Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Global Legal Skills Conference XII - A Recap

I had the privilege of presenting at the Global Legal Skills XII Conference in Monterrey, Mexico last week. It was a wonderful conference. Presenters and participants came from around the world to discuss issues in international legal education. This conference specifically addressed international L.L.M and exchange student populations as well as teaching, legal research and writing, and technology issues for global legal education. I met legal educators from Australia, Canada, Estonia, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Qatar, United Kingdom to just name a few of the countries represented. Law schools throughout the United States were represented at the conference in large numbers as well.

All of us work with international or L.L.M. students in our ASP and bar preparation work. We are familiar with their adjustments to U.S. legal education, their struggles, and their successes. It was a pleasure to spend a week with others who are dedicated to providing support to these students. The participants at the conference are as friendly and ready to share ideas and materials as our fellow ASP'ers here in the U.S.

Here is a very brief sample of a few ASPish presentation topics:

  • Beyond IRAC: Introducing LLM Students to Problem Solving -  Lurene Cotento, John Marshall Law School, Chicago
  • Teaching Common Law Skills to Civil Law Students - Amrita Bahri, ITAM, Mexico
  • Teaching and Diversity: How MBTI Might Assist an Inclusive Approach to Individual Consultations, Chantal Morton, Melbourne Law School, Australia
  • Put It To Practice: Role-Play Exercises in the International Graduate Classroom - Kathryn Edwards Piper and Sarah Kelly, St. Johns School of Law
  • Facilitating Online, Peer Support Student Study Networks Using a Number of Social Media Solutions - Matthew Homewood, Nottingham Law School, UK
  • LLM Orientation Design for Cohort-Building and Academic Success: Two Models - Miki Pike Hamstra and Cathy Beck, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • Using Film to Teach about Foreign Legal Systems - Lauren Fielder, University of Texas at Austin School of Law

The next Global Legal Skills Conference (XIII) will be held in Melbourne, Australia in December 2018. (Amy Jarmon)

 

 

March 25, 2017 in Meetings, Miscellany, Teaching Tips, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 24, 2017

A Simple Song

It's difficult to write simply.  Many students make the mistake of trying to "sound like a lawyer" when they write, when really the goal should be to sound like a newspaper.

To improve your writing, train yourself to cut.  James Joyce is considered one of the giants of English literature.  Years ago, I saw a draft of his novel, Ulysses, where he'd crossed out every word on the page except "eeled."

If you haven't done so already, make sure you do a lot of practice questions before exams (and actually write them out -- don't outline or bullet point).  When you go over your answers, see what can be cut.  For example:

Wordy Answer

The first issue that we must consider is whether Skippy can correctly argue that he has acquired title to the land through the doctrine of adverse possession.  In determining whether adverse possession can be applied, courts look to several factors.  Those factors are use that is open, continuous for the statutory period, exclusive, actual, and notorious.  If any of these elements are not met, adverse possession fails.  Skippy has several good arguments, although Slappy, the landowner, will argue that the land was not gained through adverse possession.  First, Skippy's use was open in that ....

Direct Answer

Skippy

A person gains title to land through adverse possession if he or she engages in use that is open, continuous, exclusive, actual, and notorious for the statutory period.  Here, Skippy's use was open because Slappy would have seen the well if he went onto the land to look; it was continuous because ....

Practice cutting by taking a pen and marking out the extraneous stuff until you can cut in your head as you write.

Cutting is a skill that will serve you well in practice, teaching, or whatever it is you decide to do with your law degree.  Be direct.  Be simple.  Avoid Latin.  Only use a word like antidisestablishmentarianism if you're drunk.  Think Hemingway, not Faulkner.  Punk rock, not Prog rock.  Rothko, not Bosch.  Your clients, employees, graders, or students will thank you.

The Shins -- Simple Song

March 24, 2017 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Lost In Space: Try Case Charting to See Cases Fit Together to Form a Beautiful Constellation of Stars!

I grew up with a now-ancient children's TV show called "Lost in Space," in which a family of rocketeers meandered across the universe trying to find their way back home to Earth.  What's interesting to me is that they never seemed to look at the big picture, i.e., to consider a map of the stars in the universe, to try to navigate their way home.

