Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Academic Success Position at Capital University

Capital University Law School, Columbus, Ohio

Professor and Director of Academic Success

Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio is accepting applications for the Professor and Director of Academic Success, a teaching and administrative position designed to help students develop the skills necessary for law school success.  The Director works closely with students, faculty, and administrators to improve students’ learning skills and their academic outcomes.

Capital’s academic success program is premised on the idea that instruction in basic law school skills, coupled with individualized feedback and support, can significantly enhance students’ academic success.  The current program consists of three components designed to help first-year students:  a two-week, pre-matriculation session that aims to refine study skills and prepare students for law school; a fall session that utilizes group and individual instruction to enhance analytical skills, study techniques, time management methods, and exam-taking skills; and a spring term program that offers students one-on-one academic success instruction.

The Director, in collaboration with the faculty, is responsible for developing, administering and teaching in all three parts of the program.  Moreover, the Director will develop an assessment tool to evaluate annually each aspect of the academic support program, including those participating and/or teaching in the program. The Director will also review and evaluate the effectiveness of the academic success program’s course content, methodology, and instructional materials. The Director will meet with students to review work on graded exercises, provide one-on-one assistance for students with academic deficiencies, and assist in academic counseling. The Director will also compile information and statistics related to student performance and prepare reports for management review. 

The Director will step into an on-going program complete with detailed lesson plans, skill-set exercises, and research on ASP methodologies.  At the same time, the Director will be expected to develop his or her own academic philosophy, and to seek out the current best practices in the field and integrate them into Capital’s ASP model.   The position thus offers both a solid base on which to build, and an opportunity to be innovative in order to improve the program.  The Director will work under the supervision of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and in collaboration with all Capital faculty and administrators. 

Applicants for this position should possess a J.D. degree, at least three years of legal experience, a record of academic success, excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, and a passion for working with students.  Previous law school or other teaching experience, and advanced degrees in education or counseling are a plus.  The salary is commensurate with experience, with a range of between $80,000 and $90,000 for a twelve-month contract, along with medical, dental, educational, pension, and life insurance benefits.  The Director holds the title of Professor of Academic Success and is eligible for a long-term (five-year) contract after three years of satisfactory service.

Please send a letter of interest and resume, including the names of three references, by March 1, 2011, to the address set out below (electronic submissions are encouraged).

Professor Dan Kobil

Chair, Faculty Appointments

Capital University Law School

303 E. Broad St.

Columbus, Ohio  43215

SUBJECT:  Director of Academic Success


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

Friday, February 4, 2011

International Journal of Wellbeing

Stephanie West Allen's Idealawg has noted the new International Journal for Wellbeing in a recent posting.  The posting includes an article table of contents and a link to the journal.  Check out the link to Idealawg and to find out more about this new free, on-line resource.  You can register at the journal's website to receive new issues or to submit content for review.  (Amy Jarmon) 

February 4, 2011 in Books, Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Director of Academic Success Position at Charlotte Law

Director of the CharlotteLaw Program for Academic Success

Charlotte School of Law (CharlotteLaw) seeks applications for an experienced Director of the CharlotteLaw Program for Academic Success.

The Charlotte School of Law invites applicants for the position of Director of the CharlotteLaw Program for Academic Success ("CPAS"). This is a non-faculty full-time administrative position starting as soon as possible.

The Director of the CharlotteLaw Program for Academic Success reports directly to the Assistant Dean for Academics. He or she will work with students seeking to improve academic performance or experiencing academic difficulty. The Director performs other academic support functions essential to promoting students’ success in law school and to the success and growth of the institution.

The school is a member of The InfiLaw System, a consortium of independent law schools committed to making legal education more responsive to the realities of new career dynamics. Its mission is to establish student-centered, American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools in underserved markets that graduate students with practice-ready skills, and achieve true diversity programs aimed at student academic and career success.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

• hiring, training, and supervising CPAS staff and managing the general operations of the CPAS program including the budget, short and long-term goals and strategies, coordination of offerings within the program and with departments within the law school;

• designing and implementing strategies to assist all students, particularly high risk students, students in academic difficulty, and those for whom English is a second language;

• establishing and monitoring department metrics;

• in collaboration with InfiLaw Consortium Best Practice Groups, assessing the effectiveness of the existing CPAS program and recommending improvements;

• in collaboration with other members of the administration, evaluating and creating reports on statistical data regarding students’ academic performance, utilizing entrance data and bar passage results;

• providing individual tutoring and counseling as well as leading group study sessions and Teaching Assistant training workshops;

• collaborate with faculty through attendance at faculty meetings;

• Assist and facilitate the bar exam preparation program and bar-exam related events;

• designing and implementing the academic success component of the orientation programs;


The Director must be a licensed attorney with one to three years of legal experience and possess at least two years of full-time professional academic support experience (either as part of a graduate or law school program) or teaching experience (i.e., legal writing or comparable teaching experience in writing and analytical skills training).

He or she must have the ability to think creatively and critically about the goals of academic support in legal education and to design and present programs to meet those goals.

He or she must also have the ability to counsel, advise and instruct individual students from diverse backgrounds. A genuine interest in and ability to work closely with faculty, staff and students to enhance program effectiveness is required in addition to an excellent academic record including a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 in law school and excellent written and verbal communication skills. The Director must possess experience with an existing law school’s academic support program with demonstrated ability to do the following:

• designing an academic success curriculum that ties into and builds upon the program of legal education
• designing and teaching workshops and/or classes that explicitly teach law school exam and study skills in the context of substantive law
• recruiting, training, supervising and managing academic success counselors and teaching assistants
• administering a budget
• advising students generally on matters such as course load, course selection and ultimate career goals
• counseling students on academic probation.

