Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Shopper's Guide to Bar Review Products, 1 of 2

In this two-part series, I hope to provide you with the information you'll need to make an informed decision when you select which commercial company (or companies) you'll use to prepare for the bar exam.  In Part 1, I'll introduce you to both full-service review courses and specialty supplemental options.  Then, in Part 2, I'll offer some tips on how to make your final decision and how to get the best price.

The three most popular companies offering comprehensive, full service bar review preparation programs are Barbri, Kaplan, and Themis.

Barbri is the oldest and most popular choice, and also tends to be the most expensive, with programs currently starting at $2,895. Barbri offers live lectures at select cities nationwide and pre-recorded online lectures for those students studying in cities without live lectures.  According to a Barbri representative, "For nearly 50 years, BARBRI has helped over 1.2 million law school graduates pass the bar exam across all 50 states, in all jurisdictions. Our courses include access to cutting-edge learning technology like our Personal Study Plan, Essay Architect, and LawMaster Study Keys. With BARBRI, you’ll have the ability to complete the course completely online or attend a lecture in a classroom setting – we’ve got all your bases covered! When it comes to your bar exam, don’t leave it up to chance and go with the most experienced and tested course!" 

Kaplan began decades ago as a multiple-choice focused company (then-called PMBR), and now offers a full-service package starting at $1,599.  According to a Kaplan representative, Kaplan Bar Review offers a comprehensive bar review course that is tailored to each student, and includes: (a) over 4,000 practice MBE questions; (b) unlimited essay grading with over 200 practice essays, each graded by barred attorneys; (c) two full-length MBE practice tests and one full-length practice bar exam under timed conditions; (d) a personalized final study plan tailored to each student’s unique strengths and weaknesses; and (e) a money-back guarantee.  Kaplan offers both live lectures in select cities and pre-recorded online lectures.  In addition, Kaplan has a Price Match Guarantee, pledging to offer their course for $100 less than the price of any other company’s course.

Themis, is the newest of the three companies, and has quickly made a name for itself, with comprehensive on-demand courses starting at $1,845, before applicable discounts.  Unlike its competitors, Themis does not offer any live lectures; all the lectures are pre-recorded.  Themis representatives boast that "Themis is built around learning science to help you study for the bar more efficiently and effectively.  Themis is the only company that releases their pass rates, which are almost always better than students who choose to take another course.  And with Themis, the course schedule adapts as you fall behind or work ahead, helping to keep you focused on what you need for exam day.  Also, Themis lectures are broken up into manageable chunks, allowing students to spend more or less time with a particular topic as needed."

In addition to the three juggernauts, numerous other companies offer a variety of a la carte services.

Adaptibar focuses exclusively on the multiple-choice component of the bar exam, offering 1,745 practice questions, most of which were obtained through a licensing agreement with the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The MBE course cost $395.

AmeriBar is lesser-known than some of it's full-service competitors, but offers a full course starting at $1,365.  AmeriBar also sells each exam component separately (e.g. $695 for the multi-state section), for those who want to create their own study package.  According to their website, AmeriBar's full review program includes "3,000+ pages of hard copy books; 1,000+ learning questions; 1,400+ actual released MBE questions; and 200+ essay questions."  

Critical Pass sells pre-printed flashcards covering the multiple-choice subjects. The 380 cards are color-coded, cross-referenced, and organized by subject and sub-topic, including indexes for each subject. Currently retailing for $149, the price includes free shipping and access to a companion mobile app.

Strategies & Tactics for the MBE, part of the Emanuel Bar Review, offers advice on how to analyze multiple-choice questions, including details on how to handle each MBE subject, step-by-step strategies for analyzing different question types, tips about how subtle differences in wording can completely change the meaning of an answer, and strategies for "rewording" questions in your mind to make them easier to analyze.  The 6th edition of this workbook currently retails on Amazon for $75.

Rigos offers several different packages ranging from outline books ($400 for the set of 5) to a full UBE course ($2,495).  Rigos is perhaps most popular for its creation of acronyms and mnemonics to help you easily memorize elements covering frequently asked legal concepts.  Rigos also offers a free MPRE course and a free 30-question multiple-choice assessment.

(Kirsha Trychta)

December 12, 2017 in Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Position Opening for Assistant Professor/Director for Center for Academic and Bar Readiness at La Verne

La Verne College of Law is seeking a Director for CABR. Please see a brief description below. If anyone is interested, you can apply here.

The University of La Verne College of Law seeks an experienced, energetic, and dynamic person to serve as an Assistant Professor and Director in its Center for Academic and Bar Readiness (CABR.) The person in this position will assist students in developing the skills necessary for success in law school and on the bar exam. The position is a twelve-month contract, non-tenure track faculty position that includes both teaching and administrative components; after an initial probationary period, the applicant will be eligible for graduated multi-year renewals. The person hired will have faculty status and be permitted to vote on matters other than tenure/tenure track promotion and hiring.

The person hired will work closely with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, the Assistant Dean for CABR, members of the CABR faculty, and the faculty at large. The successful applicant will:

  • Advance La Verne Law’s mission to guide our students in the discovery of law and self as they prepare for the practice of law and other professional careers.
  • Advance CABR’s departmental mission to provide an innovative, constantly evolving program that employs sound educational principles to help students to achieve their highest academic potential by cultivating and enhancing their academic skills.
  • Demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills and work effectively as part of a team.
  • Supervise CABR faculty members by providing training and development to be used in teaching both academic skills and bar preparation courses.
  • Work with the Assistant Dean of CABR to develop a budget and track program expenses
  • Monitor contract compliance with vendors
  • Assist in the development and implementation of new programs that will engage current COL students and increase academic and bar readiness skills.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with ABA standards on legal education.
  • Collect and analyze empirical data related to CABR program outcomes.
  • Participate in program review and assessment initiatives.
  • Teach skills and substantive content to enhance student academic and bar readiness.
  • Provide high quality academic advising to students.
  • Serve on La Verne Law and University- wide faculty committees.
  • Work on other projects as assigned.

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

Call for Proposals for 2018 AASE Conference

Download AASE 2018 Call for Proposals

The 2018 Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) Conference is set for May 22-24, 2018, at St. Louis University School of Law in Saint Louis, Missouri.