Well, at this time of the semester, I often feel lost in space too (or rather..."lost in cases" without any sense of where I am headed or even where I have been!).  But, there's a cure and it is really quite a snap.  In brief, the key to no longer being "lost in cases" is to create a chart - a visually portrait - of the cases for each class.  And, it's not too late at all because you can start with your case reading for your very next class.  And, there's more great news.  It's a breeze to create!

So, here are the nuts and bolts for a "Case Chart" to help you (and me) make sense of the big picture of the cases:

First, I make a chart with columns for each of the cases that I am reading in preparation for a particular class (say Torts).  If I have just two cases, it will have columns as illustrated below.  But, if I have three or four cases, I'll just add more columns for each of the additional cases.

Second, I peek at the casebook table of contents or my class syllabus to identify the major concept that the cases illustrate.  In the lefthand column, I annotate that concept to help me see the big picture as to why I've been assigned to read these particular cases for this particular class.

Third, after reading each case, I just jot down a few "sound bites" or phrases for each of the identified items (material factoids, issue, rule, analysis, conclusion, and my insights).  I try to keep the facts super-short (to just a few "red hot" key facts that will help me remember the cases).  And, I use the word "because" in the analysis section to help me explain the court's application of the rules to the facts.  But, the most important items are the comments that you and I make in the bottom row of the case chart.  That helps me see how the cases fit together to explain or create a legal principle.

Major Casebook Concept Case No. 1 (Court and Date)  Case No. 2 (Court and Date)
Material Factoids    
Issue    
Rule    
Analysis    
Conclusion    
My Insights    

 

In sum, using a "Case Chart," I've created a nice tidy "map" that helps me navigate the celestial space of my own universe of case preparation and reading for cases.  Each case is like a "star" that I personally experienced.  Now, it's got a home in my chart.  And, because I can see that case's relationship with the other cases that I am reading for that particular class concept, I can start to see how the cases fit together to form a constellation that takes on the shape of a particular legal principle.  In short, I'm no longer just a meandering rocketeer.  I'm now on a mindful journey of learning...within the stellar universe of the law.  (Scott Johns)

 

March 23, 2017 in Learning Styles, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It Takes a Village

“It takes a village” or “it takes a village to raise a child” are sayings that we often hear. The origins of these sayings are unclear and there is much dispute about the origins. It is primarily thought that these sayings originate from an African proverb which states: “it takes a village to raise a child.” Some also believe the saying has Native American roots. Here, my discussion is centered on the relevance of these sayings in relation to the work of Academic Support professionals. In this context, I am highlighting the collective social responsibility our law school community shares for one another and particularly for the students we serve. We all have a concern for the morale and overall well-being of the community.

In our law school communities, there are individuals, visible and invisible, who contribute to the daily and overall functioning of our institutions. These individuals can, and often do, have a profound impact on students, providing them with support in a variety of ways. The individuals I am referring to are the administrative assistants, custodial and janitorial staff, librarians, teaching assistants, and general clerical or other support staff. These individuals interact with students in different ways than students do with faculty and administrators, probably because students view them as “regular and average” individuals rather than individuals in positions of authority. I have found that students often share more personal information with these individuals because they have regular interactions with them. As students typically stick to study spaces, they are more likely to run into a teaching assistant or a custodian. Also, students might communicate their stresses and fears as they drop-off or pick-up materials from administrative assistants. The best aspect of these interactions is that most of these visible and invisible individuals are familiar with campus and community resources because they are a part of both of those communities. Through their relationships with communities, they are often able to provide students with moral support, words of encouragement, and a piece of familial nurturing, something rarely found in the law school environment and something certain ethnic and cultural groups desire.

Why then are these individuals mentioned above an asset to Academic Support professionals? They are an asset because they not only provide valuable insights into the habits, culture, and concerns of students, but also alert Academic Support professionals to things they might want to implement. By interacting with the lady at the welcome desk, I was urged to become a notary to provide a free service to students who could not afford to pay to have bar application documents notarized. By speaking with a custodian, I learned about a student who slept on campus during the final exam period for fear of missing early morning exams, thus enabling us to find alternate options for the student. By overhearing a conversation between a student and a teaching assistant, I learned that some students were unable to afford food therefore a colleague and I jointly developed creative ways to inform students about the food bank on campus.

