Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So many books, so little time...What to choose?

Many new ASP professors are in the midst of choosing books for their growing ASP library, or a text to help them teach an ASP course. The choices are amazing; there are hundreds of good ASP books out there. In the past, Amy, Dan and I have reviewed ASP books. There are now so many, and so many coming out soon, that it is impossible to keep up with them all. So for people new to ASP, I am going to tell you what I am teaching with this year, and why I chose these three books. This list is personal and somewhat idiosyncratic; there are, easily, ten other books I could have chosen that are as good as the books I chose for this semester.

For orientation: RuthAnn McKinney's Reading Like a Lawyer

Writing is thinking. Before a student can write well, they need to understand what they are reading. I chose Reading Like a Lawyer because it starts with the most fundamental skill, essential to success in all classes: reading cases, efficiently and thoroughly. I will be using Reading Like a Lawyer for the first several weeks of our required introductory skills class for incoming students after we start the book during orientation. Another good book if you want to start with a skill-building book during orientation is Plain English for Lawyers.

For our OneL (introductory skills) class: Barry Friedman and John Goldberg's Open Book

Open Book is one of the newer ASP books. I chose this book for the second 2/3rds of our required  introductory skills class, OneL. I chose this book because it is relatively short, straightforward, and it gives stellar advice on exam prep and exam-taking skills. I wanted a short(er) book for the second part of the course because students are going to overwhelmed by reading and studying for exams, and OneL is a p/f course. If I chose a longer book, I doubt students would read before class. However, it was a tough call between Open Book, John Dernbach's Writing Essay Exams to Succeed (Not Just Survive), and the late Charles Whitebread's The Eight Secrets of Top Exam Performance in Law School. However, if I was not starting with Reading Like a Lawyer in OneL, I would have seriously considered Herb Ramy's Succeeding in Law School, Charles Calleros' Law School Exams, or Susan Darrow Kleinhaus' Mastering the Law School Exam.

As a (required) supplemental to my Property course: Jeremy Paul and Michael Fischl's Getting to Maybe

I am teaching Property to third-semester, part-time evening students. Getting to Maybe is, in my experience, the very best book out there for teaching advanced exam skills. I would NOT recommend Getting to Maybe during the first semester of law school; students must have some experience with law school exams before this book can be helpful.  I have a second caveat; ideally, this book should be taught, not just recommended, which is why I make it required reading for my Property class. I am embedding the lessons from the book into my lesson plans on doctrinal material. This book should be taught instead of recommended because it teaches advanced skills and dismisses foundational skills that are essential to success. I always cringe when I read the pages that dismiss IRAC; IRAC is an essential skill, and it is misunderstood by the authors. Students who are struggling with basic exam skills misunderstand the dismissal of IRAC; they take it to mean IRAC is useless. Students cannot discuss “forks in the facts” if they don’t understand they need to start with an issue statement, and a broad statement of the rule at issue. However, when the lessons from this book are discussed, given context, and explained, students gain a more nuanced, thorough understanding of exam writing. Despite my caveats, this is the best book on the market for advanced exam skills.


July 31, 2013 in Advice, Books, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thoughts on starting at a new school

After a 2 month absence, I am back on the blog, and a huge thank you to Amy for covering for me while I was moving!

One of the things I noticed as I was perusing past posts is the number of ASP positions that have opened up recently. Several schools will be hiring new people in the coming months, and here are my preliminary, abbreviated thoughts on starting in a new position in ASP:

1) Figure out the reporting structure:

You need to know who you will report to, and if that is a different person from the one that writes your evaluation. In past positions, I have reported to the head of legal writing, the assistant dean for academic affairs, the dean of students, and the dean of the law school. You need to know if the person who gives you assignments also writes your evaluation.

2) When you know who you report to, make sure you know what their priorities are:

It's great to hit the ground running, but it's not so helpful if you come with a stellar plan for 1L ASP when your supervisor really wants you to focus on bar prep, 2L remediation, or intro to law/orientation programs. Before you start planning, you need to figure out where you should be spending the bulk of your time and energy.

3) Know the evaluation structure:

At some schools, this is anything but transparent. Know who is evaluating you, and how you will be evaluated. Ask a lot of questions if evaluations are a black box of opacity--opacity is not always a bad thing. I've  worked at a school where evaluations were never talked about with supervisors; if there was a problem, they let me know early so I could fix the issue and move on. At that school, evaluations were not the time to discuss performance--performance was an ongoing topic of discussion, because growth was an ongoing project. I've been at (one) other school were opacity was a terrible thing; evaluations were subjective and designed to humiliate, so everyone knew who was "boss" at the law school. The evaluation structure was whatever the evaluator wanted to use, from any period of time.

