Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pretty Please with Sugar on Top

It is time to call in the reinforcements.  For most law schools, exams are approximately 2 or 3 weeks away.  That means that law students need to focus on studying and ask for help from family and friends on life's more mundane issues.

You may want to consider the following: 

  • Relay to friends and family that you are going into hibernation mode and will not be available until semester break to paint the living room, clean out the attic, plan your sister's June wedding, or shop 'til you drop.  Tell them you love them, and promise a celebration after exams.
  • Warn friends and family that you will be returning phone calls and replying to e-mail less regularly and to be patient if you do not get back to them right away for non-emergencies.  (If you are really gutsy, ask them not to send you funny e-mails, chain poems, and You Tube video clips so that you can spend less time sorting e-mails.)
  • Alert those who are fashionistas in your life that you are swapping high style for comfort, low-maintenance duds until the end of exams - less laundry, less ironing, less dry cleaning - unless they want to provide you with "wardrobe mistress" assistance.
  • If you live with someone who is not a law student, see if you can negotiate that your (roommate, spouse, partner) take on extra chores until exams are over in return for your doing more chores throughout the semester break.
  • If you live with a law student, negotiate swapping off days for chores so that each of you can have some uninterrupted study time without dishes, vacuuming, dusting, and more.  Alternatively, do a "whirling dervish" cleaning together now and then settle for the bare minimum of picking up clutter and washing dishes.
  • If you own a dog, ask your parents if you can bring their "grand-dog" with you at Thanksgiving for an "autumn camp" experience until your exams are over.  You love Fluffy or Fido, but now is not the time to be rushing home constantly for walks, feedings, and play-time.
  • If Auntie Em loves to cook and lives nearby (or you will see her at Thanksgiving), ask if she would be willing to let you pay her for the ingredients and her time in order to make you several large casseroles for your freezer - law students need nourishment during studying.
  • Consider paying the neighbor's teenager to rake leaves, shovel snow, or do other outside work that can be time-consuming.
  • Ask friends who are already running errands in that part of town if they would mind picking up a few groceries, a prescription, or other items for you if you give them the money and a list.
  • If you have children, ask friends and family to babysit, set up play dates, have sleep overs, and generally provide some face time with your children so you can get some blocks of uninterrupted study time.  Offer to reciprocate over the semester break.

If there are other areas of your life that you need help with during your study crunch, speak up.  In fact, beg, plead, cajole, and get on your knees if you have to do so.  You can and will make it up to them over the semester break.  (Amy Jarmon)     

November 19, 2011 in Exams - Studying, Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Associate Director of Academic Support - Writing Specialist Position at TJSL

JOB TITLE:               Associate Director of Academic Success-Writing Specialist

DEPARTMENT:        Academic Success Program

REPORTS TO:           Director of Academic Success

POSITION STATUS: Full-time, Exempt

GENERAL SUMMARY: 

The Associate Director of Academic Success- Writing Specialist will support the mission and vision of the law school as a part of the professional staff in the Academic Success Program.   The successful candidate will ideally have prior experience with writing instruction or tutoring in a law school, other academic institution or law firm.  The Associate Director- Writing Specialist will take the lead in evaluating, teaching and otherwise assisting students with elevating their writing skills to a level commensurate with the demands of the legal profession and other professional settings.  The Associate Director- Writing Specialist will provide assistance with monitoring learning outcomes, academic performance, and academic support activities for all grade levels, and will participate in all other student retention activities as a part of the Student Services Team.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

Work with the Director of Academic Success to administer the academic success program, to include providing one-on-one and small group tutoring; providing support and guidance to the advanced student mentors/TA’s, and all other tasks as assigned. 

Administer and review diagnostic writing assessments.

Hold tutorial sessions regarding mechanical writing skills, including but not limited to grammar, sentence structure, small scale organization and dictation.

Develop and supervise the implementation of individual writing skills remediation plans for students.

Work collaboratively with the legal writing faculty, the Director of Academic Success and the Associate Deans to assess and address the current needs for programming and support.

Provide structured writing, organizational and analytical assistance to current students.

Work with the Director to tailor current programming to meet the needs of the incoming first semester first year students each term.