The conference presents a wonderful opportunity to expand and enhance your professional experience by sharing your skills and knowledge with an audience of peers from law schools across the country. The Call for Proposals is attached. Proposals must be submitted using the required online form no later than January 19, 2018. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Please use this link to access the online form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf4Aj5KzEZwfmktAya8DxQKENJ1okuasGMImWWZk4Drpk1Izw/viewform?usp=sf_link.

For any questions, please email the programming committee at aaseconference@gmail.com.

Thank you,

Isabel Freitas Peres and Megan Kreminski, AASE Programming Committee Co-Chairs

December 11, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Getting Exam Study OOMPH

Just sitting in a chair and putting in minutes does not always translate into exam performance. You want to make sure that you get results from the time you put into studying. Here are some tips for maximum results from your efforts:

  • Eliminate distractions: turn off the cell phone, disable your Internet to avoid surfing the net, use earplugs to block out noise, choose a quiet study location.
  • Learn actively: engage with the material, ask yourself questions, read aloud, think about how you would use the material.
  • Synthesize material: consider how rules interact, think about when the exceptions apply, compare and contrast cases, fit cases into the subtopic and topic, interrelate the topics to one another.
  • Pretend you are the professor: what did the professor stress; what buzz words or phrases did the professor use; what types of questions did the professor ask. 
  • Practice what you learn: apply the law to new fact scenarios, think about spin-off hypos, discuss how to use the law with classmates.
  • Discuss material with a classmate: take turns explaining material to one another and giving feedback; take opposing sides on a fact scenario and present the arguments; work together on a flowchart for a topic.

When your focus wanders or you passively read your outline over, you are not getting oomph. Shake it up! Get involved! As Dennis Tonsing says, "Learn is an active verb." (Amy Jarmon)

 

December 10, 2017 in Exams - Studying | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Faulkner University Law Professor Speech to His Millennial 1Ls

Hat tip to my colleague, Vickie Sutton, at Texas Tech Law for bringing an article to my attention. Professor MacLeod at Faulkner wrote an article for the New Boston Post publishing a speech that he gave to his 1L students. The Daily Wire reports on that speech here with a link to the original article. Although colleagues may agree that there are problems with millennial students' prior education, MacLeod's approach has garnered criticism for his degrading treatment of students in the classroom.   (Amy Jarmon)

December 9, 2017 in Miscellany, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Some Practical Tips for Exams

Stay positive during your weeks of exams – you can do this! Pace yourself throughout each week and remember to take care of yourself.

  • The night before a morning exam or the morning before an afternoon exam, plan light study only – read through your outline and complete easy practice questions. You will go into the exam less stressed.
  • Cramming right up to the last minute is unproductive. You are better off getting a good night’s sleep than staying up to the wee hours before an exam. You need to be well-rested, alert, and focused in the exam.
  • If possible with your exam schedule, take 2 or more hours off after an exam before you go back to studying. If your exams are spaced nicely, take the rest of the day off after an exam. Your body and brain will thank you.
  • Do the best you can each day with your studying. If something goes wrong, put it behind you and start fresh the next day.
  • Do the best you can on each exam. Realize that the days of needing 100% for a good grade are over. You cannot accurately guess what your grade will be when you leave an exam.
    • After an exam is over, put it behind you and move on to the next exam. You cannot change the way that exam went. You can change how the next exam goes.
    • Talking to others about the exam will only add to your stress. So smile, politely say you do not talk about exams, and walk away.
    • It is very common to realize when you walk out of an exam that you missed an issue, forgot a rule, or did not address a fact appropriately. Put it behind you. Move on to the next exam.
  • If you are not familiar with the room where your exam will be, check it out ahead of time.
    • Is there a wall clock in the room showing the correct time?
    • Do you know where you would prefer to sit in the room?
    • Does the room seem overly warm or cold?
    • Anything else about the room that is of note?
  • Eat a good meal before your exam because your brain needs the fuel for all the heavy lifting it will do.
  • Plan to leave early for your exam to avoid last-minute mishaps:
    • Set multiple alarms or have a friend telephone you if you are a heavy sleeper and might oversleep an exam.
    • Know where there are current road works that might mean altering your route. Have a Plan B if you are unsure.
    • Remember to get to the exam room early enough to get settled and have everything ready to begin.
  • Decide ahead of time where you want to wait once arriving early at the law school.
    • In the exam room so you have first dibs on the seat you want.
    • In your study carrel for some quiet and fewer people around.
    • Outside on a bench or at a table until it is time to go in.
    • Some place else that gives you a balance of calm and preparedness.
  • Pack up the essentials that you need for the exam the night before the exam – you will be less likely to forget something.
    • Laptop and its accessories if you are typing your exams
    • Extra pens even if you are typing – you will want to make notes on any provided scrap paper.
    • Your exam number if your exam is anonymous.
    • Tissues, throat lozenges, or other medications that you need.
    • Wrist watch if you need one to track the time (smartphones/watches are usually forbidden).
    • Any items specifically approved by the professor for an open-book exam.
    • Sweater in case the exam room is too cold for you during the 3-4 hours you will be sitting there.
  • Know who you need to contact at your law school if you get sick or have a family emergency and wish to ask about rescheduling an exam.

Good luck in your studying and on all of your exams! (Amy Jarmon)

December 8, 2017 in Exams - Studying | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

"Fresh Start" Steps for Bar Exam Repeaters!

'Tis the season, they say.  

But, for many law school graduates, the month of December seems like a herculean challenge because a number of graduates are preparing to retake the bar exam next February...after receiving devastating news that they did not pass.  

So, let me write directly to you...to those of you who did not pass the bar exam this past summer.

First, you do not have to be a repeater.  Repeaters repeat, with the same outcome likely to result.  Instead, it's time to take advantage of the information and the experience that you had and turn it into a "fresh start."  You see, you have "inside information," so to speak, that first-time takers lack.  You know what it's like to sit for the exam, and, in most states, you have concrete information about what you did that was great along with inside scoop about where you can improve.

But, where is this inside info?  

