August 10, 2007
The ASP Blog is Going on Vacation
The editorial staff members for the ASP Blog are taking next week off (August 13 - 17). Like many of you, we are trying to catch our collective breath before the new semester is in full swing. We hope that all of you will have some rest and relaxation time as well. See you at the beginning of the next semester!
A Resource for Introducing the American Legal System
I would like to recommend highly a book that introduces students to the American legal system by following a case through all of its stages. Aspen has recently published John Humbach's book entitled Whose Monet? An Introduction to the American Legal System. Professor John Humbach is a faculty member at Pace University.
The DeWeerth v. Baldinger case regarding a Monet painting is used as the common thread throughout the book. This case illustrates the strategy and analysis required by lawyers as well as the procedural steps in a civil law suit. The book is very readable and includes commentary about the legal system, analysis of the case, and study questions in each chapter. Examples of correspondence and court documents are included as well in some chapters.
This book could be used in a number of ways. It would be a great summer reading requirement for entering law students; it could be used as a supplemental text in a course; or it could be a valuable addition to an academic success program library. (Amy Jarmon)
August 7, 2007
Our Skills 4: Working with Faculty Colleagues
Whatever our position status in our law school, we work regularly with the faculty to help our students succeed. The relationship can be a "two-way street" if we consider both 1) how faculty can help us in our work with students and 2) how we can help faculty in their work with students. Sometimes, we focus only on the first of these relationships and forget the second.
Faculty members can help us more if they know about the specific ways that we work with students. Faculty members can also help us more if they know what assistance they can provide. So, our relationship becomes part publicity and part solicitation!
There are a number of ways that we can provide faculty members with more information on how we can help students:
- Send an e-mail to all faculty members each year explaining the services ASP offers to students: the population served; the workshops or classes provided; the individual assistance offered; any assessments provided; library facilities; or other services.
- Add a page to the Faculty Handbook and/or the Advisor's Handbook regarding ASP services.
- Provide faculty with the ASP workshop schedule for students.
- Provide faculty for 1L students with the schedule for tutoring, supplemental study groups, mentoring, etc..
- Schedule meetings with new faculty to introduce yourself and explain in more depth how ASP can help students.
- Provide faculty with the opportunity to get copies of study tip e-mails that you send your students throughout the semester.
- Make announcements at faculty meetings during the semester about particular programs, concerns, or other items that they need to know.
- Develop a brochure that outlines the ASP services and give copies to faculty as a reminder as well as a handout for students to facilitate referrals.
There are a number of ways in which we can ask faculty for assistance so that we can do our jobs better:
- Meet with individual faculty members for required courses to find out more about their courses and exams: what are common problems that students have in the course; what study tips would they give for their course; what are their study tips for their exam; what are the most common "point losers" on their exams.
- Meet with 1L faculty to learn their impressions of the new class and any concerns that they have about the skill levels.
- Ask faculty whether they would be willing to write hypotheticals with answer keys for you to use in your skills workshops with students. (They may have archives of old ones you can have without their having to produce something new.)
- Ask a faculty member if you can see the exam, answer key, and student's exam answers for the past semester when you are working with a student who did poorly in that class and needs exam-writing help.
- Ask 1L faculty members to talk about their teaching and exam styles at a training session for your tutors, study group leaders, or mentors.
- Ask 1L faculty members to be part of a panel on exam-taking skills for a workshop with the 1L students.
- Ask faculty members for required courses to recommend study aids that they particularly favor for their courses (you may want to purchase them for your own ASP library).
Now, to the second relationship of what you can do to assist faculty members:
- Encourage faculty members to refer students who have problems with study skills and/or life skills (time management, stress management, etc.) after the faculty member has worked with the student on the substantive material.
- Offer to meet with the faculty member's 1L class section to discuss reading and briefing cases, note-taking, outlining, exam-writing techniques or other study or life skills.
- Be available to faculty for consulting on using learning styles in classroom teaching, test construction review, or other specialty areas in which you may have training.
- Offer to assist with training on study skills and learning styles for teaching assistants, tutors, or other upper-division students who work with faculty in "teaching" functions.
- Offer to meet with students whose performance was poor on mid-term exams in addition to the time that the faculty member and/or tutor is working with the students.
- Offer to consult with a faculty member who is concerned about a student's performance or other indicators that the student is struggling.
Our faculty colleagues are valuable resources for us. And, we are equally valuable resources for them. (Amy Jarmon)
Job Opening at Drexel
Drexel University College of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, invites applications for the full-time position of Director of Academic Support. The College of Law is seeking an innovative, energetic academic support specialist to build an integrated academic support program for students from orientation to graduation. The Director will teach and work with students (in groups and individually) to prepare them for exam-taking in law school and for the bar examination, and will serve as a resource to faculty members.
Responsibilities to the College of Law include –
- teaching as part of 1L Orientation;
- teaching 1L academic support program, including outlining and exam-taking skills;
- identifying students academically at risk;
- assisting students needing additional skill development, including students on probation;
- preparing bar preparation materials and programs, providing information to students regarding bar requirements, as well as serving as a liaison to commercial bar preparers;
- providing counseling to students on a range of academic/personal issues;
- teaching a course in the law school curriculum;
- working collaboratively with other faculty to develop innovative programs, and coordinating academic support services with law school faculty.
- Salary Range: $70,000 - $75,000
- Will report to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs
- J.D. from an ABA-accredited school;
- At least three years experience teaching in a law school, working in an academic support program, and/or counseling law students;
- Ability to work with a diverse community of students, faculty, and administrators;
- Self-directed, creative, and a team player;
- Well-organized, able to set goals and implement them;
- Ability to handle highly confidential student matters;
- Flexible work schedule.
Interested candidates should complete an on-line application at www.drexeljobs.com and send a cover letter and resume (via regular mail or e-mail) to Jennifer Rosato, Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Professor of Law, Drexel University College of Law, 3320 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, email@example.com.
August 6, 2007
Where did the summer go?
I cannot believe that it is actually August 6th. Where did the summer go? I remember May 13th and hooding ceremony as taking place yesterday.
If you are like me, you still have miles to go before you are ready for the fall semester (my pardon to Robert Frost). I have had a very productive summer, but there always seem to be more projects than hours. However, I have concluded that having so much more to do is a result of loving my job and wanting to be better at it each day. I want to excel for my students, just as I encourage them to excel.
If you think about it, we are blessed in the ASP profession. We spend each day helping students succeed. We spend each day learning new study and exam strategies from diverse students. We have great books to read by ASP experts to guide us to new strategies, paradigms, etc. We are surrounded by a learning community with people who actually want to learn. We are surrounded by colleagues with fascinating experiences and specialties in law. And, we get to share our students' successes.
As I look across my office, I see my framed poster from the 1980 opening of the U.S. Education Department. It reads, "Learning never ends."
So, the summer may have flown by me. But, I have been busy learning. And, I hope my learning never ends. (Amy Jarmon)