Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two Positions at Western State University

Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills and Director of Bar Success

Western State University College of Law

Western State University College of Law invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills and Director of Bar Success, with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2012.  The professor’s primary responsibility will be to work with J.D. students to reach their full academic potential for performance in law school, on the bar exam, and after graduation. 

Responsibilities include:

  • designing and assisting with the law school’s bar exam preparation classes, workshops, and events;
  • assisting the Director of Academic Support in designing and implementing innovative academic support programs and evaluating existing bar preparation programs;
  • teaching workshops and/or classes related to bar exam preparation; and
  • Working with students in individual and small group sessions. 

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and knowledgeable professional exhibiting a high degree of organizational skills, sensitivity and integrity.  Candidates must have a strong commitment to teaching.  Candidates must be willing to work some evenings, so as to be able to design programs and provide support for students in the school’s part-time evening program.  Although prior experience with bar exam instruction or high-stakes testing is not required, it is a plus.  Experience with counseling and outcomes assessment is highly valued. 

Candidates should have a J.D., a solid academic record, strong organizational and interpersonal skills, the ability to work collaboratively with faculty and senior administration, and excellent writing and speaking skills. Experience in a law school academic support program or other relevant teaching experience is preferred.  Salary will be commensurate with experience.  

This position is a full-time, long term contract-based faculty position. The position offers an initial one-year contract, after which, the faculty member is eligible to apply for a presumptively renewable long-term contract (5 years).  Long Term Contract Faculty are eligible for research grants and have the same voting right on all aspects of faculty governance as tenure-track faculty, except selection and promotion of tenured and tenure-track faculty.

 Western State is located in Fullerton, California and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. In furtherance of Western State’s institutional commitment to a diverse faculty, we strongly encourage applications from women and minorities. 

Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and list of references to: Paula Manning, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Academic Support, 1111 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831-3014 or pmanning@wsulaw.edu.

Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills—Academic Support

Western State University College of Law

Western State University College of Law invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills, with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2012.  The professor’s primary responsibility will be to work with J.D. students to reach their full academic potential for performance in law school, on the bar exam, and after graduation. 

Responsibilities include:

  • designing and assisting with the law school’s academic support classes, workshops, and events;
  • assisting the Director of Academic Support in designing and implementing innovative academic support programs and evaluating existing programs;
  • teaching workshops and/or classes related to law school and bar exam preparation; and
  • Working with students in individual and small group sessions.

The ideal candidate will be an energetic and knowledgeable professional exhibiting a high degree of organizational skills, sensitivity and integrity.  Candidates must have a strong commitment to teaching.  Candidates must be willing to work some evenings, so as to be able to design programs and provide support for students in the school’s part-time evening program.  Experience with counseling and outcomes assessment is highly valued.

Candidates should have a J.D., a solid academic record, strong organizational and interpersonal skills, the ability to work collaboratively with faculty and senior administration, and excellent writing and speaking skills. Experience in a law school academic support program or other relevant teaching experience is preferred.  Salary will be commensurate with experience.  

This position is a full-time, long term contract-based faculty position. The position offers an initial one-year contract, after which, the faculty member is eligible to apply for a presumptively renewable long-term contract (5 years).  Long Term Contract Faculty are eligible for research grants and have the same voting right on all aspects of faculty governance as tenure-track faculty, except selection and promotion of tenured and tenure-track faculty. 

 Western State is located in Fullerton, California and is fully accredited by the American Bar Association. In furtherance of Western State’s institutional commitment to a diverse faculty, we strongly encourage applications from women and minorities. 

Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and list of references to: Paula Manning, Associate Professor of Law and Director of Academic Support, 1111 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831-3014 or pmanning@wsulaw.edu .

 

February 22, 2012 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

ASP position at CharlotteLaw

Charlotte School of Law is still looking for a Director of the CharlotteLaw Program for Academic Success.  The institution benefits from a dedicated, collegial and supportive faculty as well as academic success counselors who are devoted both to helping students and to continually developing their expertise in teaching and learning. The institution also values innovation and is interested in finding someone with experience developing programming for advanced students.

 

Please feel free to forward this announcement to your friends and colleagues in the field who may be interested.  Applications may be submitted online at the school’s job announcement website at:

http://www.charlottelaw.edu/about/jobdetail.aspx?ID=154.

