March 23, 2011
Job opening: Director of Academic Success, Valparaiso
Director of Academic Success Program
The Valparaiso University School of Law invites applicants for the position of Director of Academic Success Program. This is a non‐faculty full‐time administrative position with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2011 and a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The Director will design, implement, and oversee all aspects of the Law School’s academic success programs, including efforts before matriculation and after graduation, and will work with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to provide academic support to law students. The Director will have primary responsibility for working with law students to help them adjust to the academic demands of law school and to develop skills to reach their full academic potential for performance in law school, on the bar exam, and after graduation. Responsibilities include:
• Design and implement innovative and effective academic support programs
• Coordinate the summer ASP program for new students
• Teach workshops and/or classes for students who need academic support
• Work with students in individual and small group sessions
• Track the academic progress of at‐risk students and students in academic difficulty
• Teach Legal Methods, a required course for first‐year students on academic probation, and Advanced
Legal Studies for third‐year students, a for‐credit bar prep course
• Work with students and graduates planning to take a bar exam to help them design a study and preparation process that will better enable them to be successful on the bar exam
Qualifications for this position:
• J.D. degree from an A.B.A. approved law school; strong law school credentials
• Admitted to a state bar
• One to three years teaching experience (Law experience without teaching experience will generally not be sufficient)
• Ability to work with at‐risk students
• Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
• It is expected that the successful applicant will demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity and the ability to work with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds
The priority deadline for receipt of applications is April 8, 2011. The search will remain open until the position is filled.
Please submit an electronic letter of interest and resume to:
• Please direct all questions to email@example.com
March 22, 2011
Job opening: Director of Bar Programs at Cal Western
California Western School of Law seeks applicants for the Director of Bar Programs.
The Director of Bar Programs is responsible for staffing and teaching bar preparation programs for second and third year law students, as well as assisting students studying for the California bar examination. To be effective, the Director must stay abreast of developments in the California bar exam; develop and maintain a high level of knowledge about academic support and bar preparation programs; and supervise small group instructors. The Director also advises the faculty and administration as to all bar preparation matters and makes periodic reports about bar passage.
Requirements: (1) a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school with a record of academic success; (2) at least two years of law teaching experience, preferably in a bar preparation program; (3) strong skills in course planning, classroom presentation, formative and summative assessment, as well as the ability to counsel and tutor individual students; (4) superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills; (5) the ability to think imaginatively and critically about how to measurably improve law student bar performance and to design, implement, and manage programs to promote that development; (6) the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff; and (7) good organization, judgment, and flexibility.
A competitive salary commensurate with qualifications is available. California Western is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity.
The Search Committee is currently accepting applications and will do so until April 15, 2011 the position is filled. The preferred start date is July 1, 2011. Applicants must submit: (1) a cover letter describing their qualifications and salary requirements; and (2) a curriculum vitae to Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement Marilyn Scheininger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1924, California Western is a private, independent law school located in downtown San Diego, California. Please visit our website at www.cwsl.edu.
January 16, 2010
Finding Jobs in ASP: Where to look
This is a short post for those of you who are looking for positions in ASP, or who are looking to make a switch to another school. If you made it here, this is a great start for your job search. However, there are other helpful places for you to look:
The ASP listserv
Consortium of Higher Education (by region)
Additionally, if you are geographically limited or want to work at a particular school, search the school's internal job site and if they have a job listserv, sign up. Personally, I found my position at the University of Connecticut on their internal job site (with help from word-of-mouth); it did not show up on mass listservs.
Go to conferences; you never know who you will meet and who knows of a job that will be opening up soon. I got every academic support position I ever held through word-of-mouth; someone met me or knew me and gave me a call or a link about a position. The ASP community is enormously friendly, and most everyone will be very happy to help with a job search.
For those of you out there looking for a new position, good luck! (RCF)
August 17, 2009
Negotiating beyond salary once you get an ASP job offer
I wanted to follow up on Rebecca's excellent posting this summer about job hunting in ASP. A number of positions have been posted over the summer. Some of those positions may still be "in the works." There may be a domino effect during the next few weeks as people are selected for those positions and give notice at their current law schools. The domino effect may also bring about postings for positions to start in January.
