Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, September 25, 2015

Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting

This year's AALS Annual Meeting will be held Wednesday, January 6 - Sunday, January 10, 2016. Note that these dates are later than usual.

The location is New York City. The co-headquarters hotels are the New York Hilton Midtown and Sheraton New York Times Square.

The Section on Academic Support business meeting will be on Saturday, January 9th 7:00 - 8:30 a.m. The Section's Program (Raising the Bar) will be on Saturday also from 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

For more information and to register, go to AALS Annual Meeting 2016.

September 25, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Call for Proposals for WCCASP Conference


Save the Date!

West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals

2015 Conference

California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA

Friday, November 6, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


We all say to our students, “You’re going to have to do this as a lawyer.” Yet saying so is only the beginning, especially as “practice-ready” continues to be the buzzword driving legal education reform nationwide. Learn from your colleagues how to build practice-ready programming into academic support and bar preparation efforts, and join a discussion about how we can highlight our contributions to the practice-ready movement to our law schools and to the legal education community at large.

We are pleased to announce our keynote speaker, Karen Barbieri. Karen is a former California bar examiner and calibration session leader who will share her valuable insights on “practice-ready skills” from the perspective of the professional bar examiner.  (Her comments will address all of us in ASP, not just those teaching at California law schools.)

Call for Proposals:

We are now accepting proposals for 45-minute presentations that show how ASPers have incorporated practice-readiness into their programs.  Have you used a practice-centered exercise to build academic skills as well as contribute to the overall mission of producing practice-ready lawyers – for example, an interview simulation, sample oral argument, drafting assignment, client letter, or even a performance test from a bar exam?  Can you share insights from participating in and grappling with practice-ready initiatives, such as learning outcomes and assessment efforts that examine practice-ready objectives? How have you handled changes to experiential learning requirements, and any challenges posed to required-course and early-bar-prep programs targeting at-risk students? Can you help inform colleagues as to how to promote such innovation to their home institutions? 

These are just suggestions; we welcome all proposals relating to practice-ready legal education, from both ASP and “ASP-friendly” faculty.  Though preference will be given to presentations that fit at least generally within this theme, if time and space permit, we also may be able to accommodate a few presentations on other topics of interest.              

Please submit your proposal to by September 28, 2015, and please include the following:

-          The presenter(s) name(s), school(s), and contact information

-          Whether your presentation requires outside equipment (e.g., PowerPoint projection)

-          Your presentation title

-          A description of your presentation (not to exceed one page)

-          A short blurb (100 words) to include in the conference materials, if accepted




September 17, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Call for Proposals: LWI One-Day Legal Writing Conferences

Twelve law schools across the country are hosting LWI One-Day Legal Writing Conferences on one of the first two weekends in December. The Conferences are hosted by schools in every region of the country. They are great opportunities for first-time presenters as well as the seasoned legal writing, lawyering skills, and academic support professionals. Many locations include Academic Support as part of their theme: collaborating with ASP, preparing the academically unprepared law student, meeting the needs of different learners, and integrating legal writing and academic success, to name a few.

For more information about attending or presenting, please use the following link:

The link includes information about the schools hosting, the themes for each school's conference, the date and the site coordinators.

For those interested in submitting a presentation proposal, it also includes an area to submit proposals and to rank the sites in order of your preference to participate. Proposals are due by Thursday, September 17, 2015 10:00 PM PST.

After you submit a proposal the information will be compiled and distributed to the site coordinators. The site coordinators will then invite those whose proposals fit well within their schedule to participate. 

If you don't want to present but are interested in attending, registration will open soon after the proposal submission process is complete.

​Send any questions about the link or proposal submission process to, and questions about the specific locations to the site coordinators. 

This is a great opportunity for ASP professionals to learn, share, and collaborate with colleagues at different schools across the county. I encourage you to consider submitting a presentation proposal.


