Friday, December 5, 2008
I have always enjoyed finding quotes that inspire me, make me think, or pique my interest. Perhaps it is the ex-English major in me. As a result of my own interest, I tend to pass quotes on to my students to get a point across to them.
Below are several web sites with quotes on education, learning, or teaching which may be useful to you. Many of the sites also have links to quotes on other topics.
For those of you who are interested in favorite quotes, I did two postings in the past: one of my own favorites and one on those offered by other readers of our Blog. You can find them in the archives in postings for April 25, 2007 and May 1, 2007. (Amy Jarmon)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tomorrow is the first New England Regional ASP Meeting. It will be held at New England Law School in Boston. This will be an organizational meeting, and we will be discussing a variety of issues. I am posting the agenda so other regions can use this as a possible jumping-off point for organizing their own groups. An abbreviated agenda follows:
Goals of NECASP
1. Discussion of methods of Academic Support?
2. A forum for presentation of academic papers?
3. A forum for presentations of a more practical nature?
4. Should we do more than just hold conferences?
5. Should the organization provide leadership opportunities for those in the field?
Format of NECASP.
1. How often should we meet?
2. When should conferences be held?
3. Should each conference be practical or should one of them include more academic topics?
4. To what degree should we restrict or direct the topics?
5. Should each conference focus on a specific theme?
(i.e. Learning Disabilities, ESL, Pipeline Initiatives, Learning Styles, Bar Exam) or should presenters be given wide latitude to choose their own subject?
C. Organization of NECASP
1. Should there be officers, a steering committee, or no formal leadership?
2. Does this organization require the formality of by-laws?
If you have any questions about the meeting tomorrow, such as how to get to NE Law, please contact Louis Schultze at LSchulze@nesl.edu.
I will be posting a report from the meeting shortly.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Because of our concerns about minority enrollment and innovation/creativity in legal education, a new book should be an interesting read for ASP professionals. The book is titled The Gathering Peasants' Revolt in American Legal Education and is written by two Massachusetts School of Law Andover faculty: Dean Lawrence Velvel and Assistant Professor Kurt Olson. The publisher is Doukathsan Press.
Sherwood Ross, the media consultant for the law school, reports in a press release that the book challenges the ABA in a number of areas (including the two mentioned above) regarding how its policies affect legal education. According to Ross, seven deans from ABA-accredited law schools are quoted in the book on how specific ABA policies are detrimental to legal education. The press release quotes the authors as saying that "all missions but the one approved by the ABA" are stifled. Massachusetts School of Law Andover is currently not accredited by the ABA.
Thanks to Terence Cook, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Recruitment, here at Tech Law for the press release. (Amy Jarmon)
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Exams are here at many schools, and they are starting shortly at schools were they have not started already. The very short post-exam period is sometimes marked by drive-by students running past the ASP office on the way to a plane, train, or automobile taking them home for the holidays. This is a great opportunity to recommend books to read over the holiday break. Students now know what to expect from law school, but they may not have put all the pieces together yet.
Before I jump into my recommendations, I stress what things students shouldn't read:
1) Random blogs by other law students. They will just make them feel anxious about their grades, and overstress the importance of grades during the first year.
2) Anything content-related. They need to rest, and I rarely hear of students who found content-based reading helpful during the semester. Your brain can't be "on" all the time.
The most important thing students can do over break is enjoy themselves and reconnect with the reasons they chose law school.
And then I move on to my recommendation. First and foremost, holiday break is the time to read Getting to Maybe by Fischel and Paul. It uses too much content as examples to read before or during first semester. By second semester, students are ready for the material, and understand the technical law school terms-of-art that are used throughout the book. This book is the roadmap to "A" exams at most schools and in most classes.
My recommendation to students who will likely to be in the top half of the class is Charles Calleros Law School Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win. It is a bigger picture book, and it may be too abstract for students who are struggling with the basics. But for an analysis of the thinking and logic skills necessary for exams, it is excellent.
My recommendation for students who still don't seem to get the basic organization or structure of exam writing is Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus Mastering the Law School Exam. There are many of these students who tend to crawl out of the woodwork too late in the semester for an ASP professional to provide the intensive help they need. Suzanne's book is an excellent guide to breaking down the essential parts of a great exam answer for students who may need explicit instruction in the nuts-and-bolts of law school exams. These are the students you know you will see once grades come in, and this book gives them a foundation for your work with them in the spring.
And for students who are taking the bar exam in July...they need to get Denise Riebe and Michael Hunter Schwartz Pass the Bar! as soon as possible. The book is best used at the start of the 3L year, but it is perhaps most helpful, if not essential, to students who need checklists and timelines in order to get paperwork in on time. (RCF)