Rebecca talked about the reality that many schools do not have a great deal of latitude when it comes to salary. I have certainly found that statement to be true. A few thousand dollars may be the maximum room for negotiation. Some schools with budgetary constraints may have zero room to negotiate on salary.
However, you want to consider other items that are not salary exactly but can add up to additional money or other pluses. Each law school differs as to flexibility depending on its status or procedures (public or private, geographic location, size of law school, budget system, and other traits). Even if some of these ideas are not relevant to your negotiations, there may be other creative approaches that would be.
Obviously, you will have the most opportunity to garner additional funding, time,or title resources if you have a strong resume and some experience in ASP. However, if a law school really wants you to become their ASP professional, it will give you more bargaining power in all circumstances. A mentor told me years ago that negotiating power is greatest when you have not yet accepted the postion; after that, you lose a great deal of your clout.
- Explore whether there are additional ways that you can be paid for duties that are related but not currently in the salary:
- Inclusion as a paid faculty member or administrator for a summer program for 1L students who are enrolled in a conditional/unconditional summer law school course required for their admission.
- Bar preparation workshops if none exist at your school.
- Ability to teach a section of a 1L or elective course in your field of expertise as an instructor or adjunct professor in future semesters/summers.
- This request is especially effective if they want you there quickly for the start of a semester or before too many weeks go by in the semester.
- Ask for a larger dollar allowance if a set amount is given and explain why the allowance is inadequate (distance of move, turn around allowing less selection of movers, or other matters).
- Ask for the law school to pay to have your belongings packed by the movers as well as moved so that you can arrive more quickly and begin work sooner.
- Ask the law school to pick up the storage tab in your new city if you will not have time to buy/rent a house and will be in temporary quarters for several months.
- Ask the law school to pick up additional costs that may result from your having to break a lease without sufficient notice.
- Moving expense allowances are sometimes calculated for the young professional without family responsibilities or many belongings. If you own a house full of furniture and/or have family to move, ask for your differing circumstances to be recognized.
You will need to decide which of these negotiation strategies will work in your favor in your particular circumstances. One or two additional items can help financially or improve your workload within the law school or status for future job hunts. (Amy Jarmon)
July 16, 2009
Careers in Academic Support/Success
I want to take this time during the summer when I have relatively few ASP student-related updates to tackle another subject: getting a job in academic support/success. I have received a number of emails over the last 2 years asking for advice and support looking for ASP jobs. Here is some general advice:
1) Every job and every school is different. the title Director of Academic Support/Success is very broad, and each school has their own idea about what they want when they post an Academic Success/Support position.
2) Make sure you tailor your job search to the skills you bring to the table. Not all ASP jobs require the same skills or experience. If you have experience working with clients in a one-on-one setting, you are a better fit with an ASP position that requires one-on-one tutorials with students than a job that requires extensive classroom teaching. If you have experience teaching classes, don't assume you are going to be a fit with an ASP position that focuses solely on one-on-one counseling.
3) The salary is...variable. In my limited experience and knowledge, the starting salary for a non-tenure track, administrative appointment with either limited or no ASP experience ranges from 40-80k (I am including assistant directors, who start at a lower range, along with directors, who start at a higher point. I am not including people with "dean" in their title, or those who get faculty status). Locale makes a huge difference in salary. The type of experience (undergraduate teaching? paralegal/community college teaching? private practice?) makes a difference in salary. The expectations for the position make a difference in the salary (year-round? 9-month appt? teaching responsibilities? first-year, first-year and bar prep, or just bar prep? outcome measures?). An experienced ASP Director can command a much higher salary, but you need 5-10 years experience in ASP to be over six figures (exceptions are in very large, very expensive urban locations where the cost of living is several times higher than the average). Don't assume schools have a lot of room to negotiate salary; one problem I have come across in both hiring an assistant director and negotiating my own salary is the lack of wiggle room in law school budgets. If you are coming from private practice, don't assume that a law school operates like a private business; they can't just find the money even if they think you are ideal for the job. If they tell you they want to start you at 45k, don't assume they can move to 60k--most of the time, they just can't.
4) Moving from practice to academia is hard. Moving from practice to ASP is even harder without a background in education or counseling. If you want to be in academia, do not assume that ASP will be the way to get your foot in the door. Academic Support requires its own skill set that differs from the skill set necessary to succeed in the traditional legal academy position. Most ASP jobs are not about producing voluminous numbers of journal articles, but you are spending long hours with emotional distraught students, students in crisis, and students suffering from a range of physical and mental ailments.