August 25, 2015 in Meetings, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Call for Proposals: 2015 New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers - Maximizing Student and Faculty Potential"

Call for proposals

2015 New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers

 “Maximizing Student and Faculty Potential”

Suffolk University Law School is pleased to host the 2015 New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers Conference on Friday, September 18, 2015.  We are now accepting proposals for presentations at the conference.  The theme of the conference is “Maximizing Student and Faculty Potential.” This broad theme encompasses a wide range of interests, including topics relevant to legal writing, academic support, career and professional development, diversity, technology, and innovation. 

You may submit a proposal for a 25 or 50 minute presentation, or a 30-minute workshop.  We are offering a workshop format for discussion of teaching or scholarship ideas or other topics in small groups.  The workshop will entail a 10-minute presentation followed by 20 minutes of discussion.

 The deadline for proposals is Friday, August 21, 2015 at 5 pm EST.  Please submit the following information by completing the form attached and emailing it to: 

1).        Name and contact information of presenter(s)

2).        Title of presentation

3).        Preference for 25 minutes, 50 minutes, or workshop

4).        Brief (one paragraph) description of the presentation or workshop topic

5).        Technology needs (if any) for the presentation

 Writing Lockdown on Thursday, September 17, 2015, 2:00-5:00 p.m.  We are offering a “writing lockdown” for anyone attending the conference who will be in town on Thursday afternoon and would like to enjoy a block of uninterrupted time for writing, while enjoying a view of the Boston Common and refreshments.  Come with a writing goal in mind.  Bring your writing project (an article, book, etc.) to work on as well as any materials you need (laptop, paper, writing utensil, etc.).  We provide the space and location – you provide the words.  No submissions are necessary as your writing can be at any stage (notes, an outline, a draft, etc.) and will not be reviewed; just let us know if you would like to attend all or part of the lockdown.  


Registration is free for all presenters and attendees.  Suffolk University Law School is located in the heart of beautiful historic Boston.  We will provide details on accommodations and travel arrangements in the coming weeks.  Please contact Professor Rosa Kim ( or Professor Kathleen Elliott Vinson ( with any questions.



July 16, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals - Conference -12/7/2015

“Changing Students, Evolving Roles for ASP”
2015 Conference
New England Consortium of
Academic Support Professionals
 December 7, 2015
New England Law| Boston
Boston, Massachusetts
 Please join us as we tackle issues surrounding our new challenges as academic support professionals in light of the changing student body. 
We will address topics such as increased promotion of formative assessment, our positions on academic standing issues and grading, and what we are doing to support the influx of students who are scoring lower on LSAT and GPA scales.
Opportunities to Present Scholarly Works in Progress
(Call for proposals coming in August)
Registration Fee complimentary
For those traveling to Boston, we are happy to provide details on accommodations and assistance with travel arrangements. 
Please contact Professor Lisa Freudenheim,, NECASP Chairperson, by email or at (617)422-7366 with any questions.
(Myra Orlen)

June 11, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Notes from the LSAC Diversity Retention Conference

On April 8th, 2015, law school students, administrators, faculty, academic support educators, and admissions officers along with members of the judiciary and leaders within the Law School Admissions Council congregated in a large hotel conference room within walking distance of the Las Vegas strip and a short bus ride from the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law.  They had a common purpose: to discuss how to work together to better meet the needs of our diverse law students.  Dr. Terrell Strayhorn gave the keynote speech, an inspirational start to an energizing and thought-provoking three days.  Below are my notes from his keynote speech and some of the themes that I took back to Rhode Island with me from the conference.  I also have pasted some links below for those of you who wish to read more about the topics touched on in this blog.  I have a lot more to learn, but this conference was a wonderful starting point for me, and a much-appreciated opportunity to deepen my understanding of my own diverse students.  Much thanks to Kent Lollis, LSAC’s Executive Director of Diversity Initiatives, Rod Fong, Chair of the LSAC Diversity Retention Conference Planning Group, Professor Nancy Rappaport of UNLV, and many others for their hard work in providing this opportunity for all of us.

Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, a Professor of Higher Education at the Department of Educational Studies within Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology, is also the Director of the Ohio State Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE).