It's in the scores that you received along with your answers.  The first step on your "fresh start" journey takes incredible courage but is key...grab hold of your exam questions and answers and work through them, one by one, reading the questions, outlining answers, writing solutions, and reflecting on what you learned through re-writing the exam. In the process, you'll be able to see firsthand where you can improve.  That's important information that is not available to first-time takers.  So, take advantage of it.

Second, don't focus on studying but on learning.  You see, success this time around on the bar exam is not a matter of working harder but rather working differently.  [That's why I’m always reluctant to call it studying because the focus should be on learning.].  From a big picture viewpoint, as Dr. Maryellen Weimer, Professor Emerita of Teaching and Learning at Penn State University describes, learning involves three overlapping activities focused on (1) content; (2) experiences; and, (3) reflection.

Let me be frank about the content phase of learning.  We often feel so overwhelmed by the content, particularly because it comes to us from bar review companies in the form of massive detailed lectures and equally massive detailed outlines, that we never move beyond the content.  In short, we don't feel like we know enough to practice.  Consequently, we tend to be immobilized (i.e., stuck in) in the content stage.  Instead of experiencing problem-solving first hand, we tend to re-read outlines, re-watch lectures, and in general create gigantic study tools before we have had sufficient experiences with the content to know what is really important in the big scheme of things.  

And, in my experience, most often when people don’t pass the bar exam on the first time around, it is almost always NOT because they didn’t know enough law but rather because they wrote answers that didn’t match up with the questions asked.  They were stuck in the content stage, spending too much time learning answers rather than experiencing questions.  As mentioned above, that's because we are so naturally focused on trying to learn and memorize the law.  But, I can’t EVER recall someone not passing because they didn’t know sufficient law.  It’s almost as though we know too much law that the law becomes a barrier...because we write all of the law that we know in our answers...even if it is not relevant.

That’s why the second stage is so important – experiencing the content through active open book practice.  

And, the third stage is critical too – reflection – because that is where we dig in to see patterns in the bar exam questions over time.

With that background in mind, let me offer a few suggestions so that you are not a repeater but a "fresh start" taker on your bar exam next February.

1.  Avoid the Lectures!  I would not redo the bar review commercial lectures.  At the most, if you feel like you must, feel free to listen via podcasts while exercising, etc.  In other words, just get them over and done with so that you can move quickly into the experiencing stage using the content of actual practice problems to solve problems for yourself. In other words, the least important thing in successfully passing the bar exam on the second go is listening to the lectures or reading outlines.  Rather, as you work through practice problems, take the time to dig in and understand whether you really understood what was going one...that's the sort of experience in practicing along with the sort of reflection that makes a huge difference.

2.   Daily Exercise!  Establish a schedule so that you exercise consistent learning every day.  The key is to be on a daily regimented schedule because it’s in your daily actions of experiencing and reflecting through actual bar exam problems that leads to big rises in bar exam scores.

3.  Practice Makes Passing Possible!  Right from the "get go," take advantage of every practice exam you can.  Most of your days, from the very beginning of your studies, should be engaged in practicing actual bar exam problems and reflecting on what you learned.  Don't try to learn the material through reading the outlines.  Dig in and use the outlines to solve practice problems.

4.  Reach Out To Your Law School!  Meet once per week, on a schedule, with someone at your law school to talk out your work. Bring one of your written answers or a set of MBE question that you have done or a performance test problem that you just solved.  You see, according to the learning scientists, when we explain to someone the steps that we took to solve a problem, it sticks with us.  So, take advantage of your local ASP professionals on your law school campus.

5.  Make Your Learning Work Count!  Skip the commercial bar review online homework and drills.  If the problems presented by your commercial course are not formatted like actual bar exam problems (essays, MBE questions, or performance test problems), don't do them. Period.  That's because the bar examiners don't test whether you did the drills or the online homework; rather, they test whether you can communicate and solve hypothetical bar exam fact pattern problems.  So, focus your work on the prize. Only do bar exam questions.

6.  Two-Thousand!  Okay...here's a number to remember.  According to a recent successful "fresh start" taker, the number is 2000.  That's right.  A recent taker said that she/he did just about 2000 MBE questions.   That's really experiencing the content.  You see, it’s important to work through lots and lots of bar exam problems because that helps you to see fact patterns that trigger similar issues over and over.  And, if you do that many questions, you don’t really have time for commercial bar review online homework or making gigantic study tools or re-watching the lectures over and over.  Instead, you’ll be using your time...wisely...for what is really important, learning by doing.   In particular, focus your learning (not studying!) on probing, pondering, and reflecting through every available essay and MBE question that you can.  Unfortunately, we often hear of people slowing down in the practice arena during the last two weeks to make big study tools and to work on memorization. But, memorization doesn’t work without content...and content doesn't work with out experiencing lots and lots and lots of practice problems. In other words, by practicing every possible problem that you can get your hands on you are actually memorizing without even knowing it. 

7.  The Final Two Weeks!  In the last two weeks, while you are still spending the bulk of your time practicing problems, for an hour or two a day, start to run through flashcards, or your old study tools, or posters, or your subject matter outlines.  But, do so in a flash.  It doesn’t matter whether you use commercial flash cards, your own note cards, or your own short subject matter outlines, etc., just pick something and use it to reflect on your learning. Here’s a suggestion:  The learning science experts say that it is important to “elaborate,” i.e., to explain and talk through what you are learning and ask why it is important, etc.  In other words, as you run through your study tools, put them into your own words, e.g., vocalize them, sing them out if you’d like, or even dance with them or put some “jazz” into them. In short, make your study tools live!  However, always remember that the best way to make your study tools come to life is to use them to work through lots of bar exam problems throughout the last two weeks of bar prep.

8. Be Kind-Hearted To Yourself! Realize its okay to have melt-downs.  Note, I said meltdowns not just a meltdown.  Everyone has them, and they happen more than once.  That's being human.  So, be kind to yourself.  Feel free to take time off for short adventures.  The important thing is to take some time to rest and to rejuvenate, in whatever form works for you.  My favorite is ice cream followed by a close second with hiking and even watching Andy Griffith shows (you’re too young to know what that is!).

Well, with that learning background as a foundation and these steps in mind, I wish you well as you prepare for success on your upcoming bar exam!  (Scott Johns).

