Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Refocused: Bar Study Break and Wellness Check

About three years ago, I hosted a practice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) session for bar exam studiers who were enrolled in online bar review programs. Practically speaking, these bar exam studiers did not have opportunities to interact with others preparing for the bar exam. Moreover, I did not want bar exam day to be the first time they experienced being in a room with others. This MBE practice provided bar exam studiers with an opportunity to be in a room with other bar exam studiers as bar study can be even more isolating for individuals opting to study independently. It also motivated bar exam studiers to complete a full-length MBE and honestly experience the challenges associated with sitting, reading, processing, and sorting through answers to MBE questions. My physical presence in the room was motivation because under my watchful yet non-authoritative eye bar exam studiers felt compelled to sit through the end of the testing period. Students were appreciative because they commiserated with others and recognized that they were not alone in experiencing the challenges encountered thus far in the preparatory process. In sum, the practice MBE session afforded bar exam studiers and me a rare opportunity to address stamina, fears, successes, strategies, and perseverance during the break between sessions.

A colleague in another department suggested that we offer the bar exam studiers lunch during the break and invite various administrators (Academic Support, Diversity Services, Library, and Student Affairs) who were already a part of their support system. My colleague used money in her budget to pay for the meal and students were so grateful. Other bar exam studiers who were non-participants in the practice MBE found their way to the lunch; apparently, food draws individuals out of their study spaces. Offering lunch was a wise and timely idea as it enabled bar exam studiers to mingle with familiar faces, feel supported by the institution, and receive comfort and reassurance. Bar exam studiers naturally gravitated to administrators they felt comfortable with, requested advice and suggestions, and shared ideas freely. Ironically, the lunch break experience appeared more meaningful to bar exam studiers than the practice MBE.

This year, we tried something different. We hosted a bar exam study break during the lunch hour and a few days before most bar exam studiers were scheduled to take their mock MBE in their bar review programs. We found affordable and healthy food options and accounted for a few additional bar exam studiers as we knew that some may have missed our message but would show up. A relaxing atmosphere to encourage wellness, stress relief, camaraderie, and fun was created and included music, plenty of natural sunlight, informational posters, stress balls, pencils, and other goodies. Once everything was set up, we waited and it seemed like no one was going to show up. Gradually, bar exam studiers emerged and found their way to the room. We did not recognize a few of our former students; it was like we were in Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video or any Zombie movie or television show. It was then that we realized that this event was timely! These individuals needed a few moments to reflect and refocus. We saw bar exam studiers we did not realize were in town and thought had long since commencement returned home. At some point, chatter took over the room and bar exam studiers seemed to come alive. We spoke with bar exam studiers but mostly left them alone. What an amazing and priceless opportunity for former students to see us (administrators) and other bar exam studiers to commiserate, to encourage one another, to fellowship over food, and to ask questions about bar studies. (Goldie Pritchard)

 

 

20170621_114751

June 28, 2017 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hello and Kudos!

Hello! I just accepted an invitation to contribute to this blog and this is my first post. In the future I hope to post on a wide range of topics, representing the varied duties common to academic support professors. But, for this debut post, I want to echo Betsy Six’s suggestion during the closing remarks at AASE to send a kudos email (my words, not hers) to a colleague. Did someone really impress you with their presentation? Did you have a conversation with a colleague in the hallway that changed the way you think about academic support? If so, let them—and their boss—know about it. Don’t worry; it’s not too late. Ask Emily Post. Don’t know what to say? Try putting your own spin on this template:

Dear Dean [X],

I write to tell you what a nice job [name] did on [his/her] presentation entitled “[title]” at the Association of Academic Support Educators Conference in Fort Worth, Texas in May. [Name’s] presentation was innovative, insightful, and engaging. The presentation laid out several concrete [descriptive noun] ideas which attendees (like myself) could implement at their own institutions. Kudos to [name], and to you and your institution for supporting [his/her] work. [Name] is a great asset to the academic support professors’ community!

