Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Is your school interested in being a conference host for AASE?

Hello, ASP colleagues:

As we begin planning in earnest for next summer’s conference in Seattle, AASE’s Executive Committee is beginning to think about subsequent conferences, including a diversity conference in the fall of 2019, the AASE Annual Conference in 2020, and beyond.  From our first conference, we have been fortunate enough to partner with amazing host schools, and we want to make sure we have every opportunity to continue that streak.   

We are trying to identify schools to host future conferences, large or small, and we need your help.  Whether you have considered hosting a conference before or not, we would love to hear from you.

To this end, I am writing to ask you to e-mail me if you think your school might be a good site for a future conference.  It is okay if you are unsure if your school would be a good fit—we will follow up with you to get further details and/or to answer any questions you might have. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best,

Russell

Russell A. McClain

President

AASE: Association of Aademic Support Educators

September 15, 2018 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Save the Dates for Three Conferences

OCTOBER 12, 2018:

Save the date! I will be hosting a “Midwestern Academic Success and Bar Preparation” conference on Friday, October 12, 2018 at Loyola University of Chicago, 25 E Pearson St, Chicago, IL , 60611. This is a direct steal (with her permission) of Kris Franklin’s New York/East Coast conference that happens in April. My plan is that there will be an agenda, but it will primarily be an informal opportunity to discuss issues of importance to us.

The only concrete agenda item thus far is Nancy Vincent,  Director of Administration of the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, who will be joining us to discuss Illinois using the UBE.

I’m open to other suggested agenda items or presentations. If you would like to present something, workshop an idea, or just have ideas of things you would like to see discussed, please let me know.

The conference will run from roughly 9am until 4 or 5pm. If you plan on coming into the city Thursday evening, please let me know, and I will make sure you receive the Loyola rate at a nearby hotel. In addition, if enough people would like to, I will coordinate a group dinner and/or fun tour Thursday night.

The conference will not have any associated cost (aside from personal travel expenses), I just need an RSVP by October 4th. In addition, if you would like to present or workshop something, please let me know by September 15th.  More concrete details will be forthcoming as I continue to plan.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Melissa

Melissa A. Hale

Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

P: 312-915-7605

E: mhale@luc.edu 

NOVEMBER 2, 2018:

7TH Annual West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Conference at The University of San Diego. One-day conference kicking off with an informal get-together on Thursday night and concluding with a formal gathering on Friday evening. Call for proposals and registration information in the coming weeks.

Kevin Sherrill

Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs

University of San Diego School of Law

Warren Hall Room 206

5998 Alcalá Park

San Diego, CA 92110-2492

(619) 260-6876

law.sandiego.edu

 

JUNE 3-5, 2019:

As you get back into the routine of school, I wanted to flag a date for your calendar next summer.  On June 3-5, 2019, the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning will be hosting our summer conference here at Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, KS

The theme – “Teaching Today’s Law Students” – is intentionally broad and is designed to encompass a wide variety of topics – neuroscientific approaches to effective teaching, generational research about current law students, effective use of technology in the classroom, teaching first-generation college students, classroom behavior in the current political climate, academic approaches to less prepared students, fostering qualities such as growth mindset, resilience, and emotional intelligence in students, or techniques for providing effective formative feedback to students.

In addition to presentations by law professors from around the world—a Call for Proposals will be coming soon!—the Institute will provide several plenary sessions throughout the c

Emily Grant

Associate Professor of Law

Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning

Washburn University School of Law

1700 SW College Ave.

Topeka, KS  66621

(785) 670-1677

emily.grant@washburn.edu

August 25, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Call for AALS Hot Topics Presenters

The AALS Student Services Executive Committee is excited to continue a tradition spearheaded in 2017-2018 by Executive Committee member Trent Kennedy of Georgetown Law. We are seeking presenters for the 2019 Hot Topics in Law Student Services program at the AALS annual conference. The 2019 AALS conference will take place from January 2 through January 6 in New Orleans, LA, with Student Services programming occurring on Saturday, January 6. The Hot Topics session is expected to be the final session of the day-long Student Services programming.

The desired proposals would be short, dynamic talks about developing issues in law student services. As stated in last year’s call for presenters, insightful new voices emerge each year and not every would-be topic lends itself to a traditional panel discussion. The Hot Topics session is an opportunity for interested scholars and professionals to inject a new idea or practical innovation into the national conversation. Ideally, talks will address a developing issue in law student services (e.g., program assessment, marketing to millennial students, responding to significant off-campus events, the intersection of law student services and national or local politics, etc.), craft a clear take-away message for the audience, and fit a timeline between five and ten minutes. Use of an Ignite, PechaKucha, or similar presentation structure is strongly encouraged but not required.