Participate in the presentation of academic success program activities for first term first year students beginning with the New Student Orientation Program.

Share academic success program teaching responsibilities with other Academic Success Program staff.

Povide administrative support to the Academic Success Program.

Serve as a member of the Student Services Team to provide support, counseling and advice to students and recent graduates.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • JD degree or other graduate degree.
  • Minimum 3 years experience practicing law or delivering writing instruction in an academic institution or law firm.
  • Admission to a state bar in the United States preferred but not required.
  • Previous experience in legal education preferred.
  • Prior academic tutoring or experience in an academic success program preferred.

WORK SCHEDULE:

 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday, weekends and evenings as needed.

SALARY:

Commensurate with experience.

Website for job posting:

http://www.tjsl.edu/sites/default/files/files/Associate-Director-of-Academic-Success-Writing-Specialist.pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 17, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Staying Motivated

Students are really tired at this point in the semester.  If they have stayed on top of things, they will be able to have more down time during the Thanksgiving holidays.  That should help to recharge their batteries.  If they are behind, they should still get some rest during the break; but they will need to study as well.

Here are some things to consider to keep yourself motivated during the remainder of the semester and through exams:

  • If your law school reading and exam periods begin after only one week of classes post-Thanksgiving, consider doing all of your reading for the last week over the Thanksgiving break.  Then review before class for 30 - 45 minutes to refresh your memory.  Not having to read the last week of classes will give you lots of exam review time - a motivator in itself.
  • Set realistic goals for each week for exam study.  What subtopics or topics can you intensely review for each exam course?  How many practice questions can you complete?  If you set unrealistic goals, you will de-motivate yourself; you will become discouraged when it becomes obvious that you will not meet the goals.
  • For each exam course, make a list of topics and subtopics that you must learn before the final exam.  By focusing on subtopics, it will make the list very long.  However, it is easier to find time to study one or two subtopics than to find time for an entire topic.  You will feel less overwhelmed because you can make progress in small increments.  Also, you will be able to cross off subtopics more quickly than entire topics.  Thus, you will see your progress more easily and stay motivated.
  • Read each of your outlines through from cover to cover each week for each exam course.  This reading is not to learn everything - that is what you will do in intense review of the topics or subtopics.  Instead this additional outline reading is to keep all of the information fresh no matter how long it has been since you intensely reviewed a topic or will be before you will get to intense review for some topics.  You will feel better about your exam review as you catch yourself saying "I know this mataerial" or "I remember all of this information" about prior topics that you studied.  You will motivate yourself for future topics waiting for intense review by realizing "I'll be able to learn this" or "I remember some of this already even though I haven't studied it carefully."
  • Take your breaks strategically.  Sprinkle short 5-minute breaks into longer 3- or 4-hour study blocks.  Get up and walk arouond or stretch on those breaks rather than sitting still.  After a large block of study time, take a longer break to exercise or eat a meal.  Use the breaks as rewards for sticking to your task until you have completed what you planned to finish. 
  • Surround yourself with encouragers.  Avoid classmates who are all doom and gloom.  Have phone conversations with family and friends who will cheer you on and support you.  Find classmates who are willing to work together to keep all of you in the support group motivated and on track.
  • Plan several fun things that you want to do over the semester break: taking a day trip with friends, going to the cinema several times, attending a concert, playing basketball with a younger sibling, shopping for new clothes.  By having things to look forward to, you can tell yourself "I just need to keep up the hard work for a few more weeks and then I get to do (fill in the blank) as a reward."

Think about individual strategies that work for you to stay motivated but might not apply to a classmate.  Examples of motivators for getting your work done might be: time with your spouse, time with your child, time with your pet, spiritual devotion time, time for a longer run on the weekend.  (Amy Jarmon)   
    

November 17, 2011 in Exams - Studying, Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Two Academic Support/Bar Positions at Case Western

CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for a Director of the Academic and Writing Support Program and Writing Center beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year.   The individual will also have the faculty rank of Instructor.  Depending on experience and qualifications, the initial contract will be for a period ranging from one to five years.    