February 18, 2012 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 17, 2012

ASP and Professionalism position at UF

The University of Florida Levin College of Law is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Dean for Academic Support & Professionalism.  The Assistant Dean for Academic Support & Professionalism is primarily responsible for developing, leading, coordinating, and implementing programs that support the College of Law’s goals of assisting law students as they develop and improve legal study and test-taking skills, adjust to the challenges of law school, pass the bar exam, and prepare to enter the legal profession.  The duties include administration of various components of the academic and bar support programs which include, but are not limited to, designing academic support for students, assisting students with basic writing and analytical skills, conducting various academic success and bar preparation workshops, and collecting and evaluating data to help assess the effectiveness of the academic and bar support programs.   Academic Advisement duties include working with faculty and relevant faculty committees to develop career-focused academic advisement materials and ensuring appropriate periodic review of the materials and programs.    The Professionalism duties include assisting the Associate Dean for Student Affairs in designing and developing programs and resources for students to promote a culture of professionalism at the law school in coordination with the Center for Career Development, as well as, coordinating with faculty on programs related to professionalism.  The position is a full-time, non tenure-track academic staff position.  This position reports to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

 

The Assistant Dean for Academic Support & Professionalism must relate well to students and have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate professionally through both verbal and written means.  The Assistant Dean must demonstrate the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituents within the diverse law school community, including students, faculty members and the law school administration.  The Assistant Dean must protect the confidentiality of information by preventing the unauthorized release of confidential information, both verbally and/or in writing as well as demonstrate a capacity to work with individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds. 

 

To apply, please go to: https://jobs.ufl.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/Welcome_css.jsp; Refer to requisition 0810562

February 17, 2012 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Resource for Students Studying for the MPT

As many of us know, the best way to prepare for an exam is to first know the exam and the skills it will test. Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for the Multistate Performance Test allows for greater success on this portion of the bar exam. For this blog post, I am reviewing Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test (MPT) by Mary Campbell Gallagher.

The Multistate Performance Test is a closed universe legal writing problem that tests essential lawyering skills in a timed session. The National Conference of Bar Examiners drafts two MPTs each bar administration. Jurisdictions select whether they want to include one or two MPTs on their bar or whether they prefer to include a state written MPT on their bar exam. Over 35 jurisdictions currently include the MPT as a component of their bar exam. Therefore, this MPT resource is relevant to many ASPer's, law school students, and recent law grads.

In Perform Your Best on the Bar Exam Performance Test, Mary Campbell Gallagher sets out a "Four Part Perform You Best MPT System". This system is laid out in an easy to follow step-by-step approach with detailed directions and benchmark timing guidelines for each step. Since applicants only have 90 minutes to complete each MPT task, efficient time management is essential. These timing guides are right on the mark and will help ensure that students begin their MPT study routine with these important time limits in mind.

In addition to the time saving system for organizing and drafting MPTs, Dr. Gallagher has also included several sample MPT Tasks with analysis, sample answers, and her MPT Matrix. By having several different MPT tasks to practice, applicants will feel more prepared for what the examiners decide to include on their upcoming bar exam. Reading and understanding various task memos will also allow applicants to easily adjust their approach, tone, and format.

Practicing MPTs, creating a system for approaching each type of task, and self assessing individual strengths and weaknesses are beneficial tools for MPT preparation. This book is useful for students in early bar prep during law school or as a supplement to their bar prep materials during their bar review period. I encourage you to check it out and to recommend it to students that may need extra help with the MPT.

(Lisa Young)

February 16, 2012 in Bar Exam Preparation, Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lawyering Instructor at CUNY Law

The Law School seeks applicants with a demonstrated commitment to our social justice mission for a

full-time teaching position. The Law School Instructor hired in this cycle will primarily teach First-Year

Lawyering Seminar, the foundational course in CUNY School of Law's nationally recognized lawyering

curriculum, with particular focus on the training development of public interest/public service lawyers.

Spanning all three years of law school, the Law School's lawyering curriculum was hailed by the

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in its 2007 Report, Educating Lawyers:

Preparation for the Profession of Law. CUNY Law innovatively and successfully integrates students

learning of practical skills and the ethical demands of professional identity with their learning of legal

theory and doctrine. The Law School's First-Year Lawyering Seminar teaches legal analysis, legal

writing, professional responsibility, and other lawyering skills by integrating clinical methodology with

substantive, theoretical, and doctrinal material. Using simulation exercises and hypothetical cases,

students role-play lawyers, clients, judges, and/or legislators confronted by legal issues arising from

material in their other first-year courses. The Lawyering Seminar focuses on the ways in which lawyers

work and think in various areas of practice, with a focus on public interest law. Students develop their

analytic skills by writing and revising legal documents on which they receive feedback and critiques.