The best part of all of this is that interactions are mutually beneficial: students find the support they need and the visible and invisible members of our community share the enthusiasm of having students who look like them or hail from similar backgrounds attend a professional school and work towards becoming a lawyer.

It is noteworthy to mention here that regardless of a law student’s family name or place of origin, career growth or development, each student's academic success and degree completion metaphorically "belongs to the entire law school community." And for those of us who grew up in rural areas in Africa or as members of certain ethnic and cultural groups, ingrained in our experiences is the idea that we all share in our successes, achievements, and challenges. (Goldie Pritchard)

March 22, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Director of Bar Support at Minnesota Law

The full position description is here: Download Director of Bar Support.

March 21, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Berkeley Director of L.L.M. Writing and Academic Support

Berkeley Law is seeking a Director of LL.M. Writing and Academic Support.

The Director will be responsible for developing the curriculum for Berkeley Law's LL.M. legal research and writing (LRW) programs, for teaching two sections of LRW and a two-unit course of general interest to LL.M.s, and for developing and administering an academic support program for LL.M. students.

The position is anticipated to begin May 15, 2017, and is open until filled. The position is half-time with benefits. For details on the position, including required qualifications and application materials, and information about how to apply, please visit https://aprecruit.berkeley.edu/apply/JPF01311.
If you have questions about the position, please contact academicpositions@law.berkeley.edu.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.

March 20, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Study Supports Memory Palaces

There's a new study out that once again supports the effectiveness of creating a memory palace when one is trying to memorize a large amount of information:  Memory Palaces.

I'm a big fan of the practice because 1) it works and 2) it's kind of fun.

This spring, the students are facing a lot of open book exams, so there's been the usual need to remind all of them that "open book"  does not mean they don't have to memorize.

Although, as pointed out by Johnny Thunders, memory does have its downside:

Johnny Thunders -- You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory

(Alex Ruskell)

 

March 17, 2017 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Doing IS Learning!

In a commentary entitled "Doing is the Key to Learning," physicist Frank Wilczek reflects on learning, writing that "[t]he fear of making mistakes is a great barrier to creativity.  But if you're ready to learn from them, mistakes can be your friends.  As I have often advised students, 'If you don't make mistakes, you're not working on hard enough problems--and that's a big mistake.'"  "Wilczek's Universe," Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2017, p. C4.

You see, sometimes we are too afraid to learn...because...we are too afraid to make mistakes.

But, there is NO learning without mistakes.  That's particularly true at this stage of the semester when final exams still seem so far away.   So, rather than trying practice problems or meeting with others to discuss hypotheticals, we avoid practicing exam hypotheticals because we often don't feel like we are ready to practice...because we don't feel like we know enough yet to take a try at problem-solving.

That's the BIGGEST mistake of all because learning is hard.  Practice is hard.  It involves trial and error (and even lots of trials and lots of errors!).  In the process, we find out what we know (and what we don't really know). It involves making lots of mistakes before we start seeing any great successes at all in our problem-solving abilities.  And, let's be frank:  That is just downright humbling.  It's frustrating.  It's embarrassing.  So, we avoid practicing because we want to avoid making mistakes.

So, here's the key:

To REALLY learn, embrace mistakes as golden opportunities for growth.  Grab hold of them.  Relish in them.  Bask in your mistakes because without mistakes you really aren't learning...for it is in the process of making mistakes that you are teaching yourself things that you could have never learned through reading, or taking copious notes, or watching others solve legal problems.  In short, the key to learning in law school "is all in the doing" of law school. So, be bold, take a risk, hang it all out by being a law school problem-solver "doer!"  Oh, and don't forget, your professors became experts at problem-solving...because THEY MADE THE SAME MISTAKES THAT YOU WILL MAKE TOO.  (Scott Johns)

March 16, 2017 in Exams - Studying, Learning Styles, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gearing Up for Bar Prep Season

Students have returned from Spring Break and many third year law students (3Ls) are realizing that the end is in sight. In the near future, classes will end, 3Ls will sit for their last set of law school exams, participate in the commencement ceremony, and sit for the bar exam. Some are so fearful of the anxiety associated with preparing for and taking the bar exam that they choose to avoid thinking about the bar exam. Others are so excited about completing their law school careers that the bar exam appears to be a very distant occurrence.

