Saturday, April 13, 2013
Interim Director Position at U of Dayton
The following information was on the listserv from Staci Rucker about this position in 2013-2014 and the job search for a full-time Director for future years:
The University of Dayton School of Law is looking to hire an Interim Director of Academic Success for the 2013-14 school year. You may access the job posting here: http://jobs.udayton.edu/postings/6293.
I have served as the Director of Academic Success at UDSL since 2007. Effective May 16th, I will become the Assistant Dean of Students, hence the need to hire an Interim Director. The Law School will conduct a search to permanently fill the Director of Academic Success position during the 2013-14 school year. The person in the Interim Director position will be eligible to apply, if interested.
UDSL is a wonderful place to work, led by a Dean and many faculty who are extremely supportive of the academic support program. I will gladly speak with anyone who may be interested in the position.
Staci P. Rucker
Lecturer in Law and Director of Academic Success Programs
University of Dayton School of Law
007 Keller Hall
Dayton, OH 45469-2772
Phone: (937) 229-4072
Fax: (937) 229-4769
Friday, April 12, 2013
Law school instruction and the "spiral curriculum"
If you have been trained in educational theory or the philosophy of education, you made have heard the phrase "spiral curriculum" during your studies. The idea of a spiral curriculum comes from the work of Jerome Bruner, a highly influential professor of education, who went on to mentor Howard Gardner, the father of Multiple Intelligences. The spiral curriculum posits that students learn best when exposed to material repeatedly. As students gain understanding of the material, it is revisited with added depth and complexity. Another element of the spiral curriculum is that teaching should begin by building upon current knowledge.
Law school curriculum would be improved if it borrowed from the idea of a spiral curriculum. The first step, discovery, posits that students learn best when they "discover" knowledge on their own. Bruner wrote quite a bit about using discovery methods when teaching math. He even wrote about using the Socratic method when teaching math. When learning is based on a speaker and a listener (as is often the case in the law school classroom) the listener has to create their own knowledge. But most of the time, the listener gets bored and distracted. The listener is not engaged with the process of learning, they are not thinking of how to explain, expand, question, or criticize. The speaker is learning. If you change the dynamic, you change the learning process. Instead of telling students about a concept, create an environment where they can discover the concept on their own. This is the first step in a spiral because the discovery must be elementary. Students can revisit the concept in more depth, later.
How can we use discovery in the law school curriculum? Think about an introductory contracts class. Instead of lecturing on the elements of contracts, ask students to bring in a contract they have recently signed. Ask them to find the consideration in the contract. Then ask them to read cases on consideration. Make sure you return to the contracts they brought to class; now ask them to define the benefit of the bargain for each party. Students are building knowledge of contracts by using what they know; a contract they have already signed. This also adds relevance to the material. It allows them to engage with what they are learning, and keeps them engaged in the class. No one likes to be bored in class, and no teacher (that I know) likes to lecture to blank faces tuned into computer screens. The spiral curriculum can help all of us stay engaged. (RCF)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Podcasts from 2013 AALS Annual Meeting Available to AALS Member and Fee-Paid Law Schools
Jane La Barbera, Managing Director of AALS, recently e-mailed the following announcement. If you are faculty or professional staff from AALS memer and fee-paid law schools, you would be able to access the podcasts. Please notice the restrictions on access and use. (Amy Jarmon)
"Over 70 sessions from the 2013 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans were digitally audio recorded. These recordings are available at no charge to faculty and professional staff from AALS member and fee-paid law schools.
Visit www.aals.org/am2013podcasts to download and listen to these podcasts from the 2013 Annual Meeting.
A user name and password is required to access the podcasts. Your user name is your primary e-mail address. If you do not have or do not remember your password, click the 'forgot password' link on the bottom of the login screen.
The podcasts are listed chronologically. You can browse by scrolling down, or search for a specific session by typing "Ctrl F" and then typing a keyword.
Click "listen" underneath the session you are interested in and your media player should open and begin playing the recording. Or you can right click and save the link to download the file.
AALS makes its podcasts available for exclusive use by members of AALS for teaching and related purposes. Commercial and unauthorized use or distribution is prohibited. The podcasts may not be altered in any way without written permission from AALS and the speakers."
Do Not Jettison Your Common Sense
With the stress at the end of the semester, I am seeing more students make poor decisions because they have misplaced their common sense. Here are some things that students all know but tend to overlook when overwhelmed:
- Attend classes and prepare for them. Skipping class to gain more study time may mean that you miss important information about the exam or the wrap-up of major topics for the course. Not reading and briefing in order to save time only mean that you have the gist of the course without real understanding.
- Avoid spending lots of time organizing to study rather than actually studying. If a clean desk, organized bookshelves, and a code book with a thousand colored tabs do not increase your actual learning, you have been inefficient (used time unwisely) and ineffective (gotten minimal or no results).
- If you are sick, go to the doctor and follow the doctor's advice. Multiple negative repercussions follow from coming to school sick and refusing to get medical attention: you infect others with your illness; your illness becomes more debilitating than it should; you ultimately lose more class and study time than you would have with prompt treatment.
- Get enough sleep; do not get less sleep during the remaining weeks of the semester. Without sleep, your body and brain do not work well. You absorb less material, retain less material, zone out in class or while studying, and are generally less alert.
- Eat regular and nutritious meals; do not skip meals to save time. Your body and brain need fuel to do the studying you have to do. Dr. Pepper and Snickers bars are not a balanced diet. Neither are pizza and soda.
- If you have an emergency during the exam period, tell the academic dean or registrar. You may be eligible for delayed exams because of the circumstances (medical illness, family illness, death in the family). Most law schools have procedures/policies dealing with emergencies and will work with students who have exceptional circumstances.
