Friday, March 29, 2013

IRAC is flexible, not mechanical

This time of year--post spring break, pre-reading week--students start asking for help. Specifically, they start asking for help regarding issues that came up on fall exams. One of the more common issues I encounter with students is misuse of IRAC. For students who like formulas, templates, and structure, IRAC seems ideal. They can plug in a formula--Issue, Rule, Application/Analysis, and Conclusion--and a good answer should pop right out of their computer. Inevitably, these students are disappointed with their grades, and angry that the formula doesn't work the way they expect it to work. These students are conceptualizing IRAC the wrong way--IRAC is a flexible tool, not a mechanical formula. Like a tool, you can use it to help your construction of a strong answer. The effort must come from the writer (the student) because the tool cannot produce anything on its own, even if the tool is given all the right materials.

For law students who like structure, this advice can feel like another kick in the teeth. Do not expect a student to respond with admiration and gratitude after you tell them IRAC cannot be used mechanically. Students who received mediocre grades in the fall already feel like they have been fooled; no one gives them "the answer" and now you are telling them there is no formula to get to "the answer." It is the opposite of everything they have learned up to this point in their life. To the frustrated student, you are another person playing games, hiding the ball, and failing to tell them what they need to know to succeed.

After moving past the frustration and anxiety, let the student know it is your job to show they how to use the tool. IRAC represents the essential pieces of a strong exam answer. But the essential pieces do not necessarily get used in that order; sometimes the pieces are repeated, as in IRAraraAC, or RIAraC. Use the tool in the manner recommended by your instructor; if they want you to start with the rule, and then explain how it's applicable, you need to do that. Professors who say they "hate" IRAC or "don't care" about IRAC really want IRAC; they don't want it used mechanically. Professors want students to be responsive to the question that is asked; it's difficult and sometimes impossible to be responsive when using a formula. (RCF)

March 29, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Legal Skills Positions at UMass-Dartmouth

THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHSUETTS SCHOOL OF LAW – DARTMOUTH

Full Time Lecturer, Legal Skills Program

Position Announcement

The University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth invites application for two full-time Lecturers to teach required courses in our Legal Skills Program. Our Legal Skills Program spans nine required credits over the students’ first three semesters. Lecturers may also apply to teach a summer course for additional compensation, subject to curricular needs and the law school’s standard selection process. We are hiring Lecturers beginning in July 2013. Lecturers must be available to teach one section of evening/weekend students as needed.

The law school’s mission emphasizes public service and access to legal education. The law school seeks to prepare students to practice law in a competent and ethical manner while serving the community. We offer a robust legal education program that includes nine required credits of Legal Skills, an Upper-Level Writing Requirement, simulated practice courses, in-house and off-campus clinical programs, and a field placement program under the guidance of experienced practitioners.

Applicants must have a law degree, strong academic credentials, and previous experience teaching legal writing (with a strong preference for full-time experience). Interested applicants should submit an application package including (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) a list of three references, (4) two samples of feedback on student work (anonymized), (5) a copy of prior student evaluations, and (6) a writing sample of no longer than ten pages. Please submit applications electronically to [email protected], and place the words “Law School FTL Positions” in the subject line. You may address the cover letter to Prof. Shaun Spencer, Chair, FTL Hiring Committee. The application period will close on than April 18, 2013. Initial interviews will take place on April 25 and 26, with final interviews in early May.

UMass Law is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and student body, and encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups who will add diversity to the Law School Community.

The University of Massachusetts reserves the right to conduct background checks on all potential employees.

UMass Dartmouth is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Title IX Employer.

March 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Law Lecturer Bar Passage Position at U of Denver

Law-Lecturer, Bar Passage Programs, Part-Time (004566) Posted Hiring Range:  Competitive Estimated start date: 6/01/2013

Term: 12 months per year, non-renewable

Work Schedule:  20 hours per week

Department Introduction:

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is a top 100 law school with nationally ranked programs in environmental and natural resources law, legal writing, clinical training, international law and tax law. Our curriculum is innovative and global in its perspective, and our faculty are some of the finest in the nation.

Position Summary:

This Lecturer position is a one-year (12-month) half-time appointment (20 hours per week). The position is open until filled with anticipated service to commence no later than June 1, 2013.  The primary duties and responsibilities are serving as a teacher and bar passage advisor to support the law school’s Bar Passage Program.  As a member of the law school’s faculty, the lecturer’s duties and responsibilities will include the following: teaching one section of the law school’s academic bar passage course per academic year, serving as a co-teacher in both the winter and summer bar success programs, coaching individual students and graduates in successfully preparing for the bar exam, and providing assessment assistance to the law school’s overall assessment goals and bar passage program.  Some evening and weekend work is required as the law school has both day and evening programs, and the lecturer is expected to be available to work on campus throughout the entire year in service of the winter and summer bar success programs.  Applications received by April 1st will receive first consideration, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

Minimum qualifications:

  *   JD or equivalent

Preferred qualifications:

  *    At least one year of legal experience.