The past few days have been devoted to discussions of graduation and the bar exam with students who procrastinate, including some who have already missed initial application deadlines (in spite of repeated reminders) and as a result may be required to pay additional fees. Others have failed to sign-up for a bar review program, or have suddenly realized that they have insufficient savings to cover their living expenses during bar exam preparation.

As we face the second half of the semester, a student shared an interesting video with me (see video below). In this video, Samuel M. Chang, the outgoing 14th Circuit Governor for the ABA Law Student Division shared his perspective at an informational hearing of the California State Assembly Judiciary Committee last month. Chang spoke during a panel titled: “Possible Impacts of the Decline in Bar Passage Rates Upon Consumers and Different Sectors of the Legal Community: How Might the Decline of Bar Exam Passage Rates Impact Law Students, Legal Aid providers, Consumers and the Public Interest.” It is powerful to hear from students themselves about their personal experiences and those of their peers. Although the video focuses on law students in California, its content is also relevant to some law students in various jurisdictions with whom we interact and who are unsuccessful on the bar exam. Please find the link here to the transcript of his remarks. (Goldie Pritchard)

 

 

March 15, 2017 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exams, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Working Hard: Do Academic Standards Still Apply?

The Inside Higher Ed daily news update last week had a post that I thought might interest our readers: Trigger Warning: Academic Standards Apply. The author looks at the therapeutic and consumer models of higher education in response to a student's comment that academic standards cause stress and anxiety for students. The post resonated with me not only because of my observations about student perspectives on work, but also because of the observations made by Alex Ruskell, one of our Contributing Editors, in his post on March 3rd: Work Is a Four-Letter Word. (Amy Jarmon)

March 14, 2017 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Another Top Ten Blog Post

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_Small

Congratulations to Scott Johns, our Contributing Editor, for recognition by Texas Bar Today of the Texas State Bar for his top ten blog post! In case you missed his February 23rd post, A Matter of The Heart: Moving Forward in the Midst of the Bar Exam Wait, you can read it here: here.

March 13, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Director of Academic Success/Asst. Professor Position at UNLV

*Revised* Director of the Academic Success Program, Assistant Professor in Residence [17131]

Location:
Las Vegas, NV
 
Category:
  • Faculty - Law and Legal Studies
  • Admin - Admissions and Enrollment
 
Posted:
02/16/2017
 
Application Due:
Open Until Filled
 
Type:
Full Time
 
Announcement Number:
17131
Logo

POSITION TITLE
The William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas invites applications for Director of the Academic Success Program, Assistant Professor in Residence (Search Number 17131).

PROFILE of the UNIVERSITY
UNLV is a doctoral-degree-granting institution of approximately 29,000 students and more than 3,000 faculty and staff that is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with high research activity. UNLV offers a broad range of respected academic programs and is on a path to join the top tier of national public research universities. The university is committed to recruiting and retaining top students and faculty, educating the region's diversifying population and workforce, driving economic activity through increased research and community partnerships, and creating an academic health center for Southern Nevada that includes the launch of a new UNLV School of Medicine. UNLV is located on a 332-acre main campus and two satellite campuses in Southern Nevada. For more information, visit us on line at: http://www.unlv.edu

ROLE of the POSITION
The Director is responsible for all Academic Success Program (ASP) programming and initiatives in support of Boyd's 400 full-time, part-time day, and part-time evening students. The Director works closely with law faculty and administration to develop and implement programs to support student achievement in law school and to help students pass the bar exam and succeed in their professional lives. The Director interacts with students in formal and informal classes, conducting workshops and outreach on essential law school skills and bar exam preparation, and meets individually with students seeking to improve their academic performance and to develop strategies for bar exam study and success. The Director is expected to identify students who are likely to benefit from ASP resources and encourage their participation in ASP programming. The Director plays a prominent role in new student orientation, introducing students to legal reasoning and analysis, task and time management, and the services provided by ASP.

The Director is expected to be familiar with national bar exam standards and trends in bar exam assessment. He or she serves as the law school's authority on the Nevada bar examination, its content, and trends in that content. He or she works directly with students individually and in groups on bar preparation and with the law school faculty and administration on analysis of bar examination results and strategies for maximizing bar passage for Boyd graduates.