During his keynote address, Dr. Strayhorn spoke about the need for students of color to feel that they “belong” to a community, to feel included.  In his book, College Students Sense of Belonging, A Key to Educational Success for All Students, Dr. Strayhorn defines a “sense of belonging” as “a basic human need and motivation, sufficient to influence behavior. [It] refers to students’ perceived social support on campus, a feeling or sensation of connectedness, the experience of mattering or feeling cared about, accepted, respected, valued by, and important to the group (e.g., campus community) or others on campus (e.g., faculty, peers).  It’s a cognitive evaluation that typically leads to an affective response or behavior.”  According to Dr. Strayhorn, a “sense of belonging” is “relational” in that “members matter to one another and to the group,” and that “each member benefits from the group” and the “group benefits from the contributions of each member.”

This sense of “belonging” is an important factor in a diverse student’s potential for success, more significant than her LSAT score. A “sense of belonging” arises from both “structural” and “curricular” diversity. “Structural” diversity refers to the number of diverse students who are in a class overall & within each individual classroom. Curricular diversity refers to bringing both diverse and non-diverse students together in a meaningful way to discuss their experiences and perspectives.    Cross-racial understanding comes from this curricular diversity.  Simply having a number of diverse students in the classroom does not, by itself, facilitate inclusion.  True inclusion involves interaction among students about their different perspectives and experiences. This “interactional diversity” is what impacts the student body. Many law faculty across the country, however, are unready to have these conversations. (See suggestions below)

If law schools do not bring students together to discuss their diverse experiences, cross-racial understanding and inclusion suffers because understanding and inclusion results from these interactions.  A lack of conversations in law school classrooms about diverse perspectives among students is a missed opportunity to provide for a deeper sense of belonging for students of color.  Students of color need to feel they belong to the community in which they learn. Curricular diversity engenders a sense of belonging, which, in turn, engenders self-efficacy among students of color.

For these conversations to facilitate understanding and inclusion there must be a sufficient number of students of color in the classroom for them to disagree with one another.  The risk of having these conversations with too few students of color in the classroom is that these students feel they have to be the spokespersons for their entire race.  In terms of structural diversity, law schools across the country still have a long way to go. 

Dr. Strayhorn, and, in fact, every member of the panel on that first day, spoke about the importance of effective pipelines that reach deep into the diverse student community as early as middle school or preschool.  In addition, he spoke about mentor programs for diverse students, and the need to enhance these programs by providing more oversight and training to the mentors about how to mentor a student. Mentors should not just meet a student for lunch to periodically “breathe on a student.”  Rather, he spoke about three steps to being an effective mentor:  1) believe in the students and set high expectations for the students; 2) build character and invest in the students by providing specific strategies, sharing perspectives, and teaching them tools to achieve; and 3) push them to accomplish more (he called it “intrusive exposure”).

Once students of color decide to attend law school, and must choose which school to attend, they typically will view the law school’s website, but do not typically speak with staff or faculty about the law school. Instead, they choose to speak with people outside the law school, particularly family and friends.  In fact, during his research, Dr. Strayhorn heard repeatedly from students of color that they chose to attend law school because they wanted to help their family by attaining a well-paying job to make money to give to their family. This family may include spouses and children, but also parents, brothers, sisters, and grandparents or others. In addition, students of color may feel responsible for financially supporting their families while in law school. They have an aversion to taking out debt.

Feelings of belonging also impacted students’ choice of law school:  Meaningful connections with law staff and faculty made a critical difference to students of color. Some sentiments that Dr. Strayhorn consistently heard when he asked students why they had chosen their law school was  “it was the only law school where the faculty made time to get to know me,” or the staff  had an “honest conversation with me about the strengths and challenges of each law school I had applied to.” They “cared about me.”  They “helped me with my application.” “Something about the school felt like a family.”  Very few students spoke of the law school’s ranking in U.S. News & World Report or the law school’s reputation.  Students also rarely spoke about the alumni placement data, bar passage rates, library holdings. 