  *    Demonstrated interest in teaching.

Application Process and Contact Information:

Applicants must complete the online application at www.dujobs.org.  Please include a resume, cover letter and the names of 3 business references.  Applications received by April 1st will receive first consideration, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.  For more information or to apply, please visit http://www.dujobs.org/. Questions regarding hiring can be addressed to Professor Eli Wald, Chair, Visiting Appointments Committee, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, [email protected].

DU and its Sturm College of Law are committed to enhancing the diversity of our faculty and staff. We are strongly dedicated to the pursuit of excellence by including and integrating individuals who represent different groups as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin, religion and veteran status. DU is an EEO/AA employer.

Apply to this job now...<https://performancemanager4.successfactors.com/career?company=DU&career_job_req_id=6821&career_ns=job_listing&navBarLevel=JOB_SEARCH>

March 28, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Call for Proposals for AALS 2014 Balance in Legal Education Section

The section on Balance in Legal Education is pleased to announce its program topic for the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association of Law Schools as "The Many Connections Between Well-Being and Professionalism in the Practice of Law."  The focus of this topic will be how well-being contributes to, and may indeed be necessary for, the ethical, civil, and responsible practice of law.  This topic naturally calls upon presenters to think about the intersection between the growing research in the field of law student and lawyer well-being and traditional law school subjects such as professional responsibility, as well as practice-oriented classes such as clinical courses, legal writing, and trial practice.

The Section is seeking a double session for this program consisting of two 90-minute parts.  The first part would be devoted to more theoretical presentations on what the psychological and sociological literature tells us about how problems with well-being might affect the professional development of law students and the responsible practice of law.  The second part would be devoted to presentations and demonstrations on how we can teach students to improve their well-being as part of an integrated approach to the development of a personally satisfying and ethically responsible professional identity.

The Balance in Legal Education section draws both its governing board and its general membership from all segments of the legal academic community, and believes that its program topic will be both interesting and relevant to many of you.

The list of speakers is currently only partially formulated, so we invite proposals for speakers, as well as papers from non-speakers.  The Section has obtained a commitment from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review to publish papers relating to this program.  If you have an interest in being considered as a panel member on this topic, or in submitting a paper for publication (or both), please contact me at your earliest opportunity, but in any event no later than April 30, 2013, at [email protected]. Your submission should include a brief description of the perspective that you would bring to the topic, whether you wish to be a member of the panel and/or prepare a paper for publication, and a copy of a current curriculum vitae. We encourage new as well as experienced teachers to submit proposals.  We will give preference to presentation proposals that include interactive demonstrations of teaching methods and collaborative work with other program participants, and we are especially interested in how these issues can be addressed in large traditional classroom settings.


March 27, 2013 in Meetings, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Law Instructor Position at CUNY

FACULTY VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

Performs teaching, research, and
guidance duties at the CUNY School of Law in area(s) of expertise as noted
below. Responsibilities may include supervising students in legal practice or
related activities.

Shares responsibility for committee
and department assignments including administrative, supervisory, and other
functions.

 

The CUNY School of Law Clinical
Program has been nationally recognized as one of the best in legal education.
It affords each student the opportunity to engage in the practice of law by
learning through service to underserved communities. The Law School currently
offers seven live-client clinical programs and three faculty-supervised
externship programs. CUNY School of Law faculty members have been recognized as
innovative leaders in clinical legal education, through service, publications,
and participation at conferences.

 

CUNY School of Law's Immigrant &
Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC) represents and supports non-citizens in a variety
of settings and courts, covering immigration law and issues at the intersection
of law and security. The current mission of the IRRC is to provide a platform
for the exploration, development and implementation of ideas and strategies to
close the growing legal divide between citizens and non-citizens of the United
States of America. At the heart of our work is a principled commitment to the
rights and dignity of all.

 

By supporting and representing
immigrants and other non-citizens, we aim to train law students to become
thoughtful, principled, and creative social justice lawyers, empowered with the
skills needed to confront the degradation in the rights of citizens and
non-citizens alike that has been wrought under the guise of security and public
safety but is driven by oppressive and discriminatory forces.

 

The IRRC is a two-semester, 16-credit
clinic. More detailed information about the full breadth of our work is
available at www.law.cuny.edu/academics/clinics/immigration.html.

 

The Law School will hire an
Instructor responsible for live case supervision, project management,
co-teaching, and curricular development in the IRRC. Applicants should have a
demonstrated commitment to CUNY School of Law's social justice mission and
should wish to contribute to the training and development of lawyers dedicated
to social justice and public service.