4) Know what your admin. assistant/secretary can and cannot do for you:

Your admin will be your lifesaver or your worst enemy; try, try, try not to make your admin your worst enemy. Ask colleagues what your admin can and cannot do for you. Some law schools have one faculty secretary, and that person is overworked, yelled at, and stressed out all the time--do not make their life harder than it already is. Other law schools have several admins, and you are expected to delegate many tasks to them. But you cannot assume the latter; ask your colleagues.

5) Know where to get lunch, and if people lunch together (or, get to know the social culture):

The social culture of a school is critical; if you misread the social culture, it can damn you professionally. The social culture at UMass is wonderful--relaxed, and collegial. Uconn-Storrs (distinct from the law school) had a much more formal social culture, but one that was incredibly welcoming, warm and genuine. Uconn-Storrs has a very unique culture; everyone lunches together, everyday, at noon, in a conference room.  Few law schools do this, but it was fantastic. I learned the informal rules of the office that way; I learned who to ask for what, when; and I learned how I could help people. One of the things I will miss most about UConn is lunching with colleagues everyday.

I am sure I will have much more to add about starting at a new school. But for now, I need to get back to writing a new syllabus and reading for my upcoming Property class. (RCF)


July 30, 2013 in Advice, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Director of Academic Support Position at Washburn

Washburn University School of Law invites applicants for a faculty position as Director of Academic
Support.  This is a tenure-track position which includes teaching responsibilities.  The duties of the Director would include designing and administering a comprehensive academic support program for law students.  J.D. Degree and strong academic credentials required; prior academic support of law school teaching experience preferred.  Washburn University School of Law values diversity and encourages
applicants whose backgrounds would enrich the school.  Review of applications will begin immediately
and continue until the position is filled.  Interested candidates should send a resume, listing three references, and a cover letter.  (All faculty appointments are contingent upon funding.)  Contact:  Professor Nancy G. Maxwell, Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee, Washburn University School of
Law, 1700 College Avenue, Topeka, KS 66621. Email:

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

AALS Announces Registration Open for 2014 Annual Meeting

For those of you unfamiliar with the AALS meetings each January, the Academic Support Section will hold both a program and a business meeting during the annual meeting.  If your law school is a AALS member and your budgetary rules allow you to register for a 2014 conference with current budget funds, this announcement might be of interest to you. (Amy Jarmon) 

The following e-mail was sent to AALS members:

We are delighted to announce that the registration for the 2014 AALS Annual Meeting to be held in New York City, Thursday, January 2 through Sunday, January 5, 2014 is now open.

The AALS Annual Meeting is the world's largest gathering of legal educators and administrators attracting over 3,500 law school faculty members, deans, and law librarians for the most comprehensive 3 days of
continuing education available for legal educators. It's a great opportunity to connect and network with colleagues from different law schools around common interests, learn about new issues in legal education, and leave with ideas and strategies for action in your work and at your own institution.

The theme for the 2014 Annual Meeting is "Looking Forward: Legal Education in the 21st Century."  Questions about the value and future of legal education have repeatedly dominated academic conversations and commanded news headlines in recent years. As we consider what the future holds
for legal education and the academy, this annual meeting will play a crucial role in encouraging active engagement and debate - an important step towards engaging with fellow faculty members in shaping legal education and its future leaders.

Join thousands of your law school colleagues from all over country as we gather in Manhattan to examine and consider what the future holds for legal education and the academy and how best to move forward.

The Annual Meeting and the hotels for housing will all be within walking distance from premier attractions such as Times Square, Radio City Music Hall, Fifth Avenue shopping, the Broadway Theatre district, Central Park, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and many more iconic New York landmarks.

For more information, including meeting highlights, the complete program, registration, and housing information, please visit

PS: When you register early, you'll guarantee your place and get a discount!

July 25, 2013 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Resource for MBE Practice

Many of you know that the National Conference of Bar Examiners write the multiple choice questions that are on the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).  However, you may not realize that the NCBE publishes three MBE practice tests, Online Practice Exams (OPE), for purchase in their online store.  Each OPE consists of 100 mixed subject questions that have been taken from recent MBEs.  In addition to more MBE practice, these tests include an explanation as to why the incorrect answers are incorrect.*  This feature helps students assess their performance and improve their understanding of the law.

