Thursday, January 26, 2012

Job Announcement: Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DIRECTOR OF PRE-LAW ADVISING

City College of New York

Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies

DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND DIRECTOR OF PRE-LAW ADVISING

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Launched at the City College of New York (CCNY) in 2009, the Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies at City College is designed to increase the diversity of the legal profession by preparing talented students from underrepresented and low-income groups for law school and careers in law. The Program is a unique partnership between CCNY and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP. Combining academic studies with internships, LSAT instruction, career awareness events and mentoring by leading legal professionals, the Program prepares students to be successful law school applicants. Students are selected in the second semester of their sophomore year through a competitive review process that includes an application and an interview. They begin with the Program during the summer before their junior year; each cohort of Skadden Scholars includes between 25 and 40 students. 

POSITION DESCRIPTION

The Deputy Director and Pre-Law Advisor will lead efforts to provide Skadden Scholars with intensive academic and pre-professional advising. The Deputy Director is also responsible for day-to-day management and oversight of the Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies at the City College of New York and may have opportunities to teach a course in the program.  The Deputy Director designs and implements student and professional services and also oversees the logistics of the recruitment, selection, evaluation, and placement of Skadden Scholars.  The Deputy Director reports to the Skadden Program’s Executive Director and will work closely with him on all aspects of the position’s responsibilities. The Deputy Director will also work closely on many of the position’s responsibilities with the Flom Professor of Legal Studies.

Specific Responsibilities:

Student Recruitment and Selection

  • Plan and manage new student recruitment efforts for the Skadden Program – on CCNY’s campus, from other CUNY campuses, and nationally.
  • Supervise the production of marketing materials and program publications to attract a large pool of eligible undergraduate applicants.
  • Oversee the selection process for incoming Skadden Scholars; develop rigorous selection criteria and sit on the selection committee.

Student Advisement and Professional Development

  • Supervise the design and execution of the Program’s Summer Institute, a four-week LSAT instruction program with field trips to courts and law firms as well as a series of nine lectures on the legal process.
  • Serve as a principal advisor for Skadden Scholars throughout their time in the program and until they apply to law school.
  • Monitor student progress in meeting program obligations, including in their coursework, with the LSAT, and in their applications to law school.
  • Design, organize, and facilitate regular workshops with Skadden Scholars covering topics such as workplace communication, applying to law schools, preparing for internships, and navigating the LSAC Website.
  • Plan and facilitate professional development opportunities, including events that bring guest speakers to campus from among practicing attorneys, legal advocates, law school staff and faculty, and legal scholars.
  • Identify internship opportunities for students, communicate with internship providers, and oversee the internship evaluation process.  

Management and Oversight

  • Assess instructional needs; determine additional course offerings; supervise part-time staff and adjunct instructors in the Skadden Program.
  • Supervise the Program’s writing program, including its writing tutors.
  • Draft regular progress reports on program activities and student progress.
  • Manage the Skadden Program’s website and presence in social media.
  • Authorize program expenditures, create and gain approval for the annual budget; monitor quarterly and annual expense reports.

Qualifications

  • Advanced degree, ideally a JD or PhD in political science, legal studies or a closely related field.
  • Demonstrated experience and success advising undergraduates from underserved and low-income communities.
  • Knowledge of pre-law advising best practices as outlined by the Law School Admissions Council and the Pre-law Advisors' National Council

Applicants should send cover letter and resume to CCNYSkaddenJob@gmail.com. We hope to move quickly with the search and encourage people interested in the position to apply by February 17, 2012. We will accept applications until the position is filled. Salary is competitive. This is a full-time position. The City College of New York/CUNY has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity.  In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of individuals.  Reasonable accommodations provided for individuals with disabilities upon request. An AA/EEO/IRCA/ADA employer.

 

January 26, 2012 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sadness vs. Depression, and Learning the Law

One of the more depressing statistics I have come across is the rate of depression among lawyers and law students. I am further depressed when I see the random studies linking depression with heightened analytical ability. The theory (and it is only a theory) is that there is a connection between high-achieving lawyers and depression, because a good lawyer will see the flaw, the catch, or the error in any argument, and thereby save his or her client dollars. Someone who is depressed is more likely to see the downside, and therefore, be a better lawyer or law student. This theory ignores the enormous social and emotional toll of depression. It impacts not just the person suffering, but the people who care about the person suffering from depression.

I don't like this theory. I think it gives another excuse for maintaining the status quo. Depression should not be a way of life, for any reason. There is an excellent piece in the NYT's this week on sadness and depression, and the drive to find evolutionary justifications for depression. I found the arguments for an evolutionary explanation for depression similar to the rationalizations explaining why lawyers tend to be more depressed than people in other careers. And like the author, I am disheartened when the drive for explanations leads to a justification for an unhealthy way of life.

Larry Krieger has done amazing work on law students and depression; most of us in ASP are quite familiar with his work. In ASP, we need to recognize the difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is a temporary state all of us experience; depression should not be a common experience. Due to the populations so many of us work with in ASP, we should be trained to see the differences between ordinary sadness over an unfortunate event, and depression, which as Dr. Friedman explains in the NYT article, "a failure to adapt to stress or loss, because it impairs a person’s ability to solve the very dilemmas that triggered it." Depression, unlike sadness, causes memory problems and issues with learning, which cause additional academic problems, and causes depression to snowball. (RCF)

More information on lawyers and law students and depression:

WSJ: Why are so many lawyers depressed? http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/12/13/why-are-so-many-lawyers-so-depressed/

Lawyers With Depression: http://www.lawyerswithdepression.com/depressionstatistics.asp

Psychology Today: The Depressed Lawyer: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/therapy-matters/201105/the-depressed-lawyer?page=2

New York Times: Depression Defies the Rush to Find an Evolutionary Upside: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/health/depression-defies-rush-to-find-evolutionary-upside.html

January 24, 2012 in Current Affairs, Reading, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)