 

The tenure-track faculty member
directing the IRRC has the ultimate responsibility for the overall operation of
the program, including the classroom component, the administration of the
clinic, and supervision of students' casework. The IRRC director will meet that
responsibility with the support of the Instructor. In the IRRC director's
absence, the Instructor will assume the responsibility or share it with other
faculty, as determined by the director, in consultation with the Associate Dean
for Clinical Programs.

 

This position is full-time and
Instructors must be available for and interested in teaching, participating in
clinic faculty meetings during the school year, summer clinic work (including
case management), assisting with the design and development of curriculum
materials during the summer, and performing other duties for the benefit of the
overall program. This position may also involve evening and weekend duties. In
accordance with the law school's needs, the Instructor may be required to teach
in other or additional clinics, in lawyering seminars, in a doctrinal course,
and/or to provide academic skill instruction or other program support.

 

In the first two years of service,
Law Instructors may opt into participating in faculty meetings, pursuant to the
CUNY School of Law Governance Plan. They may also assume other faculty
governance responsibilities and serve on committees as appointed by the Dean or
the Committee on Committees.

 

Upon reappointment for three or more
years of continuous service, they may participate in governance activities
without an annual opt in process.

 

This job may include weekend and
evening duties

 

QUALIFICATIONS

J.D. or L.L.B; admission to the Bar
of the State of New York and to various federal courts required.

Applicants who are not yet admitted
but are in a position to secure such admission within six months will be
considered with the understanding that continued employment may be contingent
on successful admission within that timeframe. Also required are demonstrated
legal ability, the ability or potential to teach successfully, interest in
productive scholarship, legal work, or law-related work, and the ability to
cooperate with others for the good of the institution.

 

For appointment as Law Instructor,
the candidate must have demonstrated commitment to poverty law, public service,
or social justice lawyering. S/he must show potential as a teacher in the
classroom and in supervising students on cases, and as a leader in the public
interest community. S/he should have a minimum of two years practice experience
at the start of her/his first contract term at CUNY, with some exposure to or a
strong interest in law and security issues and immigration law, and a desire
and ability to support IRRC community-based lawyering initiatives, such as the
Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, a
cross-clinical collaboration with the Criminal Defense Clinic (more details
about CLEAR are available at www.cunyclear.org), and other immigration-related
projects.

Depending on docket need, coverage
responsibilities during the academic year and the summer will encompass cases
and projects stemming from extraterritorial imprisonment, extrajudicial
killing, domestic detention, surveillance, and policing issues, as well as a
full range of immigration matters and projects, including deportation defense,
asylum, and gender violence related work.

 

Candidates with clinical teaching or
supervisory experience are encouraged to apply, as are any candidates who
already hold or have held an active federal security clearance or who are
willing to apply for one and are not clearly ineligible.

 

COMPENSATION

CUNY offers faculty a competitive
compensation and benefits package covering health insurance, pension and
retirement benefits, paid parental leave, and savings programs. We also provide
mentoring and support for research, scholarship, and publication as part of our
commitment to ongoing faculty professional development.

 

$39,832 - $86,595; commensurate with
experience, plus summer case coverage stipend where applicable.

HOW TO APPLY

From our job posting system, select
"Apply Now", create or log in to a user account, and provide the
requested information. If you are viewing this posting from outside our system,
access the employment page on our web site, www.cuny.edu , and search for this
vacancy using the Job ID or Title.

Candidates should provide a Cover
letter and CV/resume. It is recommended you submit these as one PDF document.

For position inquiries contact:

Rosa Navarra

Coordinator of Faculty Recruitment

[email protected]

CLOSING DATE

Review of applications to begin March
29, 2013.

JOB SEARCH CATEGORY

CUNY Job Posting: Faculty

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

We are committed to
enhancing our diverse academic community by actively encouraging people with
disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women to apply. We take pride in our
pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and
inclusion. EO/AA Employer.

March 26, 2013 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Asst. Director of ASP at UC-Irvine

The University of California, Irvine, School of Law invites applications
for the position of Assistant Director of Academic Skills.  The
successful candidate will develop, enhance, and implement a program to
assist students in the transition to law school, to promote their
successful completion of the J.D. program, and to prepare them to sit
for the bar exam.  Ideally, the successful candidate will be available
to begin on May 1, 2013.

The Assistant Director’s primary
responsibility will be to work individually and in small groups with
students to improve their legal analysis, exam-taking, and time
management skills. The Assistant Director is also expected to
effectively promote the Academic Skills Program.