Take time to use your common sense to help you make wise study and personal decisions during these last few weeks of the semester. Do not put yourself at a disadvantage by blindly taking action fueled by panic - think about the consequences of your choices. (Amy Jarmon)
Sunday, April 7, 2013
So Many Tasks, So Little Time
The end of the semester is approaching at break-neck speed right now for most students. A common lament is that there is not enough time to get everything done before exams. Students are frantically working on papers and assignments while trying to find time for extra final exam studying.
Here are some ways to carve out time when you feel that you have none:
- Look for time that you waste during each day and corral that time for exam studying or writing papers: Facebook or YouTube or Twitter time; e-mail reading and writing; cell phone time; chatting with friends in the student lounge. Most people fritter away hours on these tasks.
- Become more efficient at your daily life tasks: prepare dinners in a slow cooker on the weekend to heat up single servings during the week; wear easy maintenance clothes to save ironing/dry cleaning tasks; pack your lunch/dinner to take to school instead of commuting time to eat at home; clean the house thoroughly once and then merely spot clean and pick up. You can garner ample study time if you cut down on these types of daily tasks.
- Curb excessive exercise time, but do not give up exercise time entirely. Your normal gym workout of two hours five times a week is most likely a luxuary at this point in the semester. Cut it back to two times a week or make it one hour three times a week. The guideline for exercise is 150 minutes per week. You need to focus on strengthing your brain cells rather than your abs right now.
- Consider getting up earlier each day, but do not get less than 7 hours of sleep per night. If you tend to sleep in on weekends and days when you do not have early classes, you are losing productive study time. Go to bed at the same time Sunday through Thursday nights and get up at the same time Monday through Friday mornings; do not vary the schedule more than 2 hours on the weekends. You will be more alert and better rested if you have a routine.
- Decide whether you could study an hour or two longer on a Friday or Saturday night if you currently end at 5 or 6 p.m. You want some down time, but may be able to go a bit longer than previously in order to gain more study time.
- Set up a schedule so that you delineate for each day when you will read/brief or outline for each of your courses. Then repeat the tasks at the same days/times each week. You will waste less time asking yourself what to do next.
- Break tasks down into small pieces. Small pockets of time (under an hour) can then be used effectively to complete tasks. You may be able to study a subtopic for a course in 20 minutes but would take 3 hours for the whole topic. Any forward movement is progress!
- Use windfall time when you gain unexpected time: a class is cancelled, your friend is late picking you up, a meeting ends early.
Instead of getting overwhelmed by everything you have to do, take control of your time. Conquer each course one task at a time. (Amy Jarmon)
Friday, April 5, 2013
Moves and Changes
This summer, I will be moving from UConn and UConn Law School to UMass-Dartmouth School of Law, where I will become tenure-track faculty. The move also means I will be shifting back to ASP full-time. As much as I love UConn (and more on that below), I could not turn down the opportunity to work with Dean Mary Lu Bilek, who was a pioneer in ASP at CUNY before becoming dean at UMass. I found the faculty at UMass to be incredibly supportive and genuinely excited to be at the law school, and I was encouraged by the mission of the law school, to provide an affordable option for students seeking to work in public service.
It was an incredibly difficult decision to leave UConn. Not only do I love my job and my students, but I am alum of the school (both my BA and MA are from UConn). I have had amazing opportunities here that I would not have had anywhere else. My experience working with undergraduates has been invaluable. My experience has changed how I view ASP and the types of supports needed by students. I now see the essentiality of ASP-undergrad partnerships, and the growing need for ASP to move outside of the legal academy. To truly understand the challenges facing our incoming students, we need a better understanding of where they are coming from. It's no longer adequate to recall personal memories of our pre-law days, and superimpose our challenges on our students.These students are "digital natives" who are not afraid of the rapid pace of technological change--it's all they have ever known. These are students scarred by the Great Recession, which has shaped their worldview. Their undergraduate experience has shown them that education is not the ticket to security and stability. Incoming students are savvy and informed in ways that were unthinkable just four or five years ago; "buy-in" to the law school pedagogy will require us to prove ourselves and our value to students. ASP should not be afraid to embrace this new generation of law students and their challenge to our curriculum. These students will force us to up our game, to become better, more effective teachers and scholars. Personally, that is a challenge I embrace and encourage. While we work with students to become the best version of themselves, they will force us to better versions of ourselves.
It is bittersweet for me to be moving on from UConn. I love my job, I love my students, and the colleagues I have here will become lifelong friends. But in this time of uncertainty and change in the legal academy, I am very excited to become to a part of a law school that is embracing the "new normal" and challenges ahead of us. (Rebecca Flanagan)
EDIT: 3:44 pm
This is a fantastic post by William Henderson from over at Legal Whiteboard. It dovetails on my message about students and growth.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Academic Advising and Registration
The mandatory meeting for first-year students (optional for upper-division students) to discuss our registration process for next year's classes was held last week. Registration will start next week. For first-year students, the process can create a great deal of stress because it is another "unknown" to them.
The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs explained the ins and outs of the curriculum requirements beyond the first-year required classes. The Registrar explained the actual procedures for registration.
And then the rumor mill started to make the process even more stressful. The sources were sometimes upper-division students' comments but often just from imagination:
- Horror tales about registration for rising 2L students (computer freezes, no places in popular courses because rising 3Ls will take all the spots, long wait lists, etc.) while ignoring changes in the system and statistical realities.
- Rumors that students will fail if they get Professor X while swearing they will get an A with Professor Y - even though course statistics do not reflect these guarantees.