In closing, just let me say congratulations to everyone who organized, presented at, and attended the annual AASE Conference! (Kirsha Trychta)

June 27, 2017 in Encouragement & Inspiration, Meetings, Miscellany, Professionalism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 26, 2017

OJ Salinas' First Post!

Hello pic

Hello, everyone. I am excited to join the Law School Academic Support Blog as a Contributing Editor! I have enjoyed keeping up with the Blog entries over the years, and I look forward to adding my take to this wonderful ASP resource.

We work in a diverse profession, and we carry many responsibilities. I hope to use the Blog as an opportunity for us to share our insight and experiences. If there are any particular topics or ideas you would like for me to explore in the Blog, feel free to email me at osalinas@email.unc.edu. You can also Tweet me @ojsalinas (#lawschoolASP).

I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you at our various ASP conferences. If our ASP paths have not crossed yet, I hope they do soon! (OJ Salinas)

June 26, 2017 in About This Blog, Academic Support Spotlight, Miscellany, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Choosing Wellness This Summer

Law students often comment about how stressed they are, how little sleep they get, how they survive on pizza and energy drinks, how they never have time to exercise, and more. It is easy for them during the academic year to become overwhelmed and forget to take care of themselves.

The summer is a perfect time to focus on getting healthy before the next academic year. By setting good wellness routines during the summer months, students are more likely to continue those routines once school starts. Here are some tips for the summer to prepare to be a healthy law student this coming year:

Set up and maintain a routine sleep schedule. Medical research shows that sleep is one of the most important prerequisites for your brain to be focused and productive!

  • Research shows that we need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you get less than that amount consistently, you will be chronically sleep-deprived.
  • Sunday night through Friday morning should have the same routine - same time to bed and same time getting up.
  • Research shows that a set sleep routine has more benefits than getting the same hours of sleep per night, but at varying times for bed and rising.
  • Varying the sleep routine 2 hours or less during the weekend makes it easier to get back on the weekly routine on Sunday night.
  • Obesity and chronic health problems are linked to lack of sleep. So use some preventative medicine by getting your ZZZZZs!
  • Naps do not substitute for a good sleep routine and may actually disrupt your sleep schedule.

Exercise is one of the best stress reducers available to us. You do not have to become obsessed with exercise to benefit from it!

  • Research shows that we need 150 minutes of exercise each week to get the benefits. That is just five 30-minute sessions!
  • Exercise does not have to be a rigorous gym workout - walking is also good.
  • Pick an exercise routine that suits your interests and lifestyle.
  • An exercise routine with set days, times, and activities helps you remember to make time for your exercise plan.
  • Exercising with a friend can often increase accountability to stick to the routine and make exercise more fun.

Nutrition is another key to brain and body health. Your brain needs fuel for all the heavy legal thinking you do!

  • Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables this summer while they are plentiful.
  • Limit your intake of sugar, salt, and caffeine to benefit your health.
  • Stay hydrated and drink water regularly throughout the day.
  • Limit your caffeine intake and especially watch those energy drinks which can have negative health effects.

Build positive activities into your week to balance work or study.

  • Spend time with family and friends during the summer months - especially if you go to law school in another town or state away from them.
  • Learn to take short breaks every 90 minutes during periods of focused tasks to allow your brain to re-focus and your body to de-stress.
  • Practice mindfulness techniques to become more aware of the present. Many apps and websites exist to teach you simple techniques that can improve focus.
  • Become more aware of tasks, body positions, situations, etc. that cause you to tense up and stress. Learn to avoid or manage those items and events more effectively.

When you walk through the law school doors in August, do not abandon your routines that focus on wellness. With time management techniques and effective study strategies, you can continue your wellness efforts throughout law school semesters. If you need assistance to find that balance in your life, contact your law school's academic support professionals for help in managing your life-study schedule. (Amy Jarmon)

June 25, 2017 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Welcome to Two New Contributing Editors!