Dr. Strayhorn’s final comments:  Minorities are severely underrepresented in the legal profession.  The legal profession should better reflect our society. A diverse workforce will make better decisions. Although some great pipeline programs exist, the critical problem facing law schools and diverse students is the lack of a preschool to undergraduate pipeline.  

Guest Blogger:

Kathryn Thompson, Director of Academic Success Program, Roger Williams Law School



April 29, 2015 in Diversity Issues, Guest Column, Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


3rd Annual AASE National Conference

May 26-28, 2015
The John Marshall Law School

Chicago, Illinois 

Conference Registration closes on May 8.

To register go to:

You can update your AASE membership at the time of registration. 

Make sure you make your hotel reservations by May 4 to obtain the conference rate at the Hilton Chicago:, or 1-877-865-5320 (ask for AASE room rate). 

If you stay at the conference hotel you will receive Garrett’s Popcorn in your room.  

April 29, 2015 in Meetings, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kudos to those who organized the NY Area Academic Support Workshop

The NY Area Academic Support Workshop took place on April 17th at the New York Law School.  As usual for this event, ASP'ers attended from near and far and were not disappointed.  Kris Franklin, of NYLS, and Linda Feldman, of Brooklyn Law School put together a full day of presentations. 

Linda Feldman lead a discussion on working with students, once they have been identified and placed on Academic Supervision. 

Angela Baker and Alison Nissen, presented on the topic of Serving Today's Students. 

Martha Hochberger of NYLS gave attendees a new tool via her presentation on Charting the Way to Case Synthesis.

Debra Cohen of the David A. Clarke Law School, spoke of the transition from undergrad to law school via her presentation entitled Unlearning -- the Hardest Part of Law School.  Deb's presentation was a preview of her upcoming presentation at the Third Annual AASE Conference.

Coral M. Rivera Torres, of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico School of Law, spoke on Integrating ASP Strategies for Exam Preparation - through practice and feedback for students.

After a lunch that involved networking and a presentation on bar exam topics by Mike Power of Kaplan, there were additional sessions.

Carmen Morales, of Fordham Law School, reported on the LSAC Diversity and Retention Conference, which was held in Las Vegas on April 8-10.  That conference addressed issues faced by under represented minorities in law schools - both as students and faculty members.   

Joseph Brennan, of the Charlotte School of Law, spoke on Practicing High Quality Critical Writing in Law School. 

Kris Kranklin, of NYLS, lead attendees in a "Questions Only" Negligence Exercise.  The exercise was a team affair, and we were given a fact pattern and charged with generating a list of relevant questions.  through this exercise, students come to understand what is important when working with a fact pattern.

Myra Orlen, of Western New England University School of Law, presented on the topic of Multitasking in the "New Normal": Managing an Ever-Increasing ASP Load."  This topic was addressed after participants had shared many wonderful and effective ways of working with under-performing law students.  As usual, participants at the Workshop offered support and good ideas.



April 23, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Reminder: Third Annual Academic Support Conference

Registration is OPEN
for the
3rd Annual AASE National Conference
May 26-28, 2015
The John Marshall Law School
Chicago, Illinois
Opening Plenary 
How Your Academic Support Program Can Help Mitigate the Effects of Stereotype Threat,
by Russell McClain,
Law School Assistant Professor and
Director, Academic Achievement Program
University of Maryland
Francis King Carey School of Law
To register for the conference go to:
You can update your AASE membership at the time of registration!
We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605.  Conference attendees should make their reservations directly with the Hilton Chicago through this web link, or by calling the toll-free number 1-877-865-5320 and referring to the room rate for AASE.  The conference rates are $169/night for run of the house or $189/night for a room with 2 double beds and 2 baths.  Reservations must be made by May 4, 2015 to take advantage of the rate.
The conference schedule is available at the conference web site.
The schedule is subject to change.

April 1, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 6, 2015

NY Regional ASP Conference: Friday April 17

We are pleased to announce this year’s full-day NY Academic Support Workshop, to be held from 9:30 to 5:30 at New York Law School on Friday, April 17.  As usual, this will be a small and rather-intimate gathering of academic support professionals and colleagues actively working to learn from one another. 