- Rumors playing up the fear factor of different professors' exams or teaching styles or course topics and ignore that different students learn and test better in different ways and have different backgrounds and interests.
- Moanings about the audacity of the law school's hiring of unknown visitors/new hires/adjuncts who cannot be easily pigeon-holed.
So what is the 1L student to do to survive registration and choosing the best class schedule? Here are some tips that I give students when they consult with me:
- Know the requirements for graduation: credit hours, normal course loads, required doctrinal courses, skills development courses, writing courses, certificate programs, dual degree programs.
- Think ahead beyond the next semester to the full academic year and the next academic year - how will fall 2L courses impact spring 2L courses and how will 2L courses influence the 3L courses.
- Consider summer school credits (including study abroad) if the student plans to attend and know the policies that are involved.
- Have alternate course choices in mind in case a class is closed out entirely or only waiting list spots are open at the time the student registers.
- Take a balanced course schedule by considering paper versus exam courses, required versus elective courses, large versus seminar courses, difficult topics for the student versus topics that come more easily, hands-on skills courses versus traditional courses, courses that interest the student versus ones that have less appeal, law versus dual degree courses (if applicable), and other factors.
- Watch out for prerequisites that are needed for later courses or clinics that the student wants to take.
- Talk to professors about elective courses that sound interesting but are only briefly covered in the course descriptions to find out more about the courses.
- Talk to professors in specialty areas in which the student may want to practice to get advice on courses that would be beneficial for background.
- Consider courses that will give background for the bar exam but which may not be required courses for one's law degree.
- Talk to multiple students who have taken a course/professor in the past because variety of input will likely highlight pros and cons rather than one-sided feedback.
- Look at the exam schedule to see what the grouping of exams will be like for particular combinations of courses (available at our school prior to registration).
With careful thought and planning, registration can be a less stressful experience for students. Faculty, administrators, and others can provide guidance as students weigh the pros and cons of different course choices. (Amy Jarmon)
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Why Global-Intuitive Students May Mistake Superficial Analysis for the Real Thing
Global processors are always looking for the big picture, the overview, or the roadmap in learning - they want to know the essentials and the end result. Intuitive processors are curioius about concepts, abstractions, theories, and policies and seek out relationships among ideas - they are synthesis peole. When these two breadth-processing styles combine as strong preferences, the learners can sometimes assume they know a course when they only know the gist of a course.
These processors are more tempted to take shortcuts in learning: skim a case, read the canned brief, produce a cursory outline, and write conclusory memos. They often come out of exams with comments like "I guess I didn't know Torts as well as I thought." They are shocked when reviewing an exam to see that they never analyzed element three even though they knew the analysis. The analysis stayed in their heads instead of making it to the paper for the professor to grade.
Global-intuitive students tend to make mistakes on exams that stem from their breadth of learning without sufficient depth of learning, thinking, and organizing. For example, on fact-pattern essay exams, they leave out the steps of their analysis because they think the professor will know how they got from point A to point D without having to lay it out. It is true that the professor knows how to get there, but the professor needs to know that the student knows how to get there (rather than a lucky guess) to give points on the exam. On multiple-choice exams, they tend to pick by gut rather than carefully consider every answer option. Consequently, they look at the options that match their conclusion (guilty, admissible, liable) and miss the best answer that is not guilty unless, inadmissible unless, or liable only if. Alternatively, they may not know which of two better answers is best because they do not know the nuances of the law on which the question turns.
There are several ways that global-intuitive students can help themselves to develop more in-depth understanding of the law and gain more points on exams:
- Avoid shortcuts that tempt one to only know the gist of a course: canned briefs, scripts, outlines of other students.
- Spend time memorizing the precise wording of the rules, definitions of elements, and other law so that one is not fuzzy on elements, factors, variations. or other items.
- For essay exams: Write out fact-pattern essay answers instead of just thinking about them; get feedback from professors, teaching assistants, or classmates on the depth of analysis.
- For multiple-choice exams: Complete lots of practice questions and read the answer explanations in the book to learn the nuances of the law rather than just the gist of the law.
- Take the time to read, analyze, and organize an essay answer. The rule of thumb is to use 1/3 of the time for a question to do these steps and then 2/3 of the time to write the answer.
- Use a chart to organize the essay answer rather than hold information in one's head. Rows can indicate the parties to the dispute. Columns can indicate the elements or factors that need to be discussed. One can enter facts, cases to be mentioned, and policy arguments in the appropriate cells as a careful read of the fact pattern is completed.
- When writing the essay answer, change the audience one writes to - instead of writing to the professor, write the answer as though explaining the law to a non-lawyer (your cousin, grandmother, little brother). Connecting the dots is easier when writing to a lay audience.
- When writing the essay answer, ask "why?" at the end of each sentence. If an explanation for the statement is not there, keep writing and add the "because" to the sentence.
- Carefully weigh each answer choice on multiple-choice tests; look for the best answer rather than the superficially right answer.
- Slow down in exams and use all of the time given. Global-intuitives tend to finish early which often indicates that they missed smaller issues, did not fully analyze the arguments, or did not read the questions carefully enough.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Why Sequential-Sensing Students May Mistake Class Preparation for the Ultimate Goal
Sequential processors focus on the individual units before them (cases, subtopics, topics) rather than look at the bigger picture (how these units combine into a whole). Sensing processors focus on details, facts, and practicalities rather than look at ideas or synthesis (the inter-relationships of concepts, subtopics, etc.). When these two depth-processing styles are combined in a student as strong preferences, the students can become too focused on pieces and detail and miss the broader view, inter-relationships, and policy arguments.
