Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Call for Proposals for the Summer 2016 Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Conference

CALL FOR PRESENTATION PROPOSALS

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning—Summer 2016 Conference

“Real-World Readiness”

June 10-11, 2016

Washburn University School of Law—Topeka, Kansas

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning invites proposals for conference workshops addressing the many ways that law schools are preparing students to enter the real world of law practice. With the rising demands for “practice-ready” lawyers, this topic has taken on increased urgency in recent years. How are law schools and law professors taking on the challenge of graduating students who are ready to join the real world of practicing attorneys? Can we be doing more?

The Institute takes a broad view of educational practices that promote real-world readiness. Accordingly, we welcome proposals for workshops on incorporating such teaching techniques in doctrinal, clinical, externship, writing, seminar, hybrid, and interdisciplinary courses. Workshops can address real-world readiness in first-year courses, upper-level courses, required courses, electives, or academic support teaching. Workshops can present innovative teaching materials, course designs, curricular or program designs, etc. Each workshop should include materials that participants can use during the workshop and also when they return to their campuses. Presenters should model best practices in teaching methods by actively engaging the workshop participants.

The Institute invites proposals for 60-minute workshops consistent with a broad interpretation of the conference theme. To be considered for the conference, proposals should be one single-spaced page (maximum) and should include the following information:

* the title of the workshop;

* the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the presenter(s);

* a summary of the contents of the workshop, including its goals and methods; and

* an explanation of the interactive teaching methods the presenter(s) will use to engage the audience.

The Institute must receive proposals by February 1, 2016. Submit proposals via email to Emily Grant, Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, at emily.grant@washburn.edu <mailto:emily.grant@washburn.edu> .

Conference Details

Schedule of Events:

Washburn University School of Law will host a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday, June 9, and the conference workshops will take place at the law school all day on Friday, June 10, and until the early afternoon on Saturday, June 11.

Travel and Lodging:

Topeka is about 75 minutes away from the Kansas City airport (MCI). You may wish to rent a car at MCI for the drive to Topeka. There are a few shuttle services available, if you’d like to explore those options (http://www.kciroadrunner.com/ and http://www.fiveguysshuttle.com/index.html).

A block of hotel rooms will be reserved for a discounted rate at the Ramada Topeka Downtown Hotel and Convention Center.

Fees:

The conference fee for participants is $450, which includes materials, meals during the conference (two breakfasts and two lunches), and a welcome reception on Thursday evening, June 9, 2016. The conference fee for presenters is $350.

For more information, please contact any one of the ILTL Co-Directors:

Professor Emily Grant

emily.grant@washburn.edu <mailto:emily.grant@washburn.edu>

785-670-1677

Associate Dean Sandra Simpson

ssimpson@lawschool.gonzaga.edu <mailto:ssimpson@lawschool.gonzaga.edu>

509-313-3809

Professor Kelly Terry

ksterry@ualr.edu <mailto:ksterry@ualr.edu>

501-324-9946

 

December 9, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 4, 2015

4th Annual SWCASP Workshop

4th Annual Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Workshop

ASP Through the Years: Building a Program to Reach Students Throughout Law School at University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law
in Little Rock, Arkansas

The Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals will host a one day conference focused on reaching all our student populations. ASP Departments are expected to help the entire law school population, but most schools don’t have the resources for the support expected. Law Schools still evaluate on first-year retention and bar passage rates, so ASP Departments must reach as many students as possible with limited resources. Building a cohesive program for the first two years of law school is critical. This year’s workshop will include programs to help students succeed through their first two years of law school. We will also discuss methods to improve diversity attendance and performance.

Similar to previous years, we are bringing in a great slate of presenters. Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz from UALR, Jack Manhire from Texas A&M School of Law, and Steven Foster from Oklahoma City University School of Law are among those presenting during the workshop.

Bowen is located in the heart of Little Rock, Arkansas’ capital city, within a five-minute drive of state and federal courthouses, as well as some of Arkansas’ largest law firms and corporations. Little Rock’s vibrant legal community provides our students and alumni many opportunities for professional engagement and public service. With a metropolitan population of almost 700,000, Little Rock features the best in art and cuisine, right alongside the beauty of the Natural State. This will be a great place to visit in early March.