As is our usual practice, the afternoon sessions of the workshop will have an open agenda and room to include any subject of interest to those in attendance, while the morning sessions will be centered on a specific topic. For this year’s morning session we would like to concentrate on working with law students who have recently been placed on academic supervision or probation. How do we best help these students? What unique problems do they face? What sorts of pedagogies help them become motivated and effective learners?  Any and all insights, discussions, ideas or presentations will be welcome.

One thing that makes all ASP gatherings exciting has always been our unique emphasis on interaction – ASP folks DO things together so that we can learn together. NY Workshop participants work with one another to develop or enhance our individual lessons, materials, presentations, or any other part of our professional endeavors.  No one who comes is allowed to be a back-bencher.  If you would like to attend, please let us know whether you want to share one of your own issues, ideas, etc., comment on ones brought by other participants, or both. And please let us know whether you think your topic/question/issue/material/presentation lends itself to our morning’s theme or to the more open-ended part of our agenda.  When we confirm who will attend and what specific questions the participants plan to address, we will send out a finalized workshop agenda.  

RSVP to Kris at  

Since this is not a formal conference there is no fee to attend.  We hope to see many of you soon!

March 6, 2015 in Academic Support Spotlight, Current Affairs, Meetings, Miscellany, News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Third Annual AASE Conference

Registration is NOW OPEN
for the
3rd Annual AASE National Conference
May 26-28, 2015
The John Marshall Law School
Chicago, Illinois
To register go to:
You can update your AASE membership at the time of registration!
We have reserved a block of rooms at the Hilton Chicago, 720 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60605.  Conference attendees should make their reservations directly with the Hilton Chicago through this web link, or by calling the toll-free number 1-877-865-5320 and referring to the room rate for AASE.  The conference rates are $169/night for run of the house or $189/night for a room with 2 double beds and 2 baths.  Reservations must be made by May 4, 2015 to take advantage of the rate.
The conference schedule is available at the conference web site. 
The schedule is subject to change.

March 2, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Call for Proposals AALS Section on Academic Support

Call for Proposals

AALS Section on Academic Support

January 2016 Annual Meeting in New York, New York


Raising the Bar


As law schools react to a changing bar exam landscape, many schools have adapted new and different programming to meet the current needs of students.  Bar exam support and preparation is no longer something that begins post-graduation, and its influence can be felt from admissions through curriculum planning and beyond. This program will explore how schools strive to stay ahead of trends, analyze data and out-perform their predictors in order to help their students succeed on the exam.


Topics might include, but are not limited to: statistical analysis of bar exam data and results; innovative programs for preparing students for the bar exam; curricular changes based on exam results and preparation; criteria for selecting students to participate in bar preparation programming and identifying at-risk students. 


Preference will be given to presentations designed to engage the workshop audience, so proposals should contain a detailed explanation of both the substance of the presentation and the methods to be employed.  Individuals as well as groups are invited to propose topics.  The Committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas. Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals must include the following information:

1.  A title for your presentation.

2.  A brief description of the objectives or outcomes of your presentation.

3.  A brief description of how your presentation will support your stated objectives or outcomes.

4.  The amount of time requested for your presentation. No single presenter should exceed 45 minutes in total.  Presentations as short as 15 minutes are welcomed.

5.  A detailed description of both the substantive content and the techniques to be employed, if any, to engage the audience.

6.  Whether you plan to distribute handouts, use PowerPoint, or employother technology.

7.  A list of the conferences at which you have presented within the last three years, such as AALS, national or regional ASP or writing conferences, or other academic conferences.  (The Committee is interested in this information because we wish to select and showcase seasoned, as well as fresh, talent.)

8.  Your school affiliation, title, courses taught, and contact information (please include email address and telephone number).

9.  Any articles or books that you have published that relate to your proposed presentation.

10. Any other information you think will help the Committee appreciate the value your presentation will provide.


Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, March 25th at 5pm to Danielle Kocal, Pace Law School,  If you have any questions, please email Danielle Kocal or call 914-422-4108.