 

December 7, 2017 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams, Learning Styles, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Maryland & North Carolina adopt UBE

Maryland and North Carolina both adopted the Uniform Bar Exam in late November, bringing the total number of UBE jurisdictions to 30.

Maryland's first UBE administration is slated for either February 2019 or July 2019. The passing score and the date on which Maryland will begin accepting transferred UBE scores from other UBE jurisdictions has yet to be announced.

North Carolina will administer the UBE starting with the February 2019 exam, with a passing score set at 270. North Carolina will begin accepting transferred UBE scores from other UBE jurisdictions on June 30, 2018.

The NCBE press releases can be read here.  (Kirsha Trychta)

December 7, 2017 in Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Perspective: The Opportunity To Take The Test

As our students sit for their end of semester exams in a few short days, I consistently deem it important to encourage them to keep all things in perspective and remain focused. Whether or not they adhere to my advice is another story. Nevertheless, I provide the following information to our students, particularly first-year law students:

(1) Remember Why You Are In Law School

Revisit why you decided to come to law school, consider the things you always wanted to accomplish with your law degree, and focus on your purpose for being here. Visualize where you want to be which justifies the reason why you are here. Remember who you are doing it for. Maybe you are doing it for grandma who sacrificed everything to ensure that you got the education necessary to get you where you are now. Maybe you are doing it for your children, younger brothers, sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors, or friends who look up to you and are motivated and inspired by you. Maybe you are a first generation high school, college, and/or law student and you want to show your family again that you are able to do this. Maybe you want to help individuals in your neighborhood, community, city or state, whatever the reason for you being here, remember it. A law school exam is minimal in the larger scheme of things you have accomplished in life and the challenges you have overcome in life thus far. You have passed tests in the past and you can pass these as well.

(2) Focus On The Task At Hand

Concentrate on all things exam preparation and being in the right frame of mind to take your exams. This might be a good time to visit professor office hours if you have not already and to work effectively in your study groups. You might want to get rid of all distractions so cut off social media, maybe even cable television and silence your cell phone during the study period. You will have plenty of time after exams to enjoy all of the activities that appeal to you. If you have friends and family members who would be a distraction to you then you might want to tell them that you will check-in with them after break. Don’t be shy about seeking help. Attend all course reviews offered by your professor.

(3) Stay Motivated

You may not have started off the semester strong but you can finish strong. Realize the adjustments you need to make and when you need to take a break. Find supportive people who can help keep you on task and on track. Help each other stay on track. The fear you feel is probably the product of the exhaustion you feel from the semester. Don’t let stress take over so much that you are ineffective in preparing for exams. Worry takes away from doing. Replace the worry about the exam with actually doing the work. Remember that you are not striving for perfection in your knowledge or preparation. Focus less on the grade and more on the learning and retention of information.

(4) You Can Do It

You made it this far, so you can complete the journey. You did not quit during orientation week, you did not quit in week seven when your legal writing assignment overwhelmed you, nor did you quit in week fourteen when the semester ended and the threat of exams was looming. By not quitting, you have already proven that you are not going anywhere and you have tenacity so why would you quit now. You were smart enough to get into law school and you are smart enough to pass your exams. Finish this journey with all you have, put forth your best effort, and let the chips fall where they may. All you can do is your very best in the time you have remaining so do it! If law school was easy then everyone would do it and everyone would make it to this point.

All the best to the 1Ls and upper-level students taking exams soon, if not already! (Goldie Pritchard)

December 6, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Exams - Studying, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Making an ASP Brochure

If you're not responsible for grading exams, then you may find yourself with a few "free" days in December.  If that's the case, then this might be a good time to create or revamp a brochure outlining your law school's academic support programs and services.  The brochure can not only serve as a handout for students, but also remind your faculty colleagues of available resources.  (See Amy Jarmon's 2007 blog post "Working with Faculty Colleagues.") 

To get a jumpstart on the task, you are invited to use my school's brochure as a template: Download Academic Support Trifold Brochure Template.  Although we used publishing software to create the original brochure, I've provided a Microsoft Word version here for ease of use.  Of course, you'll need to swap out your school's particular program information, but I suspect that the big picture layout can remain the same for most schools.  Your school's public relations or technology department may also be able to lend a helping hand with logos, branding, and formatting.  (Kirsha Trychta)

December 5, 2017 in Miscellany, Publishing, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Impostor Syndrome - 10 Steps to Ovecome It

The Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article interviewing Valerie Sheares Ashby, Dean of Arts and Sciences at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, about how she got over impostor syndrome. The article is an interesting story of one person's success and can be found here. Within the article is a link to 10 Steps to Overcome the Impostor Syndrome by Dr. Valerie Young giving practical advice on overcoming the syndrome. Over a approximately a year of intentionally practicing the steps, Ashby states that she was no longer limited by the syndrome.

These 10 steps may be beneficial to our students (and ASP'ers) who suffer from impostor syndrome. The 10 steps are here: 10 Steps. (Amy Jarmon)

December 4, 2017 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Quotes for Exam Period

Here are some quotes that may keep you going during exam studies. Keep plugging! You can do this! (Amy Jarmon)

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your nonsense.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

The expert in anything was once a beginner.  Helen Hayes

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Lao Tzu

All things good to know are difficult to learn.  Greek proverb

It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.  Babe Ruth

It always seems impossible until it's done. Nelson Mandela

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.  Vince Lombardi

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.  Arthur Ashe

Half of being smart is knowing what you are dumb about.  Solomon Short

It's okay not to know but it's not okay to not try.  Anonymous

You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals.  Booker T. Washington

 

 

December 3, 2017 in Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Small Ways To Help Combat Stress

Some possible ways to handle some of the pre-exam and exam stress:

  • Study what you do not know rather than spending lots of time on what you already know. You will see more progress.
  • Complete your “hardest” studying early in the day, so that it will not hang over you all day.
  • Study as you focus best: one subject per day or several subjects to break up your day.
  • Stock up before exams on the necessities: frozen dinners; healthy snacks; beverages; pens; pencils; ink cartridges; etc.
  • Plan a special celebration for the last night of exams so that you have something to look forward to as a reward.
  • Decide some rewards that you will give yourself as you finish tasks. A small task gets a small reward; a big task gets a big reward.
  • Say please and thank you more often than usual. Your kindness will likely elicit a smile from the recipient which will brighten your own day.
  • Talk to at least one person who has nothing to do with law school each day. It will remind you that there is still life outside of the law school bubble.
  • Avoid sugar or caffeine highs and crashes during studying; be careful with energy drinks because they are heavy on both sugar and caffeine.
  • Get extra sleep several nights before each exam in case you have trouble sleeping the night before an exam.
  • A light-hearted comedy at the movie theater is a great way to de-stress from an exam.
  • At the end of each day, think of three small blessings you had that day. Examples: someone smiled at you; you heard a story that made you laugh; a family member called to wish you luck.
  • Surround yourself with people who believe in you - in person, by phone, by text.
  • Take an exercise break! You will de-stress, feel more alive, and sleep better at night.
  • Enjoy simple pleasures: laugh with a child; pet a dog; sing a song; dance the Texas Two-Step around your living room.

Take a few deep breaths! Best wishes for exams. (Amy Jarmon)

December 2, 2017 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 1, 2017

Save the Date for SWCASP Workshop in March

Save the Date

 

March 9th, 2018

 

6th Annual Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Workshop

at

UNT Dallas College of Law

in Dallas, Texas

 

Assisting the Modern Law Student: Academic Support in Changing Times

Join us in downtown Dallas for a one-day conference focused on innovative ideas for supporting the current generation of law students. Registration is open to anyone interested in academic support.  Registration forms, hotel information, and additional details will be provided in early January. This year, our great schedule of presenters will include:

Scrapbooking for 1Ls: A Hands-On Approach to Legal Synthesis

Preyal Shah and Jessica Haseltine, UNT Dallas College of Law

Law Success after Year One: Using a Mandatory Skills Curriculum to Tackle Bar Passage Rates

Zoe Niesel and Mike Barry, St. Mary’s University School of Law

For Technical Assistance, Please Press 9

Kirsha Trychta, West Virginia University College of Law

Emerging Adults

Rebecca Flanagan, University of Massachusetts School of Law

Helicopter Professors

Emily Grant, Washburn University School of Law

We hope to see you there!

December 1, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Curious George, Filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazkai, and Overcoming the Odds!

There's a new documentary film out, telling the story of the co-authors of the Curious George adventure stories as they fled Paris for their lives with bicycles the couple hand-built from spare parts just 48 hours prior to the invasion of Hitler's troops.  http://curiousgeorgedocumentary.com.  

You see, the authors Margaret and Hans Reys were German Jews. Traveling south to neutral Portugal and "sleeping in barns and eating on the kindness of strangers" along the way, the couple eventually made their way to New York City.  According to columnist Sarah Hess, who writes an article about the famous authors and the young filmmaker responsible for bringing to documentary life the incredible story of the Reys, the authors were, in part, imbuing Curious George with their own life experiences in learning to overcoming adversity by constantly maintaining a sense of curiosity and optimism despite the tremendous odds against them.  Sarah Hass, "This is George," The Boulder Weekly, pp. 26-29 (Nov. 2017).

In Sarah Hass's article about the new documentary file, we read about how the film came to fruition through the efforts of an aspiring young filmmaker Ema Ryan Yamazki.  Yamazaki grew up in Japan reading the Adventures of Curious George.  She loved the stories. Because of the international fame and relevance to children across the world, Yamazaki couldn't believe that no one had yet to tell the "story-behind-the-story" of the Rey's.  Id. at 28-29. But, that almost stopped her from telling the story.  

You see, Curious George was famously successful; Yamazaki - in her own words - was just a 24-year old filmmaker and director.  In particular, as related to us by Sarah Hass, Hass explains that "deep down Yamazaki wondered if she was really the right one to tell the Rey's story.  Shouldn't a more experienced director take on such an iconic tale? 'But, you know what I realized?' she ask[ed] rhetorically.  'If I had waited to start until I knew what I was doing, or until I knew I was the right person to do it, I still wouldn't have started."  Id. at 29. (emphasis added).

So, Yamazaki went forward despite her lack of confidence in herself, "rely[ing] on borrowed equipment" and lots of IOU's to "pull it off," producing a documentary movie that would not have come to fruition without Yamazki overcoming her own lack of confidence in being a great story teller.  Id. at 29. 

With final exams just having started (or starting soon), many of us feel so inadequate, so inexperienced, so unfit to even begin to prepare for exams. Yes, we'll try our best to create often-times massive outlines, which turnout to be nothing more than our notes re-typed and re-formatted.  But, it's not massive outlines or commercial flashcards that lead to success on our final exams.  Rather, it's following in the footsteps of filmmaker Yamazaki and getting straight to the heart of the issue by step-by-step producing the final product - a film that captures what Yamazki learned and experienced in her curious explorations of the life stories of the Rey's in their own true adventures in overcoming adversity to achieve success.  

As law students, most often we do not feel that we know enough to start actually tackling practicing exams.  But, we are not tested on the quality of our study tools or how much law we memorized from flashcards. Rather, we are evaluated based on our abilities to communicate, probe, and plumb problem-solving scenarios, mostly often in hypothetical fact patterns based on what we have studied and pondered throughout the academic term. That means that - like Yamazaki - we need to overcome our lack of confidence and just start struggling forward with tackling lots of practice final exams.  

Be adventures.  Be curious.  Be bold.   Yes, that means that, like Curious George, you will find yourself making lots of mistakes, but it's in the making and learning from our mistakes in practice problems that we learn to solve the problems that we will face on our final exams.  So, tell your own story of adventures this fall as you prepare for your final exams.  And, best of luck! (Scott Johns).

P.S. The best sources for practice exams are your professors' previous exams. But, if not available, feel free to use some handy, albeit relatively short, past bar exams problems, available at the following link and sorted by subject matter:  http://www.law.du.edu/oldcoloradoexams

November 30, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Exams - Studying, Learning Styles, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Signs That Exams Are Upon Us

There are a few things that happen almost every semester to indicate that the semester is wrapping up.  Of course, I am not going to list each and every event here but I will highlight five things that seem to come up each and every time.