The Director supervises an Assistant Director and upper-class student mentors and directs their deployment in meeting ASP objectives. The faculty expects that the Director will be a resource for its members to increase teaching effectiveness. Given the nature of the position's responsibilities and the composition of the student body, the Director will be required to work evening and weekend hours as necessary.

This is an academic faculty position that offers opportunity for employment security through a long-term contract, as well as the potential for doctrinal course teaching assignment.

The Boyd School of Law, the only law school in Nevada, is a diverse community of faculty, students, and staff who work together collegially and respectfully to maximize the potential of its students and to help the law school fulfill its aspirations. We welcome applications from those who wish to participate in this sort of community, and we strongly encourage women and people of color to apply. For more information on the Boyd School of Law, see our website www.law.unlv.edu. Please contact Associate Dean Frank D. Durand at (702) 895-1240 if you have questions about the position.

QUALIFICATIONS
A J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school is required, together with membership in a state bar and successful completion of a state bar examination. The successful candidate will have significant law school professional experience, preferably in the context of a law school academic success program, a record of strong academic performance in law school, and experience in teaching or instruction. Also required are excellent project management skills, strong organizational skills with attention to detail, the ability to carry out responsibilities with a minimum of supervision, excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills, and a strong service commitment.

APPLICATION DETAILS
Submit a letter of interest, a detailed resume listing qualifications and experience, and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three professional references who may be contacted. Applicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience, with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications because this is the information on which the initial review of materials will be based.

Although this position will remain open until filled, review of candidates' materials will begin on March 1, 2017. Materials should be addressed to Associate Dean Frank D. Durand, Search Committee Chair, and are to be submitted via on-line application at https://hrsearch.unlv.edu. For assistance with UNLV's on-line applicant portal, contact UNLV Employment Services at (702) 895-3504 or applicant.inquiry@unlv.edu.

 

Application Information

Contact:
Human Resources
University of Nevada Las Vegas
 
Online App. Form:
 
UNLV is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action educator and employer committed to achieving excellence through diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to, among other things, race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or any other factor protected by anti-discrimination laws. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas employs only United States citizens and non-citizens lawfully authorized to work in the United States. Women, under-represented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
 

March 12, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Director of Academic Support and Bar Preparation Position at U of South Dakota

Position Description – Academic Support and Bar Preparation

Title: Director of Academic Support and Bar Preparation

Job Description:

The University of South Dakota School of Law anticipates an opening for a Director of Academic Support and Bar Preparation. This is a brand new position at the law school, and the new Director will have an exciting opportunity to play a substantial role in designing the program. This will be a twelve-month appointment, and the Director will hold the faculty title of Instructor, Lecturer, or Senior Lecturer, dependent on qualifications. In addition, the successful candidate will report directly to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.  The duties of the Director will include: (1) developing and implementing academic support programming for first and second year students, particularly at-risk students; (2) developing and implementing bar exam preparation programming for third year students; (3) working in collaboration with faculty and staff; (4) collecting data related to academic success and bar passage rates; (5) drafting reports, as necessary, regarding student performance; (6) counseling students regarding academic performance; (7) advising and assisting students in the bar application process; (8) providing assistance for repeat bar-examinees; and (9) performing other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications: The successful candidate must have a JD and be admitted to a Bar in a US jurisdiction. He or she must also have excellent written and oral communication skills. The successful candidate should also have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a collaborative environment.

Preferred Qualifications: (1) The ideal candidate would have at least one year of teaching experience acquired in an academic support program at an ABA-accredited school. (2) Prior experience in educational analytics or a BS or MS in education is valuable, though none of those qualifications is required. (3) One year of experience in the private or governmental practice of law is preferred.

Vermillion is a small, charming community in southeast South Dakota that can boast a low cost of living, a friendly atmosphere, proximity to natural beauty, and a safe environment. In addition, we are located only one hour away from Sioux Falls, which is the largest metropolitan area in the state, and are only two hours away from Omaha, Nebraska. Finally, we are the flagship institution in the state of South Dakota, as well as the only law school serving the state.  

Diversity and inclusiveness are values that are embraced and practiced at the University of South Dakota.  Candidates who support these values are encouraged to apply.  EEO/AA.