Registration is open to anyone interested in academic support. There is no registration fee. If you are interested in attending, you can register through google docs here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1lIJ0E1d56gs9Rut0Kh-YgSSBqYSQgLEXxCWjfmVueEI/viewform?usp=send_form
You can also fill out the attached form and email it to Erik Malmberg at edmalmberg@ualr.edu. (attachment was provided to announcement). Registration will be accepted through February 26th.

Hotel Information:

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Presidential, 600 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72202. This hotel is located a couple of blocks from the law school and there is free shuttle to the airport. We negotiated a rate of $99.00 per night for King or Double. Please be advised that this block will release and the price will expire on February 11, 2016. You can book your room by phone by calling (866) 900-7625 and referencing “UALR Law School Group Rate” and the dates of the event.

Tentative Schedule:

March 3rd:
Dinner for anyone arriving early at Next Level Events at Union Station

March 4th:
9-9:50 – Expanding Your Reach by Training and Supervising Upper Division Students to Help 1Ls
10-10:50 – Using Formative Assessment to Help Doctrinal Professors and Improve ASP Programming
11-11:50 – Bridging the Gap Between 2L Year and Bar Preparation
12-12:50 – Lunch
1-1:50 – Reaching Diverse Populations to Improve Attendance at Events
2-2:50 – Creating Programs to Improve Performance of Diverse Students
2:50-3 – Closing Remarks

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

Steven Foster (sfoster@okcu.edu)
Director of Academic Achievement at Oklahoma City University

Erik Malmberg (edmalmberg@ualr.edu)
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at UALR William H. Bowen School of Law

 

December 4, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Call for Nominations for Officers and Board Members of AALS Section on Academic Support

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR OFFICERS AND BOARD MEMBERS FOR THE AALS SECTION ON ACADEMIC SUPPORT

At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in New York City, the Section on Academic Support will have its business meeting on Saturday, January 9 at 7:00 a.m. (Room TBA). A principal agenda item will be the election for positions on the Executive Committee.

The Nomination Committee is now accepting nominations for positions to be elected at the 2016 meeting. The four elected Board Members serve staggered two-year terms, with two members being elected in odd-numbered years, and two being elected in even-numbered years. The four Board Members, together with the Chairperson, the Chairperson-Elect, the Immediate Past Chair, the Secretary, and the Treasurer, constitute the Executive Committee of the Section. The Executive Committee is the key policy-making body of the Section, and acts on behalf of the section in the interval between annual meetings. Because some vacancies have occurred unexpectedly in the Executive Committee for next year, Lisa Young (Seattle) will continue as Chair and Corie Rosen Felder (University of Colorado) will rotate from Treasurer to Chair-Elect in order to maintain continuity within the Executive Committee.

Positions to be filled: The officer positions which are vacant for the current election include Secretary and Treasurer. Two Board Members will be elected also, and the Board terms will expire January 2018.

The Secretary and Treasurer would be asked to serve as a Chair or Co-Chair of a committee during the position. For continuity purposes, the Secretary and Treasurer positions are recommended for rotation into other officer slots in the coming years. The Secretary rotates to Chair-Elect and then to Chair. The Treasurer rotates to Secretary, then Chair-Elect, and then Chair.

Board Members would be asked to serve as members of at least one committee during their positions.

Who May Be Nominated: Persons nominated must be faculty or professional staff at AALS-member law schools (link to AALS-member-school list: http://www.aals.org/member-schools/) and also be members of the AALS Section on Academic Support. The nominated person does not have to be present at this year’s AALS Annual Meeting, but would be expected to attend AALS in the future.

Who May Submit a Nomination: You may nominate yourself or any other eligible candidate at a AALS member school.

Contents of Nomination: Nominations must be in writing and include:

1)the candidate's name;

2) the candidate's title, institutional affiliation, and business address;

3) the candidate's home/business telephone numbers and e-mail address; and

4) the candidate's professional role at his/her institution and connection with law school academic support.


5)If you nominate someone other than yourself, please indicate whether you have obtained the nominee's permission.

Deadline: Nominations must be received by midnight on Tuesday December 15, 2015.

