Saturday, May 14, 2011

A 3L's perspective on relationships with professors

I would like to give a hat tip to Sue Liemer at Southern Illinois University for bringing the following blog post to our attention on the Legal Writing Prof Blog.  Although the student's posting on Beyond Hearsay is specifically related to legal writing professors, I think it has merit for relationships with all doctrinal professors and ASP'ers.

J. Richard Lindsay, a 3L at Southern Illinois, writes about learning humility as a law student writer so that he could learn from his legal writing professor instead of seeing his professor as an enemy.  He writes about professors becoming allies when law students are able to get past the hurt and frustration of criticism of their work.  The link is here: Uncovering Secret Allies: How Humility Can Lead to Great Relationships.  (Amy Jarmon)

 

May 14, 2011 in Advice, Miscellany, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Interesting classroom design at University of Missouri - St. Louis

I need to give a hat tip to the Legal Writing Professor listserv for this interesting article on classroom design.  If your law school is doing a renovation project, you may find this concept of interest. 

Steven G. Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Law and Finance at the UMSL College of Business Administration, shared information on a unique classroom concept being used at UMSL.  The classrooms have flexible-seating and the latest high-tech capabilities.  Their design creates an atmosphere that has positive results for student engagement and learning as well as for instructor course design.  You can read the article that is published in the EDUCAUSE Quarterly entitled The Space Is the Message: First Assessment of a Learning Studio.

We have a classroom attached to the ASP suite here at Texas Tech which has flexible seating and all the technology of our other classrooms as well as lots of whiteboards.  However, what UMSL has done is far more innovative than our budget allowed.  Kudos to UMSL! 

I think this design will go into my "wish list" folder for whenever we get another building expansion.  Maybe you can incorporate some of the ideas in a renovation coming your way.  (Amy Jarmon)

May 12, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A resource for law students

A new batch of 1L students is being admitted for the fall.  They are eager to learn how to manage law school.  Law students are finishing their 1L year and are wondering what they can do to improve next year's grades. 

Both of these sets of students should read Andrew J. McClurg's 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor's Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law SchoolProfessor McClurg gives a lot of sound advice in his book.  He includes in it comments from his own 1L students and from legal writing professors.  He makes reference throughout the book to research studies and other sources.

In addition to the expected chapters on law school study skills and exam-taking, Professor McClurg also includes chapters on planning before law school starts, law student worries, law student types, well-being, extracurricular activities, and study aids.  The book is written in a readable style and packed with good information for law students.

It is obvious why I recommend the book to entering 1L students.  Why do I recommend it to those completing 1L year?  The reason is that they can use their new perspective on law school to gain from the strategies that they did not use during 1L year but realize would be helpful in future law school courses.  (Amy Jarmon)

 

May 10, 2011 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Especially for "newcomers" to Academic Support

Last week, Rebecca wrote about "Getting Together with Colleagues."  One line struck me as particularly important: "The primary value in the meeting," she wrote, "was the exchange of ideas between others in the Academic Success community." Newcomers to ASP: step right up and start asking questions! 

I joined the community in 1999.  My first assignment was to design and direct a program at Vermont Law School.  Although I had experience at designing and directing programs and helping students understand how to study more productively, none of that experience was law school experience.  The hiring committee was taking a risk by hiring someone who had only practiced law for two decades and taught in high schools and universities for a few years.  Thank goodness for the internet.  I don’t know how many times I typed “Law School Academic Support,” and “How to brief cases,” and “How to answer law school essay exams” in to AltaVista (yes, before Google was a household word), to find different perspectives. 

In those days, last century :-), there were few Academic Support meetings.  But as Amy Jarmon pointed out, "ASP folks are the kindest, most generous, most innovative, and helpful folks in the world in my viewpoint."  You bet, Amy! 

The ASP veterans ... Vernellia Randall, Ruta Stropus, Laurie Zimet, Paul Bateman, Linda Feldman, Kris Franklin, Ken Rosenblum, Paula Lustbader, Thorny Steele,  Kris Knaplund, Rich Litvin … (and others, I’m sure) helped me get my bearings, counseled me about what may work best for my students, and they infused in me a spirit I just can’t seem to shake after a dozen years!  When I was given the same chore at Roger Williams University School of Law (designing and directing), I turned to the same folks – along with so many others who had joined the village since I began – and found the same attitude: “How can I help you?  What do you need?”

The “community” is just that.  The Academic Support Village.  You find the villagers at the LSAC conferences (thanks to Kent Lollis), at the annual AALS meetings, and at regional gatherings that seem to pop up everywhere in the country.  Frankly, wherever two or more ASP professionals show up in the same room, the kind, generous, innovative help that Amy wrote about begins happening.  Guaranteed. 

In 2007 my wife and I moved to South America (we now live in Ecuador).  As much as I miss the face-to-face contact with the ASP villagers and the students we serve, I continue to work with law students as they struggle with how to score higher on exams (now as a Senior Instructor for Concord Law School, online).  And when I encounter a new problem – how to help a student with some aspect of exam-answering or bar exam prep (yes, there are always “new” problems, no matter how long you do this!), where do I turn?  The village.  For me, this comfortable neighborhood of McLuhan’s global village is where the answers are. 

How can I help?  Just ask. E-mail: excelinlawschool@dennistonsing.com  (djt)    

May 9, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)