Applications must be submitted through the Board of Regents electronic employment site: https://yourfuture.sdbor.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=60864  . For application assistance or accommodation, call 605-677-5671. Include on the website: application letter, vita, and names and addresses of three current references.  Inquiries about the position or the use of the website may be directed to: Tiffany C. Graham, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, University of South Dakota School of Law, 414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069; email Tiffany.Graham@usd.edu; or telephone 605-677-5393. Review of applications begins 3/21/2017 and the position is open until filled.

March 11, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Success: It's a Matter of Perspective!

It's the middle of the academic semester for most of us.  

That often means midterm exams or filling out bar exam applications or working on that summer job hunt.  In the midst of so much to do with so much competition for achieving success, it's easy to feel out of place.  To be overwhelmed.  To sense that I don't really belong in law school or that I can't succeed.

When that sort of self-doubt starts in, it's time to step back and gain perspective about who you are, your strengths, your character, and your purpose.  You see, too often I am comparing myself against the wrong benchmark (others!), and, in doing so, I'm trying to be someone who I am not.  And, that's mighty stressful because it is awful hard (i.e., impossible) to be someone else!  So, instead of trying to measure success based on what others are doing, step back and get some perspective about who you are.

Not quite sure about how to get some perspective?

Well, there's a great video clip that illustrates the point quite well.  It involves a boy struggling to hit a baseball.  When it seems that all is lost, that he just can't manage to connect the baseball bat to the ball, he takes a pause...and...in that moment of pause...he realizes something brilliantly radiant about what he is good at. So, if you happen to feel like you are not quite hitting the mark in law school, take a moment to enjoy this short video clip. I promise, it will warm your heart and bring a smile to your face. And, in the process of taking a pause, you'll be reminded of a great truth -- that success is a matter of perspective (and not at all a matter of competition).  http://www.values.com/optimism

(Scott Johns).

March 9, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spring Break Shenanigans

It is spring break at my law school and it is very quiet. Most of the students have left for the break but a few remain. Some students are anticipating getting ahead in their academic work, working on legal writing assignments, or hoping to improve overall academic performance by starting to prepare for exams early. Other students continue to maintain their individual meetings with my office so I continue to interact with students. Although it is spring break, I find myself with much to do such as: (1) planning for the remainder of the semester, (2) planning for a part of the summer, (3) checking-in with students who recently sat for the bar exam, and also (4) getting some rest.  Additionally, I try to take a day or two off from work to laze around or simply take care of household responsibilities because I know that I will have to wait until July for the next lull.

Spring break is typically a time when I am able to make “small talk” with my colleagues when I take breaks away from my desk. It is also a time when I can leave the building for lunch because attempting to leave the building when school is in session is a challenge due to back to back meetings throughout the day. Even when I am able to leave the building for lunch, I encounter difficulties finding a parking space upon my return because parking is also a challenge. Today, in recognition of International Women’s Day, I had lunch with a female colleague I have been trying to meet-up with for several months. Happy International Women’s Day to all Academic Support Professionals who self-identify as female! (Goldie Pritchard)

March 8, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A West Texas Perspective on What Matters

We have passed the midpoint in classes now at my law school. This coming week is our Spring Break. A number of students have told me that they have paper drafts, midterms, presentations, or other projects due the week after Spring Break. Now that we are on the downward slope of the semester, more and more students are looking stressed.

I live in West Texas. It is a semi-arid, agricultural area - noticeable once you get beyond the city limits with all the non-indigenous trees and green lawns. When the cotton is not planted and covering the fields, the South Plains can look pretty stark. Flying over this region now will confront you with almost a lunar landscape effect: irrigation circles in the unplanted fields, a land-grant grid, canyons, and scrawny mesquite trees and brush.

And March winds. Lots and lots of winds. And dust blown up by those winds on some days. And enormous tumbleweeds blocking my driveway (my garage off a paved alley skirts a mesquite pasture).

And today, smoke from the wildfires approximately two hours to our north. I live on the southwest edge of town. When I left for work, the smell of smoke was slight in my house, but hit me as soon as I opened the garage door. The sky was an odd gray; the sun was orange behind the smoke. As I drove into campus (a 15-minute drive northeast), the smell of smoke became much stronger. The sun was now a strange yellow with blurred edges.