It is with great pleasure that I welcome two new Contributing Editors to the Law School Academic Support Blog. Please join me in congratulating them on their editorial positions. They will begin posting next week, and all of us can look forward to their contributions and insights over the coming weeks.

Image.ashx
Oscar J. "O.J." Salinas, Clinical Associate Professor of Law Academic Excellence Program at University of North Carolina School of Law.

His faculty profile is here.

71bec301-46e6-4390-97c3-e80755af32f8
Kirsha Trychta, Teaching Associate Professor and Director of Academic Excellence, at West Virginia University College of Law.

Her faculty profile is here.

I am also delighted that Goldie Pritchard (Michigan State) and Scott Johns (Denver) will be continuing as Contributing Editors for another year. Their posts have informed and inspired us all - not to mention garnered several Top Ten Blog Posts Awards.

We bid farewell to Alex Ruskell (South Carolina) as a Contributing Editor and thank him for his multiple-year service to the Blog with his witty posts and cartoons. We wish him the best as he leaves our editorial staff.

If you are a regular reader, sit back with a cup of coffee and read the Blog each morning. If you are new to the Blog, I hope you will become a regular visitor to the site and consider subscribing. (Amy Jarmon)

June 24, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 23, 2017

Reminder: Deadline for Learning Curve Submissions is July 1

Dear Friends & Colleagues:

We're working on the summer issue of The Learning Curve and would like a couple more articles. Please let this email serve as a reminder that the submission deadline for potential inclusion in this issue is July 1, 2017

We are expecting to publish another general topic/theme issue; however, there have been a lot of new faces joining us in the field and I am confident they'd appreciate some lessons learned from people who now have a year or three in the field under their belts. Additionally, if you have an idea, a lesson, or a perspective on ASP or bar teaching to share, please consider submitting it to The Learning Curve. 

Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate, and attached as a Word file.  Please send your inquiries and submissions to LearningCurveASP@gmail.com.   

Please join me in thanking Jeremiah Ho for his years of service toThe Learning Curve. On behalf of the current Board of Editors, we appreciate guidance he provided in shepherding last year's issues through the publication process. 

We look forward to sharing some great ideas with you in the coming issue!

All the best,

Chelsea 

--

Chelsea M. Baldwin

Director of Academic Success

William S. Boyd School of Law

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Box 451003

Las Vegas, NV 89154-1003

(702)895-2433

June 23, 2017 in Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

UC Hastings Position for Academic & Professional Success Graduate Fellow

 

The University of California Hastings College of the Law was founded in 1878 as the law department of the University of California and was the first law school in California. Over the years, it has built a legacy and reputation of being a preeminent institution comprised of renowned faculty committed to the study of legal theory and research, preparing students for careers in the judicial system, public service, and industry.

The College is redefining legal education through an experiential, interdisciplinary, and international approach to the law. By integrating rigorous academics with hands-on practice, the College is preparing its graduates to tackle the legal challenges—and leverage the opportunities—of the 21st century.

ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS GRADUATE FELLOW 

Academic and Professional Success

Classification: Level 1 / Class Code 2038 / Exempt / Full-Time / Benefited

Hiring Salary: $50,000 (commensurate with qualifications)

Posting Date:  June 16, 2017

THE ROLE

Under the direction and supervision of the Assistant Dean for Academic and Professional Success, the Academic and Professional Success Graduate Fellow will support the Legal Education Opportunity Program and other academic support and skills programming, provide 1:1 academic support to individual students, coordinate student led programs, supervise student workers, and collect and analyze program data. The position is thus a combination of program administration and direct student tutoring.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Typical duties and responsibilities consist of, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Assist in the design and teaching of special workshops to improve the academic skills and bar passage rate of diverse students, including, in the case of LEOP, students from non-traditional backgrounds;
  • Assist in design and implementation of student led programs, including, hiring, training, and supervision of student workers;
  • Evaluate and provide written and individual feedback on student work product;
  • Counsel and advise individual students on various academic concerns;
  • Evaluate programming, e.g., by collecting and analyzing data; and
  • Otherwise support the Assistant Dean for Academic and Professional Success in the development of students’ academic skills.

