Saturday, March 27, 2010
Banquet season is upon us. Many of our student organizations are having end-of-the-year dos. Some of them are fund-raisers as well as celebrations. Some of them combine honors and awards with other evening festivities.
If I overlook the immediate effect on my waistline and focus on the spirit of the events, I enjoy the season. For one thing, it gives me a chance to get out of the office and mingle with students in different surroundings. It also gives me a chance to show support for the hard work that so many student organizations put into speaker programs, service projects, and other efforts each year.
It is not possible to attend all of the events that are held each year. And some years, I need to "rotate" the chosen events to make ones that I couldn't attend the prior year. One thing that I have noted every year is that students are SO appreciative when faculty and deans make the effort.
So, if it is "banquet season" at your school, get dressed up, buy a ticket, and have another dinner to support students. You can eat more chicken dinners than you thought you could. Academic support becomes after-hours support when you show up with your smile, encouragement, and dinner chat.
Now excuse me, I am on my way out the door to an event. The gym will be there after the season is over. (Amy Jarmon)
Friday, March 26, 2010
Professor Glater, a graduate of Yale Law School, spent nine years at The New York Times, most of it writing about the business of law for Business Day; previously he was a corporate lawyer at a Wall Street firm. As a reporter he helped cover bankruptcies ranging from Enron Corporation to General Motors, and the criminal trials of Martha Stewart, the late pop star Michael Jackson and the defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen. He has written about the pressure on big law firms to abandon the billable hour, the ill-effects of borrowing for law school and a memorandum prepared by a hapless New York law firm paralegal on local sushi restaurants.
Professor Glater also spent two years writing about the finances of higher education and led the way in uncovering questionable marketing tactics used by student loan companies.
Professor Glater looks forward to working with students on their writing and other projects at the Law School. Over the course of the semester he will offer workshops dealing with study skills and exam preparation.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I talk several times a year to practicing lawyers or others who are considering academic support work as a career change. I have also through the years talked with new ASP'ers at both ends of the spectrum - those who love working in ASP and those who are looking for a change because ASP was not a good match.
I am listing below some aspects to consider when thinking about becoming an Academic Support Professional:
- Do you sincerely enjoy working with law students on their academics regardless of their academic standing? In ASP, you need to work with a wide range of students: students who have good GPA's but want to discuss one or two areas of concern; students who are hovering near the academic standard but not on probation; students who are on probation. You may well have contact with the "best and the brightest" at your school, but those students will not be your main focus. You need to assess your patience level while working with students who are struggling to learn basic study skills.
- Are you willing to do "catch all" counseling with your students on areas that are not strictly ASP? Academic problems often have medical, personal, family, or financial dimensions to them. Consequently, ASP'ers become privy to information that they normally would not know as they help students improve their academics. ASP'ers act as a referral point to help students sort out these other problems. Academic probation or dismissal is stressful for students used to being successful. ASP'ers may just need to listen and provide a tissue box. For some, these every day conversations and interactions would be "too much information" and not a desireable work environment.
- Are you willing to work more than a 40-hour week? Some people have the misconception that ASP must be easy 8 to 5 work. In fact it is a labor of love for most ASP'ers because of the heavy demands of the position. In ASP, your days are filled with individual appointments, workshops, meetings, and possibly ASP classes. Unless you have sufficient colleagues and administrative staff, the reality is that you complete many basic administrative tasks after 5:00 p.m. Workshop and class prep may also have to happen after 5 o'clock.
- Are you happy working on your own or do you prefer being part of a large staff? Although some law schools now have 2 or more full-time professionals doing ASP work, many schools still have one-person ASP offices. Depending on your school, you may find colleagues in other areas with similar interests in learning, teaching, and study skills.
- Do you have expectations about your status that will match the position? Although things are starting to change at some law schools, most ASP folks are administrators rather than full-time faculty. Consequently, not all things may be equal to faculty positions. Salary, vacation time, type of contract, service on committees, eligibility for research or teaching assistants, travel funds, professional development funds, and voting rights are just some of the areas to consider.
- Do you have a legal specialty area that you want to teach as well as any ASP duties? Some law schools combine an ASP class with a doctrinal course (example, Agency). Other law schools allow their ASP staff to teach substantive law courses as part of their full-time ASP load. Yet other schools allow ASP staff to teach such courses above and beyond their normal job duties. And at some law schools, there is no option for an ASP'er to teach doctrinal courses. Where teaching is an option, one has to consider the workload in ASP and how it can be balanced with teaching. Once again, after 5 o'clock and weekends may be the only class prep and grading time available.
- Do you have a passion for research and writing? Or involvement in professional associations? With the exception of the schools having tenure-track ASP staffing, ASP positions generally do not require research, publications, or professional association involvement. Most schools are delighted if their ASP'ers do these things, but it normally will be above and beyond the basic job description. Consequently, ASP'ers often have to do their research, writing, and professional service activities during evening and weekend hours.
