Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, June 5, 2017

Difficulty Reading - It May Be a Rare Vision Problem

Louis Sirico has had a recent post on the Legal Skills Prof Blog about a former law student whose vision problem caused reading difficulties. The happy ending includes a correct diagnosis years later and a new type of corrective glasses. The post can be found here.

June 5, 2017 in Disability Matters, Miscellany, Reading | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Looking for bar tutoring?

Hat tip to Marsha Griggs for alerting us to where students can search by state or subject and have options for online or in-person tutoring.

June 4, 2017 in Bar Exam Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Assistant Director Position at U of Akron

Assistant Director of Academic Success Programs


The University of Akron School Of Law seeks to fill a full-time Assistant Director of Academic Success Programs position. The position is a salary position, paid on a monthly basis.  The person in this position will be responsible for providing support to law students by conducting workshops and supplying assistance with basic writing and analytical skills as needed.  This person will develop, schedule and administer academic success (including bar support) programming and courses, and teach ASP courses (including Legal Reasoning and Advanced Legal Applications).

Other responsibilities include:

Recruit, coordinate, train and supervise ASP student assistants, including helping them design effective skills-based tutoring sessions.

Design academic support programming for students, including working with professors and advising at-risk students.

Administer bar preparation support efforts, including participating in bar support efforts in Columbus twice a year.

Required Qualifications:

Requires a Juris Doctorate Degree, Law License, and a demonstrated record of successful teaching, preferably in areas such as academic success, bar preparation, legal skills, or legal writing.  Computer skills (including spreadsheet, word processing and database capabilities) required.

Preferred Qualifications:

Demonstrated record of effective self-starting and follow-through, demonstrated success in assisting student learning, ability to identify methods to enhance learning for multiple learning styles, ability to build rapport with all students( including at-risk students), and demonstrated ability to work well with a variety of constituencies preferred.  Ability to create, implement and evaluate academic support preferred.

For complete details and to apply please visit: Job ID# 10134

June 3, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Visiting Position in Academic Excellence at New England Law

Faculty Position in the Academic Excellence Program

New England Law | Boston is seeking dynamic and experienced applicants for a faculty position in the Academic Excellence Program.  The program provides support to students throughout their law school experience, including a first-year legal skills course, an upper-class legal analysis course set in the context of Evidence law, and individual counseling and advising initiatives. These programs help students learn the critical skills for success in law school, on the bar examination, and in legal practice.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

The position will work closely with the Director of Academic Excellence and other members of the faculty to:

  • Design and teach academic support courses, workshops, and additional programming as needed. Specifically, the person hired will be responsible for teaching sections of:
    • a) Academic Excellence: a full-year, weekly class for all 1L students designed to develop the fundamental skills for law school success (e.g., case reading, briefing, outlining, exam writing and legal analysis). The course also includes several sessions and exercises that are co-taught with other members of the faculty.
    • b) Legal Analysis: a fall-semester course for 2L students based in the context of Evidence, focusing on teaching core exam-writing and analytical skills.
  • Provide individual counseling to first-year and second-year students needing academic support;
  • Assist with administrative responsibilities as needed to implement the program;
  • Assist with bar preparation teaching, counseling and other initiatives as needed; and
  • The person hired may also be called upon to perform other activities in service to the law school, such as faculty committee and task force work, and student group advising.


  • JD from an ABA-accredited law school with strong law school credentials
  • At least two years of experience in academic support, law teaching, or educational counseling/advising
  • Superior oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Enthusiasm for working collaboratively with students to support their academic progress and to implement individually tailored measures to improve their performance
  • An ability to work efficiently and collaboratively with faculty in designing effective co-taught classes within the first-year program 
  • Prior experience in teaching legal skills and designing assessments to achieve skills-based learning objectives (such as issue-spotting, identifying and applying legal rules to material facts, and presenting viable counterarguments) is highly desired

This is a full-time, one-year visiting position starting not later than August 1, 2017 at a title and salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. To apply, please submit cover letter and resume (including salary history/requirements) and writing sample to  

New England Law | Boston, an equal opportunity employer, values diversity and is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment as defined by federal and state law and as consistent with ABA and AALS policies.


June 2, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Bar Review Learning: What Happens in Lectures--Ought Never To Stay in Lectures!