REQUIREMENTS

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE

  • Juris Doctor Degree from an ABA-accredited law school;
  • Active membership in the California State Bar;
  • Some prior teaching, tutoring, and/or academic program administration preferred.

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES.        

  • Strong legal writing, research, and analysis skills;
  • Strong organizational skills for tracking data and program materials (electronic and hard copy).
  • Knowledge of creative teaching methods for diverse populations with a focus on skills development.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with faculty, alumni, staff, and students;
  • Available to attend occasional evening and/or weekend events.

BENEFITS

  • Comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance coverage
  • Life Insurance
  • University of California Retirement Plan (defined benefit)
  • Disability Insurance
  • Legal Insurance
  • Generous vacation and sick leave
  • Thirteen paid holidays per year
  • Pre-tax Retirement Savings Programs
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for transportation-related, healthcare and dependent care expenses

THE HIRING PROCESS

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to Incoming Assistant Dean for Academic and Professional Success Stefano Moscato at moscato@uchastings.edu.

Failure to provide the information as required on the application form including attaching a cover letter and a resume shall immediately disqualify an applicant from employment consideration. 

Please Note: **This position has been designated as “sensitive” and requires a pre-employment background check.

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please contact Human Resources if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Applicants who meet the position requirements will be competitively evaluated to identify the individuals whose breadth and depth of experience and education most closely relate to the stated requirements and the needs of the College. Depending on the quality and number of the applications received, only the better qualified applicants may be contacted for an interview. The position is open until filled.

 

UC Hastings College of the Law is an Equal Opportunity Employer

June 23, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Scott Johns Has Another Winning Post

TexasBarTodayTopTenBadgeScott Johns has been recognized for his June 15th post on winning bar exam answers by Texas Bar Today. You can read his post that made the Top 10 here: Winning Bar Exam Answers: Writing for Points or Writing to Impress?. Congratulations, Scott!

June 22, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Pick One: Sorting Through Excessive Supplemental Bar Exam Study Resources

The intense anxiety created by the bar preparation process leads bar exam studiers to take on habits and processes that they have often avoided in the past and that they know do not benefit them. The overflow of advice, particularly from peers who have recently sat for the bar exam, is a “must-do” for bar exam studiers whether the advice provided serves the bar exam studier or not. All advice might be great advice, independently, but the question is whether implementing all advice simultaneously is helpful.

Bar exam studiers develop anxiety simply by seeing their bar review schedules and materials and that anxiety becomes stronger as they complete assignments and at times fall behind. Anxiety further intensifies as bar exam studiers accumulate resources suggested by others. They become overwhelmed by the volume of resources at their disposal and question when and how they will use resources to maximize their potential for success on the bar exam.

My advice to bar exam studiers is to supplement bar review by selecting one or two supplemental bar review resources that cater to skill weaknesses. When I say this, bar exam studiers look at me perplexed by the suggestion that I would expect them to selective about available resources. If you have researched, selected, and paid for a bar review program then you should use all aspects of the program. Moreover, the bar review program should be adequate enough to prepare you for all aspects of the bar exam. However, if multiple choice questions are a challenge, then it might be helpful to determine why it is a challenge and consider using supplemental materials to build strength. The same applies to essays and performance tests. If access to additional practice questions for various components of the bar exam is limited then supplemental resources can be helpful and should be used solely for that purpose. If bar exam studiers are seeking alternative delivery modes of substantive law then supplemental materials are helpful. If memorization and recall are challenges and the bar exam studier is seeking mechanisms to compartmentalize, manage, recall, and/or memorize information then supplemental resources might be helpful as well. Bar exam studiers should always have a basic idea of what they need, why they need it, and how they will use supplemental materials. This is fundamental. Overall, bar exam studiers might need specific components of a supplemental resource, all aspects of a supplemental resource, or might not need it at all because what they seek is already contained in their bar review materials.