- Do you want to make a real difference in the lives of law students? Teaching students the skills they need to be successful in law school (and ultimately in the profession) is very rewarding. It is a delight to have a former probation student come in to share the news of her first "A" or 3.0 GPA semester. Law students need someone to believe in them. ASP'ers are often those encouragers.
Being in ASP'er is a blessing for me. I enjoy working with law students. Combining my education and law backgrounds is a plus. However, each person has to decide if ASP work would be a good fit for a career.
Good luck if you are searching for an ASP position. We try to post positions here on the Blog whenever we know about them. (Amy Jarmon)
Monday, March 22, 2010
Director of Academic Support and Bar Success
Campbell Law School
Campbell Law School invites applications for the position of Director of Academic Support and Bar Success. The anticipated start date for this position is July 1, 2010. This is a full-time administrative position that will provide for some teaching opportunities.
The Director's primary responsibility will be to work with law students to help them adjust 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.
Specific responsibilities include:
a. design and implement an innovative and effective academic
b. counsel and advise students on academic probation, students "at
risk," and any other student, seeking to improve academic performance;
c. advise students on various academic issues, including academic
probation matters, and the petitioning process to obtain additional probationary semesters;
d. track the academic progress of "at risk" students and students
on academic probation;
e. assist in planning and execution of New Student Orientation;
f. teach workshops and/or classes for students who need academic
g. work with students in individual and small group sessions;
h. design and implement a bar success program;
i. additional teaching responsibilities as designated by the
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Candidates should have outstanding academic records, as well as experience and demonstrated excellence in teaching, leadership, administrative skills, and legal research and writing. Membership in the North Carolina State Bar, or the ability to attain membership by the spring of 2011, is preferred.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Campbell University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Salary is commensurate with experience. Campbell University offers a full benefits package that can be reviewed at:
Applications should include: a cover letter, a current curriculum vitae, and contact information for three references. Confidential inquiries are welcome.
Applications may be sent to B. Keith Faulkner, Vice Dean, by email at email@example.com or by mail to B. Keith Faulkner, Vice Dean, Campbell Law School, 225 Hillsborough Street, Suite 401, Raleigh, North Carolina, 27603.
For information about Campbell Law School, please visit our website at www.law.campbell.edu.
B. Keith Faulkner, J.D./M.B.A.
Vice Dean for Administration and External Relations
Phone: (919) 865-4652
Vermont Law School (VLS), a private, independent law school located on the banks of the beautiful White River in South Royalton, VT, and the nation’s #1 environmental law program (US News & World Report), is looking for an outstanding, team-oriented individual who is motivated by the ability to make an immediate and sustained contribution in the workplace and the community. We are looking for a talented person to join us in the following position:
Director, Academic Success Program
The Director of Academic Success Program designs, develops, implements, and oversees the academic support program. The Director develops and executes classes and workshops, either directly or through subordinates, to improve the skills of the students necessary to be successful in their legal studies and pass the bar exam. This includes students in the JD, MELP and LLM programs at Vermont Law School.
Specific job responsibilities include:
- Design and implement strategies to assist all students, particularly high risk students and students in academic difficulty, to be successful in their legal studies.
- Responsible for all administrative duties associated with the bar exam, including but not limited to: coordination with the Director of Career Services to report bar passage statistics to the ABA, reporting programs and initiatives to the trustees, maintaining student records in regard to bar exam.
- Responsible for curriculum design and implementation of Advanced Legal Analysis course. Design, implement and, at times, deliver workshops, speaker series, and informational resources for all bar takers (i.e., TWEN, bulletin boards, flyers, emails) including summer support program for July bar takers.
- Coordinate services of commercial bar prep (i.e. Bar/Bri, KaplanPMBR) companies with student and VLS needs .
- Working in conjunction with the Asst. Dean of Academic Affairs, and the Asst. Director of ASP to ensure implementation of approved reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities.
- Hire, train and supervise academic success program staff including the Asst Dir, Program Coordinator, and Student Mentors.
- Manage the general operations of the department including the budget, short and long-term departmental goals, metrics, and strategies, and coordination of offerings within the department and with other departments and individual faculty members.
- Assist Assoc. Dean of Student Affairs & Diversity in the design and implementation of orientation activities for incoming students (i.e. the academic component of orientation programs).
- Provide individual counseling and tutoring for students with regard to study habits, skills, tools for improvement, time management, outlining, exam preparation, etc.
- JD degree and license to practice law in any US state
- Teaching experience in higher education environment
- Experience in the actual practice of law
- Knowledge of ADA, FERPA
- Training in learning theories
- Knowledge of legal analytical and writing skills
- Strong interpersonal communications skills
For more information on these and other positions, please visit our website at www.vermontlaw.edu.
Send a resume and cover letter with salary requirements to Human Resources, Vermont Law School, P.O. Box 96, South Royalton, VT 05068 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vermont Law School is an equal opportunity employer.