In collaboration with the Director of Academic Skills and faculty members, the Assistant Director will be responsible for:
  • Creating
    and delivering a comprehensive workshop program for first-year students
    on topics including class preparation, study habits, case briefing,
    outlining, and exam-taking.
  • Working closely with first-year
    faculty members to design and administer exercises in doctrinal
    subjects, and to provide individual and small group feedback on those
    assignments.
  • Helping students excel in their doctrinal courses
    and on the bar exam by providing individual academic counseling,
    feedback on practice exams, and workshop programs.
  • Assisting in developing the curriculum for a legal analysis course and bar preparation program.
The
School of Law’s inaugural class graduated in the spring of 2011.  The
School projects total enrollment of approximately 341 students across
all three classes in 2013-14.  At full size, the School anticipates an
annual enrollment of approximately 600 students.  With the School still
in its growth stage, the Assistant Director will have a rare opportunity
to contribute to the design and implementation of the Academic Skills
Program.  It is therefore expected that the new Assistant Director will
participate in developing and refining existing programs with the same
spirit of innovation that characterizes the school.  The successful
candidate will be expected to exercise independence and judgment,
drawing on past experience and careful analysis of the Law School’s
particular needs.

The Assistant Director of Academic Skills
reports to the Director of Academic Skills and works closely with the
Assistant Dean of Student Services and the Senior Associate Dean for
Academic Affairs.  The position is a full-time, twelve-month academic
appointment with the standard vacation and benefits package accorded
employees of the University of California. This is not a faculty
appointment, and residence during the summer is expected.  Salary will
be commensurate with experience.

Requirements Candidates for the position must have:
  • A J.D. from an A.B.A.-accredited law school and a record of academic and extracurricular success in law school;
  • Admission to a state bar, preferably California;
  • At
    least one year of experience in law practice and/or law teaching with a
    focus on legal writing and analysis, preferably with experience in law
    school academic skills;
  • Familiarity with the subjects tested on and format of the California Bar Exam;
  • Superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills;
  • The
    ability to think imaginatively and critically about techniques to
    improve law students’ academic development, and to design, implement and
    manage innovative programs to promote that development;
  • The
    ability to handle confidential information, exhibit good judgment, and
    exemplify customer service in working with students, faculty, and staff;
  • The ability to work collaboratively with a diverse and growing population of students, faculty and administrators; and
  • The ability to juggle multiple competing priorities and meet firm deadlines.
Preferred:  Significant experience in academic support/skills programs at the law school level.

TO APPLY: To
be considered for this position, applicants should submit the following
materials using UC Irvine’s on-line application system, RECRUIT,
located at https://recruit.ap.uci.edu/apply/JPF01917:
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Relevant publications and/or writing samples
  • Contact information for three references
Review
of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the
position is filled; preference will be given to applications received by
April 20, 2013.
The University of California, Irvine is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity.

March 25, 2013 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Downward Slope

For most law schools, the semester is on the downward slope to exams - the midpoint for classes has passed.  Students who have been putting things off are waking up to the fact that time is not on their side any longer. 

Many law students whose Spring Breaks are over used the recent time away from class to catch up: outlines were started or completed, paper research was started or completed, and paper drafts were begun.  Law students with Spring Break this week are planning the same machinations.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of the time left in the semester:

  • Add to course outlines weekly so that new material is pulled together while it is still fresh.
  • Write down all of your questions for each course and get them answered now: by classmates, by professors, or through study aids.
  • List all of the topics and subtopics that must be learned for each exam course to get a realistic view of the amount of material.
  • Estimate the amount of time needed to learn each topic already covered in class to the level needed to walk into the exam.
  • Schedule learning that same older material for no more than two-thirds of the remaining class period; reserve the other weeks for learning the new material that has not yet been covered.  For example, if there are six weeks left, try to learn the first eight or nine weeks of material in four weeks and reserve the remaining two weeks to learn brand new material.  During the exam period, focus on the last one to two weeks of new material and review everything else.
  • Do as many practice questions as possible for each exam course.  However, it is ineffective to do practice questions on a topic before you have intensely studied it.  Wait a few days after intensely studying a topic before you do practice questions - you want to see if you retained the information well enough to get the answers correct.
  • Do not skip classes because professors will begin to give information about the final exams and pull material together.
  • Also do not skip classes because the last few weeks are often heavily tested when the course builds over the semester.
  • Expect every step for researching and writing a paper to take longer than you think it will.  Plan your work accordingly.
  • Leave ample time to edit your paper in stages for specific aspects rather than edit for everything at once.  Stages might be for logic, grammar, punctuation, style, accurate quotations, citations, tables/exhibits, or other appropriate categories.

The last part of the semester will be more productive if there is a plan for using the time.  Do not waste time just thinking about study tasks; start studying in earnest.  (Amy Jarmon)

 

March 20, 2013 in Miscellany, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Toxic People

Several law students have recently bemoaned the pettiness and spitefulness of other law students.  It is not uncommon in the midst of the competition and the quest for superiority that some law students denigrate others' intelligence or abilities or accomplishments.  They think the put-downs show their own competence and lessen the other person's worth.  They want to sabotage their competition with mean remarks.