5) Your grades in law school are unlikely to help you land a job, and high grades may make it difficult to understand your students. There are many brilliant, exceptionally talented and successful ASP professionals who did outstanding in law school, graduated with honors and earned Order of the Coif. However, if law school came easy to you, you need to ask yourself how you are going to relate to students who find law school academics impenetrable. You need to be able to break down law school skills into elemental components; if legal reasoning "just makes sense" to you, you may struggle breaking down "how you get there" to students. Law school grades are not irrelevant, but unlike other jobs in the legal academy, they are not a major factor in hiring. I have found this to be true even when position postings state that grades are important.
6) If you found your way here, you know this is where to look for jobs. ASP jobs are plentiful for those with experience, and very hard to come by if you are new to the field. It is worthwhile to check out The Chronicle of Higher Education and the AALS job bank. Check the Legal Writing Blog. I know of people who had to look for more than 4 years to get a position in ASP. Geographic flexibility is critically important; you should expect to find it very difficult to find a position if you have a narrow geographic range.
7) The burn-out rate in ASP is high, so there does tend to be a significant degree of turnover in the field. If you are coming from private practice, it would be dangerous to assume ASP is a job on Easy Street. Many find the demands of the job overwhelming and emotionally draining. It is not unusual for people who came to ASP from private practice to leave within 5 years. In an interview, ask about the turnover rate in for the position, and be careful if the only person/people to stay in the job for more than a couple of years is an alum. Some schools expect their ASP department to perform miracles, to be remedial tutors to students who can't handle the law school curriculum, change the mind of students who don't want to be in law school, fix inadequate doctrinal teaching to raise their bar pass rate, bring angry faculty members on board to your program, and help change the teaching methods of professors who are not beloved by students. Administrators have been known to toss responsibilities onto the ASP department, while giving the director little or no support. In sum, don't assume it will be easy, and make sure you are asking questions.
I love academic support. But I love it because I came into the field with my eyes open. I have been blessed by working at some amazing schools where I was treated exceptionally well by the people I have worked with. I know some schools do not treat everyone as well, and there are horror stories.
Once you find an ASP job, go to the conferences, befriend those who are new as well, and find mentors!
June 22, 2009
Michigan State Law Temp ASP Position
Michigan State University College of Law is looking for an Academic Success
Professional interested in a temporary appointment for the 2009-2010 academic
year while the Law College searches for an ASP Director. Depending on candidate
qualifications, this temporary position could be a Visiting Professorship or
Teaching Fellowship. Please contact Senior Associate Dean Kathy Payne at 517-
432-6926 or email@example.com for more information.
Academic Success Professional – One Year Appointment
Michigan State University College of Law invites applications for a one-year
appointment as an Academic Success Professional. Depending on candidate
qualifications, this position could be a Visiting Professorship or a Teaching
Fellowship. Qualifications include a strong law school record and experience
suggesting an ability to help students succeed in law school and the profession.
Prior successful teaching experience is desirable.
The Academic Success Professional will work with students to help build strong
analytical skills and to enhance performance in law school, on the Bar Exam, and
in practice. S/he will also be a resource for faculty seeking to enhance their
This position is a 12-month, non-tenure track, non-renewable position. During the
2009-2010 academic year, the Law College will conduct a nation-wide search for
an Academic Success Program Director.
Michigan State University College of Law is a leading institution of legal
education with a long history of creating practice-ready attorneys. MSU Law
professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars. Law College curriculum
is rigorous and challenging and the facility is equipped with the latest resources-all
affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st century lawyers.
July 10, 2006
ASP Opening in Little Rock
Here's a great opportunity for someone who would like to take a program from inception to implementation: the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is looking for an Assistant Dean for Academic Support to create an ASP Program. The position is described below. (dbw)
The UALR Bowen School of Law is seeking an Assistant Dean for Academic
Support to plan and implement an academic counseling program to facilitate
academic success including individual academic advising for law students,
group and individual academic support programs, and bar passage programs for
law students. The ideal candidate will be an energetic and knowledgeable
professional exhibiting a high degree of organizational skills, sensitivity
Qualifications include a Bachelors degree with appropriate major and J.D.