Several strong sequential-sensing learners have mentioned to me in the last few weeks that they feel that the only time they are focused on what really matters is when they are reading and briefing for class. When they are outlining, reviewing their outlines, or doing practice questions (all of these steps are in their weekly schedules), they fear that they are not expending their energies on what really counts.
After several of these comments came close together, I decided to step back and analyze why these issues were surfacing after I thought we had discussed what one is trying to accomplish in law school courses. I realized that for these individuals we had not yet fully formulated what one does in law school versus what one will do in one's specialty in practice.
These students saw their job in law school as learning all the law in a course so that they were ready to practice that legal area later. They had missed the fact that they are learning topics for a course (but not all of the law for that specialty) to gain critical thinking and writing skills and general knowledge to solve new legal problems (for exams). Once they are in practice, they will focus on learning all they can about their own practice area(s). However, law school does not expect that level of in-depth study; it expects familarity with a variety of areas of law and application of the concepts to new legal scenarios.
Sequential-sensing students feel more secure in preparing for class because they mistakenly think that memorizing everything about individual cases is the most important task. Because synthesis and big-picture thinking are more uncomfortable for them (especially if policy is involved), they feel less convinced that outlines, review, and practice questions are full-fledged studying.
Once these students realize that class preparation is important but not the be-all and end-all, the light-bulb comes on for them. They are still less comfortable with the synthesis and big-picture thinking that lead to application, but they can see those broader study tasks as legitimate. By releasing themselves mentally from having to know every minute detail in each case and each sub-topic and each legal area, they begin to make the transition to the additional levels of learning that will allow them to succeed on exams. They push themselves to synthsize the material and fit it into the bigger picture. They realize that practice questions assist them in this process and help them to apply the law on exams. (Amy Jarmon)
Friday, March 29, 2013
IRAC is flexible, not mechanical
This time of year--post spring break, pre-reading week--students start asking for help. Specifically, they start asking for help regarding issues that came up on fall exams. One of the more common issues I encounter with students is misuse of IRAC. For students who like formulas, templates, and structure, IRAC seems ideal. They can plug in a formula--Issue, Rule, Application/Analysis, and Conclusion--and a good answer should pop right out of their computer. Inevitably, these students are disappointed with their grades, and angry that the formula doesn't work the way they expect it to work. These students are conceptualizing IRAC the wrong way--IRAC is a flexible tool, not a mechanical formula. Like a tool, you can use it to help your construction of a strong answer. The effort must come from the writer (the student) because the tool cannot produce anything on its own, even if the tool is given all the right materials.
For law students who like structure, this advice can feel like another kick in the teeth. Do not expect a student to respond with admiration and gratitude after you tell them IRAC cannot be used mechanically. Students who received mediocre grades in the fall already feel like they have been fooled; no one gives them "the answer" and now you are telling them there is no formula to get to "the answer." It is the opposite of everything they have learned up to this point in their life. To the frustrated student, you are another person playing games, hiding the ball, and failing to tell them what they need to know to succeed.
After moving past the frustration and anxiety, let the student know it is your job to show they how to use the tool. IRAC represents the essential pieces of a strong exam answer. But the essential pieces do not necessarily get used in that order; sometimes the pieces are repeated, as in IRAraraAC, or RIAraC. Use the tool in the manner recommended by your instructor; if they want you to start with the rule, and then explain how it's applicable, you need to do that. Professors who say they "hate" IRAC or "don't care" about IRAC really want IRAC; they don't want it used mechanically. Professors want students to be responsive to the question that is asked; it's difficult and sometimes impossible to be responsive when using a formula. (RCF)
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Legal Skills Positions at UMass-Dartmouth
THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHSUETTS SCHOOL OF LAW – DARTMOUTH
Full Time Lecturer, Legal Skills Program
The University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth invites application for two full-time Lecturers to teach required courses in our Legal Skills Program. Our Legal Skills Program spans nine required credits over the students’ first three semesters. Lecturers may also apply to teach a summer course for additional compensation, subject to curricular needs and the law school’s standard selection process. We are hiring Lecturers beginning in July 2013. Lecturers must be available to teach one section of evening/weekend students as needed.
The law school’s mission emphasizes public service and access to legal education. The law school seeks to prepare students to practice law in a competent and ethical manner while serving the community. We offer a robust legal education program that includes nine required credits of Legal Skills, an Upper-Level Writing Requirement, simulated practice courses, in-house and off-campus clinical programs, and a field placement program under the guidance of experienced practitioners.
Applicants must have a law degree, strong academic credentials, and previous experience teaching legal writing (with a strong preference for full-time experience). Interested applicants should submit an application package including (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) a list of three references, (4) two samples of feedback on student work (anonymized), (5) a copy of prior student evaluations, and (6) a writing sample of no longer than ten pages. Please submit applications electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org, and place the words “Law School FTL Positions” in the subject line. You may address the cover letter to Prof. Shaun Spencer, Chair, FTL Hiring Committee. The application period will close on than April 18, 2013. Initial interviews will take place on April 25 and 26, with final interviews in early May.
UMass Law is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and student body, and encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups who will add diversity to the Law School Community.
The University of Massachusetts reserves the right to conduct background checks on all potential employees.
UMass Dartmouth is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Title IX Employer.
Law Lecturer Bar Passage Position at U of Denver
Law-Lecturer, Bar Passage Programs, Part-Time (004566) Posted Hiring Range: Competitive Estimated start date: 6/01/2013
Term: 12 months per year, non-renewable
Work Schedule: 20 hours per week
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is a top 100 law school with nationally ranked programs in environmental and natural resources law, legal writing, clinical training, international law and tax law. Our curriculum is innovative and global in its perspective, and our faculty are some of the finest in the nation.