In contrast to the promotional tourism slogan of a famous gambling city in Nevada, what happens in bar review lectures...ought never stay in lectures.  

Here's what I mean.  Too often what we learn during bar review lectures is never really put to the immediate test.  Rather than diving into practice essay and MBE multiple-choice problems that very day of a bar review lecture, we often tend to whittle away precious time by reviewing our lecture notes, re-reading bar review outlines, or, worst yet, re-watching lecture videos (because we are worried that we didn't catch every fine point made during the course of a four-hour bar review lecture).  In short, we continue to stay in the lectures by staying in a passive "lecture-like" mindset.  

However, that's not the way to learn to prepare for the bar exam because the bar examiners don't ask us to recite bar review lectures or demonstrate that we memorized our lecture notes.  Rather, the bar examiners demand that we show that that we can engage in active problem-solving.  So, if you are preparing for the bar exam this summer, get activated; get moving; get going by tackling lots of bar exam problems right after you complete each bar review lecture.  You become the master rather than watching others demonstrate mastery in solving bar exam problems.  It will be challenging.  That's because learning is incredibly difficult.  It takes all of our heart and mind.  It means making lots of messy mistakes.  It requires being comfortable with ourselves in realizing that it is not natural to know how to do things.  In short, it takes lots of work and perspiration in straining and stretching ourselves to tackle things that we couldn't previously do.  That's why we call it learning.  

So, instead of spending most of bar prep watching others solve legal problems, get into the action, the real action of learning, by breathing life into the bar review lectures as you work step-by-step through lots of bar exam essay and MBE multiple-choice problems.  Although it will feel mightily uncomfortable, you'll be mighty glad you did when you take your bar exam because you'll be ready to demonstrate to the bar examiners that you are an expert legal problem-solver, "bar none."  (Scott Johns).

June 1, 2017 in Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams, Learning Styles, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Advocacy Fellow Position at Louisiana State

This position is off the beaten path of ASP/bar, but some of our readers may be interested in applying:


The Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center seeks to hire an Advocacy Fellow to assist in the administration and coaching of its Advocacy Programs.  The Advocacy Programs include the Law Center’s moot court, trial advocacy, and alternative dispute resolution external competition teams, as well as the Law Center’s internal advocacy competitions and voluntary skills development workshops.  Reporting to the Director of Advocacy Programs, this position is responsible for the continued development and administration of a robust set of student skills development opportunities.

The Advocacy Fellow provides case preparation assistance to participants, assists in the recruitment and training of coaches and judges, plans and implements voluntary skills training opportunities and events, creates at least one full trial, appellate, or dispute resolution case file, and organizes competition registration and team travel arrangements. The Advocacy Fellow also acts as a secondary coach where needed.

Applicants must have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school. Prior experience as a competitor and/or coach in the LSU Law Center’s Advocacy Programs or a similar law school skills training and competition program is strongly preferred.  This is a full-time position. The term of appointment for the Advocacy Fellow is one year and will begin in Summer 2017.  For exceptional performance, a Fellow may receive reappointment for a second year. 

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, résumé, and the names and contact information of at least three references to LSU Human Resources by visiting

June 1, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Veteran ASP Spotlight: Jendayi D. Saada

Thank you for reading the May Veteran ASP Spotlight series! There are a few pending requests so you might see a few more spotlights but the Veteran ASP Spotlight will officially return next year. If you have beloved Veteran ASPers who were not featured this year, then kindly send me their names. A heartfelt thank you to all of the ASP Veterans who shared experiences and wisdom! My hope is that ASPers are reminded of why they do this work and re-energized for bar season and the new academic year. Please note that other members of the ASP community will also be featured here in the near future.

Today’s featured spotlight is Jendayi Saada. I met Jendayi at my first ever National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) Academic Support Conference when I was three months into the start of my ASP career. We both coincidentally sign-up for the same restaurant and our group walked, talked, and laughed that night. At that conference, I also met several other colleagues but Jendayi and I both realized that we had ties to Michigan. Jendayi has a wealth of knowledge, is always open to learn, and is deeply committed to the success of the students she works with. To reiterate what I have said before, when I grow up, I want to be as amazing as she is (Goldie Pritchard).

Saada Profile-1419

Q: Please indicate your full name, title and institution of employment. 