Interested individuals or small teams should submit a proposal of no more than 800 words to Darren Nealy at nealy.1@osu.edu <mailto:nealy.1@osu.edu>  and Melissa Berry at mmberry@uw.edu <mailto:mmberry@uw.edu> . Strong preference will be given to proposals received by September 7, 2018. Proposals should address the content of the talk, the amount of time needed for the presentation, and the speaker's qualifications for addressing the proposed topic in such a brief period of time. The AALS President’s theme for the Annual Meeting is Building Bridges <https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fam.aals.org%2Fbuilding-bridges%2F&data=02%7C01%7Camy.jarmon%40ttu.edu%7Cb92f0767a889463ed87308d5fe49b9e1%7C178a51bf8b2049ffb65556245d5c173c%7C0%7C0%7C636694515011155849&sdata=vmqZ5fWIpcywwxkMhgH76U6Qa12%2BefMo8dV%2F%2FJ3EeX4%3D&reserved=0> .

In reviewing proposals, the Committee will consider the overall quality of the program, including whether:

* The proposal is well written and thoughtfully constructed;

* The program is likely to be of interest to attendees;

* The program content lends itself to follow-up and ongoing conversation throughout the year;

* There is a diversity of presenters, including diversity of schools, viewpoints, and identity characteristics across the full Student Services program;

* The program connects to the AALS President’s theme of Building Bridges (NOTE: Not a requirement.); and

* The proposed topic is “hot” and provides insights about an otherwise under-discussed area of thought or practice.

Please direct any questions to Darren Nealy at nealy.1@osu.edu <mailto:nealy.1@osu.edu>  or Melissa Berry at mmberry@uw.edu <mailto:mmberry@uw.edu> .

August 17, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Call for Presenters for AALS Section on Balance in Legal Education

Call for Presenters for the Section on Balance in Legal Education Extended
Main Program on "Building (Self-) Compassion and Other Sources of Well-Being"
at the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting


The Section on Balance in Legal Education is pleased to announce a Call for
Presenters for the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, in which at
least one additional panelist is to be selected for the Section's Extended
Program, titled "Building (Self-)Compassion and Other Sources of
Well-Being." The program is scheduled on Thursday, January 3, 2019 1:30 p.m.
- 4:30 p.m. Our non-law school speaker is Leah Weiss, who teaches a Stanford
University Graduate School of Business course titled Leading with
Mindfulness and Compassion. Each presenter will give an independent short
presentation, followed by a moderated panelist and audience discussion.

Submission Guidelines: Please submit a 1 page proposal to Program Committee
Co-Chair, Jarrod Reich (jarrod.reich@georgetown.edu
<mailto:jarrod.reich@georgetown.edu> ), by Friday September 7, 2018.


Call for Presenters for the Section on Balance in Legal Education Pedagogy
Program on "Building Bridges from Undergraduate Experience to Law School"
at the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting

The Section on Balance in Legal Education is pleased to announce a Call for
Presenters for the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, in which at
least one additional panelist will be selected for the Section's Pedagogy
Program for New Law Teachers. The program, entitled "Building Bridges from
Undergraduate Experience to Law School," is scheduled for Saturday, January
5, 2019, from 3:30 - 4:45 p.m., and will be structured as a moderated
roundtable discussion highlighting the presenters' chosen areas of focus.
Each presenter will give an independent short presentation, followed by a
moderated panelist and audience discussion.

Please submit a one-page proposal to Program Committee Co-Chair, Jarrod
Reich ( <mailto:jarrod.reich@georgetown.edu> jarrod.reich@georgetown.edu),
by Friday, September 7, 2018. Panelists will be selected after review by
members of the Balance in Legal Education Section's Program Committee. Any
Committee Member with a conflict of interest in reviewing submissions will
not participate. In the interests of diversity of voice and viewpoint, a
preference will be made for presenters who have never presented at an AALS
Annual Meeting before, but all submissions are welcome.

Panelists are responsible for paying their registration fee and hotel and
travel expenses. In the event it receives insufficient proposals prior to
the deadline, the Section reserves the right to solicit additional proposals
before making final selections. Feel free to contact Jarrod with any
inquiries.

August 10, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Bar Prep Conversation at SEALS

I attended the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Conference earlier this week.  On Monday, August 6, 2018, the conference schedule included two bar preparation strategy sessions.  Here are my takeaways from those two sessions.

The first session was a panel discussion entitled "Bar Preparation Strategies for Law Professors and Academic Support Program."  

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Professor James McGrath of Texas A&M University School of Law used an IF-AT quiz to frame his discussion about how spaced repetition and self-efficacy are essential components to bar exam success.  Next, Professor Kirsha Trychta of West Virginia University College of Law introduced ways to mobilize students, faculty, and staff to become soldiers in both academic support and bar preparation efforts.  The session concluded with Professor Patrick Gould of Appalachian School of Law demonstrating how to methodically work through a MBE practice problem and how to spot legal issues.  Professor Melissa Essary of Campbell University's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law expertly moderated the program.

After the panel presentation, attendees engaged in a lively round-table discussion focused on "Strategies for Bar Preparation and Success." 

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Each participant had 10-12 minutes to discuss a bar preparation related issue or topic that was of interest to them.  More than 30 discussants attended the session, including academic support and bar preparation professors, commercial course providers, and deans.  (The session was standing room only!)  Of those in attendance, roughly half of the group raised discussion topics.  While the full agenda—including the presenters’ school affiliation, contact information, and formal presentation title—is available here (Download BAR PASSAGE SPEAKER SCHEDULE Revised 3), I’ve set forth a brief summary below.  If a discussion item sounds interesting to you, I encourage you to reach out to the presenter.  Every presenter warmly invited questions and comments.  