They also acquire new qualitative skills, such as active listening, collaborative problem solving and

decision-making, self-evaluation, and ethical reasoning. Students are encouraged to develop critical

awareness of the social, legal, philosophical, political, and psychological content of their work. The Law

School views these perspectives as central to a future lawyer's understanding of his/her status and role,

including the mandates and aspirations of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. Second-Year

Lawyering Seminar and required clinical courses in the third-year build on the skills learned in the first

year. The Instructor may, in accordance with the law school's needs, teach additional lawyering

seminars, a doctrinal course, and/or provide academic skill instruction or other program support. This

position is full-time and the instructor will be expected to teach and/or assist with the design and

development of curriculum materials during the summer. The Law School Instructor will be responsible

for committee work and such administrative, supervisory, and other functions as assigned. In their first

two years of service, Law School Instructors may opt into participating in faculty meetings, pursuant to

the CUNY School of Law Governance Plan. Instructors may assume other faculty governance

responsibilities and serve on committees as appointed by the Dean or Committee on Committees. Upon

reappointment for three or more years of continuous service, Law School Instructors may participate in

governance activities without an annual opt-in process. Law School Instructors will perform other related

duties as necessary or as directed by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

This position may include weekend and evening hours

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

A J.D., L.L.B., or Ph.D. in a law-related discipline. Also required are demonstrated legal ability, the ability

to teach successfully, interest in productive scholarship, legal work, or law-related work, and ability to

cooperate with others for the good of the institution.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS

Demonstrated outstanding qualities of personality, character, legal ability and commitment to public

service or public interest law. Minimum of five years experience, excellent writing skill, and substantial

experience teaching in the areas of legal writing, lawyering, and legal analysis/legal methods. Additional

doctrinal teaching experience, particularly in the area of commercial law.

COMPENSATION

$39,832 - $86,595; commensurate with experience.

BENEFITS

CUNY offers a comprehensive benefits package to employees and eligible dependents based on job title

and classification. Employees are also offered pension and Tax-Deferred Savings Plans. Part-time

employees must meet a weekly or semester work hour criteria to be eligible for health benefits. Health

benefits are also extended to retirees who meet the eligibility criteria.

HOW TO APPLY

Job Opening https://hrsa.cunyfirst.cuny.edu/psc/cnyhcprd/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRP...

1 of 2 2/1/12 3:03 PM

To apply, go to www.cuny.edu, select "Employment", and "Search Job Listing". You will be prompted to

create an account. Return to this job listing using the "Job Search" page and select "Apply Now".

For position inquiries contact:

Rosa Navarra

Coordinator of Faculty Recruitment

facutyappointments@mail.law.cuny.edu

CLOSING DATE

Open until filled, with review of resumes to begin February 15, 2012.

February 15, 2012 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Assistant Director for ESL Services Position at Northwestern

Northwestern University School of Law is currently accepting applications for the staff position of Assistant Director of International and Area Studies (also known as Assistant Director for English as a Second Language (ESL) Services).  The Assistant Director for ESL Services will be responsible for creating, developing, and implementing comprehensive ESL services for international students in the JD, LLM, SJD, and pre-LLM programs, which typically have a combined population of approximately 200 ESL students.  The full job description is included below.  

To apply for the position, please submit the requested materials online at http://www.northwestern.edu/hr/jobs using the instructions below.

Job Title:  Assistant Director of International and Area Studies (also known as Assistant Director for English as a Second Language (ESL) Services)           

Job Summary: 

The Assistant Director for English as a Second Language (ESL) Services is responsible for creating, developing, and implementing comprehensive ESL services for international students in the JD, LLM, SJD, and pre-LLM programs, which typically have a combined population of approximately 200 ESL students. 

The Assistant Director for ESL Services will occasionally be required to work after 5PM and over the weekend during Orientation Week and for several early evening receptions. 