Jendayi D. Saada

Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Readiness and Assistant Professor

La Verne College of Law


Q: Please briefly describe your ASP work including length of time associated with it and what initially stimulated your interest.

I began in ASP in 2004 as an instructor at Nova Southeastern University. As an instructor, I helped create a multiyear academic support and a post-graduation bar preparation program. Since 2009 I have developed ASP and Bar Preparation programs at three additional law schools in Florida, Arizona, and California. My teaching areas have included both skills and doctrine.

I have always had a passion for teaching and have taught in various fields for about 34 years. I fell into legal education because I was moving from Michigan to Florida. I had closed my law practice to chase the sun. I was just looking for a job until I could pass the FL Bar Exam and go back to practicing. I was hired at Nova and that was that.


Q: Which aspect(s) of ASP work do you enjoy the most?  What would you consider your greatest challenge thus far and how have you overcome the challenge?

The aspect of ASP I like the most is working with students to help them realize their dreams of becoming an attorney. I especially enjoy working with those students who, due to their race, ethnicity, disability, gender, first generation status, etc., question whether the dream is possible for them, and watching the transformation that occurs when they succeed.

My greatest challenge by far is the stubborn refusal of the faculties and administrators in legal education, to recognize the value that academic support and the professionals who are committed to student success.


Q: What do you want your professional legacy to be?

Students’ metamorphosis into amazing lawyers 


Q: What motivational advice or encouragement would you offer to new and/or mid-career ASPers or law students?

Let your moral compass be your guide and your passion, the engine that drives you to your destination. Don’t stop for hitchhikers!


Q: Is there anything else you deem necessary to share (quote, encouragement, inspiration, visual, etc.…)?

Keep learning, pushing, growing.

May 31, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight, Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Socratic Method and Potential Misunderstandings

The Chronicle of Higher Education had a recent article about using the Socratic Method and the potential for students to misunderstand the devil's advocate position in this hypersensitive age. Although mainly focused on undergraduates, it does mention Justice Neil Gorsuch and the disgruntled former law student who accused him of being sexist. The article is here.

May 30, 2017 in Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Has Memorial Day become just a day off?

Let's face it, we all appreciate a day off from work - especially because many of us are grading right now and have grades due this week. Swimming pools opened in most communities on this past weekend and backyard barbecues will be prolific today. Fewer communities still have parades. And fewer American flags seem to festoon our homes and streets than in past decades.

We do not want to forget the meaning behind this day. It is held in memory of those who have died defending our freedoms as Americans.

In 2000 President Clinton issued a memorandum to heads of Executive Departments and Agencies asking that each unit take part in:

"Encouraging individual department and agency personnel, and Americans everywhere, to pause for one minute at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day, to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many to provide freedom for all."

Although I hope we enjoy our day off, I also hope we will take a few moments to remember the significance of the day. The rule of law has been protected through the sacrifice of many who have gone before us. (Amy Jarmon)

May 29, 2017 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Expressive Writing

Hat tip to Barbara McFarland, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of Student Success Initiatives at Chase College of Law - Northern Kentucky University, for sharing a link to a New York Times article on this topic and supporting research. The link to the article can be found here.

May 28, 2017 in Miscellany, Study Tips - General, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning's Summer Conference in July at UALR

The conference will focus on teaching cultural competency and other professional skills suggested by ABA Standard 302.  The conference announcement, which includes the complete schedule of workshop topics and presenters, is inserted below .  You can find information about the registration process and hotel accommodations here:

Summer 2017 Conference


Teaching Cultural Competency and Other PROFESSIONAL

Skills Suggested by ABA Standard 302

July 7-8, 2017

University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law


Conference Theme:  This conference will focus on how law schools are responding to ABA Standard 302’s call to establish learning outcomes related to “other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession,” such as “interviewing, counseling, negotiation, fact development and analysis, trial practice, document drafting, conflict resolution, organization and management of legal work, collaboration, cultural competency and self-evaluation.”  Conference sessions will concentrate on how law school faculty and administrators are incorporating these skills, particularly the skills of cultural competency, self-evaluation, and collaboration, into their institutional outcomes, designing courses to encompass these skills, and teaching and assessing these skills.  