Bob Keuhn is authoring a research paper on the results of a recent large-scale empirical study, where he found little evidence that clinical or experiential coursework helps students pass the bar exam, contrary to popular belief.

James McGrath offered five quick tips for improving classroom teaching, including adding formative assessment activities directly on the course syllabus so that quizzes and reflection exercises become an essential and routine component of the course.  

Michael Barry & Zoe Niesel outlined how they “went big” and dared to “be bold” overhauling and expanding their ASP program.  They proactively asked for input from faculty, the advancement (i.e. fundraising) department, career services, and others before moving forward.

Benjamin Madison focused on self-directed learning, and emphasized the importance of incorporation skills building, especially in the first-year, to help students become better self-directed learners.  He recommended Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz’s book as a jumpstart.  

Ron Rychlak shared his experience with bar passage efforts at two (very) different law schools: Ole’ Miss and Ava Maria.  He tinkered with requiring more bar-tested electives, increasing the probation cut-off GPA, and adding more academic support style-courses in the first two years.

Antonia Miceli redesigned her third-year bar course from an “opt in” (i.e. invitation to enroll) to an “opt out” model.  All students in the bottom third of the class are now automatically enrolled, and the student must proactively petition to opt out of the course—which has positively increased her overall enrollment.

Debra Moss Vollweiler has spent the last few years as a member of a Florida bar passage focus group, and is now advancing the 3-Ms model: master in 1L, manipulate in 2L, and memorize in 3L.  The 3M model aligns with her law school’s newly revised learning outcomes.  

Cassie Christopher debuted her online 3-credit, graded, MBE course, which is open to all graduating students.  Students watch an online video created by in-house doctrinal faculty, read the required textbook, complete practice MBEs, and engage in a discussion board each week.

Kirsha Trychta asked for attendees’ input on ways to mobilize the entire faculty in bar preparation.  Discussants suggested incorporating the MPT into a clinical course, asking faculty to guest lecture, making a practice essay and MBE database on TWEN, inviting outside third-party speakers, and involving the assessment committee in programmatic decision making.  

Rob McFarland highlighted a recent (and controversial) conversation online, directed at law school hopefuls, about whether an LSAT score accurately predicts bar passage success.

Laurie Zimet proposed that law schools should (1) educate the entire law school community about the bar exam and invite each person to contribute where they could, and (2) provide an opportunity for students to diagnosis weaknesses, with sufficient time for remediation.

Melissa Essary designed a new course—in just a few months—which offered academic credit for a graded, in-house faculty taught, one semester, flipped classroom MBE bar preparation course, supplemented by Barbri videos and materials.   

Patrick Gould, the session’s moderator, concluded by thanking Russel Weaver for hosting us, and encouraging everyone to brainstorm about what we can do next year to make the event even better.  

Well done, team!
(Kirsha Trychta)

August 7, 2018 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Meetings, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 27, 2018

Reminder: August 1st Deadline for AALS 2019 Joint Section Workshop Proposals

Call for Proposals:  Joint Workshop 

AALS Sections on Academic Support (ASP) & the Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession

 January 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA:  Thursday January 3, 2019, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Circling the Square: Fresh Partnerships to Understand Student Learning through Empirical Studies

Introduction. Academic support plays a critical role in promoting student success and learning, and empirical research into various learning processes can yield vital information to help all law faculty promote effective learning. The Section on Academic Support Programs and the Section on Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession are joining forces to provide a three-hour workshop at the 2019 AALS annual meeting in order to help jump-start collaborative empirical research on understanding student learning and related issues. 

Design.  The Workshop will have two major components.  First, a plenary panel presentation will highlight current research based on empirical studies and address the need for additional research focused on specific issues arising in several key areas, such as 1) assessment of law school programs and courses; 2) design and evaluation of law school academic support programs; and 3) the design and evaluation of measures intended to improve bar exam success.  This will be followed by presenters from the Academic Support community, who will identify areas of need for future empirical research.  Next, the program will break into multiple concurrent small-group break-out sessions focused on specific areas for empirical study in the area of academic support.  Each group will brainstorm and identify potential partnerships for future research, engage in constructive feedback to those with ongoing research and those who are beginning to identify questions for further study.  We hope that this format will strengthen individual research proposals, create potential for collaborative or parallel work in different institutions, and bring together insights from across a wide spectrum of law faculty and professionals.

Depending on proposals received, we may modify the focus and format slightly.  At this point, we anticipate 15 minutes allocated to each plenary presenter and one hour for the concurrent break-out sessions, which may include one or more facilitators and/or presenters who will be grouped based on common themes of interest.  Depending on the nature and quality of proposals, we may seek to publish associated papers in a law review symposium issue.  All submissions will be subject to peer review by a program committee composed of those from the two sponsoring sections.

