Thursday, January 31, 2013
He was so discouraged by rejections that he threw his first novel in the trash; his wife fished it out and talked him into trying again. His name is Stephen King. She was a broke, severely depressed single mom on social security trying to get through school and write a book. Her name is J.K. Rowling.
He was once fired because "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." His name was Walt Disney. She was fired from a broadcasting job because she was not "fit for the screen." Her name is Oprah Winfrey.
They were rejected by label after label, once being told they had no future in show business and that guitar bands were on the way out. They were the Beatles.
His music teacher said he was "hopeless as a composer" and would never amount to anything in music. His name was Ludwig van Beethoven. He was a lackluster student who failed his sixth-grade year and spent much of his political career losing election after election. His name was Winston Churchill.
He was told by a teacher that he was too stupid to learn; later he tried to create an electric lightbulb and failed 9,000 times -- then created one. His name was Thomas Edison.
No one ever did anything important without failing along the way. Don't ask yourself to be the great exception. When you fail, pick yourself up and go back out there. The story is not finished, unless you throw the draft in the trash and refuse to fish it out.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I frequently write posts for this blog on articles about research on thinking, learning, and success. This post will be about an article on the connection between self-reflection and success. Unlike most of my posts, I question whether this advice, without further qualifications, should apply to law students. While I think self-reflection is critical to success, the type of self-reflection advocated in this article might be damaging or dangerous when applied haphazardly to law students.
The article, from the New York Times, is titled "Secret Ingredient for Success," and chronicles the "self-examination" practiced by restauranteur David Chang, proprietor of Momofuku in New York City. His restaurant was failing, when he decided to subject himself to "brutal self-assessment." The article goes on to discuss the work of a Harvard Business School professor who studies what happens when people find "obstacles in their path." The findings suggest that people who struggle, but subject themselves to "fairly merciless self-examination" find success through "reinvention of their goals and methods."
I think self-reflection is a critical part of success, especially for law students. Law students should be thinking about their thinking, thinking about what they are doing right, where they can improve, and how their methods of study, reading, and writing contribute to their successes and failures. I find that many students can solve their own problems if they take the time to think about their own choices. It's easy to say "I want to be successful in law school" but it's difficult to admit to self-defeating behaviors, like playing video games for hours, drinking too much, or prioritizing a social life over studying.
Where I become concerned for law students is in the "merciless" and "brutal" part of the self-reflection. Law students receive no feedback until they receive negative feedback. I think it's easy for a law student to say to his or herself, "Qualified experts (law professors) think I am a B/C student. Reputable news sources say that B/C students cannot get jobs. I know I feel over-my-head, exhausted, confused, and depressed. What is the next step to turn this around?" While many students will look for support, some students will look to self-destructive means of self-medication and treatment to deal with their feelings. I think it's very important that self-reflection is paired with tools and resources to help law students who find themselves in a tough situation. So I agree with the idea that self-reflection is important to success, I think that it's not enough to tell students they need to reflect on their challenges; we need to support students as they begin the journey to become self-reflective practitioners. (RCF)
Monday, January 28, 2013
Academic Success Director
University of Kentucky
The University of Kentucky College of Law seeks an experienced professional for the position of Academic Success Director. The College of Law is a self-contained academic unit of a flagship land grant university. The College of Law is a medium-sized law school, with just over 400 full-time students and approximately 30 full-time faculty members. The College of Law is large enough to have a diverse and interesting curriculum, yet small enough to foster friendly relationships among students, faculty and administrators.
The Academic Success Director oversees all aspects of operations of an academic success program at the College of Law. The Director plans the Academic Success Pre-Orientation Legal Reasoning Program. In addition, the director teaches regular Academic Success workshops during fall and spring semesters, including reading cases, briefing cases, study strategies, outlining, writing tips, exam strategies and practice exams. The position is also required to interact with other Academic Success professionals and contribute to academic success conversations and conferences on a national level. This position will develop and oversee an Academic Support Mentor program.
The Director will work with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, faculty and registrar to identify at-risk students nearing graduation and intervene by contacting and counseling. S/he will prepare, staff and conduct bar preparation support sessions, specifically inviting at-risk students but open to all students. In addition, s/he will conduct surveys and interviews with UK COL graduates regarding the preparedness for the Kentucky Bar Exam. The Director will continue to enhance the UK COL Bar Exam support program, including monitoring bar support programs at other schools and selecting bar support activities for UK COL.
The Director will teach one section of first-year legal writing, including creating lesson plans and materials, commenting extensively on student papers, and conducting individual student conferences; hold weekly office hours during each semester; conduct student oral arguments. The Director will collaborate with a legal research liaison, a library faculty member who teaches the legal research component of the first-year Legal Research & Writing course.
A Juris Doctorate degree is required for this position along with 4 years of paid, full-time professional level employment in education, legal writing, client relations and/or law. The qualified applicant will also possess excellent presentation, leadership, analysis, and organizational skills; and exercise good judgment along with creative solutions. Experience teaching in higher education and knowledge of adult learning theory is preferred in this role.
See for yourself what makes UK one great place to work! Apply online today for requisition #SM544612 at: www.uky.edu/hr/ukjobs. Deadline to apply: 02/20/2013. For any questions you may contact HR/Employment via phone at 859.257.9555 (option 2) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon offer of employment, successful applicants for certain positions must undergo a national background check and pre-employment drug screen as required by University of Kentucky Human Resources. The University of Kentucky is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from minorities and women.
If you are research oriented and support the efforts of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, this might be the perfect job for you. Although within the School of Education, the position announcement is looking for a J.D. with law school experience. Review of applications starts today. Check it out at: Project Manager LSSSE.