Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Welcome to our new Contributing Editors

We would like to welcome two new Contributing Editors for the Law School Academic Support Blog: Paul Bateman and Lisa Young.  As Contributing Editors, they will be posting at least once a month to share their insights with our readers.  Several additional Contributing Editors will be joining us over the coming months.

Paul Bateman is Director of Academic Support and Associate Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles, California.  A picture and biography can be found at Paul Bateman Profile.  Paul has served on the AALS Executive Committee for the Academic Support Section as well as Chair for the Section.  He has also been active as a speaker and committee member for LSAC.  In addition to his expertise in academic support and legal analysis, writing and skills, Paul is involved in integrating academic support concepts and skills into the doctrinal classroom.  You can view the web pages for Paul's ASP program at Academic Support Program at Southwestern.   

Lisa Young is the Director of the Bar Exam Skills Lab at Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, Washington.  A picture and biography can be found at Lisa Young Profile.  She has been working with students for nine years on bar preparation matters for both the Washington and Oregon bar examinations.  You can view the web page for Lisa's bar studies program at Bar Exam Program at Seattle U.

We are delighted to have Paul and Lisa join the editorial staff for the Blog.  All of us will look forward to and benefit from their future postings.  Welcome!      

March 31, 2010 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Suggestion: Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

I am in the middle of the book Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin; I think it's an excellent book for ASPer's, students, and other law professors.  I will probably using this book as part of my class for freshman in college next fall. If I could require it for incoming law students or an ASP course, I would.

Amy and I write extensively in this blog and give presentations on the things lower-ranked and at-risk students do and don't do compared to their more academically successful peers.  Much of what we find academically successful students do is researched and discussed in the book.  Experts have better memories than novices in their field of expertise. Memory is a learned skill. The research on memory is particularly fascinating because it implies that memory is built on understanding the task and giving it context; we tell law students it's about understanding, not memorizing, and struggling students frequently disagree with us. However, the research is saying we are both correct. If law students don't understand, they can't memorize the essential, foundational concepts that in turn build deeper understanding necessary for success on exams. All struggling students are seeing is that their classmates who understand the material have foundational concepts committed to memory, and they blame their struggles on memory, not a lack of understanding. Understanding builds context, which aids in memory.  Law school is a spiral curriculum, where concepts build and interact with each other, and if students can't get their foot on the first step, they can never climb higher.

Deliberate practice, distinguished from hard work, is another key idea I think law students need to understand. We in ASP always hear from struggling students that they are working as hard as they can, and we find that their hard work is not the type that produces learning.  Helping students see that number of study hours alone does not help them understand the material is one of our first hurdles as ASPer's. The next step, learning what type of study produces understanding of the material, is known as deliberate practice. Where I find this book to be helpful is that it shows law students it's not just law school; they type of practice they need is relevant to any field where they want to succeed. I think it takes some of the vitriol out of their law school experience.  (RCF)

March 30, 2010 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kentucky Law: Assistant Dean for Administrative Affairs and Community Engagement

A little outside of ASP, but might be interesting to someone looking to branch out...

Dean Assistant/Law SM529805

University of Kentucky College of Law


This position will be the primary administrator for the College of Law for internal and non-educational operations.  S/he will work with the Budget Officer on budget oversight and will be responsible for Grants Management/Reporting to the Sponsors S/he will be responsible for Strategic Plan implementation and updates. The person in this position will be responsible for supervision of the Director of Communications, the Director of IT, and the Director of Continuing Legal Education, and the Alumni Affairs Coordinator.  S/he will be responsible for the coordination and completion of the annual ABA Questionnaire and will be responsible for gathering all requests and responses for data to provide to central admin/other Universities as needed. This position will be responsible for the implementation and oversight of Community outreach and engagement efforts of the College of Law and for the oversight of all Public Relations, Media releases, and communication/ announcements for the College.  S/he will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing all aspects of capital construction and repairs made to the current Law Building.  This includes coordinating projects around class schedules and hosted events; monitoring the amount of disruption to the daily business of the College and ensuring projects are proceeding on schedule.  This position will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and security of the building.

Minimum Requirements are Juris Doctorate and two years of related experience or the equivalent. JD and 2 yrs administration and community engagement experience, strong interpersonal skills and good judgment, financial/fiscal knowledge, ability to communicate effectively, and the ability to work with a variety of constituencies are preferred.  


Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the Bluegrass region of Kentucky. Recently ranked as one of the safest, most creative, and the brainiest cities in the nation, Lexington is an ideal location to experience the work-life balance that the University strives to provide to its employees. See for yourself what makes UK one great place to work.


To apply for job # SM529805, a UK Employment Application must be submitted at  If you have any questions, contact HR/Employment, phone (859) 257-9555 press 2 or email Application deadline is April 18, 2010, but may be extended as needed.  The University of Kentucky is a Tobacco & Drug Free campus. Any candidate offered this position may be required to pass pre-employment screenings as mandated by University of Kentucky Human Resources. These screenings may include a national background check and/or drug screen. 


The University of Kentucky is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from minorities and women.



March 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)