The Section on Academic Support Program Committee:

Danielle Kocal, Chair

Goldie Pritchard, Past Chair

Robert Coulthard

Steven Foster

Marsha Griggs

Melinda Drew

Myra Orlen

ASP Section Chair:  Lisa Young


February 25, 2015 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams, Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why You Should Attend the AASE Conference

Being in ASP is unlike most any other position in a law school. First, there is usually only one ASP professional at the school, and if you’re really lucky, two. Second, most ASP professionals are administrators, program directors, and have teaching responsibilities. Summers are not slow with plenty of time to write. Summers are full of bar prep, classes, programming, and planning for the next academic year. ASP professionals work with students for three years and get to share in growth and success. It is a wonderful position but it can be a bit lonely, especially when you have questions or need a little support of your own. You can’t just walk down the hall to all the other folks who do what you do because, there isn’t anyone. The listserv and this blog are great sources of support and inspiration but so is attending the AASE conference. Hundreds of ASPer’s from all over the country converge in one place, and if you’ve ever attended you know what a magical few days it is. Yes, you get some great ideas, but more importantly it is an opportunity to recharge and get in-person support from your peers. I love technology but there is something about actual contact that cannot be replaced. You deserve it. You need it. Find a way to attend this year’s AASE conference. (KSK)

January 21, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Workshop March 6th, 2015

3rd Annual Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Workshop

March 6th, 2015


Assessing Students and Programs to Develop

a Targeted Approach to Academic Support


Texas A&M’s School of Law

in Ft. Worth, Texas

The Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals will host a one day workshop focused on targeting our efforts for maximum efficiency.  Decreased enrollment created a budget crunch for most schools.  Decreased budgets can disproportionately fall on ASP shoulders, but we are still expected to provide the same level of support.  We must be efficient to provide a high level of service with the decreased resources.  To maximize efficiency, we need to assess where to utilize resources and whether our programs are making an impact.  This year’s workshop will include programs to help us assess which students need our help from pre-matriculation through the bar exam.  We will also discuss ways to determine whether our programs are working and more efficient ways to deliver our services. 

Registration is open to anyone interested in academic support.  There is no registration fee.  If you are interested in attending, please fill out the attached form and return to:  Camesha Little, Assistant Director of Academic Support at  Forms will be accepted through February 27th.

Hotel Information:

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Sheraton Ft. Worth Hotel and Spa, 1701 Commerce St., Ft. Worth, TX 76102.  This hotel is located right across from the law school.  We negotiated a rate of $139.00 per night.  Please be advised that this block will release and the price will expire on February 20, 2015.  You can book your room online at, or by phone by calling (800) 325-3535 and referencing Southwest Consortium of Academic Support Professionals.


March 5th:

6:30 – Dinner for anyone arriving early.

March 6th:

9-9:50 – Assessing Students before they enter – Marta Miller, Director of Academic Achievement at Texas A&M School of Law

10-10:50 – How to use LSSSE Data in ASP – Dr. Evan Parker, Director of Analytics at Lawyer Metrics

11-11:50 – Developing a targeted class to improve academic performance – John Murphy, Associate Professor of Law at Texas A&M School of Law

12-12:50 – Lunch

1-1:50 – Assessing the effectiveness of Voluntary ASP Programs – Rebecca Flanagan, Assistant Professor of Law, Director of Academic Skills Program at UMass School of Law

2-2:50 – Determining who is at-risk for Bar Struggles and creating a program to improve success – Jamie Kleppetsch, Assistant Professor, Associate Director, Academic Achievement Program at The John Marshall Law School

2:50-3 – Closing Remarks

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Steven Foster (

Director of Academic Achievement at Oklahoma City University

Marta Miller (

Director of Academic Support at Texas A&M School of Law

January 14, 2015 in Meetings, Program Evaluation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, January 12, 2015

If you can't say it, it does not exist.