This Lecturer position is a one-year (12-month) half-time appointment (20 hours per week). The position is open until filled with anticipated service to commence no later than June 1, 2013. The primary duties and responsibilities are serving as a teacher and bar passage advisor to support the law school’s Bar Passage Program. As a member of the law school’s faculty, the lecturer’s duties and responsibilities will include the following: teaching one section of the law school’s academic bar passage course per academic year, serving as a co-teacher in both the winter and summer bar success programs, coaching individual students and graduates in successfully preparing for the bar exam, and providing assessment assistance to the law school’s overall assessment goals and bar passage program. Some evening and weekend work is required as the law school has both day and evening programs, and the lecturer is expected to be available to work on campus throughout the entire year in service of the winter and summer bar success programs. Applications received by April 1st will receive first consideration, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.
* JD or equivalent
* At least one year of legal experience.
* Demonstrated interest in teaching.
Application Process and Contact Information:
Applicants must complete the online application at www.dujobs.org. Please include a resume, cover letter and the names of 3 business references. Applications received by April 1st will receive first consideration, but applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled. For more information or to apply, please visit http://www.dujobs.org/. Questions regarding hiring can be addressed to Professor Eli Wald, Chair, Visiting Appointments Committee, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, email@example.com.
DU and its Sturm College of Law are committed to enhancing the diversity of our faculty and staff. We are strongly dedicated to the pursuit of excellence by including and integrating individuals who represent different groups as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin, religion and veteran status. DU is an EEO/AA employer.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Call for Proposals for AALS 2014 Balance in Legal Education SectionThe section on Balance in Legal Education is pleased to announce its program topic for the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association of Law Schools as "The Many Connections Between Well-Being and Professionalism in the Practice of Law." The focus of this topic will be how well-being contributes to, and may indeed be necessary for, the ethical, civil, and responsible practice of law. This topic naturally calls upon presenters to think about the intersection between the growing research in the field of law student and lawyer well-being and traditional law school subjects such as professional responsibility, as well as practice-oriented classes such as clinical courses, legal writing, and trial practice.
The Section is seeking a double session for this program consisting of two 90-minute parts. The first part would be devoted to more theoretical presentations on what the psychological and sociological literature tells us about how problems with well-being might affect the professional development of law students and the responsible practice of law. The second part would be devoted to presentations and demonstrations on how we can teach students to improve their well-being as part of an integrated approach to the development of a personally satisfying and ethically responsible professional identity.
The Balance in Legal Education section draws both its governing board and its general membership from all segments of the legal academic community, and believes that its program topic will be both interesting and relevant to many of you.
The list of speakers is currently only partially formulated, so we invite proposals for speakers, as well as papers from non-speakers. The Section has obtained a commitment from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review to publish papers relating to this program. If you have an interest in being considered as a panel member on this topic, or in submitting a paper for publication (or both), please contact me at your earliest opportunity, but in any event no later than April 30, 2013, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your submission should include a brief description of the perspective that you would bring to the topic, whether you wish to be a member of the panel and/or prepare a paper for publication, and a copy of a current curriculum vitae. We encourage new as well as experienced teachers to submit proposals. We will give preference to presentation proposals that include interactive demonstrations of teaching methods and collaborative work with other program participants, and we are especially interested in how these issues can be addressed in large traditional classroom settings.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Law Instructor Position at CUNY
FACULTY VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
Performs teaching, research, and
guidance duties at the CUNY School of Law in area(s) of expertise as noted
below. Responsibilities may include supervising students in legal practice or
Shares responsibility for committee
and department assignments including administrative, supervisory, and other
The CUNY School of Law Clinical
Program has been nationally recognized as one of the best in legal education.
It affords each student the opportunity to engage in the practice of law by
learning through service to underserved communities. The Law School currently
offers seven live-client clinical programs and three faculty-supervised
externship programs. CUNY School of Law faculty members have been recognized as
innovative leaders in clinical legal education, through service, publications,
and participation at conferences.
CUNY School of Law's Immigrant &
Refugee Rights Clinic (IRRC) represents and supports non-citizens in a variety
of settings and courts, covering immigration law and issues at the intersection
of law and security. The current mission of the IRRC is to provide a platform
for the exploration, development and implementation of ideas and strategies to
close the growing legal divide between citizens and non-citizens of the United
States of America. At the heart of our work is a principled commitment to the
rights and dignity of all.
By supporting and representing
immigrants and other non-citizens, we aim to train law students to become
thoughtful, principled, and creative social justice lawyers, empowered with the
skills needed to confront the degradation in the rights of citizens and
non-citizens alike that has been wrought under the guise of security and public
safety but is driven by oppressive and discriminatory forces.
The IRRC is a two-semester, 16-credit
clinic. More detailed information about the full breadth of our work is
available at www.law.cuny.edu/academics/clinics/immigration.html.
The Law School will hire an
Instructor responsible for live case supervision, project management,
co-teaching, and curricular development in the IRRC. Applicants should have a
demonstrated commitment to CUNY School of Law's social justice mission and
should wish to contribute to the training and development of lawyers dedicated
to social justice and public service.
The tenure-track faculty member
directing the IRRC has the ultimate responsibility for the overall operation of
the program, including the classroom component, the administration of the
clinic, and supervision of students' casework. The IRRC director will meet that
responsibility with the support of the Instructor. In the IRRC director's
absence, the Instructor will assume the responsibility or share it with other
faculty, as determined by the director, in consultation with the Associate Dean
for Clinical Programs.