My thoughts turned to the folks farther north. To the first responders fighting the wildfires. To the farmers and cattlemen concerned about their land and herds. To the small towns that are potentially in the way if the winds kick up more and shift the wrong way.

In short, the stress and anxiety of law school are manageable in light of what could be happening in our lives. It is often hard in the fish-bowl environment of law school to remember the cares of the world outside our doors - our very insular academic world.

I hope my students regained their perspectives today. There are stress situations that are unpredictable and life-threatening. Law school stress may be self-imposed and can often be successfully managed with scheduling, curbing procrastination, and seeking help from many resources. Law school is tough. But life can be tougher. (Amy Jarmon) 

 

March 7, 2017 in Encouragement & Inspiration, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Visiting Professor of the Practice of Law Position at U of Denver

Visiting Professor of the Practice of Law, Academic Achievement - Sturm College of Law

Job Description

Founded in 1892, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law (Denver Law) is a nationally recognized leader in experiential legal education featuring top-20 programs in legal writing, clinical training, trial advocacy, tax law, and other fields. Located in one of the nations most dynamic and beautiful cities, Denver Law has a long-standing tradition of innovation in legal education and a commitment to producing ethical, skilled, and professionally aware lawyers through a variety of teaching approaches, including its innovative Academic Achievement and Bar Success Programs.

Position Summary

Denver Law is hiring for a full-time, 12-month faculty position to teach in its Academic Achievement Program. Key responsibilities for the position include: teaching foundational academic skills to first-year students in both classroom and workshop settings; counseling students regarding their academic performance; providing writing support for students across a range of academic settings; teaching upper-level classes in legal analysis; teaching a course in the Bar Success Program and working individually with students preparing for the bar examination; supervising student assistants; and providing additional services (in collaboration with other faculty and staff colleagues) to enhance the academic success of students. The initial term is one academic year with the possibility of renewal based on job performance and pedagogical needs.

Required Qualifications

Assistant Visiting Professor of the Practice of Law

  • J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited institution.
  • Minimum of two years of law practice experience and/or law teaching experience.

Associate Visiting Professor of the Practice of Law

  • J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited institution.
  • Minimum of five years of law practice experience and/or law teaching experience.

Visiting Professor of the Practice of Law

  • J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited institution.
  • Minimum of seven years of law practice experience and/or law teaching experience.

Additional requirements include:

  • Outstanding academic record.
  • Relevant legal practice experience.
  • Demonstrated interest and/or experience in law teaching.
  • Expertise in legal research, analysis, reasoning and communication.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a dedicated team of faculty and staff colleagues.
  • Commitment to working effectively with individuals from historically underrepresented populations.
  • Demonstrated potential for outstanding pedagogical achievement and national recognition in the field.

Special Instructions

Candidates must apply online through www.du.edu/jobs to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted. Once within the job description online, please click New Resume/CV at the bottom of the page to begin application. Inquiries about this position may can be made to Viva Moffat, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at vmoffat@law.du.edu.   

Please include the following documents with your application:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Curriculum Vitae 

PLEASE NOTE: The online application system is limited to uploading 5 files total. Please combine content (clearly labeled) if necessary to upload all required content.

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff and encourages applications from women, minorities, members of the LBGT community, people with disabilities and veterans. The University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. 

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Department
SCOL-JD Instruction
Position Type
Full-Time/Regular

March 7, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

NALSAP: Registration Now Open for June 1-3 Conference

Hello!

We are thrilled to announce that NALSAP Conference registration is NOW OPEN! Registration is $100 for NALSAP members and $150 for non-members. The conference will take place on June 1-3, 2017, at UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, California. You can register online here: nalsap.org/events/conference.