Time is very precious so bar exam studiers should ask themselves if they will actually have time to use what they spent money on, their bar review program and/or supplemental resources. (Goldie Pritchard)

June 21, 2017 in Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Benefits of Mindfulness

An article by Marie T. Clemens in the June 2017 Law Practice Today electronic issue addresses mindfulness for lawyers and gives tips to get started. Law students can equally benefit from the tips and then carry them on into future practice. The article is here.

June 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Make Time for Exercise

We encourage our students to get regular exercise to relieve stress, improve sleep, and stay healthy. Most experts recommend 150 minutes of exercise a week - usually in five 30-minute increments. Inside Higher Education had a recent post focused on tips for graduate students on prioritizing fitness as part of their schedules. Even more important perhaps for law students! The blog post is here.

June 19, 2017 in Sports, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Focus with Breaks for Greater Productivity

BBC News has posted an article that suggests that deep work and deep scheduling which create more focus through downtime are key to productivity. We are used to helping students schedule their serious study time with short breaks, longer meal breaks, exercise time, etc. In fact, we often see students who cram studying into every minute without breaks have worse grades than students who use their time more productively with breaks. The BBC article is here.

June 18, 2017 in Learning Styles, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Looking for Some Summer Reading?

Who are your favorite professors in fiction? What academic novels would you recommend? The Chronicle of Higher Education suggests a few possible titles for your summer reading in two recent articles: Academic Novels and Fictional Professors

June 17, 2017 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Why Being Bad at Something Is Good for You

A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education lauded the importance of trying things we are bad at, practicing, and becoming better. Carol Dweck's growth mindset concept, a concept known to many ASPish readers, is mentioned in the article. The article is found here: The Importance of Being Bad at Something.

June 16, 2017 in Learning Styles, Miscellany, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Winning Bar Exam Answers: Writing for Points or Writing to Impress?

Just the title of this blog might seem sacrilegious.  But, in the midst of the daily work in bar exam preparations this summer, I've come across an interesting trend.  It seems like no one preparing for the bar is convinced that they can write a passing essay answer, particularly when comparing practice answers to the multi-page point sheet or the line-by-line perfect answers often provided by commercial bar review companies.  

In short, bar exam studiers often feel like they missed the mark (and aren't even close to earning a passing score).  That can lead to a frustrating cycle of trying the next time to write an answer that resembles the massive point sheet, only to learn once again that one didn't quite get all of the points (or even half of the points).  Unfortunately, over time, essay answers start to look like point sheets rather than the written work of professional attorneys, and, no wonder.

But, in most states in which graders assess answers based on holistic relative grading, point sheets miss the mark, too. That's because in holistic grading the Supreme Court graders are not looking for points but rather are reading answers for the substantive quality of your writing and legal problem-solving.  So, here's a tip.  

Instead of practicing to write for points on your bar exam this summer, try to write to substantively impress your reader with the qualities of your professional writing and the substance of your well-thought out argument. In other words, write to impress...because...in holistic grading, that's exactly what the graders are looking for.  Of course, the impressions must have substance, i.e., demonstrating the work of an attorney.  So, with that in mind, here's a technique to assess and perfect your essay writing.   Instead of calculating whether your practice answer got all of the points, take a look at the much-shorter outline rubric provided by many bar review companies.  Then, glance through your answer to see if you hit the major issues and if your writing professionally flows.  In holistic grading jurisdictions, that's really meeting the mark, and meeting it well.  (Scott Johns).

 

June 15, 2017 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams, Learning Styles, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Administrative Contract Positions at Atlanta's John Marshall

Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School invites applications for administrative contract positions within its Office of Academic Achievement.

