Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Exam Skills Book

I just received a review copy of Barry Friedman and John CP Goldberg's Open Book, Succeeding on Exams from the First Day of Law School. While I have not had the chance to read the book closely, my first impression is that this is a book we will be seeing a lot in ASP. It is relatively short (180 pages) and uses cartoons and humor throughout. The structure of the book is clear; I can flip to the table of contents to find chapters on specific topics (IRACing, outlining, etc) without having to search. It starts with an introduction on how to use the book, which is especially useful, since most students do not know how to use exam skills books.

There are many good ASP books out there, but I think this one will get added to the pile I use and recommend to students. (RCF)

October 8, 2011 in Exams - Studying, Exams - Theory, Publishing, Reading, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Welcome Blair Matsumoto at Thomas Jefferson

Blair Matsumoto is the acting Associate Director of Bar Preparation at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and an adjunct professor teaching legal Synthesis and first year Academic Success classes.  He received his J.D. from California Western School of Law and is a member of the California, Maryland and District of Columbia Bars.  Prior to coming to Thomas Jefferson School of Law, he was a litigation attorney with Howrey LLP and an Assistant Attorney General for the District of Columbia serving as agency counsel for District of Columbia Public Schools.

Please welcome Blair when you see him at a workshop in your region! 

October 7, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Welcome to Antonia Miceli at Saint Louis

Antonia Miceli has joined Saint Louis University School of Law as the Director of Bar Exam Preparation.  She is a member of the California, Missouri, Illinois, and District of Columbia bars.  A McGeorge Law School graduate, Antonia practiced and held two federal clerkships before beginning ASP work.  To learn more about Antonia go to her faculty profile on the SLU web pages: Antonia Miceli Profile.

Welcome to the ASP community!

October 6, 2011 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Job opening in student affairs at Loyola Law LA

Vice President and Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Please include the reference number when referring to this job.

Division: Law School

Department: Office of the Dean

Job Description Summary:

Loyola Law School Los Angeles opened its doors in 1920.   Located in downtown Los Angeles – a legal, financial and media capital – Loyola Law School is home to prominent faculty, dedicated students and cutting-edge programs.  The first ABA-approved law school in California with a pro bono requirement for graduation, Loyola Law is committed to legal ethics and the public interest, and has produced top attorneys for nearly a century. 

Loyola Law School seeks an innovative, dynamic, visionary, student-centered leader to:

  • Manage the areas of Student Affairs, Enrollment Management (Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Accounts), Registrar, and Career Services with the focus on high quality and student-centered approaches to delivery of services.  Provide leadership in the development and implementation of strategic plans.  Create an assessment plan and measure performance against objectives.  Recommend changes or enhancements based on feedback and evaluation.  Develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with laws and regulations relevant to the Student Affairs area. 
  • Work with academic Associate Deans and faculty committees to develop and implement programs, policies and rules, including but not limited to, academic initiatives, academic calendar, academic awards, student conduct and reinstatements.  In consultation with the Academic Dean, oversee the development, implementation and maintenance of the annual class schedule.
  • Work with the Associate Dean of Finance and Administration on relevant administrative functions.  Direct the development and administration of the budgets for assigned functional areas.


Bachelor’s degree required with substantial relevant experience. Graduate or professional degree desirable.  Must remain current on legal issues in higher education, including policy formulation, implementation and compliance.


Minimum 6 years of experience in progressively responsible senior administrative positions in higher education student services, preferably law school.  Possess record of achievement commensurate with appointment as the chief student affairs officer of a professional school.


Highly developed administrative, organizational and leadership skills and demonstrated success in program development and management.  Ability to make an executive judgment independent of direct supervision.  Must maintain highest degree of personal/professional integrity, respect for privacy and confidentiality, and a strong sense of ethics.  Knowledge of current philosophies in higher education and senior management administrative practices, and the ability to understand and work within the Law School culture.  Highly effective interpersonal and communication skills to work collaboratively and maintain open dialogue with students, faculty, staff and administrators.  Excellent counseling, mediation/conflict resolution, negotiation and diplomatic skills are essential.  Ability to communicate effectively on diverse topics to diverse groups, and to lead and manage change.  Knowledge and understanding of current and emerging trends in legal issues, policies and principles in higher education, including policy formulation, implementation and compliance.  Advanced knowledge of assessment, predictive modeling tools and retention principles.  Exemplary communication skills (both written and oral).  Ability to prepare comprehensive reports and executive summaries incorporating complex, highly technical information.  Skill in identifying problems, analyzing data and making recommendations.  Ability to successfully manage multiple complex projects simultaneously and meet project deadlines, often with competing priorities. Must be well-organized and thorough with great attention to detail. Must possess the ability to manage personnel successfully (supervision, staff development, resolution of personnel issues, etc.).  Ability to develop and manage an organization within allocated budget.  Computer competency with Microsoft Office suite, database management, effective use of websites and other relevant technology.

We offer a competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision plans, 403(b) retirement plan, long term disability, term life and AD&D insurance, tuition remission and vacation and sick leave.

Loyola Marymount University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of sex/gender, race, age of 40 or over, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, military leave, veteran status, or any other status protected by law, in matters pertaining to employment.