When it comes to legal writing, "if you cannot say it, it does not exist." 

While attending the 2015 meeting of the American Association of Law Schools, I had the opportunity to attend the Blackwell Reception.  The Blackwell Reception is put on by the Legal Writing Institute and the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

At the 2015 Blackwell Reception, these organizations presented two awards:

The Blackwell Award went to Helene Shapo.

The Golden Pen Award went to the Honorable Michael Ponsor, Judge  for the United States District court for the Western District of Massachusetts.

So, finally -- the significance of the title of this blog post:  "If you cannot say it, it does not exist."  Judge Ponsor made this statement as he accepted his award and, not surprisingly, received much applause from the roomful of legal writing professors.  Judge Ponsor's statement goes well beyond the confines of legal research and writing classes. 

Even if this bloger did not do double duty in both Academic Support and Legal Writing and even if this blogger did not work at a law school in Western Massachusetts (where Judge Ponsor is a welcome and respected speaker) his statement would be worthy of this blog.  The statement applies to every aspect of a law student's journey toward success in law school and in law practice.  As law professors, law students, or lawyers, if we cannot explain or articulate our analysis, that analysis does not exist.  I have already used Judge Ponsor's statement -- in the first class of my upper level course.

Have a great Spring Semester!




January 12, 2015 in Advice, Meetings, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Writing Presentation Proposals- You Can Do It!

Interested in presenting, but do not know where to start?  There are many great conferences in the coming year and you should share your insights, practices, and teaching methods with the ASP community at one of them. If you have never presented or feel like you need a fresh perspective to writing your proposal, I have included a few ideas to get you started:

  • Carefully read the call for proposals and craft your proposal by using that as your template. If there are samples, even better. Use them as a guide, but add your unique viewpoints to set yours apart.
  • Think about the audience that is attending the conference. What do they want to know? And, how would they like you to deliver it? Lecture, poster presentation, or interactive involvement.
  • Be specific, but not too specific. Make a few broad statements and support them with a few specific examples. You do not want your proposal to be too amorphous, but you also do not want it to be too narrow. This flexibility will allow you to make changes between submitting the proposals and giving the presentation.
  • Brainstorm ideas:
    • Think about the best presentations that you have seen. Why were they meaningful to you? What did you take away from those presentations?
    • Think about your year.  What is something impressive that you accomplished in the classroom or within your school? What was your lightbulb moment? What was your biggest challenge in the classroom, with your co-workers, or with your students? How did you overcome those challenges? What was the best article your read, book you read, or class you attended? What did you learn? How did it change your teaching?
    • Write ten things that are you really good at doing. Go!
    • Write ten things that you wish you were really good at doing. Go!
    • Look over recent listserve threads, blog posts, or news stories. Think about how you can add to the discussions or elaborate on the issues.
    • Make a bold statement- something provocative, debatable, or controversial. Go boldly where no ASPer has gone before!
    • Once you have brainstormed your ideas, draft the outcomes you expect. What do you want the participants to be able to do or do differently after they hear your presentation?
    • Revise, edit, and redraft.  Use spell check and have someone you trust read through your draft. This will help you appeal to a wider audience and will ensure that you do not have typos or confusing goals.
    • Submit your proposal and do not get discouraged if it is not selected. It is not personal! There are typically many more submissions than available openings. The important thing is to keep trying if your proposal is not at first selected.
    • If your proposal is selected- congratulations!  Now, begin thinking about your presentation straightaway. Record your thoughts and start preparing while your ideas are still percolating.

I can’t wait to hear your presentation!

Lisa Bove Young


January 10, 2015 in Advice, Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Proposals for the AASE 2014 Conference are due on January 12th

There is still time to submit proposals to present at the 2015 AASE Conference at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.  The conference will take place on May 26th - May 28th.  The Call for Proposals is available on the AASE Web Site.


