Sunday, October 15, 2017
The deadline for registration is Friday, October 20th.
West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Sixth Annual Conference: Lost in Translation
Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, CA
Friday, November 3, 2017
9:00-9:30am: Breakfast & Welcome
9:30-10:15am: Critical Reading: Strategies for Success
Jane Bloom Grisé, University of Kentucky College of Law
This presentation will explain why law students need to receive instruction in critical reading and will provide specific strategies that will enable students to understand cases and statutes. Law students should not be expected to learn critical reading techniques in one orientation session in their 1L year. Rather, they should be introduced to these strategies over the course of their law school experience. The presentation will focus on the purpose for reading cases, reading as an advocate and with focus, case structure and civil and criminal procedure, context and overview, understanding the facts, strategies to use to understand text, strategies to use to understand main ideas, finding rules, case evaluation, case briefing, case synthesis, and reading statutes. The presentation also will offer ideas regarding how critical reading instruction can be incorporated into all law school courses.
10:25-11:10am: The Power of Post-Its: How to use a set of sticky notes to promote analytical organization, peer communication, and student self-assessment
Katherine Silver Kelly, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
The Post-It Note Activity builds on the concept that, because feedback is a vital key to developing strong communication skills, academic support professionals should utilize high-impact and high-engagement modes of feedback that do not impose an impossible time commitment. In other words, get a lot of bang for the buck. The activity also supports the goal of law students developing the necessary ability to self-assess and become independent problem-solvers. The Post-It Note Activity is the perfect balance between guidance and independence that reinforces the importance of synthesizing rules and organizing concepts in order to see and understand an analytical framework. It also develops communication skills in that students must be able to articulate their ideas into a tangible form. This activity works for any type of learner because it allows a student to engage material on multiple analytical levels, recognize multiple solution paths, and use multiple communication tools.
11:20-12:20pm: KeyNote Speaker
Ron Pi, Principal Analyst for the Office of Research & Institutional Accountability at the State Bar of California
In this presentation, Mr. Pi will provide an overview of the various bar exam related studies the California Bar Exam has recently been engaged in with a focus on the content validation study. Mr. Pi organized and monitored the recent content validation workshop. This workshop’s focus included the depth of knowledge, skills and abilities required for passing the bar exam. Mr. Pi will also discuss future research plans to be conducted by the California Bar.
1:15-2:00pm: From Practical Experience to Success in the Classroom, on the Bar Exam, and Beyond.
Marguerite Lee & Heather Varanini, Golden Gate University School of Law
In this presentation we will discuss how practical experiences gained in law school informed our current work teaching first year law students how to build and maintain the skills they need to succeed in law school and on the bar exam. The presentation will explore the connection between explaining complicated legal topics to clients and other non-legal people, and the challenge of breaking down those same legal topics for first year law students and those preparing for the bar.
2:10-2:55pm: A.S.A.P. as a Multimodal Translator of Student Mindset: Balancing Old School Methods with the New
Any Vaughan-Thomas, California Western School of Law
“It is not that the student can’t do the work, it is that the student does not want to do the work.” This presentation seeks to critically examine the mindsets of 50 students when they entered California Western School of Law’s Academic Support and Assistance Program (A.S.A.P.) in comparison to the mindset of the 34 students that successfully completed the program to advance into upper division. The goal of the presentation is to identify the teaching methods that helped these students translate information, engage with their materials, and apply their knowledge to solve legal problems. Ultimately we ask, “Can this program change a student’s mindset?” And if so, what is it about this program that motivates the change?
3:05-4:05pm The Complete Cycle of Law Study and Exam Preparation Lesson
Laurie Zimet & Jennifer Freeland, UC Hastings College of the Law
In this interactive presentation, we will demonstrate a lesson that provides an overview of the entire legal analysis process. Using active learning pedagogy, students learn how to read a court decision, and how to extract the legal principles from that case to create a brief. Then, using the same and additional cases, we will share active learning exercises for promoting understanding of the precedential value of previous cases and various approaches to reasoning by analogy. Finally, exercises to organize/outline case law for application to essay and multiple choice exams will be addressed as well as methods for student self-assessment.
4:15-5:00pm Back It Up: Improving Analysis by First Improving Rule Comprehension
Queena Mewers, UC Irvine School of Law
When teaching “IRAC,” we tend to focus on the “A” section and help our students express their analysis more fully by prompting them to fill in the following blank with facts and inferences: “Here, [element X] is met because ______.” Although students can typically fill in the blank with facts and inferences when specifically prompted this way, they struggle to generate this formula on their own because they actually often do not understand what are all the rule elements they must apply in the first place to effect a complete analysis of an issue. In this presentation, I will suggest a general method for teaching rule comprehension so that students can better identify, extract, and organize rules in preparation for writing the “A” section. I will also provide several follow-on exercises that utilize and reinforce this teaching method while helping students with critical reading, outlining, and actually writing the “A” section.
5:00pm Conference Close