Here are some highlights of what the inaugural conference will feature:

  • Connie Horton will provide us with a “counseling toolbox” for student affairs professionals. Specific counseling tools us laypeople can employ as we’re meeting with students on the front lines. Dr. Horton, Ph.D. and a Licensed Psychologist, is the Associate Vice President for Student Life and the Senior Director of Counseling, Health, and Wellness at Pepperdine University.
  • Catherine Matthews, J.D., Ph.D., Indiana University Maurer School of Law, will provide a higher education law primer aimed specifically at law school student affairs professionals.
  • 14 concurrent sessions covering a broad range of topics, such as supporting marginalized students, Generation Z, mentorship programs, conduct, strategies for doing more with less in an era of decreasing budgets, strategies for inclusion of Graduate Program & International Students, diversity and implicit bias, student development theory, and so much more!
  • Opportunities for networking with colleagues from across the nation at the first conference entirely devoted to law student affairs professionals, including a welcome mixer, networking lunches, wellness activities with the NALSAP Conference Committee, and more.
  • Two NALSAP business meetings where you can learn more about this brand new organization and get involved in various leadership roles.
  • Wellness, wellness, wellness! Mindfulness, meditation, self-care (for students AND for US!) will be woven throughout the conference into various plenary/concurrent sessions, as well as some fun experiential offerings.
  • Optional QPR suicide prevention training on Saturday afternoon. QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR’s suicide prevention course is designed to teach professionals how to reduce the immediate risk of suicide and provide longer-term care for those at risk.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in June!  

Warmly,

Rebekah Grodsky & Emily Scivoletto

NALSAP Conference Co-Chairs

nalsapconference@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/nalsap

Register for the NALSAP Conference: nalsap.org/events/conference

March 7, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Gen Z: Our Future Law Students

Hat tip to Vickie Sutton, the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development at Texas Tech School of Law, for forwarding a report released by Barnes & Noble and an article about the report. Gen Z students are currently 13-18 years old. The two items can be found here:  Download Gen-Z-Research-Report-Final and Download ECampus News Gen Z is about to take ove... (Amy Jarmon)

March 6, 2017 in Learning Styles, Miscellany, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Compilation of Reader Comments and Emails

We periodically gather some comments from our readers to share on the Blog. Here are some responses and conversations that we have had over the last several months:

Marsha Griggs (Texas Southern ) shares her idea in response to Goldie Pritchard's A Wall of Inspiration post on February 22nd: "I do something similar via Facebook. I have a private FB group set up for our bar takers. Each day of bar study, I send motivational pictures, quotes and positive affirmations. The response is overwhelmingly positive." 

Don Macaulay (Pipeline to Practice Foundation) sent a link to their website in response to our announcement of the Inaugural AASE Conference on Diversity: http://www.pipelinetopractice.org/.

Rod Fong (U of San Francisco) and I had a nice email exchange after my February 19th post on Rediscovering a Sense of Purpose. Rod shared two links that may interest readers who have not seen them: Angela Lee Duckworth's Ted Talk on Grit (Grit The Power of Passion and Perseverance) and Eduardo Briceno's Tex Talk on Growth Mindset and Success (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pN34FNbOKXc). Rod also observed: "I combine the grit and growth mindset with two other social-psychological theories, belonging and stereotype threat.  I find these four work together well. The other thing I'm noticing in students is that grit and growth mindset don't work well if the students are not good self-regulated learners.  Without this skill, they seem to think that just doing the work, like going through the motions, is enough to learn and study. . . . They don't realize that it takes energy to assess their work and properly correct their mistakes." 

Otto Stockmeyer (Emeritus Western Michigan) gave some historical insight on IRAC following Goldie Prichard's January 13 post on Dr. Martin Luther King: "The Letter from the Birmingham Jail," and IRAC?: "Michael Josephson, who founded a bar review course in Michigan in 1991 which became one of the country's largest within 10 years, emphasized IRAC in the essay-writing portion of his course. He attributed IRAC's origin to the U.S. Army. According to him, the Army developed IRAC at the outbreak of World War II as a method of teaching problem-solving to a flood of new recruits. Whether or not IRAC helped us win WWII, it made Josephson a millionaire." 

Otto Stockmeyer (Emeritus Western Michigan) also commented on Alex Ruskell's Weapon of Choice post on January 13th: "My experience counseling poorly performing students has been that 60% of the time they change right answers to wrong ones. Of course, they are presented with more wrong choices, so that may explain part of it. Also, it may be a characteristic of poor performers and not universal." 

Thank you to our many readers who post comments for the editors after reading our posts. We have a policy of not posting comments publicly because of the amount of spam comments that are received by the Blog. Please know that we appreciate hearing from you. (Amy Jarmon)

March 5, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)