Specific Responsibilities: 

Creating, developing, and implementing comprehensive ESL services for international students, including:

  • Developing assessment methods and criteria for evaluating incoming ESL students’ abilities, evaluating the students’ abilities based on those assessments and criteria, and, on an individual basis, communicating the evaluations to the students along with recommendations for participation in ESL Services;
  • Creating, developing, and teaching a comprehensive ESL curriculum designed to support students’ knowledge and understanding of American law and legal processes and communication and understanding of legal analysis, along with writing and presentation skills;
  • Developing and implementing the suggested curriculum and content for and creating ESL discussion groups, recruiting and training faculty and alumni volunteers for ESL discussion groups, and coordinating with the Department of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) to secure CLE credit for faculty and alumni;
  • Developing and implementing the suggested curriculum and content for peer writing tutor program, recruiting and training student volunteers for peer writing tutor program, determining appropriate assignments of students to tutors based on ESL ability and areas of need, and supervising and providing ongoing guidance to tutors;
  • Creating, developing, and teaching a comprehensive ESL curriculum for small group sessions focusing on listening and pronunciation;
  • Counseling individual ESL students on writing and communication;
  • Holding drop-in office hours for ESL students;
  • Assessing appropriateness and type of mid-term and final exam accommodations for ESL students;

Serving as a backup for the Director of International Programs, including:

  • Developing a communication strategy and writing content for the international programs web pages, advertising material, and alumni and volunteer communications;
  • Developing goals and objectives, along with a curriculum for orientation activities for international students;

Advising on the development of the curriculum of the pre-LLM summer program;

  • Overseeing and assisting in managing the budget for ESL Services;
  • Supervising International Fellow and Program Assistant, along with all students employed in International Programs;
  • Advising faculty teaching ESL students on effective and appropriate teaching and evaluation methods, and providing particular support for faculty teaching ESL students in the Communication and Legal Reasoning Program, including advising in development of curriculum for required courses;
  • Performs related duties as required or assigned. 

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education & experience;
  • 2-4 years’ experience working with international populations; administering, creating or managing programs; or similar;
  • ESL certification or the ability to become certified within 6 months of hire;
  • Significant experience working with lawyers; law students or similar or a JD degree;
  • Strong interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills, ability to relate to and interact with diverse constituencies;
  • Some supervisory experience;
  • Equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired. 

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Experience living or working abroad or with international students, ability to converse in more than one language;
  • Equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired. 

Minimum to Midpoint Salary: $45,160 to $56,450 

As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check.  Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment. 

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.

February 12, 2012 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Off topic but fun: The Legal Kiss

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I cannot resist mentioning a new book by one of my colleagues at Texas Tech School of Law. The book shows our students that law can be entertaining at the same time it is serious business.  Vickie Sutton has written a book looking at the legal aspects of a kiss throughout history: The Legal Kiss.  The book reviews have intrigued me enough that the book has been added to my "must read" list.  (Amy Jarmon) 

February 9, 2012 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Choosing your study aids

Now that you have settled into your courses, you want to consider which study aids might be most useful for each of your courses.  As you try to decide about your purchases or loans from other students, think about the following items:

  • Study aids cannot substitute for your own learning and understanding.  You need to wrestle with the material and spend time at your studies.  Merely reading a study aid does not automatically transfer to your knowing the material well.
  • Look at your syllabus or talk with your professor about any recommended study aids for the course.  A professor will often recommend a study aid that s/he feels matches the professor's version of a course and best covers the topics for your course.
  • Avoid purchasing every study aid series out there for your course.  You will only have time probably for one commentary (what the law is) and one practice question book (preferably to match the type of questions that will be on your professor's exam).  Look through different series to decide which is right for you before purchasing.
  • Match a study aid to your learning styles whenever possible.  Students learn differently from one another.  Your ways of learning should assist you in choosing study aids. Some students benefit from hornbook-style aids; some benefit from audio CD's; some benefit from more visual study aids.  Processing styles make for other differences.  Some students benefit from study aids that preview the material with introductions or from study aids that delve into policies and synthesis.  Other students benefit from study aids that sequentially discuss the parts of a topic and include later summaries for the overview and synthesis.  (You can modify the way you use the study aid's internal organization to match your own processing style in some circumstances.)  
  • Learn your professor's version of the course for the exam.  Your professor will find the points more quickly if you use the professor's buzzwords, steps of analysis, statement of the rule, and answer format.  In addition, your professor may take a different slant on a course; for example, the professor may be looking for policy discussion that a study aid never touched.
  • Use a study aid approriately.  A study aid will be more useful to clarify a confusing topic after you have initially done all of your own work on the topic (read, briefed, attended class, etc.) and made a good faith effort to sort out what you do and do not understand.  A study aid is best used throughout the semester as you need more information rather than read at the very end of the semester.   
  • Remember that commercial study aids can be wrong, outdated, or not match your course.  Study aids are usually written for a national audience and cover topics that may not be covered by your professor.  Volumes that are older editions or have not been revised recently may not include important changes in the law.  Study aids that are not written by experts in the area of law may contain errors.  Your professor's course may have different emphases or topics included.
  • Do not forget that your professor is a study aid with legs.  Go in to ask questions when your professor has office hours.  Ask your professor to assist you if you are confused after making a good faith effort to learn the material.  Talk with your professor about study strategies that might help you understand the course better.

