Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The ABA Goes to the Movies

In case you missed it, the August 2015 issue of the ABA Journal takes a look at legal movies in its article, "100 Years of Law at the Movies." So dig out the buried copy from your inbox and grab the popcorn. The list reminded me of some classics I want to see again and a few that I never made it to the cinema to view. (Amy Jarmon)

August 13, 2015 in Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Waiting for Superman

I recently attended the last of the summer films offered by our Teaching Learning and Professional Development Center here on campus. The film showing was an edited version (1 hour) of Waiting for Superman, a 2010 documentary by Davis Guggenheim which looked at the crisis in K-12 public education.

There has been much said and written about the film - both positive and negative. Some sample links are:

 New York Times ArticleTime ArticleWashington Post Guest BloggerHuffington Post Article.

Whatever the position you take on the film's accuracy or finger-pointing or pro-charter-school stance, it still brings home the depressing state of American public education. The edited film clearly showed the sad reality of the students who are lost in the system and never finish high school. It also pointed to the number of college students who are under-prepared and have to be remediated. (Many of those in the room who had previously seen the full, unedited version of the film relayed that they were in tears by the end of that screening.)

What hit home for me once again was the impact that the public education crisis ultimately has on preparation for law school. And also once again the impact that the crisis has on the lack of diversity in the legal profession because of the many leaks in the K-12 pipeline, not even mentioning the leaks in the college pipeline.  (Amy Jarmon)


August 10, 2015 in Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Paper Chase

I have watched this classic law school film multiple times over the years and vividly remember seeing it in the cinema when it first came out (long before I ever ventured across a law school threshold as a 1L student).  Recently I decided to watch it once more because it had been several years since my last viewing. 

The film has always seemed to me to be the perfect commentary on how not to have a study group.  I was reminded of those points once again.  Here are some of the things we learn from the movie:

  • A study group needs to have members with the same goals and purposes to avoid logistical and group dynamic problems.
  • A study group needs to have some ground rules so that each member knows the responsibilities and etiquette of the group.
  • A study group will falter if each person is assigned one course to specialize in because only that one person learns the course well and the others suffer if the expert drops out of the group.
  • A study group will have conflict if its members become overly competitive, are argumentative, refuse to negotiate on tasks, or hold others hostage by refusing to share information.
  • A study group does not belong to the person who invites others to join; it belongs to everyone and should be cooperative.
  • A study group will be disrupted by members who become overwhelmed and are unable to pull their weight in the group.
  • If one does not study outlines all semester long and distribute learning the material, it may require holing up for days with no sleep at the end in order to cram.
  • Learning styles within a group vary; one person will consider an 800-page outline a treasure while the others will view it as a curse.
  • Always have a back up copy of your outline in case your computer crashes (or your outline is accidentally tossed out a window).

My wish for all law students would be to have supportive, cooperative, hard-working study groups without drama and negativity.  (Amy Jarmon) 

November 20, 2012 in Exams - Studying, Film, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)