Call for Proposals.  Based on the above-described program design, we are seeking proposals in three different areas:

(1) For the first part of the plenary presentation, we are soliciting proposals focused on empirical research in one of the identified areas.  These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

(a) a title of your paper and/or presentation,

(b) a description of the objectives and/or outcomes of the research question you have pursued or are pursuing,

(c) a description of the empirical methods used,

(d) a statement of why your work would benefit from a collegial review process,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, if appropriate, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

 (2) For the second part of the plenary presentations, we are soliciting proposals that will identify and discuss areas of need for future research on issues relating to academic support. These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

 (a) a title of your presentation,

(b) a description of the objectives and/or outcomes of the research question you have pursued or are pursuing,

(c) a statement of why the research question presented would benefit from a collegial review process,

(d) an explanation about why the proposed research is important to academic support and/or legal education,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, if any, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

(3) For the concurrent sessions, we are soliciting proposals that will identify and discuss works in progress at any stage of research or thinking, with the goal of developing potential partnerships for future research and receiving constructive feedback and input on the ideas presented.  These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

(a) a title and/or description of your area of interest,

(b) an explanation about why the research question is important to academic support and/or legal education,

(c) a statement of why the research question presented would benefit from a collegial review process,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, if any, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

The planning committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas.  In addition, we welcome proposals from scholars and educators at all stages of research.  Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, August 1st, to Professor Raul Ruiz, Florida International University College of Law, rauruiz@fiu.edu .  If you have any questions, please email Professor Ruiz or call 305-348-7821.

AALS Section on Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession Program Committee:

AALS Section on Academic Support

Program Committee:

Louis Schulze, Chair

Raul Ruiz, Chair

Jennifer Gundlach

Melissa Berry

Neil W. Hamilton

Robert Coulthard

Victor David Quintanilla

Jamie Kleppetsch

 

Daniel M. Kocal

 

Zoe Niesel

 

Goldie Prichard

Empirical Study Section Chair: Judith Welch Wegner

ASP Section Chair: Staci P. Rucker

July 27, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Reminder August 1st Deadline for AALS 2019 Joint Section Workshop Proposals

Call for Proposals:  Joint Workshop 

AALS Sections on Academic Support (ASP) & the Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession

 January 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA:  Thursday January 3, 2019, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Circling the Square: Fresh Partnerships to Understand Student Learning through Empirical Studies

Introduction. Academic support plays a critical role in promoting student success and learning, and empirical research into various learning processes can yield vital information to help all law faculty promote effective learning. The Section on Academic Support Programs and the Section on Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession are joining forces to provide a three-hour workshop at the 2019 AALS annual meeting in order to help jump-start collaborative empirical research on understanding student learning and related issues. 

Design.  The Workshop will have two major components.  First, a plenary panel presentation will highlight current research based on empirical studies and address the need for additional research focused on specific issues arising in several key areas, such as 1) assessment of law school programs and courses; 2) design and evaluation of law school academic support programs; and 3) the design and evaluation of measures intended to improve bar exam success.  This will be followed by presenters from the Academic Support community, who will identify areas of need for future empirical research.  Next, the program will break into multiple concurrent small-group break-out sessions focused on specific areas for empirical study in the area of academic support.  Each group will brainstorm and identify potential partnerships for future research, engage in constructive feedback to those with ongoing research and those who are beginning to identify questions for further study.  We hope that this format will strengthen individual research proposals, create potential for collaborative or parallel work in different institutions, and bring together insights from across a wide spectrum of law faculty and professionals.

Depending on proposals received, we may modify the focus and format slightly.  At this point, we anticipate 15 minutes allocated to each plenary presenter and one hour for the concurrent break-out sessions, which may include one or more facilitators and/or presenters who will be grouped based on common themes of interest.  Depending on the nature and quality of proposals, we may seek to publish associated papers in a law review symposium issue.  All submissions will be subject to peer review by a program committee composed of those from the two sponsoring sections.

Call for Proposals.  Based on the above-described program design, we are seeking proposals in three different areas:

(1) For the first part of the plenary presentation, we are soliciting proposals focused on empirical research in one of the identified areas.  These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

(a) a title of your paper and/or presentation,

(b) a description of the objectives and/or outcomes of the research question you have pursued or are pursuing,

(c) a description of the empirical methods used,

(d) a statement of why your work would benefit from a collegial review process,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, if appropriate, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

 (2) For the second part of the plenary presentations, we are soliciting proposals that will identify and discuss areas of need for future research on issues relating to academic support. These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

 (a) a title of your presentation,

(b) a description of the objectives and/or outcomes of the research question you have pursued or are pursuing,

(c) a statement of why the research question presented would benefit from a collegial review process,

(d) an explanation about why the proposed research is important to academic support and/or legal education,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, if any, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

(3) For the concurrent sessions, we are soliciting proposals that will identify and discuss works in progress at any stage of research or thinking, with the goal of developing potential partnerships for future research and receiving constructive feedback and input on the ideas presented.  These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

(a) a title and/or description of your area of interest,

(b) an explanation about why the research question is important to academic support and/or legal education,

(c) a statement of why the research question presented would benefit from a collegial review process,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, if any, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

The planning committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas.  In addition, we welcome proposals from scholars and educators at all stages of research.  Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, August 1st, to Professor Raul Ruiz, Florida International University College of Law, rauruiz@fiu.edu .  If you have any questions, please email Professor Ruiz or call 305-348-7821.