Registration Information and Hotel Accommodations:  The conference fee for participants is $400, which includes materials, meals during the conference (two breakfasts and two lunches), and the welcome reception on Thursday evening, July 6.  The fee for presenters is $300.  To register, please use this link:  This link also provides information about hotel rooms available for the conference at the Little Rock Marriot Hotel, 3 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, AR 72201.  Reservations also may be made by calling 877-759-6290 and referencing the UALR Bowen School of Law/ ILTL Conference Room Block.

Conference Schedule:

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Welcome Reception:  5:00—7:00 p.m.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Registration and Breakfast:  8:00—8:30 a.m. 

Opening and Welcome:  8:30—9:00 a.m.

Workshop 1:  9:00—10:00 a.m.  

Session A

Session B

Teaching Cultural Competence to Law Students:  A Necessary Skill in an Increasingly Multi-Cultural World


Janet Heppard, University of Houston Law Center; Tasha Willis, University of Houston Law Center; and Thelma Harmon, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University

Bringing Marginalized Populations into the Classroom


Catherine Wasson, Thomas Noble, and Patricia Perkins, Elon University School of Law

Workshop 2:  10:30—11:30 a.m.

Session A

Session B

A Blueprint For Cultural Competency in the Classroom


Danné L. Johnson, Oklahoma City University School of Law

Building Student Capacity for Self-Evaluation


Laura Onkeles-Klein and Robert Dinerstein, American University, Washington College of Law

Workshop 3:  12:30—1:30 p.m.

Session A

Session B

Using the Workshop Format to Introduce 1L Students to Professional Skills and Values


Sandra Simpson, Gonzaga University School of Law

How to Grow Future Lawyers in the Image of ABA Standard 302: Plant Seeds of Strong Learning Outcomes in a Collaborative Cross-Curriculum Garden, and Sprinkle with a Healthy Dose of Ethics, Skills, Cultural Competency, Collaborative Exercises, and Self-Evaluative Techniques

Tracey Brame, Tonya Krause-Phelan, and Victoria Vuletich, Western Michigan University—Thomas M. Cooley Law School


Workshop 4:  2:00—3:00 p.m.

Session A

Session B

Transaction Planning—Creating a Roadmap for Transactional Clinics

Joseph Pileri and Lauren Rogal, Georgetown University Law Center

Establishing Learning Outcomes, Cultural Competency, and the Underprepared Law Student as “Other”


Deborah Zalesne and David Nadvorney, CUNY School of Law

Workshop 5:  3:30—4:30 p.m.

Session A

Session B

Building on Best Practices: A Resource and Advocacy Tool to Keep Our Teaching, Our Law Schools, and Legal Education on the Right Track with Teaching Professional Skills


Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, Quinnipiac University School of Law; Melanie DeRousse, University of Kansas School of Law

“It’s All a Bit Hippy Isn’t It?”: The Importance of Teaching Self-Evaluation and Reflection in Law School

Andrew Henderson, University of Canberra (Australia)

Saturday, July 8, 2017


Workshop 6:  9:00—10:00 a.m.

Session A

Session B

Teaching Cultural Competence as a Reflective Instructor


Andrij Kowalsky, Wilfrid Laurier University

Helping Millenials Develop Self-Reflection

Benjamin Madison, Regent University School of Law

Workshop 7:  10:30—11 :30 a.m.

Session A

Session B

Students Learning Lawyering Skills:  Immerse Them

Christine Church, Western Michigan University—Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Teaching Students to Receive Feedback


Miranda Johnson, Loyola University Chicago School of Law



Workshop 8:  12:30—1:30 p.m.

Session A

Session B

The Role of Leadership in Law School Education (More Than Just an “Other” Skill)

David Gibbs, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law; Leah Witcher Jackson Teague, Baylor University School of Law

Developing Critical Legal Reading and Analytical Skills Through the Use of Charts and Diagrams


Constance Fain, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Closing:  1:30—2:00 p.m.