Study aids are there to supplement your own work.  They are not bound equivalents of magic wands.  Use them wisely, and you can gain deeper understanding of topics.  Practice questions can be especially useful in monitoring your understanding and application.  (Amy Jarmon)   

   

February 8, 2012 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NY Academic Support Workshop-Friday, April 13

Dear ASP friends;

We are pleased to announce this year’s full-day NY Academic Support Workshop, to be held from 9:30 to 5:30 at New York Law School on Friday, April 13.  As usual, this will be a small and rather intensive gathering of academic support professionals and colleagues actively working to learn from one another. 

One thing that makes all ASP gatherings exciting has always been our unique emphasis on interaction – ASP folks DO things together so that we can learn together. To capture that spirit, for this year’s NY Workshop we are going to work with one another to develop or enhance our individual lessons, materials, presentations, or any other part of our professional endeavors. 

Participants should come with a problem, a set of teaching materials, or a specific student issue that you have been thinking about and want to work on with your colleagues. You’ll show us what you’ve got so far, explain what constraints or concerns you have, and we will work as a group to resolve, refine or sharpen what you have developed. In the process we’ll all benefit from exchanging ideas, and when the workshop concludes all participants will leave with copies of the ideas, learning modules and other materials generated through our collective wisdom.

No one who comes is allowed to be a back-bencher.  If you would like to attend, please let us know whether you want to share one of your own issues, ideas, etc., comment on ones brought by other participants, or both.  When we confirm who will attend and what specific questions the participants plan to address, we will send out a finalized workshop agenda.  RSVP to Kris at kris.franklin@nyls.edu

Since this is not a formal conference there is no fee to attend.  If you would like advice about hotels, etc., please let one of us know.  And if you’d love to attend but just don’t have the budget to stay overnight, talk to one of us and we’ll see if it is possible to help you find housing with local ASP folks.

Hope to see many of you soon!

Kris Franklin                                        Linda Feldman                                                   Martha Peters

New York Law School                     Brooklyn Law School                                       Elon School of Law

kris.franklin@nyls.edu                   linda.feldman@brooklaw.edu                   mpeters3@elon.edu

 

February 7, 2012 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Academic and Bar Support Counselor Position at La Verne

Jon Baumunk, Interim Director of Academic and Bar Support, at La Verne recently posted the following job announcement on the ASP listserv:

The University of La Verne has an opening for a full-time Academic and Bar Support Counselor at the College of Law located in Ontario, CA.  Reporting directly to the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Support, the primary function of this position is to assist in providing academic and bar exam support services to students at the College of Law. 

The duties of the position include tutoring La Verne Law students and its graduates studying for the California Bar Examination; providing feedback on student practice assignments; counseling students on academic and bar exam success skills and attorney licensing requirements; presenting workshops related to academic and bar support; collecting data regarding the success of the academic and bar support programs; and other related duties as assigned. 

This position requires a Juris Doctor degree with at least one (1) year of academic experience in either law school teaching or bar exam tutoring.  Experience working with diverse populations is preferred.  Additionally, the successful candidate will be a member of the State Bar of California.  Evening work is necessary to accommodate students enrolled in the part-time and evening division, occasional attendance at weekend events is required. Employment is contingent upon successfully passing a complete background investigation. 

The hiring range for this position is dependent upon qualifications and departmental equity.  Benefits of employment include a comprehensive health and welfare plan, tuition remission program for employee, spouse and dependent children and a generous 10% contribution to the University’s 403B retirement plan.  To apply, please visit http://sites.laverne.edu/hr/administrativeprofessional-positions-available/.

 

February 7, 2012 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Is law school right for you?

I have had a number of appointments lately with students who wanted to talk about the pros and cons of staying in law school.  Some of them were disappointed with their grades.  Some had outside family, medical, or financial issues that were weighing on their minds.

