Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Opening at Pepperdine for Director of Academic Success

Director of Academic Success Program

Pepperdine University School of Law


Pepperdine University School of Law seeks applicants for the position of Director of the law school’s Academic Success Program, to begin August 1, 2011.  The School of Law is committed to student achievement, and the Director will be primarily responsible for developing, leading, coordinating, and implementing programs that support the School of Law’s goals of improving students’ law school academic success and success on the bar exam.  

Minimum requirements include a J.D. degree and admission to the practice of law.  Ideal candidates will have experience working in a higher education setting in the areas of teaching, academic assistance, academic counseling, or similar administrative, teaching, or practice experience.  The successful candidate also must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents within the diverse law school community, including students served by the Academic Success Program (“ASP”), student teaching fellows who work within ASP, faculty members, and the law school administration.

The successful candidate will report to the Associate Dean for Academics.

The Director’s specific duties will include, among others:

  • Working with faculty and administrative staff to support the academic support efforts at the law school;
  • Conducting an orientation to ASP for, and introducing the case briefing method to, first-year students during first-year orientation;
  • Coordinating and conducting fall and spring semester ASP workshops for first-year students on topics such as effective note-taking, outlining, multiple choice, and essay exam preparation, etc.;
  • Teaching the spring semester Supplemental Class for academically at-risk first-year students;
  • Teaching (or co-teaching) the spring semester Bar Exam Workshop course for third-year students;
  • Coordinating, teaching, or co-teaching winter and summer bar preparation workshops;
  • Holding regular office hours and individual counseling sessions, and developing individualized remediation and referral programs, for law students in need of academic support services and alumni in need of bar preparation services;
  • Gathering student and professor feedback regarding ASP offerings;
  • Gathering, compiling, and reporting statistical data regarding student participation in, and impact on student performance of, the various ASP offerings;
  • Assisting the law school’s diversity recruiting and retention efforts;
  • Maintaining a library of academic support and bar preparation books and materials for use by students and alumni;
  • Managing the ASP web pages on the law school’s website; and
  • Participating in the greater academic support and bar preparation professional community in order to stay apprised of best practices through regular attendance at conferences, participation in relevant listservs and blogs, and study of relevant books and other resources.

Compensation is commensurate with experience.  This position is a 12-month contract position, with the possibility for longer term renewals.

Applicants should email a statement of interest, in the form of a cover letter, and resume to Carol Chase, Associate Dean for Academics, at  Any questions also should be directed to Dean Chase.

April 14, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


If you have not completed the ASP survey sent by John Mollenkamp, please take the time to do so now. Or, as they say, the beatings (or harassing emails) will continue until morale improves (or until all ASPer's have responded to the survey).

I have made a plea over the listserv, as have a number of my illustrious colleagues, to finish the survey for yourself. I stand by that plea. But if you are more civic-minded, please complete the survey for all of us. We hear lots and lots about the growth of empirical legal studies, but ASP has no empirical data on the state of our own existence at other schools. Right now, we have no hard data on what we are, who we are, or what we do for students. If we want to prove how important we are to student success, we need to know what is going on at other schools as well as our own.

So please, respond to the survey. If you should have received a link to the survey, but did not receive one, please contact Ruth McKinney at

For those of you in the Northeast...finish the survey now because the weather is FINALLY! looking good. The sooner you get the (very quick) survey out of the way you can go and play outside. (RCF)

April 13, 2011 in Current Affairs, Miscellany, News, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More thoughts on exhaustion

I read Amy's post on exhaustion, and I felt like someone was speaking to me. Then I read Amy's post on not having enough time, and I felt as if someone was answering my un-vocalized concern. Her posts inspired me to add to Amy's suggestions (which are all brilliant, by the way).

Like many of the students who make us want to pull our hair out, I am a "when I feel ready/when I'm in the mood" worker. I can't predict when that time will come, but I do need to match tasks to mood or I don't do them as well as they need to be done. I am disciplined enough so that everything that needs to get done gets accomplished. But emotional and mental energy play a large role in how I schedule my day and when I complete tasks. At this time of the year, my energy reserves are pretty low, and my stress level is pretty high. Scheduling tasks in a way that gives them the time they deserve without completely burning me out is critical to maintaining my own health.