AALS Section on Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession Program Committee:

AALS Section on Academic Support

Program Committee:

Louis Schulze, Chair

Raul Ruiz, Chair

Jennifer Gundlach

Melissa Berry

Neil W. Hamilton

Robert Coulthard

Victor David Quintanilla

Jamie Kleppetsch

 

Daniel M. Kocal

 

Zoe Niesel

 

Goldie Prichard

Empirical Study Section Chair: Judith Welch Wegner

ASP Section Chair: Staci P. Rucker

July 15, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Call for Proposals for 2019 AALS Joint Section Workshop

Call for Proposals:  Joint Workshop

AALS Sections on Academic Support (ASP) & the Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession

January 2019 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA:  Thursday January 3, 2019, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

 Circling the Square: Fresh Partnerships to Understand Student Learning through Empirical Studies

Introduction. Academic support plays a critical role in promoting student success and learning, and empirical research into various learning processes can yield vital information to help all law faculty promote effective learning. The Section on Academic Support Programs and the Section on Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession are joining forces to provide a three-hour workshop at the 2019 AALS annual meeting in order to help jump-start collaborative empirical research on understanding student learning and related issues.

Design.  The Workshop will have two major components.  First, a plenary panel presentation will highlight current research based on empirical studies and address the need for additional research focused on specific issues arising in several key areas, such as 1) assessment of law school programs and courses; 2) design and evaluation of law school academic support programs; and 3) the design and evaluation of measures intended to improve bar exam success.  This will be followed by presenters from the Academic Support community, who will identify areas of need for future empirical research.  Next, the program will break into multiple concurrent small-group break-out sessions focused on specific areas for empirical study in the area of academic support.  Each group will brainstorm and identify potential partnerships for future research, engage in constructive feedback to those with ongoing research and those who are beginning to identify questions for further study.  We hope that this format will strengthen individual research proposals, create potential for collaborative or parallel work in different institutions, and bring together insights from across a wide spectrum of law faculty and professionals.

Depending on proposals received, we may modify the focus and format slightly.  At this point, we anticipate 15 minutes allocated to each plenary presenter and one hour for the concurrent break-out sessions, which may include one or more facilitators and/or presenters who will be grouped based on common themes of interest.  Depending on the nature and quality of proposals, we may seek to publish associated papers in a law review symposium issue.  All submissions will be subject to peer review by a program committee composed of those from the two sponsoring sections.

Call for Proposals.  Based on the above-described program design, we are seeking proposals in three different areas:

(1) For the first part of the plenary presentation, we are soliciting proposals focused on empirical research in one of the identified areas.  These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

(a) a title of your paper and/or presentation,

(b) a description of the objectives and/or outcomes of the research question you have pursued or are pursuing,

(c) a description of the empirical methods used,

(d) a statement of why your work would benefit from a collegial review process,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, if appropriate, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

 (2) For the second part of the plenary presentations, we are soliciting proposals that will identify and discuss areas of need for future research on issues relating to academic support. These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

(a) a title of your presentation,

(b) a description of the objectives and/or outcomes of the research question you have pursued or are pursuing,

(c) a statement of why the research question presented would benefit from a collegial review process,

(d) an explanation about why the proposed research is important to academic support and/or legal education,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, if any, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

(3) For the concurrent sessions, we are soliciting proposals that will identify and discuss works in progress at any stage of research or thinking, with the goal of developing potential partnerships for future research and receiving constructive feedback and input on the ideas presented.  These proposals should be 1-2 pages in length and contain the following:

(a) a title and/or description of your area of interest,

(b) an explanation about why the research question is important to academic support and/or legal education,

(c) a statement of why the research question presented would benefit from a collegial review process,

(e) a summary of the presentation methods to be used,

(f) an attached abstract and draft of a current paper on the subject, or an explanation of the stage of your research process, if any, and

(g) an attached curriculum vitae and a brief bio explaining any teaching or scholarly expertise or experience in the area of your presentation.

The planning committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas.  In addition, we welcome proposals from scholars and educators at all stages of research.  Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, August 1st, to Professor Raul Ruiz, Florida International University College of Law, rauruiz@fiu.edu .  If you have any questions, please email Professor Ruiz or call 305-348-7821.

AALS Section on Empirical Study of Legal Education and the Legal Profession Program Committee:

AALS Section on Academic Support

Program Committee:

Louis Schulze, Chair

Raul Ruiz, Chair

Jennifer Gundlach

Melissa Berry

Neil W. Hamilton

Robert Coulthard

Victor David Quintanilla

Jamie Kleppetsch

 

Daniel M. Kocal

 

Zoe Niesel

 

Goldie Prichard

Empirical Study Section Chair: Judith Welch Wegner

ASP Section Chair: Staci P. Rucker

June 29, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 15, 2018

AccessLex Legal Education Research Symposium

Text from a recent email from AccessLex:

Registration is open for the 2018 AccessLex Legal Education Research Symposium on November 11-12 at the beautiful Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.