This position is full-time and
Instructors must be available for and interested in teaching, participating in
clinic faculty meetings during the school year, summer clinic work (including
case management), assisting with the design and development of curriculum
materials during the summer, and performing other duties for the benefit of the
overall program. This position may also involve evening and weekend duties. In
accordance with the law school's needs, the Instructor may be required to teach
in other or additional clinics, in lawyering seminars, in a doctrinal course,
and/or to provide academic skill instruction or other program support.
In the first two years of service,
Law Instructors may opt into participating in faculty meetings, pursuant to the
CUNY School of Law Governance Plan. They may also assume other faculty
governance responsibilities and serve on committees as appointed by the Dean or
the Committee on Committees.
Upon reappointment for three or more
years of continuous service, they may participate in governance activities
without an annual opt in process.
This job may include weekend and
J.D. or L.L.B; admission to the Bar
of the State of New York and to various federal courts required.
Applicants who are not yet admitted
but are in a position to secure such admission within six months will be
considered with the understanding that continued employment may be contingent
on successful admission within that timeframe. Also required are demonstrated
legal ability, the ability or potential to teach successfully, interest in
productive scholarship, legal work, or law-related work, and the ability to
cooperate with others for the good of the institution.
For appointment as Law Instructor,
the candidate must have demonstrated commitment to poverty law, public service,
or social justice lawyering. S/he must show potential as a teacher in the
classroom and in supervising students on cases, and as a leader in the public
interest community. S/he should have a minimum of two years practice experience
at the start of her/his first contract term at CUNY, with some exposure to or a
strong interest in law and security issues and immigration law, and a desire
and ability to support IRRC community-based lawyering initiatives, such as the
Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project, a
cross-clinical collaboration with the Criminal Defense Clinic (more details
about CLEAR are available at www.cunyclear.org), and other immigration-related
Depending on docket need, coverage
responsibilities during the academic year and the summer will encompass cases
and projects stemming from extraterritorial imprisonment, extrajudicial
killing, domestic detention, surveillance, and policing issues, as well as a
full range of immigration matters and projects, including deportation defense,
asylum, and gender violence related work.
Candidates with clinical teaching or
supervisory experience are encouraged to apply, as are any candidates who
already hold or have held an active federal security clearance or who are
willing to apply for one and are not clearly ineligible.
CUNY offers faculty a competitive
compensation and benefits package covering health insurance, pension and
retirement benefits, paid parental leave, and savings programs. We also provide
mentoring and support for research, scholarship, and publication as part of our
commitment to ongoing faculty professional development.
$39,832 - $86,595; commensurate with
experience, plus summer case coverage stipend where applicable.
HOW TO APPLY
From our job posting system, select
"Apply Now", create or log in to a user account, and provide the
requested information. If you are viewing this posting from outside our system,
access the employment page on our web site, www.cuny.edu , and search for this
vacancy using the Job ID or Title.
Candidates should provide a Cover
letter and CV/resume. It is recommended you submit these as one PDF document.
For position inquiries contact:
Coordinator of Faculty Recruitment
Review of applications to begin March
JOB SEARCH CATEGORY
CUNY Job Posting: Faculty
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITYWe are committed to
enhancing our diverse academic community by actively encouraging people with
disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women to apply. We take pride in our
pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and
inclusion. EO/AA Employer.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Asst. Director of ASP at UC-IrvineThe University of California, Irvine, School of Law invites applications
for the position of Assistant Director of Academic Skills. The
successful candidate will develop, enhance, and implement a program to
assist students in the transition to law school, to promote their
successful completion of the J.D. program, and to prepare them to sit
for the bar exam. Ideally, the successful candidate will be available
to begin on May 1, 2013.
The Assistant Director’s primary
responsibility will be to work individually and in small groups with
students to improve their legal analysis, exam-taking, and time
management skills. The Assistant Director is also expected to
effectively promote the Academic Skills Program.
In collaboration with the Director of Academic Skills and faculty members, the Assistant Director will be responsible for:
and delivering a comprehensive workshop program for first-year students
on topics including class preparation, study habits, case briefing,
outlining, and exam-taking.
- Working closely with first-year
faculty members to design and administer exercises in doctrinal
subjects, and to provide individual and small group feedback on those
- Helping students excel in their doctrinal courses
and on the bar exam by providing individual academic counseling,
feedback on practice exams, and workshop programs.
- Assisting in developing the curriculum for a legal analysis course and bar preparation program.
School of Law’s inaugural class graduated in the spring of 2011. The
School projects total enrollment of approximately 341 students across
all three classes in 2013-14. At full size, the School anticipates an
annual enrollment of approximately 600 students. With the School still
in its growth stage, the Assistant Director will have a rare opportunity
to contribute to the design and implementation of the Academic Skills
Program. It is therefore expected that the new Assistant Director will
participate in developing and refining existing programs with the same
spirit of innovation that characterizes the school. The successful
candidate will be expected to exercise independence and judgment,
drawing on past experience and careful analysis of the Law School’s
The Assistant Director of Academic Skills
reports to the Director of Academic Skills and works closely with the
Assistant Dean of Student Services and the Senior Associate Dean for
Academic Affairs. The position is a full-time, twelve-month academic
appointment with the standard vacation and benefits package accorded
employees of the University of California. This is not a faculty
appointment, and residence during the summer is expected. Salary will
be commensurate with experience.
Requirements Candidates for the position must have:
Preferred: Significant experience in academic support/skills programs at the law school level.