In truth, the inferior ones are the law students who feel compelled to make such remarks, to taunt other law students, and to tout their own superiority.  They are simply not nice people.  And if it were not for the self-contained environment of the law school, everyone could easily avoid them.

Too often law students react to these toxic people in ways that encourage them rather than short-circuit their venom.  Onlookers will snicker to feel accepted by these toxic students or to cover up their own insecurities.  The fawning snickerers should beware; toxic law students don't have loyalty to anyone except themselves.  One slip and the fawner today can be the target next week.

Other law students stand by silently and say nothing even though they know the behavior is unacceptable.  They don't want to get involved.  They don't want to tell the toxic law student to apologize or to leave the other person alone.  They could counter the snide remark with a positive one to the student who has just been put down.  Or they could even befriend the student who is the target.  

How sad that the people who are some day going to be officers of the court and supposedly uphold justice and protect the vulnerable are so unwilling to act professionally during law school.  The toxic ones will probably turn into the arrogant partners who bully new associates and paralegals.  The fawners will continue to be spineless ingratiators in practice.  The silent onlookers will continue to not take a stand once they are admitted to the bar.

Fortunately, there are some law students who know the difference between right and wrong and will come to the defense of others.  Instead of fuming later, they will intervene at the time.  They will be polite, even diplomatic, but stand up for what is appropriate behavior among professionals. 

Some law students will likely comment that nothing can be done and that it is just the way law school is.  However, each law student's individual actions can impact the atmosphere of a law school.  If each person who does not like the toxic behavior that develops in law schools were to oppose that behavior, law schools would be less stressful places for everyone.  (Amy Jarmon)    

  

March 19, 2013 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Academic dishonesty and academic distress

Many law students and law professors think the student most likely to be involved in academic dishonesty is the gunnar. The gunnar will do anything to get ahead, including cheating or plagiarizing materials. The gunnar is the student that either impresses or annoys the professor, and either annoys or terrorizes classmates. The gunnar cheats because they want to be number one, and don't care how they become number one.

As an ASP professional, I see a different type of student involved in academic dishonesty, the student who is not deliberately breaking the rules, but is willing to do anything to survive. This is the student who will take any advice about how to succeed, because they know they are barely keeping their head above water. Unfortunately, this is also the type of student who is trying so many different strategies, that they fall behind in their legal writing projects or homework assignments for class. In desperation, they copy from commercial sources, copy from models of legal writing assignments, and break rules about collaboration on graded assignments. Unlike the gunnar, this type of student doesn't always see what they are doing as dishonest. Because they don't understand why they don't understand what is being taught, they assume everyone must be using these methods to survive.They rationalize their choices, which blinds them to the depth of their challenges.

I find that this type of student is sometimes the most difficult for an ASP professional. Oftentimes, we have built a strong relationship with the struggling student, and we know how hard they are trying. We see the student as a someone doing everything they can to succeed, so we blind overselves to the possibility that they may be turning in materials that are not their true work product. It is only when another professor turns the student in for breaking the honor code or academic policy that we see what they student has been doing.

It is important for ASP professionals to recognize that some of our most beloved students, the students we see trying so hard to succeed, are also capable of academic dishonesty. It does not serve the student or the profession to overlook their actions. It is emotionally difficult to confront a student about academic dishonesty, but it is essential to their personal and professional development. (RCF)

March 18, 2013 in Advice, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Enrichment at FIU

Florida International University is a comprehensive university offering 340 majors in 188 degree programs in 23 colleges and schools, with innovative bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs across all disciplines including medicine, public health, law, journalism, hospitality, and architecture. FIU is Carnegie-designated as both a research university with high research activity and a community-engaged university. Located in the heart of the dynamic south Florida urban region, our multiple campuses serve over 50,000 students, placing FIU among the ten largest universities in the nation. Our annual research expenditures in excess of $100 million and our deep commitment to engagement have made FIU the go-to solutions center for issues ranging from local to global. FIU leads the nation in granting bachelor’s degrees, including in the STEM fields, to minority students and is first in awarding STEM master’s degrees to Hispanics. Our students, faculty, and staff reflect Miami’s diverse population, earning FIU the designation of Hispanic-Serving Institution. At FIU, we are proud to be ‘Worlds Ahead’! For more information about FIU, visit fiu.edu.

About FIU College of Law

As a vital part of Miami's only public research university, FIU College of Law is a dynamic urban law school with approximately 480 students. The College of Law currently has 30 full-time faculty members. The FIU College of Law is housed in a state-of-the-art building at the heart of the main university campus. 

The FIU community and the College of Law are strongly committed to the pursuit of excellence and the goal of ensuring opportunities within the legal profession for individuals who represent different groups as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin, and religion.

Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Enrichment

The Academic Enrichment Program at the FIU College of Law seeks an individual to develop and administer a comprehensive program supporting law students from enrollment to bar examination.  The Assistant Dean/Director will hold instructional faculty status as a non-tenure track lecturer in law and report to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.   The Academic Enrichment Program is envisioned as a comprehensive component of the College of Law’s instructional platform impacting every stage of the academic program.  The specific components of the program will be developed by the Assistant Dean/Director, but must span the length of the academic year and accommodate both day and evening students. In previous years, the FIU College of Law Academic Support Program has included the following responsibilities: teaching courses on legal reasoning and analysis, performing counseling with students, preparing students for the bar examination, and academic advising.   The Assistant Dean/Director will work closely with the Faculty Academic Enrichment Committee; represent the interests of students participating in the academic enrichment program to members of the faculty and administration, and will coordinate efforts with faculty and administration, as appropriate.

Applicants who pass the first step in the screening process will be asked to present a proposal for a comprehensive academic enrichment program tailored to the mission and specific needs of the College of Law.  Applicant proposals will identify their comprehensive vision for the Academic Enrichment Program at the FIU College of Law which may include, but is not limited to, how to assist all law students in their law school performance while maintaining a focus on at-risk students needing additional remedial support, potential use of diagnostic testing to identify areas needing improvement, utilization of varying pedagogical methods to increase proficiency under a variety of test-taking circumstances, improving comprehension and critical thinking, coordinating faculty to complement the Academic Enrichment Program, and meeting the counseling needs of students.  

REQUIRED SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND EXPERIENCE

The successful candidate will have:

Ÿ  A J.D. from an A.B.A.-accredited law school (additional degrees in either law or education are a plus);

Ÿ  At least three years’ experience in legal education, and/or law teaching with a focus on legal writing and analysis, preferably with experience in law school academic, support, enrichment or related;

Ÿ  The ability to assess students’ academic performance consistent with the expectations of the faculty, to cultivate and enhance student learning processes and outcomes, and to design, implement and manage programs to promote academic development;

Ÿ  The ability to develop methods to evaluate, assess, measure, and report to the faculty and administration on the efficacy of the Academic Enrichment Program;

Ÿ  The ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty, and administrators.

 

Title and Salary will be commensurate with experience.  Expected Start Date:  fall 2013.  Although we will accept applications until the position is filled, we strongly encourage interested applicants to submit applications by April 1, 2013.  Interested applicants must apply to the FIU Office of Human Resources.  Applications must be submitted on-line at careers.fiu.edu.  When applying please reference Job Opening ID: 505596.

FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and is an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer.

March 16, 2013 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 15, 2013

A New Addition to the Multistate Bar Exam

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has announced upcoming changes to the Multistate Bar Examination.  Civil Procedure is being added as the seventh content area on the MBE.  Many of us knew that this addition was being contemplated, but we did not anticipate that this change would be implemented so quickly.

Per the NCBE memo, Civil Procedure will be added to the MBE beginning with the February 2015 bar examination.  Thus, the number of questions per topic area will decrease.  Once Civil Procedure is added, there will be 28 questions covering Contracts, and 27 questions covering each of the six remaining topics (Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Evidence, Property, and Torts). 

For some students, four less Property questions is a reason to celebrate!  While for others, taking an advanced Civil Procedure class may be a wise option.  Stay tuned for more information regarding the coverage for the Civil Procedure MBE questions.  The Civil Procedure content outlines will be updated by June 30, 2013.  However, for now, you can review the Civil Procedure MEE content outlines to get an idea of what to expect.

Lisa Young

March 15, 2013 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

AALS ASP 2014 Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

AALS Section on Academic Support

January 2014 Annual Meeting in
New York, New York

Early Intervention for At-Risk Students

 

In response to a growing need within the legal academy, many institutions and individuals have developed programs to assure the success of law students.  To broaden the impact of such efforts, the Program Committee seeks proposals highlighting innovative methods, programs, or ideas related to early intervention for at-risk students. In light of shrinking budgets, smaller applicant pools, and media attacks on legal education, how can we proactively address a potential influx of at-risk students?  Should law schools admit at-risk students?  What does at-risk really mean?  Are law schools responsible for ensuring student success once they are admitted?

Topics might include, but are not limited to: identifying at-risk students before they begin law school, in their first year of law school, or prior to taking the bar exam; criteria for identifying at-risk students; stereotype threat; stigmatization; orientation programs; pre-law programs; conditional admission; or using empirical studies to assess risk factors affecting law students.