In many jurisdictions, including all of the Uniform Bar Exam jurisdictions, the written scores are scaled to the MBE and are weighed heavier than each of the written components.  Thus, having a solid  MBE score will help applicants increase their chances of passing the bar exam.  While most, if not all, of the bar review companies provide ample MBE practice questions for bar students, the OPEs can still be a great addition to their study plan. 

First, the questions on the OPE are actual questions from past Multistate Bar Exams.  Therefore, they illustrate a sampling of the legal issues that could be tested on a future bar exam.  Next, they are written in the exact style as the actual MBE questions.  This is significant because answering MBE questions requires not only content knowledge but also critical thinking and logical reasoning skills. 

Understanding the testing format on the bar is just as important as knowing and understanding the law.  Higher order multiple choice questions are more difficult to answer because they go beyond mere knowledge and comprehension.  They incorporate evaluation, synthesis, analysis, and application.**  That is why typically the mean MBE scaled score is 139-143 (which roughly equates to a raw score of 115-123 out of a possible 200).  Essentially, applicants need to get approximately 60% of the answers correct to achieve a passing MBE score.

I have encouraged students who need additional MBE practice to purchase the OPEs.  They have found this resource to be incredibly helpful.  They receive a score report upon completion and are able to repeat the test after they have a chance to review their initial answers and the explanations. 

 *National Conference of Bar Examiners at

**See Bloom's taxonomy



July 24, 2013 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Academic Skills Counselor Position at UC Irvine

School of Law Academic Skills Counselor

The University of California, Irvine, School of Law invites applications for the
position of Academic Skills Counselor.  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 August 14, 2013.

The Academic Skills Counselor’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 Academic Skills Counselor reports
to the Director of Academic Skills and works closely with the Assistant
Director of Academic Skills, the Assistant Dean of Student Services, and the
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The preference is for a
full-time, twelve-month academic appointment, but applicants interested in a
part-time appointment will be considered. The successful candidate will be
provided 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. The full-time annual salary range is $46,644.00 to $58,272.00; this position is classified within the Academic Coordinator series.

Complete details of this position and directions for on-line applications may be accessed at:

For additional information on the School of Law, please visit

Patti O’Dorisio, Director of Personnel
UC Irvine School of Law

UCI is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer dedicated
to excellence through diversity.


July 24, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Memorization: The Final Week of Bar Prep

During the final week of bar prep, memorization is paramount.  Overlearning the law is the best way to conquer the bar exam.  MBE success requires quick recollection and MEE success requires depth of knowledge- both of which rely on memorization.

When studying this week, above all, try to understand your learning preference(s).  Listening to your inner voice and sticking with what works best for you is the best way to be successful with your memorization.  However, if you are still looking for other ways to memorize, here are a few ideas:

  • Find creative ways to interact with the material and keep it fresh.
  • Use a study partner or significant other to test you on your knowledge with flashcards or just talk out a subject together.
  • Create tables, flowcharts, or diagrams to illustrate difficult rules or concepts.  Even drawing pictures can help you create a memorable visual.
  • Use other memory devices such as: flash cards, sticky notes, white boards, or a tape recorder. 
  • Create mnemonics that have meaning to you or use ones that have been created by your bar prep.
  • Explain the main points of a subject or essay to someone else (a family member, friend, or roommate).  Or, talk to yourself- it's ok, you are studying for the bar!
  • Color code, use different fonts, or hand-write rules over and over in order to individualize the material and make it more memorable.
  • Read your lecture notes or outline/study-aid aloud, record it, play it back and listen to it.
  • Study while you move- walk, ride a bike, bounce on an exercise ball, or use an elliptical. 

Good luck on your memorization this week!


July 23, 2013 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams, Exams - Studying, Learning Styles, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Assistant Director of Academic Support Position at Texas Wesleyan

Position Announcement: Assistant Director of Academic Support


Texas Wesleyan University, founded in 1890 in Fort Worth, is a United Methodist
institution with a tradition of integrating the liberal arts and sciences with
professional and career preparation at the undergraduate level and in selected
graduate areas. The University is currently seeking applicants for a full-time Assistant Director of Academic Support position. 

