Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, September 24, 2010

Director of Student Services Position at Seton Hall

Cara Herrick Foerst, Dean of Students, at Seton Hall Law School recently posted a listserv announcement regarding this job opening.  I include here part of her announcement which includes a link to the job site for Seton Hall.  (Amy Jarmon)

"We are looking for a bright, energetic, warm  person to join our team.  The position requires at minimum a  Masters Degree, but we’d prefer a J.D. with higher education experience.   It is a fun and challenging position.   Attached is a link to the job description.  I am happy to answer questions by email.  All interested folks must apply on-line."

The link provided by Cara is:

September 24, 2010 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reading cases for more oomph

I have been doing a brisk business in appointments with 1L students who are overwhelmed by how long it is taking them to read/brief cases for class.  In talking with them, it is apparent that some of their difficulties are linked to not understanding why we read cases and how they fit into overall learning and skills development.

They make better decisions about their reading strategies once they realize the significance of reading cases.  Here are some tips that we discuss:

All cases are not equal in importance.  Some cases are read for historical background only - the law will change by the last case on a sub-topic.  Some cases are packed full of important essentials such as rules, policies, jurisdictional differences, important points of reasoning.  Some cases are included for just one smaller essential: a definition or an exception.

Cases need to be read at two levels. What are the important aspects to understand about the individual case itself? This level of reading focuses on the parts within a case and the specifics one needs to understand the case.  How does the case fit into a series of cases, into the sub-topic, and into the topic?  This level of reading focuses on the synthesis of the case into the larger body of law that one is learning. 

Cases are a starting point in the study of law rather than an ending point. Cases show us how judges think about the law.  Cases teach us how to extrapolate the most important aspects from the full opinion.  Cases provide us with "tools" for our toolkit so we can solve new legal problems.  Cases become illustrations in outlines rather than the basis of outlines.  Professors will not ask one to "recite everything you know about Case X" on their exams.

Cases are essential to the practice of law.  Lawyers read and analyze cases every day.  They are constantly searching for precedents that relate to their clients' cases.  Thus, the time spent in law school on reading and briefing is not merely an "ivory tower" exercise.  Students who become skilled at these tasks are making an investment in their future expertise.  Students who use canned briefs or headnotes as substitutes for these tasks ultimately shortchange their professional growth.    

Case reading and case briefing are important legal skills that take time to learn.  The process becomes faster as the law student becomes more expert at analysis.  It also becomes faster once the law student understands why we read cases.  (Amy Jarmon) 

September 20, 2010 in Miscellany, Reading, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Academic Success Opening at Albany Law

Position Opening: Assistant/Associate Professor of Academic Success

Albany Law School seeks applicants to expand its programs for bar examination services and its academic success program for "at risk" students. This is a full-time (12-month) non-tenure track position with the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor of Academic Success and will be eligible for long-term contract status.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The duties of this position are as follows:

To assist J.D. and LL.M students to adjust to the academic demands of law school and to develop the attitudes and skills necessary to reach their full academic potential for performance in law school, on the bar examination, and after graduation.

This includes:

Bar Examination Program Responsibilities:

1. Plan, administer, teach, and coordinate a for-credit bar preparation program both fall and spring semesters. The bar program will include, substantive coverage of core bar subjects, development of skills necessary for essay writing, multiple choice, and multi-state practice tests.

2. Meet with students individually to develop a bar preparation plan.

3. Meet with students individually to provide feedback on practice exams.

4. Prepare students for admission to the bar.

5. Update the Albany Law School Academic Success bar examination web page and other informational resources to provide information to all law students as to the nature of the bar exam, bar exam registration deadlines, logistics, commercial bar courses, character and fitness requirements, bar tested areas and courses, skills tested and finances for bar preparation.

6. Advise students on course selection.

7. Provide individual assistance and counseling through bar preparation period during February and July bar examinations.

8. Analyze bar exam results and provide regular reports concerning results.

9. Provide bar related information to faculty members regarding topics tested and recent bar exam questions in the faculty member’s area of teaching.

10. Serve as point person and coordinator for bar related efforts of the entire law school, including the Dean’s office, faculty, alumni, and students, including the Office of Alumni Affairs’ bar mentoring program.

Academic Success Program Responsibilities:

1. Teach a section of Applied Legal Reasoning, a mandatory first year course for "at risk" students.

2. Provide individual assistance to students on academic probation.

3. Assist the Director of Academic Success with programming for first year academic success including workshops available for all first year students.

4. Other duties as assigned.

This position will report to the Director of Academic Success and work closely with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and other members of the faculty and staff.

Minimum Qualifications: Qualified candidates will have a J.D. degree from a nationally accredited law school, have membership in a state bar, have strong law school credentials and have 3-5 years experience in practice and/or teaching in an academic setting. Successful candidates will also possess knowledge of legal theory and analysis, have strong organizational, writing, speaking, interpersonal and other skills necessary to succeed in law school and on the bar examination.

Preferred Qualifications: Knowledge of learning theory, teaching experience, counseling and tutoring experience, administrative and/or supervisory experience, previous experience in an academic support program, and proven ability to work with at-risk students.

Albany Law School

Albany Law School is the oldest, independent law school in North America with a 159-year tradition of producing great lawyers. We are located in the capital of New York State, nestled between the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains. The Capital Region, with a population approaching one million, is home to seventeen colleges and universities. Albany is within a three-hour drive of New York City, Boston and Montreal, and is served by excellent highway, air, and rail transportation systems.

Albany Law School offers competitive pay and an excellent benefits package. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates should submit resume, letter of interest and writing sample using the contact information below. Deadline November 15 or until the position is filled. Anticipated start date is July 1, 2011.



September 20, 2010 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)