need “you” at the conference.

In order to help subsidize some of the costs of attending the 4th Annual National Conference in Long Island City, NY next month, AASE will be awarding need-based travel scholarships. More information about the scholarships is attached.

The deadline to apply has been extended to next Friday, May 6.

Best,

Haley

Haley A. Meade ∙ Director of Skills Center ∙ CUNY School of Law ∙ 718.340.4556

AASE NATIONAL CONFERENCE TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS


AASE is pleased to announce that we will be awarding a limited number of scholarships to attend the AASE National Conference on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 through Thursday, May 26, 2016, at The City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, Long Island City, New York. Further information about the conference can be found at www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/conferencesevents.html.


AASE is aware that law school travel budgets are shrinking. In some cases, academic support professionals may not even have a travel budget at all. The purpose of the AASE National Conference is to further the professional development of the academic support community. To do this we need “you” at the conference.


To help subsidize some of the costs of attending the AASE National Conference, we will be awarding need-based travel scholarships. AASE members will be given preference when awarding travel scholarships. To become an AASE member, please go to www.associationofacademicsupportproessionals.org.


If you wish to apply for a travel scholarship, please submit the following information to aaseconference@gmail.com by May 6, 2016:
Name;
Position;
School Affiliation;
Email and phone number;
Describe your academic support responsibilities at your school;
State whether you are an AASE member;
Describe the circumstances evidencing a need for a travel scholarship;
State the amount of financial assistance being requested; and
Provide any additional information you feel is relevant to your application.

May 3, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Reminder AASE Mentors and Mentees

The newly formed AASE Mentoring and Continuity Committee provides new ASP members (one to three years) an opportunity to develop a professional relationship with an experienced ASP professional for an academic year. 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.

In addition, during the annual AASE conference at CUNY in May 2016, the Committee will be matching interested ASP mentors with first time attendees. 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.

We look forward to discussing the Mentoring and Continuity Committee’s future strategies at the May 2016 conference.

May 2, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Time Management on Fact-Pattern Essay Exams

The professor's goals for fact-pattern essay exams are multiple. Within the larger goal of seeing whether students can apply law to new fact scenarios they have never seen, the professor is looking for several aspects:

  • Can students spot issues - both the big issues and the sub-issues?
  • Can students accurately state the law - and variations of the law such as common law, restatement, or specific codes?
  • Can students analyze the arguments for the parties - "showing their work" rather than being conclusory?
  • Where appropriate, can students use cases and policy to support the arguments?
  • Can students do all of this in an organized manner with concise writing?
  • Can students state a conclusion - even if it does not garner points or matter for the "it depends" nature of the question?
  • Can students do all of this within the time given for the exam?

For many students, one of the biggest challenges of exam-taking is the time management throughout the exam. Some students finish exams early because they do not methodically work through the questions and miss points that could have been garnered. These students are often the ones that professors lament are conclusory. Other students have problems with completing the entire exam or with being rushed in completing the last few questions. These students are often the ones that professors lament went down rabbit trails.

There are few law school exams where students do not have to complete all of the questions on the exam to get maximum points. The occasional "complete three of the four questions" instruction would be the exception. We know that most law school exams, unlike the undergraduate versions that students have experienced, are written for the full time allotted for the exam. In fact, some professors on purpose write exams that cannot be completed within the time allotted "because I get such an easy grading curve that way."

So how can students get through an entire exam with the best chance of picking up maximum points across the exam? The strategy is to make a time chart for completing the entire exam. When does one make the time chart? As soon as the proctor says, "You may begin." Take a piece of scrap paper (provided in nearly every exam). Read the instructions and look at the point count or time allotment for each exam question. Then do some math for your time chart.

Let's assume that you have five fact-pattern essay questions to complete for the exam in four hours. The exam begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Let's also assume that your professor indicates time to be used for each question. Two are indicated as 1-hour questions; two are 45-minute questions; one is a 30-minute question.

The rule of thumb for each of the questions is that you want to spend 1/3 of your time reading, analyzing, and organizing (RAO) your answer and spend 2/3 of your time writing (W) the answer. For the 1-hour questions, that means 20 minutes RAO and 40 minutes W. For the 45-minute questions, that means 15 minutes RAO and 30 minutes W. For the 30-minute question, that means 10 minutes RAO and 20 minutes W. Translating this information into a time chart would look as follows:

QUESTION NUMBER

RAO

W

1 (1 HOUR)

1:00 – 1:20 p.m.

1:20 – 2:00 p.m.

2 (1 HOUR)

2:00 – 2:20 p.m.

2:20 – 3:00 p.m.

3 (45 MINUTES)

3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.

4 (45 MINUTES)

3:45 – 4:00 p.m.

4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

5 (30 MINUTES)

4:30 – 4:40 p.m.

4:40 – 5:00 p.m.

By using the time chart, you can keep track of how you should move through the exam for each question. You are prompted to read more carefully, think through your analysis, and organize your answer to maximize points before writing your answer. You are less likely to forget a fact, miss a case to reference, or skip an element to analyze when you have structure before you write. Professors can find points more easily in an organized and thorough answer. Also, you know exactly when to move on to writing rather than rushing through or stalling on the RAO step.

