Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Do You Wanna Dance?

Remember the awkwardness of middle-school and high school dances if you weren't attending as half of a couple?  Males stood on one side while the females hung out on the opposite side of the gym.  To walk across the divide to ask for a dance was intimidating.  And mortifying if you got turned down flat under the watchful eyes of everyone else.

Some students had the herd instinct and stuck with a group of other unattached attendees.  At best they would get out on the dance floor en masse.  At worst they would chat with friends while being among the non-selected.

I was thinking today about how so many things in law school echo back to those days of social uncertainty.  (For some, college was no better; however, most felt a bit more daring and socially adept by then.)

For example, you are herded into an auditorium during Orientation with hundreds of other new 1Ls and expected to get acquainted or at least fit in somehow.  There may have been a major welcome luncheon on the first day.  If seats were not assigned by section, then the undergraduate friends who are now attending law school together clumped into little groups at the tables, secure in having "dance partners."  Everyone else felt as though a flashing, neon sign with an arrow exclaimed "unpaired."  If seating was by sections, then at least the unfamiliar 1Ls at the table knew they had something vague in common and could swap rumors about their professors and courses.

Socratic Method is a bit like a dance invitation - except you really shouldn't take the option of turning down the professor (pass is not any more exceptable than no thanks).  And at times students feel they are trying to follow their professor dance partner without any idea of the dance, let alone the actual steps.  Some professors are strong leaders - question by question as they show students the steps and lead them through the analysis.  Others seem to whip you around the dance floor until you are dizzy.  A few others even step on your toes so to speak as they point your errors out to the class.  Only a few students are brave enough to venture out on the dance floor by volunteering.

Then there is the legal research and writing dance.  One is supposed to learn the steps to an alien type of analysis and writing by doing it.  For those with two left feet in legal analysis and legal writing style, learning by doing seems totally unhelpful.  Research paths are supposed to be dance lessons for research, but some students are improvising too much to end up with the correct moves.  Arguing both sides of the issue seems a lot like not being able to decide who should lead.  And then second semester appellate briefs feel a lot like doing choreography before one knows all of the dance steps and appropriate rhythms.

Sections help with the herd instinct because you are all in it together.  Then with 2L and 3L years, everyone scatters to different courses, certificate programs, dual degrees, and student organizations.  Many law students find themselves in new courses with new professors and law students from other sectioins or upper-division students that they don't know except as vague faces in the halls.  They have to decide whether to stay alone in the experience or turn to other students and ask "Do you wanna dance?"  (Amy Jarmon)

 

April 24, 2013 in Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Job Announcement: University of Connecticut Pre-Law Advisor

This is the posting for the undergraduate portion of my job at UConn. There is tremendous overlap between my pre-law work and experience in ASP; someone with ASP experience would be a wonderful fit for this job.

I cannot speak highly enough of the students, my colleagues, and the environment here at UConn. My four years here have been magical. It is truly a job where I have been excited to come to work everyday. The right person will find an unparalleled level of professional and personal support, not just from supervisors and colleagues, but from the students and alumni you will be serving. If you have any questions about the position, please feel free to contact me personally (rebecca.flanagan@uconn.edu).  

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University of Connecticut
Pre-Law Advisor
Academic Advisor II, UCP VI

JOB SUMMARY

Under the general direction of designated supervisor, advises undergraduate students and alumni interested in attending law school from the beginning exploration of their options through the law school admission process.

CHARACTERISTIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

1.    Advise students in developing academic plans to prepare for law schools and the legal profession.
2.    Advise students in application process and assist students in gaining admission to appropriate law schools.
3.    Provide outreach to prospective undergraduate students during Orientation, regional campus visits, and recruitment events.
4.    Disseminate information to students, advisors, and others, including: creation of a pre-law resource area with print and electronic information about the legal profession, law school application timetables, information about the LSAT exam, schedules for on- and off- campus events, etc.; development and maintenance of a pre-law advising website.
5.    Oversee and coordinate Special Program in Law for undergraduates admitted provisionally to UConn School of Law at time of admission to University.
6.    Teach a first-year seminar on law-related topics.
7.    Maintain assessment data on student applications and admissions in appropriate formats, including electronic. Maintain databases on pre-law students during their undergraduate and post-graduate stages.
8.    Develop a peer advising program for upper-class students to work with first- and second-year students interested in law and, when needed, speak at orientations and recruitment activities.
9.    Working with other University offices, develop and organize workshops and information sessions on relevant topics, including general admission, applications, letters of recommendation, and strategies for writing personal statements. Develop and supervise an annual law school fair.
10.    Act as spokesperson and liaison for the program both within the University and with pre-law departments at other universities, with law schools, and other relevant audiences.
11.    Engage UConn faculty in support of pre-law students and activities and encourage course development on topics related to the legal profession. Work with interested faculty to develop the Pre-Law Advisory Council.
12.    Contribute to the professional community of law school advisors at the regional and national level.
13.    May supervise support staff and/or work-study students.
14.    May work closely with the UConn Law School on special projects.
15.    Perform related duties as required.

MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE QUALIFICATIONS

1.    Master’s degree in relevant field.
2.    3 – 5 years’ experience in advising undergraduate students or in the legal profession.
3.    Ability to travel in a professional capacity.
4.    Ability to host and participate in programming and events on evenings and weekends.
5.    Experience working with diverse constituencies.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

1.    JD strongly preferred.
2.    Experience in legal education or practice.
3.    Demonstrated understanding of law school admissions landscape.
4.    Excellent written and oral communication, interpersonal, and counseling skills.
5.    Knowledge of pre-law student population.
6.    Excellent organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize responsibilities and meet deadlines.
7.    Demonstrated experience with databases, web applications and electronic communications.

TO APPLY

For full consideration upload a letter of application, a resume, and a list of 3 professional references with contact information via Husky Hire (http://www.jobs.uconn.edu/).  Include search number on all correspondence. Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

The University of Connecticut is an EEO/AA employer.

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