Thursday, July 25, 2013
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 www.aals.org/am2014.
PS: When you register early, you'll guarantee your place and get a discount!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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 ncbex.org
**See Bloom's taxonomy
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 www.law.uci.edu
Patti O’Dorisio, Director of Personnel
UC Irvine School of Law
UCI is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer dedicated
to excellence through diversity.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
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!
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 http://www.txwes.edu/hr to view full job description and other open positions.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
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)