The CharlotteLaw Program for Academic Success is working to build its online resources. Candidates with experience with learning management software or online instruction preferred.


Licensed by a State Bar Association.

Salary is commensurate with experience. CharlotteLaw offers a full benefits package. For more information about Charlotte School of Law, please visit

If helping others and working in a dynamic workplace is what you feel passionate about and you are looking for a new challenge and a chance to put your experience to work in an innovative environment – Charlotte School of Law may be the place for you.

Please send a resume, the names of three references (including addresses and phone numbers) to or via mail to:

Charlotte School of Law

Human Resources
2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC, 28208

Charlotte School of Law is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

February 3, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Should law schools drop the LSAT as a requirement for admission?

The ABA recently reported that they are considering droppingthe LSAT as a requirement for admission to law school. Some test will be required for law school admission, as yet to be determined (and only if this goes through.)  I don't know how I feel about this, because there are compelling arguments on both sides. It is something ASPer's should be thinking about, because the decision will impact them.

For the LSAT:

It is an imperfect measure of a student's chance of success during their first year of law school. College grades are wildly subjective, and cannot be used as an accurate measure of a student's potential for success in the law school curriculum. While there are arguments that the test only measures socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or ability to focus, there are also valid arguments that the test is reliable at measuring a student's chance of first-year success, as well as success on the bar exam. Without the LSAT, admissions would have to move to other, less-reliable methods of assessing a student's potential, such as their grades in conjuntion with the rigor of their undergraduate curriculum. This would disadvantage students of lower socioeconomic status more than the LSAT currently does, because first-generation college students often attend the college they can afford, not the best college they can attend.

ASP offices will be inundated with students who are unprepared for the rigor law school. As law schools and the ABA discuss other reliable tests of student potential for success, ASP offices will have to handle the increased student demand for services from students who would have been advised against going to law school if they had a measure of their real chances of success.

Against the LSAT:

The LSAT is more flawed that reliable. The fact that commercial prep courses can report anywhere from 5-10 point jump in test scores means that the test is teachable, if the student has the money for a very expensive prep course. Students with great potential are left out because they cannot afford to study for the test because they need to work in addition to studying for school, need to work to feed and cloth their children, or assist their family. The test measures a very limited number of skills required for success in law school, one of which is ability to focus for 3-4 hours. This disadvantages students with disabilities, even if they receive accommodations. In sum, the test is a weak measure of student success, and weeds out a large number of students because they cannot afford the preparation necessary to do well on the test.

ASP offices would be able to serve the needs of students who would otherwise be left out of legal education. These students are often the most driven students, students who have succeed in life despite great challenges, and the most likely to listen to the advice of ASP professionals. Getting rid of the LSAT, and using some other test with less weight and inherent bias, would mean ASP could go back to its roots, working for better access to law school.

(My summaries are adapted from the 3-5 articles I have read in the last few days, both for and against dropping the test.)

I believe both arguments have merit. Unfortunately, this is black and white; the test is dropped or it is required for admission. Personally, I have seen it both ways; I have had students with great grades, yet woefully unprepared for law school, change their minds because of their score on the test. In these cases, I think the test was necessary for students to get an accurate picture of their potential. I have also had students with enormous potential, but terrible LSAT scores, get weeded out because they could not afford a prep course or time off of a job to study for the test. I think we have all had students in our office who had the means for intensive test prep, such as one-on-one tutoring, which resulted in a high score that masked their lack of preparation for the rigors of the law school curriculum. I wish we knew what the alternative admissions test might look like, because we would could be better prepared for changes to the composition of the student body. I think this is an important thing to think about, because it has the ability to really impact our community and our jobs. (RCF)

February 2, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Testing is Learning

This is actually an update from a post I wrote earlier in the year. The journal Science has recently reported a new study that proves that people learn best by being tested. Compared to creating concept maps, repeated studying, and reading, students who were tested on material knew the material better than students who employed other techniques.  

This is scientific confirmation of what many in ASP have been preaching to our students for a while...take practice tests. The disappointing implication from this study is that law students aren't learning if testing is what creates real learning. The sole summative assessment that comprises most of the testing or assessment in most classes in law school isn't going to do much for learning. Science has already demonstrated that feedback is critical to improvement, and summative assessments don't have a lot of that, either.

The implications for ASP...keep doing what most of us are already doing. Give our students lots of practice tests, and give them feedback on those practice tests. Develop or borrow assessments that test material in increments, so students don't have to wait at least half the semester to know enough to take an old exam from their professor.

This is further confirmation of the prescience of Ingrid Michelsen Hillinger of BC Law and Rory D. Bahadur of Washburn, both of who presented at AALS on how to give formative assessments to students without increasing the grading burden. Not only were their presentations fascinating, but they shared valuable lessons on how to help our students succeed, without crushing numbers of exams. While ASP classes as a whole tend to be smaller in size than doctrinal classes, if you have a large student body, their lessons on group projects and peer assessment are valuable tools. (RCF)

For more information on the study:

To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test
Published: January 20, 2011
Test-taking actually helps people learn, and it works better than repeated studying, according to new research.


January 31, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)