Where to send Nominations: Send nominations to Amy Jarmon, Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs (Texas Tech) at amy.jarmon@ttu.edu (email submissions are preferred) or to Dr. Amy L. Jarmon, Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs, Texas Tech University School of Law, 1802 Hartford Avenue, Lubbock, TX 79409-0004.

The process after nominations close: After the nominations close, the Nomination Committee will ask each nominee to express his/her interest in serving on the Executive Committee, will review the nominations, and will recommend a slate of candidates at the business meeting. In addition, under the bylaws, nominations will be taken from the floor during the business meeting.

Respectfully,

Section on Academic Support Programs Nomination Committee

Amy Jarmon (Chair), Texas Tech University
Jamie Kleppetsch, John Marshall Law School
Kris Franklin, New York Law School

 

December 2, 2015 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Are you looking for a one-day workshop to attend in December?

If you want to finish your semester with a budget-friendly trip to a workshop, consider the Legal Writing Institute's 1-day workshops during December. Many of the topics are ASPish in nature. The locations are throughout the U.S., so there is a good chance that there is one near you. The link to the information on dates and locations is here: LWI One-Day Workshops. (Amy Jarmon)

November 18, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Deadline for Early Bird Registration for AALS Annual Meeting is Friday, November 20th

You want to register by the early bird deadline if at all possible to get savings on your registration fee. The link for the AALS annual meeting including the program, registration and hotel information, and more is: http://www.aals.org/am2016/.

AALS is being held in New York City from Wednesday, January 6th through Sunday, January 10th. The co-headquarters hotels are the New York Times Square Hotel and the Hilton Midtown Hotel. The Section on Academic Support business meeting and program will be held on the morning of Saturday, January 9th. Thursday, January 7th sessions will include those for the Section on Student Services and the Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research. On Friday, January 8th, there will be a session for the Section on Balance in Legal Education.

We hope you will plan to attend!

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

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

ASSE Future Conference Sites - ASP'ers Suggest Your Schools

Hello ASP Colleagues:

Even though we are in the early stages of preparing for next summer’s conference in New York City, the AASE executive committee is already looking to identify possible conference venues for 2017 and beyond.  To identify the pool of possibilities, we are asking for your help.  If you have an interest in hosting an AASE annual conference at your school at some point in the future, will you please let us know? 

While this is not a formal request for proposals, it would be helpful if you could let us know answers to the following questions:

(1)   Do you have large room capacity–i.e., the ability to have as many as 150 people meeting together in a single room–for plenary sessions?  (The room must be available in late May, which may rule out schools that already have made commitments for other conferences or for bar review lectures.)

(2)   Are there smaller rooms available for breakout sessions?

(3)   What are the general technical features (e.g., projectors/audio/wifi) in the building?

Please respond directly to Pavel Wonsowicz, who can be reached at wonsowicz@law.ucla.edu

Thanks in advance for responding!

Best regards,

The AASE Executive Committee

Pavel Wonsowicz, President

October 27, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

WCCASP Conference Registration

Dear ASPers – hope all is well. Just a quick reminder that registration is still open for the WCCASP Conference on November 6!

As an addendum to our earlier post, please contact me at sdizon@cwsl.edu as soon as possible for lodging assistance. Our partner hotel is asking that we submit a list of individual attendees as soon as possible but may release excess rooms to due to another major downtown convention that weekend. If you need more time to finalize your travel details and/or you are slightly more flexible with your location arrangements, we can find you lodging arrangements that are still a very short distance from CWSL and also reasonably priced.

We apologize the inconvenience in this regard. It’s a more-than-occasional consequence of living in a convention-friendly city!
Take care, hope to see you in San Diego in a few short weeks, and have a great weekend in the meantime.

- Shane

Shane Dizon

Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement

California Western School of Law 

225 Cedar Street

San Diego, CA 92101

Office: 350 Building, 2nd Floor

Phone: 619-515-1578

E-mail: sdizon@cwsl.edu

October 22, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Registration for Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshops

Registration is open for the 2015 LWI One-Day Workshops.