Application Process:

Complete an online job application and submit a resume to:

Date posted: 09-21-11


October 5, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Welcome a new trio of ASP'ers to Loyola Law in LA

Susan Smith Bakhshian is the Director of Bar Programs & Academic Success and Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where she has taught since 1997.  She currently teaches Bar Exam Writing, Law & Process:  Privacy Torts (an academic success class), Remedies, and California Civil Procedure, but she also has 17 years of experience teaching Legal Writing, Legal Drafting, and Professional Responsibility.  As a 1991 alum of Loyola’s evening program, she is particularly interested helping working students succeed in law school and on the bar exam.  Susan's facultly profile on the Loyola web pages can be found here: Susan Bakhshian Faculty Profile.  

Anne E. Wells is the Assistant Director of Academic Success and Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.  A graduate of Loyola, she currently teaches Professional Responsibility, Law & Process: Privacy Torts, Legal Drafting, and Bankruptcy, and has taught Legal Writing.  She began teaching at Loyola as an adjunct in 2007 and joined the faculty full time in 2009.  She brings a wealth of law firm practice experience to the position, having practiced extensively in the areas of bankruptcy, reorganization, and commercial law following her graduation from Loyola in 1991.  Anne's faculty profile on the law school web pages can be found at: Anne Wells Faculty Profile.  

Jessica Levinson is a Visiting Associate Clinical Professor at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. She teaches Law & Process: Privacy Torts, and Money, Politics, and the Supreme Court. She was previously the Director of Political Reform at the Center for Governmental Studies, where her work focused on election laws and political reform issues, and an adjunct professor at Loyola. After graduating from Loyola in 2005, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable James V. Selna, and an associate at the law firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.  More information about Jessica can be found in her faculty profile here: Jessica Levinson Faculty Profile

Please welcome our new colleagues at Loyola in LA!

October 5, 2011 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Essay Exam Answering Tip #10411 - Avoid Expository Writing

In law school, as well as in the practice of law, you will have many opportunities to demonstrate your skills at many types of writing. One type of writing you will need to use from time to time is expository writing. Expository writing is a rhetorical mode of writing in which the purpose of the author is to inform, explain, describe, or define his or her subject to the reader.

However, when answering law school essay exam questions, you are called upon to demonstrate a different type of writing. Exams are opportunities to show your professor your skills of resolving legal problems by identifying issues, stating concise rules that will be used to resolve the problems, then applying your analytical talents to reason to conclusions. That requires a departure from expository writing.

By way of example, in order to prove a negligence claim, a plaintiff must provide evidence of several elements, one of which is the existence of a “duty” on the part of the defendant to act with reasonable care in relation to the plaintiff. The following is unnecessary in an essay response:

“Duty” can serve as a touchstone when trying to understand the essence of the concept of negligence. The notion of duty appears to be a universal keystone in legal systems throughout the world. In civilized societies, all human action is conformable to the law, which members of each society are required to obey. Duty may be obliged by law or by contract. When imposed by law, a duty is an obligation requiring the actor to conform to a certain standard of conduct for protection of others against unreasonable risks. The word “duty” is used throughout the Restatement of Torts to denote the fact that the actor is required to conduct himself in a particular manner; if he does not do so he runs the risk of becoming subject to liability to another to whom the duty is owed for any injury sustained by such other, of which that actor’s conduct is an actual and proximate cause. 

From an essay-writing standpoint (outside of law school) this may be a fine paragraph. Including it in an expository writing could be helpful. Although introductory explanations, historical justifications, moral discussions, and segue paragraphs tend to round out good collegiate expository writing, these are not hallmarks of good law school essay exam writing.

{This “tip” is one of a continuing series.  Law school academic professionals are authorized to use this material in their work however they choose – and law students who read these tips are encouraged to integrate them into their practice sessions. To see where this tip fits in the grand schema: Click here.} (djt)

October 4, 2011 in Advice, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Macey Edmondson joins the Ole Miss School of Law

Macey Edmondson is the Acting Dean for Student Affairs at The University of Mississippi School of Law.  She received her J.D. in 2001 from The University of Mississippi School of Law and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Leadership and Higher Education program.  Edmondson oversees orientation, graduation, students with disabilities, and student organizations.   

We are delighted to have Macey join the ASP community!

October 4, 2011 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Welcome Kathleen Dombrow to Whittier Law

Kathleen Dombrow is a new Graduate Fellow in Academic Support at Whittier. She received her J.D. degree cum laude from Chapman University School of Law. While at Chapman Law, she served as a Dean’s Fellow for Legal Research and Writing. She then entered private practice focusing on Family Law.  More information on Kathleen can be found on the Whittier web pages here: Kathleen Dombrow Profile.

Please welcome Kathleen to ASP work when you see her at an ASP event!

October 3, 2011 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Job, career, or calling?

Stephanie West Allen's Idelawg blog had a post this past week with a link to an article in the Los Angeles Lawyer written by Timothy A. Tosta on the subject in the title line of this posting: Job, calling, or career article .  It is a thoughtful article on how as lawyers we make a choice to have our practice of law amount to just being a job or career or amount to much more as our calling. 

As ASP'ers, we can assist our students in not only learning how to study more effectively but also in thinking about where they want to be in their lives in the future.  How will the practice of law define their lives?  Their beginning to think about that bigger question now will help them remember to continue to refine the answer later.  (Amy Jarmon)

October 2, 2011 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)