The Assistant Director of Academic Support assists the Academic Support Director with the
development and management of all aspects the First Year Academic Support
Program, participates in law school curriculum and program development work,
conducts scholarly research, writes and submits articles for publication and
participates in University-wide committees.

Juris doctor degree is required. Two to five years of University teaching experience preferred.

Applications will be reviewed until position is filled.  To apply, send a current resume
& a cover letter indicating position desired to: Office of Human Resources,
Texas Wesleyan University, 1201 Wesleyan, Fort Worth, TX 76105, or

Visit to view full job description and other open positions.


July 23, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Of Mice, Exercise, and Lowered Stress

Hat tip to Amy Bushaw, Professor of Law at Lewis and Clark, for alerting readers of the Law-legaled list to a web story out of Princeton University regarding exercise in mice and its lowering of stress.  The article can be found at:

July 22, 2013 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

It rained steadily in West Texas for three different days last week!  Hooray - a dent in the drought for our gardeners and cotton growers.  Lubbock even made the national Weather Channel coverage - usually only happens when we deal with sky-reddening massive dust storms.  Lots of folks had forgotten the routines to deal with rain and left their umbrellas, rain hats, or raincoats home on the first day. 

Why this title and mention of rain?  I am talking to a fair number of bar studiers and summer school students who are feeling as though it is stormy weather for them under a deluge of material.  Here are some of the reasons:

  • The bar exam dates are drawing perilously close.
  • Bar studiers are concerned about their scores on practice questions.
  • For many bar studiers, there is still too much to learn in what seems too little time.
  • Summer school students are beginning to realize how fast a 5-week summer session goes by.
  • Many summer school students are juggling part-time jobs with studies and feeling stretched too thin.
  • Students with spouses, children, significant others, elderly parents, or other responsibilities beyond school are pulled in multiple directions.

When summer school students and bar studiers get focused on the negative deluge instead of grabbing their umbrellas, they can stress themselves out and become overwhelmed.  Here are some tips to remember that the apparent deluge is really just a bunch of individual raindrops: 

  • Prioritize the tasks that need to be done instead of considering everything as equal.
  • Decide how each task can be completed for the wisest use of time and the most results.
  • Focus on one small task at a time and then move on to the next rather than getting caught up in the overview of everything.
  • Remember that the goal is to learn from one's mistakes on practice questions - the learning avoids a mindless repetition of mistakes.
  • Give credit for what has been learned well, is going right, and has pulled together to balance out one's negativity.
  • Stop obsessing over the "should haves" or "could haves" - what is done (or not done) cannot be changed; focus on what can still be controlled now.     
  • Ask family and friends for patience, encouragement, and help with non-study tasks that would usually be shared (cooking, cleaning, child care).
  • Get on a regular sleep schedule of at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night - life looks a lot less stormy when one is well-rested.
  • If work is also being juggled, consider whether hours can be reduced for the rest of the summer session. 

Whether the bar exam is the stressor or summer school, realize that perfection is not needed.  One needs to do the best one can under one's circumstances.  Persevere and do not get psyched out and defeated.  (Amy Jarmon) 


July 21, 2013 in Bar Exam Preparation, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Update on the Law School Academic Success Project Website

The following e-mail from Louis Schulze (Chair) appeared on the Academic Support Section listserv for AALS to update ASP'ers on the status of LSASP and some assistance that is needed to update the website:

Dear Colleagues,

As you may know, the law school academic success project website is maintained by the AALS Section
on Academic Support.  A few weeks ago, some questions arose on the ASP
listserv regarding how to gain access to that website.  After some
troubleshooting, it now appears that those matters have been resolved, and we
are moving forward with continued improvements to the website. 

As Chair of the Section, I’m happy to report that OJ Salinas, of UNC Law, has agreed to serve as Senior Editor of the website and Chair of the Section’s Website committee.  You will be noticing some changes to the website in the near future, and I write today to ask for your assistance with some of these changes: 

(1)  Any person who recently requested access to the website should now have access.  You should have received an email approving your request.  If you recently requested access and have not
been approved, please contact OJ at

(2)  We need assistance with the “Contacts” section of the website.  Could you please check your information and your school’s information for accuracy and report any changes to OJ?  Also, if you were recently granted access to the website and would like to be added to the
contacts section of our website, please forward to OJ at your school;
title; telephone number; and email.  If you have one available, a photograph would be helpful (head shot is best for the website).  If you have an updated photograph that you would like added to the website, please forward it to OJ, as well.