To register, please go https://www.regonline.com/lwionedayworkshop2015.  This year, twelve schools are hosting workshops between December 4 and December 11, 2015

Each school has selected a theme for its workshop.  A list of the host schools for the One-Day Workshops, the site chairs, and the particular theme can be found here.  Registration for the One-Day Workshop, which may include breakfast and/or lunch, is $45 for attendees, $25 for host school faculty members, and $25 for speakers.  All proceeds will benefit the Legal Writing Institute.  Additional details about the One-Day Workshop will be available on the registration website and on the LWI website. 

We look forward to seeing you at a workshop. 

All the best,


Cindy Archer, Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Jason Palmer, Stetson Law 

Amy Stein, Hofstra Law School 

2015 One-Day Workshops Co-Chairs

 

October 22, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 2, 2015

2015 Annual Conference of the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals

The 2015 Annual Conference of the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals will take place on December 7, 2015, from 10:00 to 3:00, at the New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

This conference provides a great opportunity to gather with colleagues in a supportive and collaborative environment to discuss our topic this year: 

 

“Changing Students, Evolving Roles for ASP.”  

 

We will explore ideas on issues surrounding our challenges as academic support professionals in light of the changing student body (e.g., initiatives to support the influx of students who are scoring lower on LSAT and GPA scales, increased promotion of formative assessment, bar support initiatives, etc.).  We will be setting aside time for presentations, discussion, and workshop activities and look forward to making the most of our time together!

 
We hope to see many of you in Boston later this year. If you are coming into town for an extended stay (which we encourage!), please let us know and we can provide information on local accommodations and activities.  To register for this FREE one-day event, please email Philip Kaplan atpkaplan@suffolk.edu with your name, title, school, address, preferred email address, and telephone number.
 
(MGO)

October 2, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Invitation to submit a proposal to the 2015 Conference of the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals

Request for Proposals:Presentation of  Scholarly “Works in Progress”
New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals (NECASP) Conference
December 7, 2015
New England Law Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

The 2015 Conference of the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals offers a great opportunity to present in a supportive and collaborative environment. NECASP welcomes proposals on works-in-progress from idea to fruition. The topic this year is “Changing Students, Evolving Roles for ASP.”  We will explore ideas on issues surrounding our challenges as academic support professionals in light of the changing student body (e.g., initiatives to support the influx of students who are scoring lower on LSAT and GPA scales, increased promotion of formative assessment, academic standing issues and grading, etc.).   If you wish to present a Work in Progress, the proposal process is as follows:
 
1.      Submit your proposal by October 9, 2015, via email to Lisa Freudenheim at lfreudenheim@nesl.edu.
2.      Proposals may be submitted as a Word document or as a PDF
3.      Proposals must include the following:
        a.     Name and title of presenter
        b.     Law School
        c.      Address, email address, and telephone number
        d.      Title of Work in Progress to be presented
        e.      Abstract of your scholarly Work in Progress, no more than 500 words
        f.       Statement regarding the status of the work (whether in outline form, early draft, or near                 done).
        g.      Media or computer presentation needs.

4.      As noted above, proposals are due on October 9, 2015.  The NECASP Board will review the proposals and reply to each by October 23, 2015.
 
If you have any questions about your proposal, please do not hesitate to contact me and we hope to see many of you in Boston later this year! And if you would like to attend but not present, please email Philip Kaplan at pkaplan@suffolk.edu to register for the FREE full-day event!
 
(MGO)

September 29, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

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 sdizon@cwsl.edu 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:

https://my.lls.edu/legalwritinginstituteonedayworkshops

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 archerc@lls.edu, 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.

(KSK)

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:  neconference@suffolk.edu. 

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 (rkim@suffolk.edu) or Professor Kathleen Elliott Vinson (kvinson@suffolk.edu) with any questions.

 

(MGO)

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,  lfreudenheim@nesl.edu, 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). 

https://chee.osu.edu/people/strayhorn-terrell.html

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)

ASSOCIATION OF ACADEMIC SUPPORT EDUCATORS

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:

http://www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/conferencesevents.html

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:  https://resweb.passkey.com/go/AASE2015, 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.

 

(MGO) 

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 https://resweb.passkey.com/go/AASE2015, 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 kris.franklin@nyls.edu.  

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)