The AccessLex Legal Education Research Symposium offers law school deans, administrators, faculty and researchers the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions on the most critical issues facing legal education today. Network with colleagues from across the nation and meet the grant winners and scholars producing the latest research on diversity issues, bar success and so much more.

Join us for this one-of-a-kind event that examines access, affordability and the value of legal education and the promising practices and innovative strategies to address these issues.

June 15, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 8, 2018

Looking for a summer conference?

For those of you who are fortunate enough to have some extra conference funds, think about the June 18-20 Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (ILTL) technology conference in Spokane, Washington: http://lawteaching.org/conferences/.

June 8, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Extension of the AASE Survey Deadline to August 10th

Law school contacts who have not completed the survey for AASE yet for their law schools have been emailed this week with information on the restructuring of the survey to make it easier to complete and on the new deadline. The new deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Friday, August 10, 2018 – please use 2017-2018 information still.

If you were previously contacted during April to fill out the survey and did not have time to do so, please check your inbox (and junk mail folder) for the email about the survey that was sent this past week.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Amy L. Jarmon at amy.jarmon@ttu.edu.

Best regards,

Amy L. Jarmon, Co-Chair AASE Assessment Committee, Texas Tech School of Law

Karen M. Harkins, Co-Chair AASE Assessment Committee, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

June 2, 2018 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Today is the last day to register for AASE Conference in St. Louis May 22-24, 2018

The link to register is: http://www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/conferencesevents.html.

May 11, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Takeaways from AccessLex's Bar Exam Research Forum

I, along with about 40 other bar-exam professionals, attended the inaugural AccessLex Bar Exam Research Forum in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2018.

The morning began with a keynote address entitled "The Bar Exam and the Future of Legal Education" presented by Patricia D. White, Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law.  Dean White outlined her role as the chair of a new 10-person Commission on the Future of Legal Education, an initiative of American Bar President Hilarie Bass.  She explained that she and her fellow committee members intend to investigate: (1) the skill set needed to practice law, (2) access to justice issues, and (3) bar exam licensure requirements.  Dean White then spoke about the potential causes for the "downturn" in nationwide MBE scores in 2014 and what it really means to be "minimally competent" to practice law.  I found Dean White's presentation to be insightful, innovative, and inspiring.  If you ever have the chance to hear her speak, I highly recommend it!

Rodney Fong, Associate Dean at The John Marshall Law School, spoke briefly about "Breaking Bar Pass Barriers Today" before we broke into our first of two working group sessions.  Our task for the first working group session was to identify what research needs to be conducted to ensure that today's law students pass today's bar exams.  The working groups suggested developing a database that includes detailed background information on each test taker, similar to the LSAC's handling of the LSAT; increasing collaboration between the ABA, NCBE, and the numerous state boards; and drawing upon other higher education disciplines and professional schools for guidance.  

After lunch, Judith Welch Wegner, Professor Emerita and Dean Emerita of the University of North Carolina School of Law, discussed "The Future of the Bar Exam," focusing on what tomorrow's bar exam should look like and why.  We then broken into our second working group session, with the goal of identifying what research needs to be conducted to produce the best new bar exam format by 2025.  The working groups didn't hold back, offering suggestions ranging from administering sections of the bar exam after each year of law school to eliminating the exam entirely.  

In short, AccessLex put together an extremely innovative and collaborative forum.  With 40 key stakeholders in the same room (including representatives from the ABA and NCBE, law school deans, academic support professionals, statisticians, and higher education specialists), everyone was able to really dive deep into thoughtful discussions about how best to improve legal education generally, and the bar exam specifically.  The program concluded with AccessLex inviting participants to apply for its inaugural Bar Success Research Grant.  Initial letters of inquiry for the grant will be accepted during the month of May.

(Kirsha Trychta)

May 1, 2018 in Bar Exams, Meetings, Science, Teaching Tips, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Nominations Process for AASE

Dear ASP colleagues,

On behalf of AASE, I would like to announce the nomination and election procedures for the Executive Board for the upcoming year.  Please go to the Membership page of the AASE website and follow the Nomination link which can be found here:  http://www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/membership.html.  To nominate someone, you must be an AASE Member. If you are unsure whether you are an AASE member, please contact us at aasemembership@gmail.com.  You many nominate only one person for each position, but you can nominate the same person for more than one position. Self-nominations are allowed.

Nominations are due by April 30, 2018.  All nominees confirmed by the election committee (Russell McClain, Jamie Kleppetsch, and Betsy Six – the members of the Executive Board who are not eligible to run for an office) will be forwarded to the Executive Board.  We will then circulate an online ballot.  Voting will be open for one week leading up to the national conference and will close on May 22, 2018, the end of the first day of the national conference.