(3)  We would like to update the portion of the website dealing with conferences.  If you know of an upcoming ASP conference, could you please report it to OJ?  If you recently presented at a
conference and would be willing to share your materials, could you email OJ?  We want to continue to use the website as an ASP resource, and conference materials are valuable resources.

Additional changes are on the horizon for the website, and we look forward to rolling those out in the near future.  In the meantime, I’m sure I speak for our community when I thank Jon McClanahan of UNC Law for chairing the website committee for several years now and doing a wonderful
job.  Thanks also go to OJ Salinas for his recent work and for agreeing to chair the committee in the future.  Finally, our entire community owes a huge debt of gratitude to Ruth Ann McKinney for the hours upon hours of work she invested in creating the LSASP website, which is an incredible

Best regards,


Louis N. Schulze, Jr.

Professor of Law & Director of Academic Support




July 18, 2013 in Miscellany, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Assistant Dean for Student Support at Catholic University

Assistant Dean for Student Support (full-time, 35 hours/week). Law School - Office of the Dean

Position Summary: The Law School provides graduate (JD) and post-graduate (LL.M) education for the practice of Law. 

Reporting to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research, the Assistant Dean for Students Support is responsible for supporting students in their personal, academic and institutional social
activities within the Law School. The Assistant Dean for Student Support will collaborate with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research to ensure the highest quality academic and personal experience for all students. 

Essential Responsibilities Include: Establishing a program of academic excellence to help diagnose and support students who are at academic risk as measured by their first semester's grades; identifying students who have learning disorders or are experiencing serious personal/emotional problems and refer as appropriate to on- or off-campus professionals; working with faculty, external experts and university support personnel to establish courses, conferences and programs that will support student and faculty needs; working with the Office of Student Life to aid students organize and administer programs of interest to all students or groups of students; designing and producing the annual orientation program for incoming students; supporting and advising the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Research as desired and needed; serving as primary point of contact for students' suggestions, requests and acting as ombudsman as appropriate in response; supporting Academic Support Manager and all deans and directors in the preparation of the ABA Annual Report, the U.S. News Annual Survey and preparation for the seven-year ABA site inspection, including the self-study, data collection and site visit. 

Minimum Qualifications: A JD is required. Candidates with a Master's degree in educational Counseling and three (3) years of experience at the graduate level may be considered. A minimum of five plus (5+) years related work experience in an institutional of higher education, preferably an ABA accredited law school. Experience organizing conferences, lectures and programs is desirable. 

For immediate consideration, please forward 1) resume, 2) cover letter and 3) salary requirements to Attention Ms. Ivonne Ambrozkiewicz, Director of Employment & Training Development, Please quote position 101185 in your correspondence. You
must include your salary requirements as part of your application

July 17, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Assistant Director Position at Touro

Assistant Director for Academic Development and Bar Programs

Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center is accepting applications for the position of Assistant Director for Academic Development and Bar Programs.  This position is a 12-month position and reports to the Director of Academic Development and Bar Programs. 

The Assistant Director for Academic Development and Bar Programs assists the Director of Academic
Development and Bar Programs in all aspects of Touro’s Academic Development
programs including: recruiting, training, and supervising teaching assistants;
working with students on an individual basis; coordinating and providing skills
training workshops; developing appropriate student learning materials;
coordinating and teaching in Touro’s bar-preparation programs; and implementing
new services relevant to enhancing our law students’ academic experience. 

Job Responsibilities:

Primary responsibility for the administrative duties associated with the 1L Teaching Assistant (“TA”)
Program with shared monitoring and training responsibilities; the
administrative tasks include: identifying and selecting TAs, scheduling TA
sessions, monitoring TA and student attendance, reviewing weekly TA status
reports, and maintaining and disseminating TA materials;

Provide individual counseling and tutoring;

In conjunction with the Director of Academic Development and Bar Programs,  sharing in the creation, maintenance, and distribution of teaching materials which includes the further development and maintenance of the ASP website/blog;

Assist in implementing and teaching in programs related to academic development and bar exam

One-on-one tutoring in Touro’s summer bar prep program;

Other duties related to academic support, success, retention, and bar preparation as assigned by the Director of Academic Development and Bar Programs;

Design, develop, implement, and conduct academic-success workshops and programs, including instruction for refining students’ analytical, learning, and time management skills, as well as guidance in case briefing, note taking, outlining, exam preparation and exam taking. 