Preference will be given to presentations designed to engage the workshop audience, so proposals should contain a detailed explanation of both the substance of the presentation and the methods to be employed.  Individuals as well as groups are invited to propose topics.  The Committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas. Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals must include the following information:

  1. A title for your presentation.
  2. A brief description of the objectives or outcomes of your presentation.
  3. A brief description of how your presentation will support your stated objectives or outcomes.
  4. The amount of time requested for your presentation. No single presenter should exceed 45 minutes in total.  Presentations as short as 15 minutes are welcomed.
  5. A detailed description of both the substantive content and the techniques to be employed, if any, to engage the audience.
  6. Whether you plan to distribute handouts, use PowerPoint, or employ other technology.
  7. A list of the conferences at which you have presented within the last three years, such as AALS, national or regional ASP or writing conferences, or other academic conferences. (The Committee is interested in this information because we wish to select and showcase seasoned, as well as fresh, talent.)
  8. Your school affiliation, title, courses taught, and contact information (please include email address and telephone number).
  9. Any articles or books that you have published that relate to your proposed presentation.
  10. Any other information you think will help the Committee appreciate the value your presentation will provide.

 

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, April 1st at 5pm to Lisa Young, Seattle University School of Law, [email protected].  If you have questions, please email Lisa Young or call at 206-398-4323.

The Section on Academic Support Program Committee:

Lisa Young, Chair

Barbara McFarland, Past Chair

Robin Boyle Laisure, Past Chair

Robert Coulthard

Steven Foster

Danielle Kocal

Goldie Pritchard

Brendon Taga

ASP Section Chair:  Louis Schulze

 

March 14, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Borrowed Brains Have No Value

The title of this post is actually a Yiddish proverb.  It applies to law school in multiple ways:

  • Reading canned briefs or headnotes instead of the actual cases will not teach you how to analyze cases as an attorney.  You need to know how to spot the issues, pull out the legally significant facts, understand the court's reasoning, and distill the legal essentials from the opinions.  Then you need to synthsize everything you have read.
  • Using scripts instead of taking class notes will not help you think about the law.  Scripts are merely verbatim transcripts without true understanding.  A court reporter can make a transcript; an attorney needs to process the law to know how to use it correctly.
  • Relying on other people's outlines instead of making your own outline focuses on memorization rather than understanding.  Attorneys need to be able to struggle with the law and know how it works; they need to use the law rather than parrot the law.
  • Reading the model answer in a practice question book instead of writing out your own answer will short-circuit learning.  You cannot learn the nuances of thinking by reading another's work.  You cannot learn how to organize a tight analysis without doing it yourself.

Studying the law well takes effort.  Thinking about the law is very different than memorizing the law.  Understanding how to apply the law to legal problems goes beyond borrowed brains.  Clients want to hire lawyers who excel at using their own brains.  (Amy Jarmon) 

March 13, 2013 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An Attitude of Gratitude

It is hard for law students to realize sometimes that they are privileged.  When the reading becomes overwhelming, the outlines are not going well, mid-term grades are lower than desired, and job prospects for summer or after graduation look bleak, it is easy to become discouraged and negative. 

At the times of discouragement, students need to remember that they are studying for a profession that has a long history of making a difference in people's lives every day.  Law school can be overwhelming and frustrating and challenging.  It is not a perfect environment by any means.  The job market is not as robust as it used to be, and job hunts take more initiative and diligence.  But if one does persevere in law school, bar study, and the job hunt, the legal profession provides the opportunity to impact individuals and society. 

When law students lose perspective on why they came to law school and what they hope to accomplish with a law degree, they need to look at the world outside the law school fishbowl.  There are thousands of people in every part of this country who would love to have the opportunity to have an education - let alone a graduate education, to focus on learning , and to enter a profession some day.  They are too busy with daily survival, however, to have those luxuries.  They are worried about the next meal, a roof over their heads, or protecting their children from violence.  They are wondering how to get access to justice for themselves and their families.

The study of law is not for everyone.  The legal profession is not a good match for everyone.  It is okay if a law student would prefer to pursue another degree in business or music or anthropology or some other discipline.  It is equally okay if a law student would prefer not to be in school at all and instead work full-time. 

If the decision is to stay in law school and pursue the law degree, then it is important to realize the privilege of that choice.  When it gets tough, remember the impact a lawyer can have.  Persevere through the hard courses; study with purpose; prepare to be the best lawyer possible.  There are people out there who need help in their daily survival, and they need each law student to be focused on being the lawyer who will have that impact in their lives.

Have an attitude of gratitude for the opportunity to pursue a law degree, for the chance to make a difference through our profession, and for the people who will allow each new lawyer to touch their lives.  When discouraged, look beyond the moment to the future that awaits.  (Amy Jarmon)        

 

 

March 12, 2013 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Study Tip: Analytical Templates

A tip you can give students:    

 

    Consider developing analytical templates for issues you know will appear on your exams. You can glean them from your briefs and class notes, from explicit tests and definitions applied by the courts, or from cases that lay out a series of steps in the analyses of particular issues.

    You can create your own template by gathering the critical concepts governing the analysis of an issue and arranging the concepts into a set of steps or questions the courts generally use to analyze that issue. You could then use the steps or questions to guide your own analysis on an exam.