May 27, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Veteran ASP Spotlight: Amy L. Jarmon

Amy Jarmon is among other things, Editor of the Law School Academic Support Blog. I cannot recall the circumstances surrounding my first encounter with Amy but she is a staple of the ASP community. I have seen her at practically every ASP conference I have attended and often see her name associated with various ASP committees and programs. I have enjoyed serving on committees with her and appreciate the wealth of knowledge she has to offer. I am thankful for her willingness to help whenever I have a question or reach out for assistance or advice. I am also grateful to her for my opportunity to join the Law School Academic Support Blog family. I am a little unconventional with my posts but she has put up with me all year long. I am glad to showcase Amy because she was not featured in the highlight of the Law School Academic Support Blog editors. Finally, it is coincidental that she is spotlighted the week of the Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) annual conference in Texas. She has been spotted at the AASE conference so you can meet her in person. (Goldie Pritchard)


Q: Please indicate your full name, title and institution of employment. 

Amy L. Jarmon

Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs and Lecturer

Texas Tech University School of Law


Q: Please briefly describe your ASP work including length of time associated with it and what initially stimulated your interest.

My initial interest in ASP work came from two sources. First, my previous career was in student affairs with undergraduates where I worked for many years in a bridge position between academic affairs and student affairs. Second, my Ed.D. and J.D. degrees with my teaching and law practice experiences allowed me to fit naturally into helping law students succeed academically and prepare for practice.     

I have been involved in ASP work at law schools for over 15 years. Thirteen of those years have been here at Texas Tech; previously I was at University of Akron School of Law.


Q: Which aspect(s) of ASP work do you enjoy the most?  What would you consider your greatest challenge thus far and how have you overcome the challenge?

I most enjoy working one-on-one with students. It is a joy to help students improve their study strategies and life skills and to see them reach their true academic potential in law school.

Greatest challenge: Many students want to do well in law school, but come into this environment with weaknesses in critical reading, thinking, and writing and in efficient, effective study strategies. Many prior educational experiences only asked them to memorize information rather than to grapple with understanding or applying that information.

Overcoming the challenge: Flexibility within a plan is important. I start with assessment and then use a repertoire of strategies to address succeeding in law school while gaining life skills for legal practice. Although I know the strategies that work for most law students, I always keep an open mind. I modify, discard, and brainstorm with each individual student to find out what works for that person. I regularly learn new “mental connections,” strategies, resources, and more as I work with students; those new ideas or techniques become tools to help future students. 


Q: What do you want your professional legacy to be?

For students: I want my legacy to be that I cared about students individually and was there to encourage and support them. I believe in their personal worth whether or not they flourish in law school or ultimately decide to practice law after graduation.

For colleagues: I want my legacy to be that I was a colleague who shared my knowledge and experiences freely to better the ASP profession and to support colleagues.


Q: What motivational advice or encouragement would you offer to new and/or mid-career ASPers or law students?

New ASP’ers: Reach out to others in the ASP profession for assistance. Unlike some professions, this one thrives on sharing ideas, materials, and advice. ASP’ers have a tradition of giving a hand-up to newcomers. Also, remember that you cannot implement everything overnight. Decide a small number of priorities to tackle first, and then shamelessly ask others for Power Points, syllabi, handouts, and more.

Mid-career ASP’ers: Beware of burnout! Most ASP’ers are “givers” and easily become over-involved, over-utilized by their law schools, and overtime-prone. If you are not careful, you will be overwhelmed. Remember to pace yourself, to say “no” or “not now” sometimes, and to set aside time away from the office to relax and revive.

Law students: Realize there are a zillion strategies that your ASP professional can show you for conquering law school. It is okay if you do not know how to do something, feel overwhelmed at times, or are unsure how to fix things. The important thing is that you commit to learning how to improve and ask for assistance early and often.  


Q: Is there anything else you deem necessary to share (quote, encouragement, inspiration, visual, etc.…)?

During my ASP career, I have been blessed with many opportunities. However, during challenges, I depend on my faith to get me through those dark times. I always remind myself that the most important words of praise to hear at some future date are: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”


May 24, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight, Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Learning Curve: Call for Proposals

Dear Friends & Colleagues:

On behalf of the editorial staff of The Learning Curve (Chelsea Baldwin, DeShun Harris, and Christina Chong), I'm pleased to announce this additional call for submissions for our upcoming Summer 2017 issue.  The Learning Curve is a newsletter reporting on issues and ideas for the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Academic Support and the general law school academic & bar support community.

The deadline for this call is July 1, 2017.   We are expecting to publish another general topic/theme issue. 

