Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, October 23, 2009

Count our ASP blessings

Do you ever have weeks that seem extra long?  Or days that have been so hectic you don't know where the time went?  Or times when you wonder if you are making a difference? 

ASP work takes a lot of emotional and intellectual capital if it is going to be done well.  We have to invest major energy into our appointments, meetings, classes, and presentations.  Our students need to know that we care about their success.  We need to listen to, sometimes console, and often encourage our students.

When I find myself worn-out at the end of the week (not the same as burned-out, please note), I remind myself to count my blessings.  So, here I go with a list:

  • Students who are hard workers with solid values.
  • Students who say "thank you" often enough to let me know ASP matters.
  • Support staff who magnanimously pitch in even though they are not ASP staff members.
  • Faculty colleagues who share articles and books.
  • Law library staff who make the study aids library possible.
  • Excellent second- and third-year students as Tutors for the 1Ls.
  • Excellent second- and third-year students who are Dean's Community Teaching Fellows for our pipeline partnership with a local high school's Law and Justice Magnet Program.
  • ASP facilities that let me do so much more for my students than the old ASP offices.
  • Wonderful ASP colleagues at other schools who share strategies.
  • Lots of great ASP authors who inspire us with their books.
  • Wonderful ASP regional and national conferences sponsored by LSAC.
  • The new Law School Academic Success Project website.

Gosh, I feel more energized already!  Now to the next item on my "to do" list. . . .  (Amy Jarmon) 

October 23, 2009 in Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Students struggling because of illness

I am seeing lots of students who have fallen behind because of the cold and flu season.  Some students have missed five days of classes straight; some students have relapsed missing several days a week over a series of weeks.  Just when most people seemed to be getting better, a second cycle has hit the law school.  

Here are some tips to help students who have fallen behind because of illness:

  • Get plenty of sleep and eat well.  You will risk a relapse if you stay up late and skip meals to catch up on your law school work.
  • Focus first on reading current material for classes so that you can follow the discussions.
  • Catch up on back reading in small chunks.  Slip in one case or a few pages as you can.  It is almost impossible to find time to catch up for a course in one sitting.
  • Consider scanning a study aid for missed material to fill in gaps in your understanding until you can do all of the back reading to learn a topic thoroughly.
  • Get notes for your missed classes as soon as possible from classmates whose note-taking skills you trust.
  • Unless the material builds on what you missed, outline the current class material and catch up on outlining the back material as you can.
  • Arrange for mid-term makeup times or paper extensions as available for your courses.  Try to complete these missed tasks as soon as possible, but be realistic about dates if you have options.
  • Ask your professors questions about the material you missed as soon as you have sorted out your areas of confusion.  
  • If you are a 1L student and your law school has teaching assistants or tutors for your courses, make appointments for some one-on-one assistance.

The academic support professional(s) at your law school can probably help you with time management if you are at a lost as to how to begin to catch up.  A structured schedule can assist you regain control of your studies.  (Amy Jarmon) 

October 22, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hofstra University Law School Professor of Academic Support Position

Professor of Academic Support

Hofstra University School of Law

Hofstra University School of Law invites applications for the position of Professor of Academic Support. This is a full-time faculty position with a renewable contract potentially leading to a long-term renewable contracts. Academic support professors at Hofstra serve on faculty committees and vote in faculty meetings.

The Law School's Academic Support professors have primary responsibility for teaching and counseling students to help them make adjustments to the academic demands of law school and to develop skills to reach their full academic potential for performance in law school, on the bar exam, and after graduation. Responsibilities include —

(1) Teaching first-year and upper-level classes and workshops for students who need academic support;

(2) Assisting in planning and implementing first-year orientation programs;

(3) Working with students in individual and small group sessions;

(4) Identifying and assisting students who need additional academic support;

(5) Designing and implementing innovative academic support programs;

(6) Assisting with the law school's bar exam preparation programs and events.

Applicants must have the following: a J.D.; a strong academic record; a background demonstrating a potential for excellence in academic support; an understanding of developments in legal pedagogy; strong organizational and interpersonal skills; the ability to work collaboratively with all members of the law school community; and excellent writing and speaking skills. The following are not required but would substantially enhance an application: experience in law school academic support programs or other relevant teaching experience (including experience as a teaching assistant during law school); and/or an advanced degree in education, psychology, counseling, or a related field. Law practice experience without teaching experience will generally not be sufficient. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Applications should be sent by email (not hard copy) to Professor Roy Simon at Please attach a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and writing sample. The subject line of your email should include the words "Academic Support."

Hofstra University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to fostering diversity in its faculty, administrative staff and student body, and encourages applications from the entire spectrum of a diverse community.

October 21, 2009 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Updated Position Announcement: St. Mary's


St. Mary’s University

St. Mary’s University School of Law, located in San Antonio, Texas, invites applications for the position of Academic Support Professor.  This advertisement is dated October 16, 2009, and applications will be received at any time after that date until the position is filled.  The Academic Support Professor will begin employment in the summer of 2010.  


The law faculty has voted to create this full-time position for a person who will be a voting member of the law faculty with multi-year contracts.  The initial four-year contract will be followed by presumptively renewable five-year contracts.  The salary for the position of academic support professor will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the person employed, and also comparable to salaries paid tenure-track teachers with similar experience.


Our acting director, Kathryn Tullos, has begun the process of designing programs to assist our students in acquiring more efficient study and exam-taking skills.  The new Academic Support Professor will administer these programs and design others that he or she deems necessary.  These tasks will be undertaken with the support and supervision of the Academic Support Committee of the law faculty.  We want programs that help our students improve their study, analytical, and test-taking skills so they will obtain the greatest benefit from the educational opportunity offered at the



.  Our broader goal is to help students prepare themselves to be competent and ethical legal professionals.

The Academic Support Professor will work with law school faculty and administrators to support first-year students in adjusting successfully to law school and to enhance the educational development of second- and third year students.  Depending on interest and qualifications (and subject to
faculty approval), the Academic Support Professor may also occasionally teach academic or skills courses within the law school. In addition, the Law School encourages, and will provide support for, the Academic Support Professor to engage in research and professional development activities in the academic support field.



A juris doctor degree from an ABA-accredited law school is a very desirable qualification. An applicant should also have a strong academic record.  In addition, an applicant should have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and should have substantial (2-3 years) experience with an existing law school academic support program.    


To apply, send your resume with a cover letter by email to Professor David Dittfurth, chair of the Academic Support Committee at <> or by mail to him at School of Law, St. Mary’s University, One Camino Santa Maria, San Antonio, Texas 78228.  


All applications will be answered.  Applicants of interest to the Academic Support Committee will initially hold a teleconference with committee members.  After the teleconference, committee members will decide whether to invite that applicant to visit campus.  During the campus visit, an applicant will provide a written description of the programs he or she would design for our students and will make an oral presentation on that subject to the faculty.


Professor Laurie Zimet of the University of California, Hastings College of Law, has agreed to act as consultant to the Law School during the search.  You are also invited to contact Ms. Kathryn Tullos, Acting Director of the Office of Academic Support at (210) 436-3541 or at


St. Mary’s University School of Law is located in the City of

San Antonio

.  The city is known for its tourist attractions, but also boasts a multi-cultural environment with an active legal and business community.  The Law School seeks to serve the South Texas region of the state, but also enrolls a geographically and ethnically diverse student body. 


St. Mary’s University School of Law is an equal opportunity employer. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.


October 20, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)