Wednesday, May 9, 2018
You may consider this entry and future ones “self-serving” but please stay tuned. When my ASP mentor left the profession, I thought it might be a splendid idea to highlight a few “veteran ASPers” while they are still active in the profession. After conversations with a few colleagues, I decided to start highlighting a few individuals I view as “veteran ASPers.” I encountered these highly experienced individuals at certain points of my ASP journey which began almost ten years ago. Each contributed to my success by helping me in small or significant ways and shared their wisdom, experience, and advice. Here are links to all who were featured last year: Rodney Fong, Barbara McFarland, Louis Schulze, Jr., Amy Jarmon, and Jendayi Saada. This initial project has evolved to highlight some individuals I have never met or interacted with but whom others find inspirational. I deemed it expedient to streamline the questions rather than ask them anything and everything I could have possibly wanted to know. It is impossible to highlight everyone so I am starting with a select few, Linda Feldman being the first this year.
I was first introduced to Linda Feldman by my ASP mentor at the very first Association of American Law Schools (AALS) annual meeting I attended. She was friendly and welcoming to this fairly new (a year and half in) ASPer. Kind words accompanied by a pleasant and welcoming smile were priceless. I always appreciate her insight, perspective, and contributions. Also, she is always so enthusiastic! Please learn more about her below. (Goldie Pritchard)
Q: Please indicate your full name, title, and institution of employment.
Linda B. Feldman
Associate Professor and Director, Academic Success Program
Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn New York
Q: Please briefly describe your ASP work including length of time associated with it and what initially stimulated your interest.
This May marks my 30th year in academic support. Teaching has always been my passion. Before law school I taught middle school social studies. After graduation the then Dean of Brooklyn Law School asked me to develop a program for non-traditional entering students who faced challenges adapting to and excelling in the law school environment. I agreed to create a program which, in those years had no name. I was so lucky that soon thereafter I met Paula Lustbader and Laurie Zimet at the conference in Boulder and learned that what I was “creating” already existed and was called academic support.
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 enjoy all aspects of helping students achieve whatever level of success they set for themselves. I value the one-on-one time with a student which allows me to get to know the student more personally and fashion an approach to learning for that particular student. But I am also exhilarated by teaching a large group of 1Ls. Each has its place.
My greatest challenge has been to provide support for an entering class of over 300 students. I have never overcome that challenge. It is the end of my last semester of law school teaching, and I’m still trying to figure out how to meet that challenge.
Q: What do you want your professional legacy to be?
An interesting question since I am retiring in July. I hope my legacy will be the continuation of the summer Legal Process class which provided a supportive welcoming environment for students who might have otherwise have struggled unnecessarily. I also hope the collaboration between doctrinal faculty and ASP will continue to support all law students at BLS.
Q: What motivational advice or encouragement would you offer to new and/or midcareer ASPers or law students?
Don’t go it alone. Reach out to ASPers in your region and across the country. There is no more generous, creative, talented group of professionals than in the ASP community.
Q: Is there anything else you deem necessary to share (quote, encouragement, inspiration, visual, etc.…)?
I saw a quote in a Montessori preschool classroom once that has become my guide: “If a child cannot learn the way we teach, we must teach the way that child learns.” This is as true for a law student as it is for a pre-schooler.