As the final exam season has just begun to pass us, I'm sure this moment can give us pause on what innovative teaching methods, techniques, and/or experiences we might have come across this year.  So if you have an idea, a lesson, or a perspective on ASP or bar teaching to share, please consider submitting to The Learning Curve.  As examples of the types of articles we publish, I have attached this past Winter's edition.  Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate, and attached as a Word file.  Please send your inquiries and submissions to  

Lastly, as our editorial terms have three-year expiration dates, the time has come for me to step down from The Learning Curve.  It has been my pleasure to have served as the Executive Editor of the The Learning Curve in this past academic year, and to have served on the editorial board for the last three academic years.   I hope that the articles we've published on ASP and bar support have continued to push law teaching forward and have served collectively as a supportive voice for our endeavors in the academy.   I'd like to thank those wonderful authors who have published with us during those years, and the terrific colleagues who have worked with me on the board during that time.  I hand off the Executive Editorship to Chelsea Baldwin, who will invariably keep that torch lit.   Thank you all very, very much.

All the best,


Jeremiah A. Ho | 何嘉霖 | 助理教授

Assistant Professor of Law

University of Massachusetts School of Law

333 Faunce Corner Road

North Dartmouth, MA 02747

508.985.1156 •


  • Co-Editor, Human Rights at Home Blog:
  • Executive Editor, The Learning Curve (AALS Section on Academic Support Newsletter)
  • Contributing Faculty, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (ILTL)
  • 2014 Recipient, "50 Under 50" Law Professors of Color (awarded by Lawyers of Color, Washington D.C.)
  • View my TEDx-style talk at LegalED:

May 23, 2017 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Northeastern Director of Academic Success Program Position

Northeastern is searching for a new Director of the Academic Success Program.  The position is being advertised as a non-tenure-track faculty position (Associate Teaching Professor) and as an Assistant Dean/Director of the Academic Success Program.  The final call will be made based on the applicant’s qualifications and background. The links for Northeastern's career postings are given below. Anyone who may be interested in the position can contact Professor Melinda Drew at (617) 373-3960.   

For the Associate Teaching Professor and Director Academic Success Program:

For the Assistant Dean & Director Academic Success Program: 


May 22, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Top Ten Badge

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_Small Congratulations to Scott Johns, Contributing Editor, for earning a badge from the State Bar of Texas Texas Bar Today for his Thursday, May 18th post entitled Turning Bad News into Great Opportunities: Helping Repeaters Become "Fresh Start" Bar Passers. The link to his post is here.

May 22, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

See you at the AASE Conference in Fort Worth This Week!

The editorial group here at the  Law School Academic Support Blog are looking forward to saying howdy to those of you who are able to attend the 5th annual conference this week. If we do not already know you, please introduce yourself to us during the conference. We appreciate your readership! 

May 21, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

AASE Elections - Voting Open until 5 p.m. May 23

The ballot is now open for the election of the AASE Board positions for the 2017-2018 year.  The open positions are: President-Elect, Vice President Diversity, Secretary, and Treasurer. 

Please go to the Membership page of the AASE website and follow the Election link which can be found here:  You must be an AASE member to vote. If you are unsure whether you are an AASE member, please contact us at  You may only vote once for each open position.  Voting will be open until 5 pm on May 23, 2017 (the first day of the AASE National Conference). 

The election committee (Betsy Six, Pavel Wonsowicz, and myself – the members of the Executive Board who are not eligible to run for an office) will count the ballots and announce the winners during the AASE Conference.  The new officers will transition during the Closing Session of the conference.  Below is a list of the candidates for each open position:


  • Russell McClain

Vice President Diversity:

  • Rana Boujaoude
  • DeShun Harris


  • Rana Boujaoude
  • Jeff Minneti


  • Marsha Griggs
  • Kandace Kukas
  • Jeff Minneti

May 20, 2017 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 19, 2017

University of San Francisco One-Year Position


Assistant Professor, Assistant Director of Law+Plus and Bar+Plus

Job Requirements

A qualified candidate must have (1) a J.D. degree with strong law school credentials, (2) be admitted to The State Bar of California, and (3) at least two years of academic support and bar preparation experience, either as an instructor or tutor.  