I Become A Celebrity

My office is a popular place in the building a week to a week and a half prior to exams. 1Ls whom I have never seen before show up. The common question I hear is: “what exactly do you do, I know you help students and I need help.” Upper-level students have a better grasp of what they need which can include anything from a pep talk, time and study management tools, venting sessions, and help finding resources for essay and multiple choice practice. I usually never know who to expect or what they might need. I also have students who are simply seeking opportunities to procrastinate and I am quick to redirect these individuals and remind them of what they need to accomplish.

TA Study Sessions Are Full

At this time, teaching assistant study sessions are wrapping up and students who have not attended these sessions all semester long, show-up. They hope to acquire whatever knowledge they believe will provide them with an extra edge in the final days leading up to the exams. The final sessions are usually the most well-attended sessions of the semester. The teaching assistants have some great last minute exam preparation advice so I am glad students show-up.

Canceled Meetings/No Shows

An upsurge in canceled meetings or no-shows occurs around this time. Students try to avoid me when they know they did not show for a scheduled meeting. It is particularly interesting when students who have been very consistent in attendance start to disappear. I try to give students permission and a way out; I understand that they are studying and trying to finish up the semester strong.

Upper-Level Students Are Focused

Those who slacked off throughout the semester are buckling down to get the work done. They have strategic plans charting how they will prepare for each exam and are implementing each plan. Some students are upset about the time they wasted by not engaging with the substantive material earlier in the semester but many were busy focusing on other things. I hear students say: “don’t worry, I will get it done and be ready for exams.” Students say this because they know I will express my concerns and ask them if they have thought about this or that as they prepare for exams.

Students Are In The Library

Each time I enter the library, there appear to be more and more students present in that space. I see students crowded around a table in their most comfortable gear, studying for exams. It is survival mode and stress is mounting. Moreover, some students are in the library environment to be motivated by others but others are simply there to feel like they are doing something when in fact they are not. (Goldie Pritchard)

November 29, 2017 in Advice, Exams - Studying, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Two Time Management Techniques: Eisenhower Matrix & Pomodoro

As you study for final exams, it is essential to develop a time management strategy that will help you minimize interruptions and maximize focus. Here are two popular methods: the Eisenhower Matrix and the Pomodoro Technique.

The Eisenhower Matrix stems from a quote attributed to Dwight D. Eisenhower: "I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent."  Using the Eisenhower decision principle, tasks are evaluated using the criteria important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent, and then placed in according quadrants:

  1. Important/Urgent quadrant are done immediately and personally, e.g. crises, deadlines, problems.
  2. Important/Not Urgent quadrant get an end date and are done personally, e.g. relationships, planning, recreation.
  3. Unimportant/Urgent quadrant are delegated, e.g. interruptions, meetings, activities.
  4. Unimportant/Not Urgent quadrant are dropped, e.g. time wasters, pleasant activities, trivia.

Priority Grid

During exam periods, you should only allow “Level 1” tasks to interrupt designated study time.

If Eisenhower’s Matrix isn’t your thing, consider Pomodoro.  Pomodoro requires you to identify the “topmost task” on your to do list.  After identifying the task, set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the timer (a.k.a. “Pomodoro”) rings.  Take a short break of 3-5 minutes and then get back to working, until the task is finished.  After every four Pomodoros take a longer break of 15–30 minutes.  For all the details, Download Pomodoro Cheat Sheet.  (Kirsha Trychta)

Pomodoro timeline 

November 28, 2017 in Exams - Studying, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Two Positions at TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law

TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law: Assistant Dean, Academic Support and Bar Readiness: https://jobs.tsu.edu/postings/2417

The Assistant Dean for Academic Support & Bar Readiness (ADASBR) performs a variety of functions at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Office of Academic Affairs, to support the teaching and learning goals of the Law School. The ADASBR has both administrative and teaching responsibility for academic support and the bar examination services program; and for teaching or assisting in the teaching of one- two bar courses per year at the Law School.

Works with other law school units, to design and implement strategies to successfully assist students’ learning. Identifies specific learning outcomes, and assists high risk students to improve learning skills. Designs and implements strategies to assist students with preparation for the bar examination, including working with members of the administration and faculty to evaluate curriculum and academic standards to maximize bar passage. Participates in the planning and development of Bar exam passage and enhancement programs, including bar examination counseling and coaching of students during their enrollment and as they prepare to take the bar examination. Along with other members of the administration, evaluates and creates reports on statistical data regarding students’ academic performance, course enrollment, entrance scores and bar passage results. Works with the Center for Pedagogy and Law School Assessment Department to develop and track matrix to determine effectiveness of programs and initiatives. Effective management of (3) academic support instructors, (1) administrative assistant and existing academic support programs: course teaching, bar coaching and other programs that relate to the cohort at the Law School. Coordinates the hiring of student teaching and writing assistants who provide academic support. Assists in designing and implementing the academic support component of the orientation programs. Work with Students’ Affairs in overseeing the institution’s policies for providing reasonable accommodation for academic support students with disabilities to ensure compliance with the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Performs other job-related duties as required.  


Assistant Dean, Academic Support and Bar Readiness

Position Information: https://jobs.tsu.edu/postings/2417

Posting Number

TSU201891

Official TSU Title

Assistant Dean, Academic Support and Bar Readiness

Grant Title

N/A

Job Description Summary / TWC Summary

The Assistant Dean for Academic Support & Bar Readiness (ADASBR) performs a variety of functions at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Office of Academic Affairs, to support the teaching and learning goals of the Law School. The ADASBR has both administrative and teaching responsibility for academic support and the bar examination services program; and for teaching or assisting in the teaching of one- two bar courses per year at the Law School.