At least two years of professional experience, preferably in higher
education academic counseling and academic program development with a
comparable, demonstrative, successful track record are preferred.
Duties and responsibilities include but are not limited to academic
counseling of students as needed, monitoring student progress, administering
and strengthening existing orientation and academic success programs, and
developing and implementing a bar passage rate improvement project for the
To apply, send a cover letter, resume and references to: Charles W. Goldner,
Jr., Dean, Bowen School of Law, 1201 McMath Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas
72202. Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until
the position is filled.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is an equal opportunity,
affirmative action employer and actively seeks the candidacy of minorities,
women and persons with disabilities. Under Arkansas law, all applications
are subject to disclosure. Persons hired must have proof of legal authority
to work in the United States.
May 01, 2006
A Great Opportunity!
How does Boston sound? If you are looking for a tenure-track position as a director of academic support in one of the country's best cities, New England School of Law may be looking for you. Below is the position posting, along with contact information.
DIRECTOR OF ACADEMIC SUPPORT
NEW ENGLAND SCHOOL OF LAW, in Boston, is looking to hire a director of academic support to develop, teach, and evaluate academic support programs. We want someone who is dedicated to providing academic support; experience in the field would be an advantage. The director of Academic Support will work closely with the coordinator of our Charles Hamilton Houston Committee and with the rest of the faculty. This is a faculty position, with a salary commensurate with qualifications. Applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Professor Judith Greenberg, firstname.lastname@example.org.
New England School of Law is an equal opportunity employer and invites applications from all interested persons. (dbw)
March 05, 2006
Need Inspiring Stories?
Do students sometimes show up in your office with tales of woe that almost (or do) bring tears to your eyes? Dollars to donuts you haven't heard a story quite like this one . . .
"Reclaiming a Dream" is the name of the article on the last page of the March 2006 issue of California Lawyer. I guess I read it because of the author's unlikely first name.
This Cupcake is rather special, I discovered. Who is she? Well, during much of her life, these appellations were appropriate: "Dope fiend, gangsta, prostitute, crook, high schoold dropout, drunk."
You've heard the expression, "She had it all." Cupcake Brown had none of it.
What a life. According to a New York Times review of her recent book, "Ms. Brown describes discovering her mother's dead body as an 8-year-old. She traces every terrible thing that later happened back to this catastrophic loss. The man she called Daddy turned out not to be her biological father, and so he lost custody of Cupcake. The man she called Sperm Donor handed her over to foster care in California. Bounced from place to place, she was abused not only by Cinderella's wicked stepmother but by yet another father figure, a man who took her to the parking lot of a Kmart for sexual assignations at 12. She never made it to cheerleading practice."
After 14 years of working the streets, "You could see the imprint of my ribs — I was a size 1. I had no shoes. My hair was sticking up like Buckwheat. My lips were cracked and burnt from the crack pipe," Ms.Brown, 40, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "It was then that I realized that I was dying, and I didn't want to die like that."
Now, Cupcake Brown is referred to by her clients and judges before whom she appears as "counsel." As an antitrust litigator with one of the largest law firms in the country, Ms. Brown, a magna cum laude graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, is not only a busy lawyer, but also a busy speaker.
Her memoir, A Piece of Cake, was published last month.
Cupcake? According to Oprah Winfrey's web site Ms. Brown's unlikely first name is the result of a nurse's misunderstanding of her mother's post-delivery request for a snack.
In the California Lawyer article, Ms. Brown writes, "The journey was well worth it. I tell my story openly on the chance that others will find hope and inspiration in it." Maybe some of your students will. (djt)
March 11, 2005
Position Opening in California
February 13, 2005
What Do you Do for a Living?
Some of us are professors who have been assigned Academic Support tasks instead of a traditional doctrinal class assignment. Some of us are part-time. Others are directors, co-directors, associate directors, or assistant directors of Academic Support Programs. Most of us are/were lawyers, but others have been educated in different areas: psychology and education for example (oh, aren't there times in every week when we all envy them?).
When we get together at regional or national conferences, most of us are surprised at how wide-ranging the Academic Support world is. Spend a few minutes to describe what you do for a living, so the rest of us (especially those new to the profession) can develop a better picture of the career path we are on.