The candidate must be experienced in counseling and working with students individually, in a small group setting, and in the classroom.  Experience in assessing student academic progress and implementing individually tailored measures to improve student performance is required.  The candidate must be able to work creatively, efficiently, and collaboratively with a team of faculty, staff, student teaching assistants, and student organizations. The candidate must have a commitment to working with students from diverse backgrounds and knowledge of how learning styles, multicultural factors, and non-cognitive factors affect learning. Knowledge of law-school curriculum development, specifics of the California bar exam, and statistical-analysis techniques are a plus. 

Job Responsibilities

The Assistant Director will work closely with the Director and other members of the Law+Plus and Bar+Plus faculty to:

  • Teach and develop (a) the first-year workshop curriculum, which includes coordinating integrated exercises with first-year faculty and the Academic Support Program, (b) the bar-preparation curriculum, which includes coordinating USF’s summer program with faculty, bar review companies, and other departments on campus, and (c) two academic sessions for orientation, which includes coordinating with the Office of Student Affairs;
  • Provide individual counseling to (a) first-year and second-year students struggling academically, and (b) upper-division students preparing for the bar-exam; and
  • Complete various projects, such as managing the TWEN page, data collection and analysis, and marketing tasks.

The Assistant Director will also have the opportunity to teach unit-credit classes in the Law+Plus and Bar+Plus programs, such as Legal Analysis or Logic for Lawyers.  The focuses of these classes include, but are not limited to, improving a student’s analysis, study strategies, and essay and MBE techniques.

Special Instructions

This is a one year, full-time, non-tenure track, 12-month contract position with benefits. Salary is dependent on qualifications. Interviews will begin next week and continue until the position is filled. If you have questions, please contact Interim Director, Christina Chong,

How to Apply

Please send your resume, cover letter, three references, and any teaching evaluations to Associate Dean, Susan Freiwald,, and CC Christina Chong,

May 19, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Turning Bad News Into Great Opportunites: Helping Repeaters Become "Fresh Start" Bar Passers

It's that time of year.  In the midst of many celebrations over bar passage, let's be frank.  There are many that are not celebrating.  Their names were not on the list of bar exam passers.  It's especially rough this time of year because it's also graduation season.  And, for some, it's not the first time that they've found themselves in this situation; it's a repeat of the last time around.

For aspiring attorneys that did not pass the bar exam, most don't know where to turn.  Often embarrassed, many with significant debt loads, most feel abandoned by their schools, their friends, and their colleagues.  All alone.  

I'm not expert in helping with turnarounds. But, I'd like to offer a few tips that have seemed to be quite helpful in helping repeaters change history to become "fresh start" bar passers.  

First, as academic support professionals, reach out to each one.  Make yourself available on their terms.  Let them know that you care.  Let them know that you are mighty proud of them, success or not.  Support them, one and all.

Second, give them breathing room, lot's of time and space to grieve.  Don't push them into diving back into the books.  Don't lecture them.  Rather, assure them that they don't need to get cranking on their studies.  Help them to be kind to themselves.  It's not a matter of just hitting the books again, and this time, doubly-hard.  Instead, they need to take time out to just be themselves.

Third, when they are ready, set up a "one-with-one."  Notice: I did not call it a "one-to-one".  Rather, set up an appointment or meeting in a place of their choosing at a time that works for them in which you sit side by side, on the same side of the table or desk or cafe.  They are not bar exam failures; they are real law school graduates.  They earned their parchments. So, listen to them as colleagues on the same side of doing battle on the bar exam.  Let them talk and express themselves as they'd like. Hear them out.  How are they feeling?  What went right?  What's their passion?  What saddens their hearts?  

Finally, whey they are ready, make a copy of one of the essay problems that didn't go so well.  Better yet, make two copies, one for each of you!  That's because you are on the same team.  Set aside 15 or 20 minutes and just ask them to mark up the question, brainstorm what they are thinking, and jot down the issues that they see.  But...and this is important...tell them that you don't expect them to remember any law at all. Period.  And, you do the same.  Exactly the same.  Don't peek at an answer key or even their answer. Instead, try your hand too; wrestle with the same question that they are wrestling with.  

