Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

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


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, 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  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 Questions regarding hiring can be addressed to Professor Eli Wald, Chair, Visiting Appointments Committee, University of Denver Sturm College of Law,

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...<>

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 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


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


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


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



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, and other immigration-related

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.



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.


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, , 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


Review of applications to begin March
29, 2013.


CUNY Job Posting: Faculty


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
  • 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.
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.

be considered for this position, applicants should submit the following
materials using UC Irvine’s on-line application system, RECRUIT,
located at
  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Relevant publications and/or writing samples
  • Contact information for three references
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)