Applicants must possess a J.D. degree with a record of high academic achievement from an ABA-accredited law school.  The ideal candidate should possess excellent writing, speaking, and organizational skills as well as a demonstrated commitment to academic support. Strong interpersonal communications skills are essential. Experience in academic support or teaching,
whether at the college or law school level, is required.  Evening and some weekend work is

Application Procedure

Please send a cover letter and your resume to:  The subject line of your email should read:  Assistant Director of Academic Support. 

Application Deadline:  Friday, July 26, 2013

Touro Law Center is located in Central Islip, on the south shore of Long Island, an hour
from New York City. Fifty full-time law faculty members provide a
practice-oriented educational curriculum to approximately 700 students in both
full-time day and part-time evening programs. Visit for
more information about Touro Law Center.

Touro College is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity. Our
practices and employment decisions regarding employment, hiring, assignment,
promotion, compensation, and other terms and conditions of employment are not
to be based on an employee's race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin,
disability, ancestry, military discharge status, sexual orientation, marital
status, genetic predisposition, housing status, or any other protected status,
in accordance with applicable law. Our policies are in conformance with Title
IX, 1972 Education Amendments


July 17, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Assistant Dean Position at Texas Southern

Law School:   
  Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Title:         Assistant Dean for Academic Support and Bar Readiness

Department:  Law 

to:     Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 

Date:      Fall Semester 2013


            The Assistant Dean for Academic Support & Bar Readiness (ADASBR) performs a variety of functions at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Office of Academic Affairs, to support the teaching and learning goals of the Law School. The ADASBR will have a 12-month administrative
appointment. The ADASBR will divide his/her time between the administrative
duties in academic support, bar examination services program, and teaching or
assisting in the teaching of 1-2 Bar courses per year at the Law School.  Salary is commensurate with University guidelines and experience.

The ADASBR is responsible for:

  • Effective management of existing academic support programs at the Law School.
  • Designing and implementing strategies to successfully assist students’ learning,
         particularly at-risk or high risk students.
  • Participating in individual and group academic advising of at-risk Bar examination
  • Designing and implementing strategies to assist students with preparation for the Bar
         examination including working with members of the administration and
         faculty to evaluate curriculum and academic standards to maximize Bar
  • Participating in the planning and development of Bar exam passage and enhancement
         programs, including Bar examination counseling and coaching of students
         during their enrollment and as they prepare to take the Bar examination.
  • Along with other members of the administration, evaluating and creating reports
         on statistical data regarding students’ academic performance, course enrollment,
         entrance scores and Bar passage results; Work with the Center for Pedagogy
         and Law School Assessment Department to develop and track matrix to
         determine effectiveness of programs and initiatives.
  • Hiring, training and supervising  student mentors  who provide academic
         support ;
  • Assisting in designing and implementing the academic support component of the
         orientation programs;
  • Work with Students’ Affairs in overseeing the institution’s policies for
         providing reasonable accommodation for academic support students with
         disabilities to ensure compliance with the ADA and section 504 of the
         Rehabilitation Act.

The ADASBR may have other responsibilities as assigned from
time to time by the Dean of the Law School and or Associate Dean for Academic

The ADASBR reports to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
and works closely with other constituencies within the law school, particularly
the Assistant Dean of Students’ Services, Registrar, and Executive Director of
Assessment, Bar Curriculum Instructors, Lawyering Process instructors, Tutors,
Student Mentors, Writing Professors, and other faculty members.  

            Applicants must have a J.D. degree and strong academic credentials. The successful candidate must be able to work both collaboratively and independently and must have a creative approach to problem solving, with strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication
skills, and demonstrated success in collaborating within all levels of an
institution. Preference will be given for experience in teaching and coaching
at-risk law students, academic support, law school administration, law school
teaching, and scholarship in the area of learning theory and academic support.

            Please apply at www.  Click on the link for “Search Job Postings”
and type “Law” in the Department Name.  Select the position for Assistant Dean, Academic Support and Bar Exam Services.  If you have any questions, please contact Associate Dean Gabriel Aitsebaomo at 713.313.1127 or


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

Request for Article Submissions to The Learning Curve

Dear ASP colleagues: 

The Learning Curve is the official publication of the AALS Section on Academic Support, showcasing
brief articles treating theoretical or practical ideas related to student support and teaching excellence.  Recently we shifted to a twice-yearly publication structure, and we look forward to sharing our first summer issue next month.  Its articles explore ways to incorporate "Fun and
Games" into your programs. 