If you are asking yourself whether or not law school is right for you, here are some things to consider:

  • Why did you originally want to attend law school?  Are those reasons still as important to you?   Reminding yourself of why you originally enrolled can help to refocus your thinking about law school. 
  • Were your reasons tied to internal or external motivations?  You may well have a mix of motivations.  However, when the going gets tough and doubts arise, internal motivations are often more deeply supportive of your chosen path.  (Internal motivation examples: I want to help immigrant families with legal problems.  I loved working as a paralegal before law school.  External motivation examples: My parents told me I should be a lawyer.  I got turned down for medical school.). 
  • Have you changed your mind about what you want to do with a law degree?  Some students have doubts because they decide they don't like the original type of law they thought they wanted to practice.  That is okay - law includes a multitude of different legal specialties.  Some students decide they don't want to work in BigLaw.  That is okay - there are many different practice experiences: different sized firms, government work, non-profit agencies, public service.  Some students decide that they do not want to practice at all.  That is okay - there are a number of alternative careers for law graduates.  Explore practice areas and career options with your career services office.  Talk to professors and other lawyers about their careers and areas of expertise.  If you decide that another graduate degree or work experience matches your career goals better than a law degree, that is the decision you need to make   
  • Do you enjoy cases, legal concepts, and legal analysis?  If you enjoy the daily study of law, that may be a positive indicator to remain.  However, if you hate what you are doing, you may be happier in another field of study.  Note that enjoying the law is not the same statement as enjoying law school
  • Do you enjoy being in law school most days?  Law school is not an easy environment for many reasons.  If you are miserable every day, then that is not healthy for you.  However, if most of the time you deal positively with the workload and environment and keep your perspective, then you may decide that the issues you have with law school can be handled.  Most law schools have academic support professionals who can help you learn ways to study smarter rather than harder and to manage your time well.  They can also refer you to other professionals who can help you evaluate any remaining issues. 
  • Are there family or medical or other priorities that mean you need to leave law school right now?  All law students have responsibilities and circumstances that are outside the law school.  If those priorities need your focus right now to the exclusion of law school, then you need to do what is necessary to meet those obligations.  Consider the best way to meet any personal responsibilities within the options your law school provides. 
  • What are the options that you have at your law school?  You may be able to take a leave of absence, go to part-time status, or have other options at your school.  If you decide to leave at this point, make sure you follow proper procedures.  If you have financial aid, make sure you understand the ramifications of your choice.  If you can keep your options open (for example, a leave of absence), do so. 
  • Who are the people who can help you with your decision?  Talk to faculty, deans, your academic advisor, parents, mentors.  Do not try to make the decision by yourself.  Find objective people who can help you see the pros and cons.  Get as much information as possible from your law school's administration before making a decision.  Consider what you will do next if you decide to leave law school - better to have a game plan if at all possible.

Law school may be the very best match for your goals and circumstances.  However, law school may be a good match later, but the timing is off now.  Finally, if law school is not a good match for you, there is no shame in choosing a different path and walking away from this choice.  (Amy Jarmon) 

February 5, 2012 in Advice, Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Raising your game: co-teaching a class

This semester, I have the privilege of co-teaching an introduction to law course with a professor from the  Storrs campus. Co-teaching a class has been a wonderful learning experience for me. While the idea was two teachers could split the workload, I am finding that I spend more time preparing for each class than if I taught it on my own. Here are some of the unexpected benefits from co-teaching a class:

1) You bring your A game to every class.

I have tremendous respect for my co-teacher; he is a master teacher with far more experience than me. While I always give 100% to my teaching, co-teaching with a master teacher forces me to think and rethink every choice I make. 

2) You think about how you would explain the lesson to another expert.

Thinking about how you would explain your lesson plan to a colleague forces you to think about your lesson in a different way. We all consider how our students are going to absorb the material when we lesson plan, but thinking about the questions an expert might ask forces me to think more deeply about how my lesson works.

3) Feedback helps you see weaknesses your students might not point out.

I don't mean constructive criticism. Feedback--the back and forth about teaching--forces you to deal with what you don't know. So far this semester, I have learned that I need to learn how to use HuskyCT (a classroom web platform) and that I am behind the curve on learning technologies in general. This is a benefit that comes from teaching with a non-law school professor; other disciplines have embraced technology in a way that law has not.

4) You have to grapple with equally valid, but different, perspectives on a topic.

My co-teacher and I have very different backgrounds, and different perspectives. He was a big-firm lawyer before going back for his PhD; my experience with the law is in public interest and education. We have different perspectives on the challenges in the field. When I plan a lesson, I have to think about how it applies to big firm and corporate law.

(RCF)

February 2, 2012 in Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)