Responsibilities & Qualifications

These are full-time, non-tenure track positions that begin on August 1, 2017.  Responsibilities of the positions include teaching academic success workshops for first year students in the day and evening divisions and working one-on-one with first year and upper level students who are identified as being academically at risk. Applicants must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, excellent academic credentials and a demonstrated commitment to working with students to improve their academic performance.  Preference will be given to applicants who have experience teaching in an academic success program.

Application Information

Applications will be reviewed as they are received.  These positions will remain open until filled.  Interested applicants should send a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to: Dean Malcolm L. Morris, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, 1422 West Peachtree Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30309 or via email to mmorris@johnmarshall.edu with a copy to Erika Murray at emurray@johnmarshall.edu.

  1. The position advertised:

      __   a.   is a tenure-track appointment.

     __    b.   may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

     _X_ c.   may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.

     __   d.  has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

     __   e.  is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

     __   f.   is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

 Additional information about job security or terms of employment, any applicable term limits, and whether the position complies with ABA Standard 405(c):

  1. The professor hired:

      __    a.   will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

     _X_   b.   will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

 Additional information about the extent of the professor’s voting rights:

  1. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below.  (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.)*

 ___ over $120,000

___ $110,000 - $119,999

___ $100,000 - $109,999

___ $90,000 - $99,999

___   $80,000 - $89,999

_       $70,000 - $79,999

X      $60,000 - $69,999

__     $50,000 - $59,999

___ less than $50,000

___ this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000

___ this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000

Additional information about base salary or other compensation:

*Commensurate with experience.  

  1. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught will be:*

      __   a.   30 or fewer

     _X_  b.   31 - 35

     ___  c.   36 - 40

     ___  d.   41 - 45

     ___  e.   46 - 50

     ___  f.    51 - 55

     __   g.   56 - 60

     __   h.   more than 60

 Additional information about teaching load, including required or permitted teaching outside of the legal research and writing program:

Browning Jeffries
Associate Professor

Atlanta's John Marshall Law School
1422 W. Peachtree St. NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
P: 678-916-2636
www.johnmarshall.edu
bjeffries@johnmarshall.edu

View my research on my SSRN Author page:
http://ssrn.com/author=1237719

June 15, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I’M Behind, It’s Over: Bar Prep Panic

A lot of what I heard last week was: “I fell behind in my bar studies so I spend all of my time trying to catch-up only to fall even further behind.” It is not uncommon for bar studiers to fall behind at some point during bar study. Studiers get tired, take longer to complete tasks, or encounter difficult/unfamiliar topics. How a person manages such situations may determine whether or not that person succeeds in catching-up or endures added stress throughout the remainder of the study period. Below are a few things one may wish to consider if ever in such a predicament.

1. Consolidate it and Write it. Create a gigantic to-do list (because everything seems impossible during bar review) by jotting down on a sheet of paper everything you have failed to complete. It is easy to feel overwhelmed thinking about all of the things you have not completed or seeing assignments listed under multiple days in various locations. Assignments and to-dos may appear more abundant than they actually are; therefore, it is helpful to collect everything in one place.

2. Prioritize it. Determine how and where to allocate and prioritize most of your time and energy. Create and label 2 columns: "critical" and "not-so-critical." In the critical column include tasks such as reviewing substantive law which is foundational to all other assignments and tasks. Consider the “80/20 rule” (in moderation of course) so you maximize your use of time to yield the most productive result and not waste time on tasks that are not benefiting you given time constraints. Determine when, in the remaining days, you can insert the not-so-critical tasks to ultimately complete all tasks without compromising future tasks. It is not advisable to spend all the remaining time catching-up. Instead, focus on what is currently due and gradually insert past due tasks in the remaining weeks so all tasks are complete by the end of bar review.