We are considering articles for the January 2014 issue now, and we want to hear from you!  We are
particularly interested in submissions concerning professional development in ASP, and encourage both new and seasoned ASP professionals to submit their work.  Can you share some advice regarding scholarship – generating ideas, outlining, navigating the submission process, etc.?  Are you doing
something innovative in your classroom?  Do you have a fresh take on technology or what it means to be “ASPish”?  Can you tell us something about the history of ASP teaching? 

Please ensure that your articles are applicable to our wide readership.  Principles that apply
broadly, i.e. to all teaching or support program environments, are especially
welcome.  While we always want to be supportive of your work, we discourage articles that focus solely on advertising for an individual school’s program.  

Please send your submission to by no later than August 30, 2013.  Please attach it to your message as a Word file.  Please do not send hard copy manuscripts, and please do not paste a manuscript into the body of your e-mail.  Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words, with light notes, if appropriate.  Please note that Publisher does not support footnotes that run with text. 
Endnotes or references lists will be used in publication and are strongly preferred in manuscript submissions.

For more information, or to inquire about the appropriateness of a topic, contact Jennifer Carr at Please include “Learning Curve” in the subject line of your inquiry.

We look forward to reading your work and learning from you! 



The Learning Curve Editors

Jennifer Carr, Heather Harshman, and Courtney Lee


July 16, 2013 in Miscellany, Publishing, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 15, 2013

MBE: Review is the Key

The most important aspect of practicing Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions happens after taking the practice questions not during.  Reviewing your answers after taking the practice tests is crucial to success.  No matter how many questions you can access, it is not about the quantity of questions you complete.  Instead, you should focus on quality.  By incorporating review into your MBE practice you will figure out what you know and what you don’t know in addition to diagnosing common traps. 

For the next set of practice MBEs you complete, remember to schedule enough time to review your answers.  Read through the answer choices and the answer explanations.  Whether right or wrong, determine why you selected your answer.  You need to learn how to remedy your errors and replicate your successes. 


Lisa Young

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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interim Director of Bar Services Position at Golden Gate

The position is a full time staff position for one year. 
To apply, please visit the Golden Gate University website,
and on the home page look for "About GGU" and then the link
"Jobs at GGU" and then the link "View Jobs and Apply
Online".  The application process is entirely online through our
partner "NeoGov" - you need not submit paper materials unless you
want to do so, in which case you can mail them to Kimberly Stanley's address below. 


Kimberly Stanley

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Professor of Law

Golden Gate University School of Law

536 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA  94105-2968

Tel:  (415) 442-7037

Fax: (415) 442-6609


July 13, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Diversity Education and Outreach Position at Northwestern

Job Summary:

The Director, Diversity Education & Outreach is responsible for the
development and management of all Diversity Education & Outreach programs
and activities in the Law School.  This includes recruitment, planning,
coordination, project management, budgeting, student counseling, and external
networking as outlined in the duties described below.


