Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Amy Jarmon is among other things, Editor of the Law School Academic Support Blog. I cannot recall the circumstances surrounding my first encounter with Amy but she is a staple of the ASP community. I have seen her at practically every ASP conference I have attended and often see her name associated with various ASP committees and programs. I have enjoyed serving on committees with her and appreciate the wealth of knowledge she has to offer. I am thankful for her willingness to help whenever I have a question or reach out for assistance or advice. I am also grateful to her for my opportunity to join the Law School Academic Support Blog family. I am a little unconventional with my posts but she has put up with me all year long. I am glad to showcase Amy because she was not featured in the highlight of the Law School Academic Support Blog editors. Finally, it is coincidental that she is spotlighted the week of the Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) annual conference in Texas. She has been spotted at the AASE conference so you can meet her in person. (Goldie Pritchard)
Q: Please indicate your full name, title and institution of employment.
Amy L. Jarmon
Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs and Lecturer
Texas Tech University School of Law
Q: Please briefly describe your ASP work including length of time associated with it and what initially stimulated your interest.
My initial interest in ASP work came from two sources. First, my previous career was in student affairs with undergraduates where I worked for many years in a bridge position between academic affairs and student affairs. Second, my Ed.D. and J.D. degrees with my teaching and law practice experiences allowed me to fit naturally into helping law students succeed academically and prepare for practice.
I have been involved in ASP work at law schools for over 15 years. Thirteen of those years have been here at Texas Tech; previously I was at University of Akron School of Law.
Q: Which aspect(s) of ASP work do you enjoy the most? What would you consider your greatest challenge thus far and how have you overcome the challenge?
I most enjoy working one-on-one with students. It is a joy to help students improve their study strategies and life skills and to see them reach their true academic potential in law school.
Greatest challenge: Many students want to do well in law school, but come into this environment with weaknesses in critical reading, thinking, and writing and in efficient, effective study strategies. Many prior educational experiences only asked them to memorize information rather than to grapple with understanding or applying that information.
Overcoming the challenge: Flexibility within a plan is important. I start with assessment and then use a repertoire of strategies to address succeeding in law school while gaining life skills for legal practice. Although I know the strategies that work for most law students, I always keep an open mind. I modify, discard, and brainstorm with each individual student to find out what works for that person. I regularly learn new “mental connections,” strategies, resources, and more as I work with students; those new ideas or techniques become tools to help future students.
Q: What do you want your professional legacy to be?
For students: I want my legacy to be that I cared about students individually and was there to encourage and support them. I believe in their personal worth whether or not they flourish in law school or ultimately decide to practice law after graduation.
For colleagues: I want my legacy to be that I was a colleague who shared my knowledge and experiences freely to better the ASP profession and to support colleagues.
Q: What motivational advice or encouragement would you offer to new and/or mid-career ASPers or law students?
New ASP’ers: Reach out to others in the ASP profession for assistance. Unlike some professions, this one thrives on sharing ideas, materials, and advice. ASP’ers have a tradition of giving a hand-up to newcomers. Also, remember that you cannot implement everything overnight. Decide a small number of priorities to tackle first, and then shamelessly ask others for Power Points, syllabi, handouts, and more.
Mid-career ASP’ers: Beware of burnout! Most ASP’ers are “givers” and easily become over-involved, over-utilized by their law schools, and overtime-prone. If you are not careful, you will be overwhelmed. Remember to pace yourself, to say “no” or “not now” sometimes, and to set aside time away from the office to relax and revive.
Law students: Realize there are a zillion strategies that your ASP professional can show you for conquering law school. It is okay if you do not know how to do something, feel overwhelmed at times, or are unsure how to fix things. The important thing is that you commit to learning how to improve and ask for assistance early and often.
Q: Is there anything else you deem necessary to share (quote, encouragement, inspiration, visual, etc.…)?
During my ASP career, I have been blessed with many opportunities. However, during challenges, I depend on my faith to get me through those dark times. I always remind myself that the most important words of praise to hear at some future date are: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”