- A J.D. from an A.B.A.-accredited law school and a record of academic and extracurricular success in law school;
- Admission to a state bar, preferably California;
least one year of experience in law practice and/or law teaching with a
focus on legal writing and analysis, preferably with experience in law
school academic skills;
- Familiarity with the subjects tested on and format of the California Bar Exam;
- Superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills;
ability to think imaginatively and critically about techniques to
improve law students’ academic development, and to design, implement and
manage innovative programs to promote that development;
ability to handle confidential information, exhibit good judgment, and
exemplify customer service in working with students, faculty, and staff;
- The ability to work collaboratively with a diverse and growing population of students, faculty and administrators; and
- The ability to juggle multiple competing priorities and meet firm deadlines.
TO APPLY: To
be considered for this position, applicants should submit the following
materials using UC Irvine’s on-line application system, RECRUIT,
located at https://recruit.ap.uci.edu/apply/JPF01917:
- Cover letter
- Relevant publications and/or writing samples
- Contact information for three references
of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the
position is filled; preference will be given to applications received by
April 20, 2013.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The Downward Slope
For most law schools, the semester is on the downward slope to exams - the midpoint for classes has passed. Students who have been putting things off are waking up to the fact that time is not on their side any longer.
Many law students whose Spring Breaks are over used the recent time away from class to catch up: outlines were started or completed, paper research was started or completed, and paper drafts were begun. Law students with Spring Break this week are planning the same machinations.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of the time left in the semester:
- Add to course outlines weekly so that new material is pulled together while it is still fresh.
- Write down all of your questions for each course and get them answered now: by classmates, by professors, or through study aids.
- List all of the topics and subtopics that must be learned for each exam course to get a realistic view of the amount of material.
- Estimate the amount of time needed to learn each topic already covered in class to the level needed to walk into the exam.
- Schedule learning that same older material for no more than two-thirds of the remaining class period; reserve the other weeks for learning the new material that has not yet been covered. For example, if there are six weeks left, try to learn the first eight or nine weeks of material in four weeks and reserve the remaining two weeks to learn brand new material. During the exam period, focus on the last one to two weeks of new material and review everything else.
- Do as many practice questions as possible for each exam course. However, it is ineffective to do practice questions on a topic before you have intensely studied it. Wait a few days after intensely studying a topic before you do practice questions - you want to see if you retained the information well enough to get the answers correct.
- Do not skip classes because professors will begin to give information about the final exams and pull material together.
- Also do not skip classes because the last few weeks are often heavily tested when the course builds over the semester.
- Expect every step for researching and writing a paper to take longer than you think it will. Plan your work accordingly.
- Leave ample time to edit your paper in stages for specific aspects rather than edit for everything at once. Stages might be for logic, grammar, punctuation, style, accurate quotations, citations, tables/exhibits, or other appropriate categories.
The last part of the semester will be more productive if there is a plan for using the time. Do not waste time just thinking about study tasks; start studying in earnest. (Amy Jarmon)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Several law students have recently bemoaned the pettiness and spitefulness of other law students. It is not uncommon in the midst of the competition and the quest for superiority that some law students denigrate others' intelligence or abilities or accomplishments. They think the put-downs show their own competence and lessen the other person's worth. They want to sabotage their competition with mean remarks.
In truth, the inferior ones are the law students who feel compelled to make such remarks, to taunt other law students, and to tout their own superiority. They are simply not nice people. And if it were not for the self-contained environment of the law school, everyone could easily avoid them.
Too often law students react to these toxic people in ways that encourage them rather than short-circuit their venom. Onlookers will snicker to feel accepted by these toxic students or to cover up their own insecurities. The fawning snickerers should beware; toxic law students don't have loyalty to anyone except themselves. One slip and the fawner today can be the target next week.
Other law students stand by silently and say nothing even though they know the behavior is unacceptable. They don't want to get involved. They don't want to tell the toxic law student to apologize or to leave the other person alone. They could counter the snide remark with a positive one to the student who has just been put down. Or they could even befriend the student who is the target.
How sad that the people who are some day going to be officers of the court and supposedly uphold justice and protect the vulnerable are so unwilling to act professionally during law school. The toxic ones will probably turn into the arrogant partners who bully new associates and paralegals. The fawners will continue to be spineless ingratiators in practice. The silent onlookers will continue to not take a stand once they are admitted to the bar.
Fortunately, there are some law students who know the difference between right and wrong and will come to the defense of others. Instead of fuming later, they will intervene at the time. They will be polite, even diplomatic, but stand up for what is appropriate behavior among professionals.
Some law students will likely comment that nothing can be done and that it is just the way law school is. However, each law student's individual actions can impact the atmosphere of a law school. If each person who does not like the toxic behavior that develops in law schools were to oppose that behavior, law schools would be less stressful places for everyone. (Amy Jarmon)
Monday, March 18, 2013
Academic dishonesty and academic distress
Many law students and law professors think the student most likely to be involved in academic dishonesty is the gunnar. The gunnar will do anything to get ahead, including cheating or plagiarizing materials. The gunnar is the student that either impresses or annoys the professor, and either annoys or terrorizes classmates. The gunnar cheats because they want to be number one, and don't care how they become number one.
As an ASP professional, I see a different type of student involved in academic dishonesty, the student who is not deliberately breaking the rules, but is willing to do anything to survive. This is the student who will take any advice about how to succeed, because they know they are barely keeping their head above water. Unfortunately, this is also the type of student who is trying so many different strategies, that they fall behind in their legal writing projects or homework assignments for class. In desperation, they copy from commercial sources, copy from models of legal writing assignments, and break rules about collaboration on graded assignments. Unlike the gunnar, this type of student doesn't always see what they are doing as dishonest. Because they don't understand why they don't understand what is being taught, they assume everyone must be using these methods to survive.They rationalize their choices, which blinds them to the depth of their challenges.