Using a chart prompts you to write in a more lawyerly manner. You know the points you want to make because of your organization time, and you can more quickly turn those points into concise sentences and paragraphs. You know when to conclude and move on to the next question at the end of the W time so you will consistently work through the entire exam. You do not want to rush at the end or miss completing one or more questions because you did not watch your time.

If you realize a couple of minutes before your W time ends on a question that you will not have time to write everything you wanted in complete sentences or paragraphs, quickly outline the points you would include if you had more time. Some professors will give a few points to that outline; others will not. However, if you have extra time at the end of the exam, you can return to that question and flesh out the outline into sentences and paragraphs. You will not waste time trying to remember what you were thinking.

What if your professor assigns points rather than times to questions?  In some cases the points will translate easily into time because points equal obvious time blocks within the overall exam. For example, the same four-hour exam with 8 questions broken down into two 90-point questions and six 10-point questions would equal time (90 + 90 + 60 = 240 points = 240 minutes = 4 hours). Using the 1/3 to 2/3 rule of thumb, you would split time 30 minutes RAO - 60 minutes W for the first two questions and 3-4 minutes RAO and 6-7 minutes W for each of the remaining 6 questions depending on your preference for slightly more RAO time or slightly more W time.

Even when your professor does not make points or minutes obvious, you can still tell proportionately how to use the time given the points. Assume you have two 100 point questions, two 75 point questions, and one 40 point question to complete in the 4 hours. You have 240 minutes; you have 390 points. You can eyeball it, or use a formula: divide the points for the question by the total points for the exam and multiple that number times the total minutes for the exam. If you ball-parked the minutes for ease of math, you would spend 1 hour on each of 100-point questions for 2 hours of the exam time, 45 minutes on each 75-point question for 1 hour and a half  of the exam time, leaving 30 minutes on the 40-point question.

What if your professor gives no clue as to points or time? Do not leave your common sense at home. If the difficulty and length of the fact patterns/call of the questions are very similar, divide the time equally among the questions. If some fact patterns are long, some medium, and some short, then divide time proportionately among them.

Finally, what if you are the type of person who must leave time to go back over the exam "just in case you missed something" the first time through the exam. Okay, if you really, really feel compelled to do so . . . . Subtract the amount of review time you want to reserve from the total minutes for the exam. Then reduce the time per question proportionately. Then do a time chart for 1/3-2/3 based on that number of minutes left per question.

Do not let your math phobia paralyze you. If you practice time charting when you are doing longer practice questions before the exam, the method becomes second-nature. Some professors will announce during the week preceding exams how many questions there will be and the points/times allotted for those questions. If you know that information ahead, you can sort out the math before exam day. Then when the proctor says you may begin, you can replicate your time chart on scrap paper. (Amy Jarmon) 

 

 

April 30, 2016 in Exams - Studying, Exams - Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 29, 2016

Law School Action Comics

Scarface

(Alex Ruskell)

April 29, 2016 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0)

Need-Based Travel Scholarships for AASE - Deadline May 6th

Good morning!

AASE is aware that law school travel budgets are dwindling.  In fact, some of you may not even have a travel budget at all.  The purpose of the AASE National Conference is to further the professional development of the academic support community.  To do this we need “you” at the conference.

In order to help subsidize some of the costs of attending the 4th Annual National Conference in Long Island City, NY next month, AASE will be awarding need-based travel scholarships. More information about the scholarships is attached.

The deadline to apply has been extended to next Friday, May 6.

Best,

Haley

Haley A. Meade ∙ Director of Skills Center ∙ CUNY School of Law ∙ 718.340.4556

 

AASE NATIONAL CONFERENCE TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS


AASE is pleased to announce that we will be awarding a limited number of scholarships to attend the AASE National Conference on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 through Thursday, May 26, 2016, at The City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, Long Island City, New York. Further information about the conference can be found at www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/conferencesevents.html.


AASE is aware that law school travel budgets are shrinking. In some cases, academic support professionals may not even have a travel budget at all. The purpose of the AASE National Conference is to further the professional development of the academic support community. To do this we need “you” at the conference.


To help subsidize some of the costs of attending the AASE National Conference, we will be awarding need-based travel scholarships. AASE members will be given preference when awarding travel scholarships. To become an AASE member, please go to www.associationofacademicsupportproessionals.org.


If you wish to apply for a travel scholarship, please submit the following information to aaseconference@gmail.com by May 6, 2016:
Name;
Position;
School Affiliation;
Email and phone number;
Describe your academic support responsibilities at your school;
State whether you are an AASE member;
Describe the circumstances evidencing a need for a travel scholarship;
State the amount of financial assistance being requested; and
Provide any additional information you feel is relevant to your application.