3. The Process. Keep your eye on the prize, passing the bar exam, but develop process oriented goals - steps that it will lead you to succeed on the bar exam. Often time, focus is placed on passing the bar exam which may appear impossible and overwhelming rather than considering individual steps and taking them on one at a time. Be cognizant that some of your steps might be very different from other bar studiers. You may have to warm up to sitting down for 100 Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions in 3 hours while others might require be able to do this fairly quickly. Knowing this about yourself, you may wish to initiate and implement frequent and consistent steps to achieve the ultimate goal. Being strategic and process focused will provide you with momentum, help you quickly develop good habits, and allow you to chip away at seemingly impossible tasks.

4. Start With Application. It is a given that substantive law is covered in lecture or some other method so we can check that off the list. For some bar studiers, completing a small number of MBE questions or an essay prior to lecture might be helpful to assess what they know, don’t know, or are familiar with. Also, their strengths and weaknesses in directing focus as they engage with the material. First instinct is to learn all the material completely and in depth prior to ever looking at a question although most programs encourage students to dive-in early. It might be helpful to redirect focus and time on things one needs to learn rather than things one already knows; and the only way to know what falls in what category is to practice. Do not focus on every minute detail and unique aspects of concepts but rather on what is needed to answer a typical question on the topic.

5. Select an Implementation Day. If you have tasks that are critical and require significant concentration such as completing a timed mock exam, clear your calendar off for a day to complete the task or tasks, schedule a study marathon. Set specific time limits for completing each task to ensure your productivity otherwise you may not get very far and may be faced with the adage: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” For your implementation day, find a place where you cannot be disturbed. This might require going to another town to avoid running into people you know, find a distraction free zone. It is important to note that while your implementation day might allow you to catch up, you are sacrificing a study day or day of rest and you will be exhausted at the end of this process. Furthermore, you will likely sacrifice depth of learning for breath of coverage. Plan a reward following the implementation day so you have something to look forward to as you are working because you will be exhausted. (Goldie Pritchard)

June 14, 2017 in Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Congratulations to Scott Johns - another top ten award

TexasBarTodayTopTenBadgeCongratulations to Scott Johns for his top ten award from Texas Bar Today for his June 1st post on bar review learning. His post can be found here.

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Director Position at Lincoln Memorial University

Position Description: Director of Academic Success

Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law

 

The Lincoln Memorial University Duncan School of Law, a small, mission-driven institution in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, is seeking to hire a Director for its Academic Success Program. The position is full-time, non-tenure track, and will commence on or before August 1, 2017. A twelve-month contract is preferred. The Director of Academic Success, in coordination with the Director of Bar Services, develops, coordinates, and implements the law school’s Academic Success Program. Job duties include teaching courses focused on the development of academic skills; overseeing the school’s week-long pre-matriculation program; and working with students in individual and small-group meetings. In addition, the Director of Academic Success will have a significant role in the school’s bar preparation program. The LMU Duncan School of Law is provisionally approved by the American Bar Association, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, approved by the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners, and will be seeking full ABA approval in the near future. LMU is committed to diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. Inquiries and letters of interest may be sent to Professor William Gill at william.gill@lmunet.edu. Applications should be submitted online at https://lincolnmu.peopleadmin.com/postings/3085. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt, and the position will remain open until filled.

Required qualifications: JD from an institution accredited by the ABA or the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners; bar membership in any U.S. jurisdiction (can be inactive).

Preferred qualifications: At least three years of experience practicing law or teaching at a legal institution; prior experience with law school academic success or bar preparation programs; a personal record of strong academic achievement; law school advising, counseling, or tutoring experience; and higher education teaching experience.

AASE Questionnaire:

  1.  The position advertised:

  X       a.         is a full-time appointment.
___      b.         is a part-time appointment.

  1. The position advertised:
    ___ a.         is a tenure-track appointment.
    ___      b.         may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
      X       c.         may lead to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.
    ___      d.         has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.
    ___      e.         is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

___      f.          is an adjunct appointment.

  X       g.         is a year-to-year appointment.