  • Lead Diversity Education and Outreach initiatives in the Law School, ensuring
         the continued development of an inclusive, student-focused culture.
         Oversee and plan programs, workshops, and training sessions with students,
         staff, and faculty to promote the school's effort to build and maintain an
         environment that is inclusive, pluralistic, and diverse.  Oversee programs
         to support the integration of diverse students into the law school
  • Serve as an advisor to individual students on academic issues, curricular and
         educational decisions, academic progress and performance, and career
         objectives.  Serve as ombudsperson for students when necessary. 
         Provide guidance and support to 12 student groups who serve diverse
         students or whose mission involves diversity;
  • Collaborate in program and policy development is Student Services to ensure that
         diversity goals are included in event planning, budget preparation, and
         promotion of the mission statement;
  • Take on Student Services assignments as delegated by the Associate Dean of
         Students, including matters related to the honor code, character and
         fitness, examinations, orientation, convocation, ADA accommodations, and
         other matters related to Student Life. Represent Dean of Student Services
         in circumstances as needed;
  • Build external networks to promote diversity goals of law school. 
         Represent the school at the local, state, and national levels on all
         matters related to diversity affairs;
  • Foster the development of a vibrant community of diverse scholars through work
         with diverse alumni, faculty, and current students. Ensure diversity goals
         and initiatives are integrated in the Law School community, including
         marketing efforts, recruitment, and other strategic objectives and
  • Work with school deans, faculty, staff, and other administrative offices to
         plan strategies, develop programs, and implement new activities that
         foster and support the diversity of the law school student
         population.  With Law Admissions, develop and implement innovative
         recruitment strategies to attract a larger number of diverse student
         applicants through work with Student Services, personal visits to target
         schools and cities, dissemination of materials promoting the Law School,
         coordination of student, faculty, and alumni efforts, and individualized
         follow-up with applicants.  Advise the Dean on diversity issues;
  • Develop financial aid resources (including scholarships) and employment
         opportunities for diverse students through coordination with a range of
         private and not-for-profit organizations;
  • Plan and manage Diversity Education and Outreach budget; coordinate and consult
         in planning and management of Student Affairs' budget.  Review and
         approve expenditures charged to and revenues applied to Diversity
         Education and Outreach and assigned student groups.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A Juris Doctor Degree from an accredited law school;
  • Minimum of 3 to 5 years of legal or the equivalent combination of education,
         training, and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired;
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain strong interpersonal relationships with
         students, faculty, alumni, staff, legal professionals, and the general
  • Proven ability to exercise initiative and judgment in coordinating various
         programs to serve the best interest of all parties involved;
  • Must be self-directed and willing to identify and assume new responsibilities
         as the needs of the Law School change and grow;
  • Must be willing to travel and when necessary, work a flexible schedule (night
         and weekend events are sometimes necessary).
  • Strong computer skills, including word processing and spreadsheet applications.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience in counseling, recruitment, and/or job placement in a law
         school or comparable setting strongly preferred;
  • Prior experience in both advocacy and conflict management/resolution settings;
  • Prior experience that encompasses broad range of client interactions, including,
         at least, racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, sexual identity, and
         socio-economic status diversity.

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.

The job posting can be found on line at
 Search diversity.  The pay level is an Exempt 9 (range $60-100k).

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer

Date Posted: 7/5/2013

July 12, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs Position at Southwestern


Southwestern announces an exciting opportunity in its Academic Support and Bar-Related
Programs Office. The Program Coordinator is responsible for a diverse number of
administrative and operational responsibilities. The ideal candidate will be a
versatile self-starter capable of working with minimal supervision and able to
coordinate and manage multiple assignments and projects successfully and creatively
while interacting with a variety of constituencies. The Project Coordinator
will provide general administrative assistance including but not limited to
program participation management, document production, database management,
proofreading, budget management, event coordination, and graphic design/​desktop

The Program Coordinator is a critical member of the Academic Support and
Bar-Related Program team.  The office has primary responsibility for
designing and implementing innovative academic support programs, courses, and
individual and small group counseling sessions, and designing and assisting
with bar exam preparation classes, workshops and events.


  • First-year and upper-division academic skills workshops and

  • Summer and winter bar preparation programs;

  • The Dean's Fellows program;

  • Assists with bar data review and presentation;

  • Processes invoices and tracks departmental expenses;

  • Oversees work-study students and projects;

  • Prepares the annual activity calendar; and

  • Maintains the program's portal page and program-specific TWEN


degree with two years' experience in student, academic or administrative
services. The successful candidate will also possess excellent interpersonal,
service, and verbal/​written communication skills; good judgment; strong
organizational and planning abilities; and proficiency in computer programs (MS
Word, Excel, Outlook, Publisher, PowerPoint).​

For consideration, send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to



July 12, 2013 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Successful Bar Exam Writing Practice

Writing style and format is critical to successful bar exam performance.  Do not fall into the trap of only memorizing the law.  You must focus on your approach and your writing techniques in order to reach a passing score on the Multistate Essays and the Multistate Performance Test.  Here are a few ways to ensure that you will achieve passing scores:

  • Carefully read the fact pattern, call lines, and file/library.  Take your time!
  • Organize your thoughts before you begin writing.  Use your scratch paper!
  • Use only the amount of time allowed for each essay or PT task. Time your practice! 
  • Use an organizational model like IRAC or CRAC.  Use it for every issue and sub-issue!
  • Make your answer easy to read.  Use short concise sentences and paragraphs!
  • Remember to review what you have written.  Become the grader!
  • Do not get frustrated by your mistakes, get motivated and learn from them!
  • Keep practicing…practice equals passing!


Lisa Young

July 9, 2013 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)