April 29, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Academic Success Position at Creighton

Job Title:   Visiting or Resident Assistant, Associate, or Professor of Academic Success

Location:   Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska

Position Type:   Non-Tenure Track, one or two-year contract, Full-time, 12 months (Exempt)

Opening Date:   April 27, 2016

Closing Date:   Open until filled

Creighton University School of Law seeks applications for a full-time (12 months), non-tenure track, contract position as Visiting or Resident Faculty beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year. The School of Law prefers a two-year contract for the successful candidate, but will consider a one-year contract that is renewable for one additional year. Physical presence in Omaha is required. The successful candidate will:

  • Effectively create and manage academic support programs at the Law School;
  • Design and implement strategies to successfully assist students’ learning, particularly
    at-risk or high-risk students;
  • Coordinate and participate in individual and group academic advising;
  • Design and implement strategies and enhancement programs to assist students with
    Bar examination readiness, counsel and coach students, and work with members of the administration and faculty to evaluate curriculum and academic standards to maximize Bar passage; and
  • Create and teach academic support courses.

Skills/Qualifications:

The successful candidate must have a J.D. degree and a minimum of five years of full-time teaching experience at an American Bar Association accredited law school. The candidate should also demonstrate strong interpersonal skills; possess excellent oral and written communication skills; and have the ability to work collaboratively. Strong preference will be given to candidates with teaching experience or training in law school academic success.

Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and will be considered until the position is filled. Additional information about the School of Law is available at https://law.creighton.edu/.

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; the names of at least two references; and salary requirements to: http://careers.creighton.edu.

The School of Law serves the Creighton University mission in the Jesuit Catholic tradition of social justice, responsible leadership, and professional distinction.

Creighton University is an EEO/Title IX Employer, in compliance with the Federal Laws relating to discrimination in employment practices, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, sex, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or handicap.

April 28, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Report from the New York Academic Support Workshop

New York Academic Support Workshop

The April 15th New York Academic Support Workshop organized by Linda Feldman and Kris Franklin was a resounding success.  The morning “Topic Session” focused on “Incorporating New (or Newer) Learning Theories into our Academic Support Work.”   Here are a few highlights:

Kris Franklin began her presentation on the point that ASP’ers need to be seen as the experts on learning in law schools.  ASP’ers are in positions to influence their institutions; Kris led the group in a discussion of how learning theories – old and new – can be used to enhance learning in law school.

Linda Feldman wrapped up the morning session with a demonstration of putting learning theories to work in the law school classroom.  Because students often lack personal context necessary to understand what they are reading in their casebooks, they may have difficulty reading and understanding cases.  Students often try to bridge the gap by looking to commercially prepared course supplements.  But those supplements do not fill the gap resulting from a lack of personal context.  One way to provide context might be first structuring a discussion that touches on the issues raised in any particular case with a discussion that places those issues in contexts familiar to the students.

The afternoon sessions were open topic sessions and covered a variety of areas of interest.  Again, here are a few highlights:

Scott Johns lead an interactive session on writing MEE answers.  Danielle Bifulci Kocal and Kerriann Stout spoke about introducing Mindfulness to students.  Rebecca Flanagan lead a discussion on pre-law competencies, drawing from the work that has been done in other fields of education, such as medicine.   

April 27, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Dog Ate My Homework - Really

It seems that the closer students get to crunch time and deadlines, the more problems, errors, and mishaps that occur. Here are some end-of-the semester laments students have told me over recent years:

  • My laptop crashed, so I lost all of my briefs, class notes, and outlines.
  • My laptop crashed during the exam, and IT could only retrieve part of the exam answers.
  • My backpack was stolen with my completed assignment in it.
  • I lost the thumb drive with my paper on it.
  • We are puppy-sitting for my roommate's friend, and the puppy ate my outline.
  • My three-year-old spilled my morning coffee over my final paper.
  • The printer jammed and ate my paper.
  • I was packing up my backpack to leave work and temporarily rested my research binder on top of the trash can. Then I left without it. The custodian threw the binder away.
  • My neighborhood lost electricity during a storm, so I couldn't email my paper by the deadline.
  • The copier store closed early, and I couldn't get my appellate brief bound.
  • My professor didn't talk about those reading assignments in class, so I didn't study that material for the exam.
  • I entered the appointment in my phone, but forgot to look at the calendar.
  • The professor never reminded us about the required on-line workshop.
  • I set my cell phone alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. by mistake and overslept.
  • I didn't read the syllabus so I used the wrong format/missed the deadline/didn't know the assignment was graded.

Organization, planning, and time management are critical skills for lawyers. Setting earlier, artificial deadlines for tasks allows extra time in case of a mishap. Reading documents carefully and calendaring deadlines are essential steps. Computer back-up needs to be an automatic reflex. Care with details can save the day. We may not be able to avoid every mishap, but we can certainly narrow the odds with some thought. (Amy Jarmon)

April 27, 2016 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Welcome to The Indigo Book

Hat tip to Louisa Heiny, S. J. Quinney College of Law, for the announcement that the new open source volume for legal citation has gone live. The link is here: The Indigo Book.

April 26, 2016 in Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)