The AASE Executive Board meets or communicates on matters every month.  Each Executive Board position has regular duties in addition to being assigned to serve as a liaison on committees and other tasks as needed.  Candidates should be willing to thoroughly fulfill the time commitment required of the office for which they are nominated.

The positions that are open for election are President-Elect, Vice President of Diversity, Secretary, Treasurer, and the newly created position of Treasurer-Elect.  As provided in the AASE Bylaws (relevant portion excerpted below), the Board voted to amend the Bylaws to add this additional Board position. The Treasurer-Elect will serve a two-year term – one year as Treasurer-Elect and one year as Treasurer. This will allow for a smoother transition to a new Treasurer, who must pay many of the expenses associated with the conference almost immediately after taking office. We plan to seek ratification of this Bylaw amendment at the annual business meeting, which will be held on the third day of the conference.

The President-Elect will serve a three-year term on the Board – one year as President-Elect, one year as President, and one year as Past President.  All other positions will serve for one year. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, Russell, or Jamie. 

Thanks,

Betsy Six

President, AASE

ARTICLE XIII:  AMENDMENTS

 

  1. Amendment of Bylaws.  These bylaws may be amended or repealed by either an affirmative vote of two thirds of the Board of Directors or by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members. The bylaws may not contain any provisions that would be inconsistent with law or the Articles of Incorporation.

April 28, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Reminder: AASE Registration is open

The AASE annual meeting is a great opportunity to gain new ideas for future programming, meet with fellow ASP/bar professionals, and renew your enthusiasm for your job! Whether you are new to ASP/bar work or have been doing it for years, there is always something to gain from attending the conference.

This year's conference is May 22-24 at the St. Louis University School of Law. Registration information is available here: AASE Conference Registration. Hotel reservations can be made at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark at this link: Hotel information. The room block closes on April 23, 2018.

Hope to see you there!

March 24, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 12, 2018

SWCASP Takeaways

Last week's SWCASP workshop at UNT-Dallas was informative once again.  I want to thank everyone who spent time putting the program together and presenting.  I want to personally thank my colleague Jennifer Warren at OCU for taking the lead organizing the event this year.  She worked diligently to put together the slate of speakers and organize the event.  Preyal Shah did an amazing job at UNT Dallas hosting this year’s event.  Lastly, I want to say thank you to all the speakers for preparing such amazing discussions.  Here is my brief synopsis:

Scrapbooking for 1Ls: A Hands-On Approach to Legal Synthesis

Preyal Shah and Jessica Haseltine, UNT Dallas College of Law

Preyal and Jessica demonstrated an excellent exercise to help visual and kinesthetic learners.  They provide students with different sizes of paper that are different colors.  The sizes and color correspond to a hierarchy for outlining diversity jurisdiction.  The exercise is setup like a puzzle.  Students must take their Civ Pro class notes and fill in the rules and then piece together the hierarchy.  After visualizing the structure and context, they transition students to writing essays about diversity.  The exercise was outstanding.  I can’t adequately describe the visual effect of seeing the rule structure.  If you have struggling visual learners, definitely contact Preyal (or anyone attending) for information.

Emerging Adults

Rebecca Flanagan, University of Massachusetts School of Law

Rebecca was amazing, as always.  She explained the characteristics of our new group of students.  The semi-accurate quote that struck me was “Law School is based on students we used to have not the students we have now.”  I definitely agree our students are different now than they were even when I first started in ASP.  Rebecca explained how adulthood is defined by milestones, which can include getting a mortgage or having a full-time career.  Previous generations of students met many of those milestones, but most of our students meet none of the adult milestones.  Her discussion advocated for changing teaching to provide more context, scaffolding, and basic professional skills.  Watch out for Rebecca’s articles as they are published because they will be a great resource for improving our teaching.

Helicopter Professors

Emily Grant, Washburn University School of Law

Emily’s presentation was based on her law review article about Helicopter Professors.  This is an interesting topic.  I felt convicted after listening to her speak because I am probably (most likely) a helicopter professor.  This is also interesting because the research says helicopter parenting is on the rise, and new parents are also our new generation of law professors.  The idea that parenting styles would then enter the classroom makes sense to me.  Helicopter parenting and teaching may not always be bad, but Emily does a great job of demonstrating some of the problems.  I personally always worry that if I am not clearly structuring everything students should be doing on an hourly basis throughout the summer, then students won’t do what is necessary to succeed on the bar.  My strategy may or may not really help students pass the bar, but it is definitely not helping them become an independently motivated attorney.  I need to buy into her quote “Excessive Guidance that hinders learning.”

For Technical Assistance, Please Press 9

Kirsha Trychta, West Virginia University College of Law

Kirsha is definitely more tech savvy than I am.  She provided resources to make ASP work more efficient and fun.  The highlight for me was definitely how to make a lightboard.  If you make videos for students, the lightboard is a fun way to make it more interactive.  Here is the youtube video explaining lightboards.  She was able to make the lightboard for approximately $2,500.  If you want to build one, contact her about her experience.  I plan to setup a meeting with our IT department as soon as I get back to see if this is possible.  She also talked about making her outlook calendar public so students can see whether she is available.  This decreases the number of students emailing or calling asking when she is available.  They can look at her calendar and email for specific appointments.  The aspect I enjoyed was students can’t see the specific appointments, but they can see when she is busy or available. 