This faculty member will have the following responsibilities:  1) staff and supervise the Legal Writing Center; 2) provide workshop instruction and individual tutoring to students in need of academic support; and 3) design and present course and supplementary instruction in bar-exam preparation. Candidates should have experience in academic support work and bar exam preparation.  Minimum academic requirement:  JD or equivalent from a US or foreign law school. 

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Contact:  Catherine Adkins, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, (216) 368-2108, cca22@case.edu.  Further information about the law school is available at http://law.case.edu.

 

CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for the position of Assistant Director of the Academic and Writing Support Program and Writing Center beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year.   The individual will also have the faculty rank of Instructor.  Depending on experience and qualifications, the initial contract will be for a period ranging from one to five years.    

This faculty member will have the following responsibilities, along with the program’s Director:  1) staff and supervise the Legal Writing Center; 2) provide workshop instruction and individual tutoring to students in need of academic support; and 3) design and present courses and supplementary instruction in bar-exam preparation. Candidates should have experience in academic support work and bar exam preparation.  Minimum academic requirement:  JD or equivalent from a US or foreign law school. 

In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. 

Case Western Reserve University provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity at 216-368-8877 to request a reasonable accommodation. Determinations as to granting reasonable accommodations for any applicant will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Contact:  Catherine Adkins, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, (216) 368-2108, cca22@case.edu.  Further information about the law school is available at http://law.case.edu.

November 16, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Director of Academic Support Position at University of Akron

The University of Akron School of Law is accepting applications for the position of Director, Academic Support Program. The responsibilities associated with this position include: counseling and tutoring students to ensure academic success and retention; conducting workshops and programs on analytical, learning, and time management skills; coordinating, training, and supervising peer tutoring program, including recruiting peer tutors and helping to design effective peer tutoring sessions; designing academic support for students, including working with professors and implementing skills training; assisting students with basic writing and analytical skills; organizing and coordinating the teaching of a skills-based first-year course and a final-year bar preparation course for at-risk students; other duties assigned. J.D. degree required. Background in education or skills training, including effective involvement in academic support programs highly preferred. Legal experience preferred. Other qualifications include demonstrated record of effective self-starting and follow-through, demonstrated success in assisting student learning, ability to identify methods to enhance learning for multiple learning styles, ability to build rapport with all students, including at-risk students, and demonstrated ability to work well with a variety of constituencies.

Send cover letter, resume, and list of references to:

Angela Smith, asm17@uakron.edu

 

November 15, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Resource for Students Studying for the MBE

Keith Elkin, Dean of Students at Dickinson School of Law - Penn State Law, has published a book through Wolters Kluwer on studying for the MBE.  The book is titled MBE: Beginning Your Campaign to Pass the Bar Exam and was published in the summer.

Keith teaches Fundamental Skills for the Bar Examination at his law school and has based the book on his experiences with his students.  His goal in the course and with the book is to prepare students for their commercial bar review courses by providing them with practical ways to study and learn for the bar exam.  Thus, the book is an early preparation tool to be used in law school bar preparation courses or by students who need additional learning techniques to be successful.

His approach is focused especially on the bar-takers who will struggle in their bar preparation: poor performance in law school, previously failing the bar, foreign lawyers, and others.  He explains the several steps in his approach to preparation and provides the reader with many exercises to learn how to implement his strategies.  Using the methods in his course and book has increased his "at risk" students' bar passage rate significantly.

Chapter 1 of the book is an introduction to the bar exam.  In Chapter 2, the author looks at the broad lens concept as a framework for identifying the fundamental legal issues and the applicable legal rules for questions.  Chapters 3 and 4 look at the narrow lens framework of actively reading fact patterns, asking questions during that reading, and answering those questions raised.  Chapter 5 demonstrates how to learn through wrong answers: identifying the mistakes, the reasons for the mistakes, and the right answers.  A quick wrap-up of tips is provided in Chapter 6.

If you have not yet seen Keith's book, I would suggest that you take a look at it.  This MBE resource may be valuable to you for a bar preparation course syllabus and for your students in their early bar preparation.  (Amy Jarmon)

 

   

 

November 15, 2011 in Bar Exam Preparation, Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)