I find that this type of student is sometimes the most difficult for an ASP professional. Oftentimes, we have built a strong relationship with the struggling student, and we know how hard they are trying. We see the student as a someone doing everything they can to succeed, so we blind overselves to the possibility that they may be turning in materials that are not their true work product. It is only when another professor turns the student in for breaking the honor code or academic policy that we see what they student has been doing.
It is important for ASP professionals to recognize that some of our most beloved students, the students we see trying so hard to succeed, are also capable of academic dishonesty. It does not serve the student or the profession to overlook their actions. It is emotionally difficult to confront a student about academic dishonesty, but it is essential to their personal and professional development. (RCF)
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Enrichment at FIU
Florida International University is a comprehensive university offering 340 majors in 188 degree programs in 23 colleges and schools, with innovative bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs across all disciplines including medicine, public health, law, journalism, hospitality, and architecture. FIU is Carnegie-designated as both a research university with high research activity and a community-engaged university. Located in the heart of the dynamic south Florida urban region, our multiple campuses serve over 50,000 students, placing FIU among the ten largest universities in the nation. Our annual research expenditures in excess of $100 million and our deep commitment to engagement have made FIU the go-to solutions center for issues ranging from local to global. FIU leads the nation in granting bachelor’s degrees, including in the STEM fields, to minority students and is first in awarding STEM master’s degrees to Hispanics. Our students, faculty, and staff reflect Miami’s diverse population, earning FIU the designation of Hispanic-Serving Institution. At FIU, we are proud to be ‘Worlds Ahead’! For more information about FIU, visit fiu.edu.
About FIU College of Law
As a vital part of Miami's only public research university, FIU College of Law is a dynamic urban law school with approximately 480 students. The College of Law currently has 30 full-time faculty members. The FIU College of Law is housed in a state-of-the-art building at the heart of the main university campus.
The FIU community and the College of Law are strongly committed to the pursuit of excellence and the goal of ensuring opportunities within the legal profession for individuals who represent different groups as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin, and religion.
Assistant Dean/Director of Academic Enrichment
The Academic Enrichment Program at the FIU College of Law seeks an individual to develop and administer a comprehensive program supporting law students from enrollment to bar examination. The Assistant Dean/Director will hold instructional faculty status as a non-tenure track lecturer in law and report to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Academic Enrichment Program is envisioned as a comprehensive component of the College of Law’s instructional platform impacting every stage of the academic program. The specific components of the program will be developed by the Assistant Dean/Director, but must span the length of the academic year and accommodate both day and evening students. In previous years, the FIU College of Law Academic Support Program has included the following responsibilities: teaching courses on legal reasoning and analysis, performing counseling with students, preparing students for the bar examination, and academic advising. The Assistant Dean/Director will work closely with the Faculty Academic Enrichment Committee; represent the interests of students participating in the academic enrichment program to members of the faculty and administration, and will coordinate efforts with faculty and administration, as appropriate.
Applicants who pass the first step in the screening process will be asked to present a proposal for a comprehensive academic enrichment program tailored to the mission and specific needs of the College of Law. Applicant proposals will identify their comprehensive vision for the Academic Enrichment Program at the FIU College of Law which may include, but is not limited to, how to assist all law students in their law school performance while maintaining a focus on at-risk students needing additional remedial support, potential use of diagnostic testing to identify areas needing improvement, utilization of varying pedagogical methods to increase proficiency under a variety of test-taking circumstances, improving comprehension and critical thinking, coordinating faculty to complement the Academic Enrichment Program, and meeting the counseling needs of students.
REQUIRED SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND EXPERIENCE
The successful candidate will have:
A J.D. from an A.B.A.-accredited law school (additional degrees in either law or education are a plus);
At least three years’ experience in legal education, and/or law teaching with a focus on legal writing and analysis, preferably with experience in law school academic, support, enrichment or related;
The ability to assess students’ academic performance consistent with the expectations of the faculty, to cultivate and enhance student learning processes and outcomes, and to design, implement and manage programs to promote academic development;
The ability to develop methods to evaluate, assess, measure, and report to the faculty and administration on the efficacy of the Academic Enrichment Program;
The ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty, and administrators.
Title and Salary will be commensurate with experience. Expected Start Date: fall 2013. Although we will accept applications until the position is filled, we strongly encourage interested applicants to submit applications by April 1, 2013. Interested applicants must apply to the FIU Office of Human Resources. Applications must be submitted on-line at careers.fiu.edu. When applying please reference Job Opening ID: 505596.
FIU is a member of the State University System of Florida and is an Equal Opportunity, Equal Access Affirmative Action Employer.
Friday, March 15, 2013
A New Addition to the Multistate Bar Exam
The National Conference of Bar Examiners has announced upcoming changes to the Multistate Bar Examination. Civil Procedure is being added as the seventh content area on the MBE. Many of us knew that this addition was being contemplated, but we did not anticipate that this change would be implemented so quickly.
Per the NCBE memo, Civil Procedure will be added to the MBE beginning with the February 2015 bar examination. Thus, the number of questions per topic area will decrease. Once Civil Procedure is added, there will be 28 questions covering Contracts, and 27 questions covering each of the six remaining topics (Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Evidence, Property, and Torts).
For some students, four less Property questions is a reason to celebrate! While for others, taking an advanced Civil Procedure class may be a wise option. Stay tuned for more information regarding the coverage for the Civil Procedure MBE questions. The Civil Procedure content outlines will be updated by June 30, 2013. However, for now, you can review the Civil Procedure MEE content outlines to get an idea of what to expect.