Essential Duties Summary

Works with other law school units, to design and implement strategies to successfully assist students’ learning. Identifies specific learning outcomes, and assists high risk students to improve learning skills. Designs and implements strategies to assist students with preparation for the bar examination, including working with members of the administration and faculty to evaluate curriculum and academic standards to maximize bar passage. Participates in the planning and development of Bar exam passage and enhancement programs, including bar examination counseling and coaching of students during their enrollment and as they prepare to take the bar examination. Along with other members of the administration, evaluates and creates reports on statistical data regarding students’ academic performance, course enrollment, entrance scores and bar passage results. Works with the Center for Pedagogy and Law School Assessment Department to develop and track matrix to determine effectiveness of programs and initiatives. Effective management of (3) academic support instructors, (1) administrative assistant and existing academic support programs: course teaching, bar coaching and other programs that relate to the cohort at the Law School. Coordinates the hiring of student teaching and writing assistants who provide academic support. Assists in designing and implementing the academic support component of the orientation programs. Work with Students’ Affairs in overseeing the institution’s policies for providing reasonable accommodation for academic support students with disabilities to ensure compliance with the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Performs other job related duties as required.

% FTE

100%

Hiring Range

Commensurate with experience.

Education

Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school. Undergraduate or Master’s degree majoring in education or related field preferred.

Required Licensing/Certification

Admission to practice in a state in the United States.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Requires excellent oral, written, interpersonal and organizational skills. Must also have the ability to use personal computers and Microsoft Office software such as Word, Excel, Power Point and Access. Familiarity with Banner, Blackboard, Tegrity and Scantron suites helpful.

Work Experience

At least three years of related experience preferred.

Leadership/Supervisory Responsibilities

Supervises a section within the department or a small department of direct reports. Includes some human resources responsibilities for direct reports. Confers with manager or director about human resources and operational issues. If no supervisory responsibilities, serves as single incumbent for critical function. Supervises the work of assigned program instructors and staff.

Work Complexity/Budget Authority

Tasks are multiple and diverse with some interrelationship across processes. Handles some unrelated functions. Work requires the direct application of a variety of procedures, policies and/or precedents. May monitor budget activities but no responsibility for budget and expenditure authority.

Independent Judgment/Decision Making/Problem Solving Skills

Develops strategic direction, goals, plans and policies for an area of responsibility. Sets broad objectives and is accountable for overall results in respective area of responsibility. Authority to make independent decisions on matters of significance. Requires high degree of independent judgment and problem solving of complex problems.

Personal/Organizational Contacts

Contact with peers at other law schools. Contact and interaction with faculty and others in leadership roles at the school of law related to developing the academic program. Typically handles highly sensitive and/or confidential information.

Customer Service Relationships

Anticipates customer needs and regularly motivates or influences others to deliver customer service excellence. May troubleshoot highly sensitive or confidential issues. Personally ensures problem resolution. Identifies barriers to effective customer service and participates in setting customer service standards. Participates in establishes a customer feedback system for academic support and holds self accountable for customer service excellence within the department or program.

Working/Environmental Conditions

Work is performed within routine office environment with no exposure to hazardous or unpleasant conditions. Physical demands are usually limited to sitting or standing in one location much of the time. Some stooping, lifting or carrying objects of light weight may be required.

Posting Detail Information

UA EEO Statement

It is the policy of Texas Southern University to provide a work environment that is free from discrimination for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, individuals with disability, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status in its programs, activities, admissions or employment policies. This policy of equal opportunity is strictly observed in all University employment-related activities such as advertising, recruiting, interviewing, testing, employment training, compensation, promotion, termination, and employment benefits. This policy expressly prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, genetic history, national origin, individuals with disability, age, citizenship status, or protected veteran status. This policy shall be adhered to in accordance with the provisions of all applicable federal, state and local laws, including, but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures

Close Date

 

Open Until Filled (overrides close field) 

Yes

Special Instructions to Applicants

Open to all applicants.

Posting Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. *Do you have a Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited law school? (Undergraduate or Master’s degree majoring in education or related field preferred).
  • Yes
  • No
  1. *Are you admission to practice in a state in the United States?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. *Do you have three years of related experience?
  • Yes
  • No

Applicant Documents

Required Documents

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter/Letter of Application

*****

TSU Thurgood Marshall School of Law: Assistant Director, Academic Support and Bar Readiness: https://jobs.tsu.edu/postings/2412

Under the supervision of the Assistant Dean for Academic Support and Bar Readiness, the Assistant Director of Academic Support at Thurgood Marshall School of Law will assist with the coordination and execution of strategies designed to strengthen academic support services and improve student outcomes.

In collaboration with the department head, teaches and manages one or more bar elective courses per semester in accordance with the Faculty Manual. Offers skills-based instruction in to law students in a variety of areas. Works one-on-one with students needing academic assistance. Coordinates academic tutorials. Provides administrative supervision for student tutors. Evaluates student-lead tutorial sessions. Manages student assistant time sheets and tracks time and effort forms. Performs statistical reporting on attendance and outcomes as requested. Assists with the planning of 1L Skills Academy content based on current faculty syllabi. Collaborates with faculty to identify areas where academic remediation is needed and creates an effective outreach program to service students most in need. Performs statistical reporting on attendance and outcomes as requested. Delivers academic and degree plan advising to students; responds promptly to student requests. Is accessible to students during Law School operational hours and as needed evenings, weekends and summers. Provides, administers and grades practice exams and maintains records of student performance. Facilitates skills and/or bar readiness workshops as directed. Performs statistical reporting on participation and performance indicators as requested. Assists with the planning and implementation of the 1L Orientation. Maintains department calendar and effectively communicates department events to students using electronic, social and print media. Submits and monitors funding requests for Academic Support events. Identifies at-risk students to the Assistant Dean. Monitors student academic performance and recommends new or additional learning interventions tailored to student performance. Performs other duties as required.

Assistant Director Academic Support – Law School

Position Details: https://jobs.tsu.edu/postings/2412

Position Information

Posting Number

TSU201890

Official TSU Title

Assistant Director Academic Support – Law School

Grant Title

Assistant Director Academic Support – Law School

Job Description Summary / TWC Summary

Under the supervision of the Assistant Dean for Academic Support and Bar Readiness, the Assistant Director of Academic Support at Thurgood Marshall School of Law will assist with the coordination and execution of strategies designed to strengthen academic support services and improve student outcomes.

