Tuesday, December 13, 2005

AALS ASP Section to Focus on Reading in Law School

The Academic Support Section of AALS is hosting a session on reading in law school at the January conference in D.C., and it promises to be an exceptional session. The topic is hot not only in the academic support field but in others as well, so the ASP folks decided that reading should be the focus of the section’s presentation at AALS this year.

Ruth Ann McKinney, whose book Reading Like a Lawyer is a must-read for just about anyone teaching or studying law, will be active in the session.  Joining her will be two other impressive experts in the field: David Nadvorney, an academic support professional from CUNY with a masters in reading, and Dorie Evensen, a Ph.D. from
Penn State who has a substantial LSAC grant to study reading in law schools. 

The session is designed to be relevant to all teachers, not just those in the academic support field, and will provide lots of hands-on opportunities so attendees can practice some things they can do in their own classrooms to help students become better (more powerful) readers. The concepts and techniques explored in the session will be relevant to anyone working with students whose classroom engagement is rooted in what they've read – in other words, all law professors.

So you may want to invite colleagues teaching other courses as well because they will find very helpful, practical advice.  Of course, the session will be particularly relevant to those who teach legal writing.  In fact, at the last Legal Writing Institute conference in Seattle, reading was a very hot topic.  That conference included presentations by Ian Gallacher; Cathaleen Roach and Carol Parker; Debra Moss Curtis and Judith Karp; Laurel Oates; and education experts, Drs. Dorie Evensen and Jim Stratman.

The ASP session will run from 4:00 to 5:45 on Thursday, January 5th (Session #5400).  It lets out just in time for cocktails, so there will be a great opportunity to strike up some conversations and collaborations across disciplines.  Okay, conversations . . . about football or ballet or whatever.  Collaborations later. (dbw)

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