Then, come back together to listen, ponder, and share what you both see as the plot of the essay question, the issues raised by the storylines, and the potential rules that might be in play.  Once you've done all this prep work together, now, look at their answer.  This is important, just look.  Ask them what do they see? What do they observe? What went great for them? Where might they improve?  In short, let them see that they have "inside information" about themselves based on their own personal bar exam experience and answers that they can capitalize to their advantage.  Most often in the midst of working together, graduates tell me that they realize that they knew plenty of law to pass the bar exam.  In fact, most are amazed at how well they memorized the law.  And, that's great news because it means that they don't need to redo the bar review lectures at all.  They know plenty of law.  That frees up lots of time during the bar prep season to instead concentrate on just two active learning tasks.  

First, they should daily work through loads of practice problems (essays and MBE questions).  Every one that they can get their hands on.  

Second, they should keep a daily "journal" of the issues and rules that they missed when working over problems (to include tips about the analysis of those rules).  

Just two steps.  That's it.  There's no magic.  But, in not redoing the lectures, they will find that they have plenty of time to concentrate on what is really important - learning by doing through active reflective daily practice.  Countless times, it's through this process of a "one-with-one" meeting that we have seen repeaters turn themselves into "fresh start" bar passers.  Now, that's something to celebrate!  (Scott Johns).


May 18, 2017 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Veteran ASP Spotlight: Louis Schulze, Jr

Louis should be excited because he is featured here twice in two weeks (once for his scholarship here and now)! I first met Louis at one of the conferences I attended early on in my ASP career. He led a discussion surrounding an article he had written and at the time, was seeking feedback. The discussion included comments and questions about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). I also had an opportunity to work with Louis briefly during my tenure as chair of the programming committee for the Academic Support Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Louis was reliable, kind, and very helpful. I seem to always remember positive words and feedback sent in my direction from anyone far and near, and Louis is one of those whose feedback was very kind and therefore remembered (Goldie Pritchard).

Q: Please indicate your full name, title and institution of employment.

Louis Schulze

Assistant Dean and Professor of Academic Support

Florida International University College of Law

Q: Please briefly describe your ASP work including length of time associated with it and what initially stimulated your interest.

I’ve been in the academic support field for about ten years, starting at New England Law | Boston for seven years and a bit over three years here at FIU Law. I started teaching in the legal writing field and found myself wanting to do more for students who underperformed. It frustrated me that many of these students weren’t struggling due to a lack of diligence or intelligence but because they had less training in critical thinking or effective learning skills. Because that lack of training seemed correlated with socio-economic status, I was particularly motivated to do what I could to help level the playing field to promote students’ success.

Q: Which aspect(s) of ASP work do you enjoy the most? What would you consider your greatest challenge thus far and how have you overcome the challenge?

Anyone who has seen me teach knows that I act like a fool in the classroom. I try to bring an energy that connotes genuine enthusiasm for the material. (This isn’t in any way fabricated; I’m a complete law nerd. If they sold trading cards of SCOTUS justices, I’d be one of those people who gets the whole set, including COA, etc.)

I try to keep things fairly light in the classroom and then all of a sudden get really intense, pushing the students to do more and give better answers. Because the levity precedes the intensity, students seem more comfortable when I push them harder – they know it’s coming from the right place.

Also, personally and professionally, I get immense joy from fostering students’ success. My favorite time of year is when grades come out and I hear from my students who got through the first year despite incredible odds. It’s always an awkward moment for my colleagues in my corridor when I start bellowing the chorus of “We Are the Champions” at the top of my lungs because I heard that a student made it above a 2.00 or passed the bar. But, because being in ASP means being half professor, half coach, we have the best of both worlds and, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), the best job in the legal academy.

Q: What do you want your professional legacy to be?

That I made it through my whole career without anyone noticing that I’m a completely unqualified rube. (Ooops).

Q: What motivational advice or encouragement would you offer to new and/or mid-career ASPers or law students?

IMHO (In My Humble Opinion), one can serve students best by maintaining a balance between being emotionally invested in their success while at the same time remaining objective. Having a professor demonstrate a genuine personal investment in a student’s success can actually have a far more powerful impact on that student than I ever realized. On the other hand, for some students the best advice might be an austere and somewhat shocking message that is both difficult to give and difficult to receive. Academic support professors need to be empowered to give both types of advice based upon the needs of the particular student. If a law school does not provide that sort of empowerment, the academic support will be less effective.

Q: Is there anything else you deem necessary to share (quote, encouragement, inspiration, visual, etc.…)?


May 17, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight, Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)