(Myra Orlen)

January 6, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 2, 2015

AALS: So Much to Do, So Much to See

The Association of American Law Schools annual conference begins today.  Like it was yesterday, I remember arriving at the hotel in San Diego for my first AALS conference. (It was six years ago!) I was overwhelmed with the labyrinthine maze of halls and conference rooms. I was equally overwhelmed by the sheer number of suits navigating the labyrinth. But, once I got my bearings, I jumped right in. I attended as many presentations as I could and I introduced myself to numerous ASPers. I joined committees and exchanged business cards and learned so many things from that first conference. If it is your first or your tenth AALS, I hope you get involved, meet someone new, and learn something relevant to your work. If you are a seasoned ASPer, consider reaching out to a newbie.

The AALS Section on Academic Support is hosting its business meeting Friday, January 2nd, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. and its program on Saturday, January 3rd from 1:30 to 3:15 p.m. Academic Support -ASP a Roadmap at the Crossroad:  How Academic Support with Meet Today’s Varied Challenges. I hope to see you there!

Other Programs of Interest for Academic Support Professionals

  • Saturday, January 3rd from 8:30  to 10:15 a.m. Teaching Methods – Incorporating Teaching Professional Identity into the Legal Education Curriculum
  • Saturday, January 3rd from 3:30 to 5:15 p.m. Balance in Legal Education – The Future of Educating Effective Lawyers
  • Saturday, January 3rd from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Balance in Legal Education – Pedagogy Promoting Practice – Ready Law Students: Lessons Learned from Recent Practice
  • Saturday, January 3rd from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Legal Writing, Reasoning & Research – Lessons Learned: Know Thy Student – International Students in American Law Schools – and in Your Class!
  • Sunday, January 4th from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.   AALS Committee on Curriculum Issues Program – Teaching to the New Class
  • Sunday, January 4th from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.   Post-Graduate Legal Education – The Exploding Post-Graduate Degree: Alternative Degrees, Online Degrees and Economics
  • Sunday, January 4th from 2-3:45 p.m.  for New Law Professors- Behind the Veil: Learning Teaching Techniques from the Best
  • Sunday, January 4th from 4:00 to 5:45 p.m. Law Libraries and Legal Information – Should We Be Teaching Law Practice Technology?
  • Monday, January 5th from 9:00 to 4:30 p.m.  – Student Services Day-Long Program of Workshops


January 2, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Planning Your New Year's Resolutions for Professional Impact?

Calling All Volunteers for AALS Section on Academic Support Committees!!!!

 Get involved in your Section by participating on one of the committees.  The committees that need your help are:

  • Awards Committee: The Committee decides whether the Section will present a Section award at the next AALS Annual Meeting, solicits nominations, votes on the nominations, and recommends a recipient to the Executive Committee for submission to AALS for approval.
  • Bar Passage Committee: The Committee discusses aspects that affect law graduates’ success on the bar exam and considers hot topics that should be brought to the attention of the membership.
  • Learning Curve: Learning Curve is the Section publication for articles on academic support and related issues; one issue is electronic, and one issue is hard copy.
  • Nominations Committee: Solicits nominations for the open officer and board positions and presents a slate to the Executive Committee for election at the Business Meeting at the AALS Annual Meeting. 
  • Program Committee: Plans the main program for the Section at the AALS Annual Meeting.  The committee chooses a theme to complement the main conference theme, solicits proposals and papers for potential presenters, and plans the details of the program.
  • Website Committee: Oversees the Law School Academic Success Project website for the Section.  The website includes a directory and a variety of resources for ASP’ers and students including podcasts, conference information, job postings, and more.

To become involved on a committee, either sign up at the business meeting or program at the AALS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. or send an email to Lisa Young, Chair-Elect at

December 20, 2014 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, December 15, 2014

The 2015 AASE Conference at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois

The 2015 Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) Conference is set for May 26-28, at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. 

The conference presents a wonderful opportunity to expand and enhance your professional experience by sharing your skills and knowledge with an audience of peers from law schools across the country.   The Call for Proposals is available at the new AASE website.  Proposals to present at the 2015 conference are due on January, 12, 2015. 

 (Myra Orlen)

December 15, 2014 in Meetings, Professionalism | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)