Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Revised Announcement for University of Akron ASP Position

The Director, Academic Success Program position at University of Akron was originally posted here on the Blog on November 15, 2011.  The application directions have changed from the original posting.  The description itself is basically the same but re-formatted.  (Amy Jarmon) 

The University of Akron School of Law is accepting applications for the position of Director, Academic Support Program. 

Title: Director, Academic Success 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, demonstarted 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. 

Please complete the online application at: and attach a cover letter, resume and a list of references.

December 1, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Free Trials for Graphic Organizer Software

Students and ASP professionals are always looking for ways to turn information into visuals.  There are several products that provide free trials of their software.  With the one exception noted, you will lose your work after the 30-day period unless you purchase the software.  So, print out what you make before your trial period ends if you are not going to purchase the software.

SmartDraw:; free download (doesn't say how long the trial lasts)

NovaMind5:; 30-day free trial

Inspiration:; 30-day free trial

The Brain:; 30-day free trial; will be able to access Personal Brain software after 30 days, but cannot edit or make new graphic organizers - the features in the purchased product are amazing, but this one is probably  not within most student budgets.

Have fun making your graphic organizers for exam study and workshop presentations.  (Amy Jarmon)

November 29, 2011 in Exams - Studying, Learning Styles, Miscellany, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Let's Talk about Stress

You can feel the negative stress level when you walk into the doors of a law school during this time of year.  Negative stress is a problem for some law students all year long, but it tends to be prevalent for many more as the exam period approaches.  It helps to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly about stress to deal with it.

There is such a thing as positive stress.  This type of stress helps us respond in an emergency, helps us perform well under pressure, encourages us to reach our potential, and gets us moving and being productive in our lives.  This positive stress is sometimes called eustress.  When demands on us result in our brains responding neutrally to a situation, it is termed by some researchers as neutral stress or neustress.

When we talk about stress in law school, most people think of the negative stress which is also termed distress in the literature.  The symptoms of distress are warning signs to us that something is wrong and we need to deal with the situation.

Some of the common distress symptoms are:

  • Poor concentration
  • Short temper
  • Trembling hands
  • Churning stomach
  • Tight neck and shoulder muscles
  • Sore lower back
  • Edginess
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Confused thinking
  • Irritability
  • Accelerated speech
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disruption

Distress can lead to decreased productivity when studying, physical illness, fatigue, loss of interest, and decreased satisfaction.  If high levels of distress are experienced for prolonged periods, physical and psychological disorders can result including, migraine headaches, ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, panic attacks, psoriasis, and more.  In addition, a law student's distress can affect their relationships with others.

What are some positive ways you can manage your stress:

  • Avoid being a perfectionist.  Work towards an excellent result rather than a perfect result.  Rarely does a law student get every possible point on an exam question.  Rarely does a law student write the perfect paper.
  • Break down large projects into smaller tasks so that you are not overwhelmed.  Break every topic into subtopics so that you can make progress in smaller time blocks and focus on manageable pieces.  Break down a paper into small research, writing, and editing tasks.  For example, editing can be divided into looking for spelling errors, punctuation errors, grammar errors, logic of the material, flow and style of the writing, citation, or other categories.
  • Avoid people and situations that add to your stress.  Steer clear of certain classmates who cause you more stress because of their attitudes, hyperactivity, panic, or competitiveness; end conversations diplomatically and go on your way.  Find locations to study that do not add to your stress.  If the law school is too stress-laden, go to other academic buildings, a coffeehouse, the university library, or the business center of your apartment complex.
  • Get enough sleep.  Sleep makes an enormous difference in our being able to manage stressful situations.  It gives our body the defenses to fight disease.  Getting sick during exams will only cause you to have more stress.
  • Practice stress release.  Get a massage.  Do relaxation exercises.  Learn biofeedback.  Practice yoga.  Go for a run or swim.
  • Lower your alcohol, sugar, and caffeine intake.  All of these ingredients can cause your stress to increase even though you may initially think they are relaxing you or giving you energy.
  • Seek help if the stress is interfering with your life.  See a doctor or counselor if the stress has become more than what you can manage on your own.   

Take action to keep negative stress from getting the best of you.  It is far better to do something about it than wish you had later.  (Amy Jarmon) 


November 28, 2011 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)