Essential Duties Summary

In collaboration with the department head, teaches and manages one or more bar elective courses per semester in accordance with the Faculty Manual. Offers skills-based instruction in to law students in a variety of areas. Works one-on-one with students needing academic assistance. Coordinates academic tutorials. Provides administrative supervision for student tutors. Evaluates student-lead tutorial sessions. Manages student assistant time sheets and tracks time and effort forms. Performs statistical reporting on attendance and outcomes as requested. Assists with the planning of 1L Skills Academy content based on current faculty syllabi. Collaborates with faculty to identify areas where academic remediation is needed and creates an effective outreach program to service students most in need. Performs statistical reporting on attendance and outcomes as requested. Delivers academic and degree plan advising to students; responds promptly to student requests. Is accessible to students during Law School operational hours and as needed evenings, weekends and summers. Provides, administers and grades practice exams and maintains records of student performance. Facilitates skills and/or bar readiness workshops as directed. Performs statistical reporting on participation and performance indicators as requested. Assists with the planning and implementation of the 1L Orientation. Maintains department calendar and effectively communicates department events to students using electronic, social and print media. Submits and monitors funding requests for Academic Support events. Identifies at-risk students to the Assistant Dean. Monitors student academic performance and recommends new or additional learning interventions tailored to student performance. Performs other duties as required.

% FTE

100%

Hiring Range

Commensurate with experience.

Education

Juris Doctor from an ABA approved law school with track record of academic achievement.

Required Licensing/Certification

N/A

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

1.Sufficiently knowledgeable in one or more MBE subject, as evidenced by academic performance, AmJur or Cali Awards.
2.Demonstrated ability to work with diverse student body.
3.Strong oral presentation skills and ability to remediate complex legal rules. 
4.Ability to manage multiple tasks, meet deadlines and work collaboratively with existing team.
5.Excellent written communication and legal writing skills.
6.Professional appearance and demeanor.

Work Experience

Requires three (3) years of related experience. Requires a working knowledge of standard practices and procedures.

Leadership/Supervisory Responsibilities

Provides first-line management to department. Allocates resources according to priorities and within budget parameters. Has HR responsibilities for direct reports. Consults with Director on operational issues (including fiscal matters).

Work Complexity/Budget Authority

Tasks are multiple and focus more on single processes. Work is sometimes standardized and sometimes varied. There is no responsibility for budget, revenues and/or expenditures.

Independent Judgment/Decision Making/Problem Solving Skills

Performs tasks and duties under general supervision, using established procedures and innovation. Chooses from limited alternatives to resolve problems. Occasional independent judgment is required to complete work assignments. Often makes recommendations to work procedures, policies and practices. Refers unusual problems to supervisor.

Personal/Organizational Contacts

Some contact with others, including students, general public, visitors and University personnel. Purpose of contacts is to provide explanation or interpretation of information. May handle confidential information and some complex matters.

Customer Service Relationships

Requires moderate interpersonal and communication skills to ensure that customer requests or needs are met. Acknowledges and clarifies customer inquiries, requests, or complaints to ensure that needs are identified, documented and addressed.

Working/Environmental Conditions

Work is performed within routine office environment with no exposure to hazardous or unpleasant conditions. Physical demands are usually limited to sitting or standing in one location much of the time. Some stooping, lifting or carrying objects of light weight may be required. Work may require extensive travel.

Desired start date

 

Position End Date (if temporary)

 

Posting Detail Information

UA EEO Statement

It is the policy of Texas Southern University to provide a work environment that is free from discrimination for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, individuals with disability, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status in its programs, activities, admissions or employment policies. This policy of equal opportunity is strictly observed in all University employment-related activities such as advertising, recruiting, interviewing, testing, employment training, compensation, promotion, termination, and employment benefits. This policy expressly prohibits harassment and discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, genetic history, national origin, individuals with disability, age, citizenship status, or protected veteran status. This policy shall be adhered to in accordance with the provisions of all applicable federal, state and local laws, including, but not limited to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Manual of Administrative Policies and Procedures

Close Date

 

Open Until Filled (overrides close field) 

Yes

Special Instructions to Applicants

Open to all applicants.

Posting Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Do you have a Juris Doctor from an ABA approved law school with track record of academic achievement?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. * Do you have three years of related experience?
  • Yes
  • No

Applicant Documents

Required Documents

  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter/Letter of Application

Optional Documents

  1. Unofficial Transcripts
  2. Other Document
  3. Reference Letter 1
  4. Reference Letter 2
  5. Reference Letter 3

November 27, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Giving Thanks: Good for the Body, Heart, and Mind!

As highlighted in a recent article by Jerry Cianciolo, taking on an appreciative disposition reaps great benefits in terms of our health, our emotional state, and our mind too.  https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-substitute-for-complaint-free-wednesday-1511216941. 

Citing to a Harvard article from 2015, Mr. Cianciolo relates that complimenting others leads to "positive changes in [our own] physiology, creative problem solving, performance under pressure, and social relationships.” Let’s be real. That’s something we could all use in law school. 

And yet (and not surprisingly), the opposite brings downsides.  According to Stanford neurologist Robert Sapolosky, complaining and worrying leads to such negative health implications as adult onset diabetes and high blood pressure. 

But I have to be honest.  I’m a big-time worrier.  To be frank, it seems like the stresses of law school life only serve to accentuate my worries.  Perhaps you’re like me.  If so, I have great news.

Our viewpoint is a matter of our choice.  We can decide whether to worry or wonder, to complain or compliment, to lament or thank. 

So, in the midst of this thanksgiving season, please join with me in choosing to spread some sunshine towards others, perhaps with a gentle smile of warmth to someone in law school that seems all alone, or a kind word to a friend that is having a difficult time of it preparing for final exams, or a generous spirit to someone who is down and out as we commute to campus.  And, in the process of choosing to live out a thankful attitude in our words and deeds, our own hearts will radiate with warmth and gratitude. That’s something to be mighty thankful for throughout this season of law school as we turn the corner from our law school classrooms to preparing for final exams. And, it just might help with our problem-solving too! (Scott Johns).

November 23, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Learning Styles, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Thanksgiving!

All of us at the Law School Academic Support Blog wish you and your families a pleasant and restful Thanksgiving holiday. May you all enjoy lots of good food and fellowship with friends and family.

November 23, 2017 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)