Law Success after Year One: Using a Mandatory Skills Curriculum to Tackle Bar Passage Rates

Zoe Niesel and Mike Barry, St. Mary’s University School of Law

Zoe and Mike built a comprehensive ASP program focusing on law school success, bar exam passage, and practice ready skills.  First, I would applaud St. Mary’s for committing the resources to allow Zoe and Mike the ability to build such an extensive program.  They have classes virtually every semester of law school with over 10 faculty and staff in their program.  I loved their 2nd semester 1L course focused on professionalism and practice ready skills.  They teach client interviewing and business communications among other skills.  Students are grouped in law firms and must interview a simulated client played by a drama school student.  Students then meet with a volunteer local attorney to present a strategy for the simulated client.  I think students interacting with senior attorneys helps build professional skills students will need in the summer after first year.  The contextual learning will also deepen student learning.

 

Great job by all the presenters.  If you are interested in slides, Jennifer Warren from OCU will have all the slides.

(Steven Foster)

March 12, 2018 in Meetings, Publishing, Teaching Tips, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Law Teaching for Adjunct Faculty and New Professors Conference

Law Teaching for Adjunct Faculty and New Professors
ILTL 2018 Conference
April 27-28, 2018
Texas A&M School of Law
Fort Worth, Texas

Conference
​Saturday, April 28, 2018
8:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Lecture Hall and Conference Center

Law Teaching for Adjunct Faculty and New Professors is a one-day conference for new and experienced adjunct faculty, new full-time professors, and others who are interested in developing and supporting those colleagues. The conference is co-sponsored by the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning and Texas A&M University School of Law. 

Sessions will address topics such as

  • Course design and learning outcomes creation
  • Assessment methods
  • Active learning approaches
  • Team-based learning
  • Technology and teaching

Additionally, master teacher Gerry Hess will be on hand for one-on-one mentoring sessions throughout the day for a limited number of participants.

By the end of the conference, all participants will have concrete ideas to bring back to their students, colleagues, and institutions.  And each participant will receive a copy of Teaching Law by Design for Adjuncts or Teaching Law by Design.

More information and the registration page can be found by clicking here.

March 10, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Registration for 12th Annual Meeting of Law School Diversity Professionals

 

REGISTRATION AVAILABLE

12th Annual Meeting of Law School Diversity Professionals

May 2-4, 2018

Hosted by Texas A&M University School of Law

Conference Hotel: The Ashton Hotel

Registration Deadline April 20, 2018

REGISTER NOW

 

March 9, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Registration is open for AASE 6th Annual Conference

The conference is May 22-24 at the St. Louis University School of Law. Registration information is available here: AASE Conference Registration. Hotel reservations can be made at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark at this link: Hotel information. The room block closes on April 23, 2018. Hope to see you there!

March 4, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 2, 2018

Register for the Second Annual NALSAP Conference

Greetings!

We are excited to announce that the Second Annual NALSAP Conference Schedule has been posted at conference website.   Registration has been going strong for the past several weeks, and we’re thrilled to see first-time and returning NALSAP conference attendees from all over the country registered. 

Some of the program highlights of the 2018 NALSAP Conference are:

  • Kellye Testy, President and CEO of the Law School Admission Council, will deliver the opening keynote address, “Why Law School Student Affairs Matters to Inclusive Legal Education.”
  • Four thought-provoking plenary sessions including:
  • National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being:  Creating a Movement in Law Schools to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession
  • Planning a Goal Driven Orientation
  • Advising Students at the Intersection of Identities
  • Legal Issues in Law Student Affairs, in partnership with National Association College and University Attorneys (NACUA)
  • 18 concurrent sessions covering a broad range of topics, such as collaborating with admissions, Title IX best practices, law student success, student support programming, managing crises, ADA accommodations, ABA learning outcomes, strategies for passing character and fitness for the bar, student leadership, managing employees, self-care for student services professionals, and more.
  • A live performance of The Defamation Experience, a riveting courtroom drama with a twist--NALSAP conference attendees will be the jury.
  • Countless opportunities for networking with colleagues from across the nation.

Registration is $125 for NALSAP members and $200 for non-members.  Registration includes all programs as well as two receptions and three lunches.  The conference will be held on June 28-30, 2018 at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.   Be sure to make your hotel reservations to take advantage of the conference rate while space is still available at the SpringHill Suites Downtown Indianapolis. 

SpringHill Suites Downtown Indianapolis:  NALSAP Conference Hotel Reservations.

Register for NALSAP Conference:  Register.

If you have any questions, e-mail us at your convenience.  We look forward to seeing you in June! 

Best,

Johnny D. Pryor, J.D.

NALSAP President and Conference Site Chair

(317) 274-8113

jdpryor@iupui.edu

Macey Lynd Edmondson, J.D., Ph.D.
NALSAP Secretary and Conference Program Chair

(662) 915-6819

maceye@olemiss.edu

March 2, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)