  • If I know I have a day of busy work ahead of me, I come in an hour or so early and try to knock a couple of high-mental energy tasks off my list as soon as I walk in the door. I know I can't do more than one or two of these tasks at a time and I need to psych myself up to get them done. Because these types of tasks suck the mental energy out of me, I choose to do them on mornings when I know the rest of the day will be busy, but not difficult.
  • If I have a high-emotional energy task (such as an angry student) that I cannot choose to schedule when I feel most prepared, I find a close colleague who will give me a pep talk before the task. I am very lucky in that I have a number of wonderful colleagues I can turn to when I need someone to tell me that "this too shall pass" or that I just need to get through the meeting, and then we will go buy some chocolate.
  • Don't fear the mental health day if you need one. It's easy to think of all the things that need to get done and convince yourself that it's impossible to take a day to take care of yourself. But you are no good to the students if you are ready for a meltdown. Last week, after driving 2 hours to a regional campus, and getting stuck in more than 3 hours of traffic on my way home, I chose to take the next day off from work. Did I have 100 things that needed to get done? Yes. Would I have been effective? No. I was exhausted, frustrated (I hate driving), and I had pressing personal matters (doing my taxes) that were weighing on me. I got twice as much accomplished when I came back to work the following day because I took care of myself first.

Keep your head up. Even when you feel like putting your head on your desk would be really comforting, or when the exhaustion makes you want to cry. Remember that smiling, even if you don't feel like it, can improve your mood. And we are all in this together, in an exhausting, but wonderful, enriching field. (RCF)

April 12, 2011 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Second Annual Empire State Legal Writing Conference--May 12-13

Teaching Legal Writing Effectively to Prepare Students for Practice
Friday, May 13, 2011

Hosted by St. John’s University School of Law to be held at 101 Murray Street, Manhattan (Downtown)

ALWD Scholars’ Forum

May 12, 2011

Thursday, May 12th, ALWD Scholars’ Forum:  Looking for participants to present their scholarship ideas or works-in-progress to legal writing scholars.  Lisa Eichhorn and Marilyn Walter will be providing critique during the workshop, in addition to St. John’s Robin Boyle.  Lisa Eichhorn is Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Writing Program at University of South Carolina School of Law.  She serves as a Member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.  Marilyn Walter is Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School and Director of the Legal Writing Program.  She was the 2005 recipient of the AALS Legal Writing Award.  She also served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Association of the Legal Writing Directors.  Robin Boyle is the Assistant Dean for Academic Success and Professor of Legal Writing at St. John’s.  She currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Legal Writing Institute and on the Board of Directors for the LWI.  PLEASE SEND ALWD SCHOLARS’ SUBMISSIONS TO ROBIN BOYLE:

Friday, May 13th, Second Empire State LW Conference will focus on creative teaching ideas  attendees can implement immediately in their own classroom.  Our keynote speaker, Professor Tina Stark, will illuminate key points in teaching transactional drafting.  The conference will feature over 50 presenters from around the country. Various themes will be intertwined throughout the day, such as the following:  ethics, professionalism, and plagiarism; reaching today’s millenials;  grading efficiently; perspectives from the bench, bar, and clinical programs; experiential techniques; polishing drafts; oral presentations; lessons from international law; and current-day email memos.  

Registration:  Registration is free for both the Empire State Conference as well as the Scholars’ Forum.  Participants will be able to register on-line.  Here’s the link  :

(Please note: hotel information has been cut for space in the blog post. Please contact the conference for more info on hotel)

Times of the events:

The ALWD Scholars’ Forum will begin on Thursday, May 12th at 11:30 AM and end by 5:00.

The Empire State Conference on Friday, May 13th will open with Registration and Continental Breakfast at  8:15 AM.  The Dean’s Welcome is at 9 AM. The first session will begin at 9:30 AM.  The last session will conclude by 5:20 PM.  There will be six 50-minute sessions with four simultaneous presentations.  Lunch and coffee breaks will be provided.

The Empire State Legal Writing Conference Program Committee:

Robin Boyle, Conference Chair; Assistant Dean for Academic Success and Professor of Legal Writing, St. John’s University School of Law,

Ian Gallacher, Associate Professor of Law; Director, Legal Communication and Research, Syracuse University College of Law.

Tracy McGaugh, Associate Professor of Legal Process, Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

John Mollenkamp, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Academic Support, Cornell University Law School.

Stephen Paskey, Lecturer in Law, Legal Research and Writing Program, University at Buffalo Law School.

Amy R. Stein, Professor of Legal Writing, Coordinator of the Legal Writing Program, Assistant Dean for Adjunct Instruction, Hofstra University School of Law.

Marilyn Walter, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School.

April 11, 2011 in Meetings, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)