    For example, you might boil down the critical concepts concerning animus under the Equal Protection Clause and create a template to guide your discussion of whether the facts of a problem suggest animus on the part of the government. You could then make the template easy to remember by arranging the concepts into “BIASES”:

    Animus/Invidious Choice (Purpose to disadvantage a group)

  • B – Bare desire to harm unpopular group = never legitimate gov’t interest
  • I  – Invidious choice = violation of E.P.
  • A – Arbitrary assignment of burdens among classes
  • S – Singling out unpopular group for special disability = possible bias
  • E – Enabling private biases through gov’t action = violation of E.P.
  • S – Smoking out animus -- Scrutiny depends on classification

 

    This template reflects a more expanded version, which is itself a boiled down version of a detailed outline:

    Animus/Invidious Choice (Purpose to disadvantage a group)

  • Bare desire to harm unpopular group = never legit
  • Invidious choice = violation of E.P.

                implies disrespect

                driven by animus

  • Arbitrary assignment of burdens among classes    

                no logical purpose = no rational basis = arbitrary

                Standard: achieved purpose in patently arbitrary or irrational way?

                Rationale so attenuated from goal = arbitrary or irrational.

  • Singling out unpopular group for special disability = possible bias

                Disadvantage politically unpopular group

                Targeting group w/ unpopular trait or affliction

                Broad disability on single class

                        E.g., singling out class to restrict ability to seek protection from discrimination                         especially egregious violation of E.P., e.g. (Colorado gays)

                        E.g., no food stamps for unrelated households (bias against hippies)

  • Enabling private biases through gov’t action = violation of E.P.

                    Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or                     indirectly, give them effect.”

 

  • Scrutiny depends on classification (tests to smoke out animus)

                Non-suspect = Rational Basis Test

                Quasi-suspect = Intermediate Scrutiny     

                Suspect = Strict Scrutiny

 

Dan Weddle

March 11, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

2 New ASP Jobs at Western State

Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills and Director of Disability Resources

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 Disability Resources, with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2013.  The professor’s primary responsibility will be to work with J.D. students to reach their full academic potential for succesful performance in law school, on the bar exam, and after graduation. 

The Director will act as the liaison to administrators, faculty, and professional staff regarding disability-related issues, laws and policies in an effort to ensure the Law School is in compliance with all disability-related policies.

Responsibilities include:

  • Providing administrative oversight of services for students who have disabilities
  • Analyzing and interpreting documentation to determine eligibility for reasonable accommodations for students of the law school
  • Working collaboratively with faculty, professional staff and others to ensure that students are receiving the reasonable accommodations to which they are entitled
  • Supervising professional staff members and student staff
  • Interpreting and applying federal and state laws and regulations pertaining to the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities and developing procedures and practices to ensure compliance
  • Assisting in the identification of program/curricular accessibility barriers
  • Providing information regarding Disability Resources to inquiring students
  • Overseeing the process of providing testing accommodations, note-taking assistance, and textbooks in alternative formats and determining and coordinating appropriate service provision of transcriptionists, interpreters, and others
  • Assisting with the law school’s academic support programs, including teaching workshops and/or classes related to law school skills 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. 

Candidates should possess thorough knowledge of Federal statutes including the Rehabilitation Act, 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990. Candidates must have experience in reading disability documentation and determining appropriate accommodations as well as demonstrated knowledge of and use of adaptive technology (hardware and software) and equipment. 

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.  Experience with counseling and outcomes assessment is highly valued. 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 [email protected]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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, 2013.  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 rights 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 [email protected]

March 7, 2013 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Two Magic Questions

"Thinking like a lawyer" boils down to habitually asking two questions:

1) Why is that true?

2) Why does that matter?

Practically all of law practice and law study can be summarized in those two sentences.  Of course, each carries its implicit opposite:  Is that true? and Does that matter? But the answer to the two basic questions answers the others.

Most lawyers ask those questions so routinely that they become an ingrained part of their thinking, an automatic response to evidence, regardless of its source.

In preparing for trial, for example, a good lawyer examines each piece of evidence presented by any party and asks those two questions.  When interviewing a client, deposing a witness, conducting negotiations, examining a witness on the stand -- a good lawyer asks those two questions, silently perhaps, all along the way.

If you want to understand a case deeply, ask the two questions after each step in the reasoning.  If you want stay effectively engaged during class, ask the two questions after every assertion by a student or the professor.  If you want to write a legal memorandum or brief to the court, ask the two questions after every sentence until the questions are completely answered.

If you want to gather as many points as possible on an essay exam, ask the two questions after every sentence until the questions are completely answered.

If you want to think like a veteran lawyer, ask the two questions all the time, until they become a natural part of how you think.

Students routinely hear that their thinking or their writing is "too conclusory."  The two magic questions make that criticism go away.

March 4, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)