___      h.         is a one-year visitorship.

___      i.          is for at will employment.

  1.  The person hired:
    ___ a. will be permitted to vote on all matters at faculty meetings.

  X       b.         will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on matters except those pertaining to hiring, tenure, and promotion.
___      c.         will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

4.  The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base compensation in the range checked below.  (A base compensation does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base compensation does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.)
___      a.         over $120,000
___      b.         $110,000 - $119,999
___      c.         $100,000 - $109,999
___      d.         $90,000 - $99,999
  X       e.         $80,000 - $89,999
___      f.          $70,000 - $79,999
___      g.         $60,000 - $69,999
___      h.         $50,000 - $59,999
___      i.          $40, 000-49,999
___      j.          $10,000 - $39,000.
___      k.         less than $10,000.

5.         The person hired will have the title of:

___      a.         Associate Dean (including Dean of Students).

___      b.         Assistant Dean.

  X       c.         Director.

___      d.         Associate Director.

___      e.         Assistant Director.

___      f.          Professor – Full, Associate, or Assistant (tenure track).

___      g.         Professor – Full, Associate, or Assistant (clinical tenure track or its equivalent).

  X       h.         Professor – Full, Associate, or Assistant (neither tenure track nor clinical tenure track).

___      i.          no title.

  1. Job responsibilities include (please check all that apply):

  X       a.         working with students whose predicators (LSAT and University GPA) suggest they will struggle to excel in law school.

  X       b.         working with students who performed relatively poorly on their law school examinations or other assessments.

  X       c.         working with diverse students.

  X       d.         managing orientation.

  X       e.         teaching ASP-related classes (case briefing, synthesis, analysis, etc.).

  X       f.          teaching bar-exam related classes.

  X       g.         working with students on an individual basis.

___      h.         teaching other law school courses.

  1. The person hired will be present in the office:

___      a.         9-10 month appointment.

  X       b.         Year-round appointment (works regularly in the summer months).

  1. The person hired is required to publish, in some form, in order to maintain employment.

___      a.         Yes.

  X       b.         No.

  1. The person hired will report to:

  X       a.         the Dean of the Law School.

___      b.         an Associate Dean.

___      c.         the Director of the Academic Support Department.

___      d.         a Faculty Committee.

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

Does your law school want to host the May 2019 AASE conference?

Hello Academic Support Professors:

Even though we just concluded the conference in Fort Worth, the AASE executive committee is already looking to identify possible conference venues for 2019.  To identify the pool of possibilities, we are asking for your help.  If you have an interest in hosting the AASE annual conference at your school in May 2019, please let us know.

This is a formal request for proposals.  The deadline to submit proposals is August 1, 2017.  Interested academic support professors should let us know the answers to the following questions:

  1. Do you have large room capacity–i.e., the ability to have as many as 175 people meeting together in a single room–for plenary sessions?  (The room must be available in late May, which may rule out schools that already have made commitments for other conferences or for bar review lectures.)
  2. Are there smaller rooms available for breakout sessions?
  3. What are the general technical features (e.g., projectors/audio/wifi) in the building?
  4. How easily can your school be accessed from airports and other public transportation?
  5. Have you ever hosted a conference before (local, regional, or national)?  Please identify the conference(s) you hosted. (Prior hosting experience is not required.)
  6. Have you spoken with your school’s Dean or anyone else whose approval would be necessary for your school to host the conference?  If so, please identify their response.

Note that while hosting the conference requires no out-of-pocket financial costs for the host school, the school will need to provide space and manpower for the event, and one academic support professional from the school will serve on the AASE Executive Board for two years.

Please respond directly to Betsy Six, who can be reached at bsix@ku.edu

Thanks in advance for responding!

Best regards,

The AASE Executive Committee

Betsy Six, President

June 12, 2017 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)