Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hunger Makes It Hard to Learn

The Chronicle of Higher Education had an article yesterday on the issue of campus hunger. You can read the article here: How Many College Students Are Going Hungry?

We need to consider how many of our law students may face the same issue. Not all students have family or friends who can help financially. It is not unusual for a law student to comment on loan money running out before the semester runs out.

Students comment that they go to a lunch speaker to get the free food provided - but until reading a similar comment in this article, I had not thought about that comment perhaps meaning more than just liking Chipolte, Jimmy John's, or some other cuisine on offer. (I seem to have suppressed my own memories of subsisting on toast, hot tea, and canned broth at the end of tough financial months.)

Most universities have free financial advice for students, including budgeting, but the advice may be too late in the problem to help. Although we can refer students to financial aid, the re-packaging rules often mean that nothing can be done for them. University accounting rules may prohibit emergency loan programs. There are local food pantries in many communities - or local churches that provide food boxes. Some students may qualify for food stamps.

If students do not let us know the problem, we will be unable to make appropriate referrals. It is not easy to admit you have no food or the money to buy it. And learning is difficult when you are worried about your next meal - or rent - or gas - or prescription - or, well you get the idea. (Amy Jarmon) 




November 4, 2015 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Texas Bar Today Top 10 Award

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_Small (002)

The Law School Academic Support Blog has been awarded the Texas Bar Today Top 10 badge for Amy Jarmon's Wednesday, October 21st post on Multiple-Choice Exam Strategies. Thank you to the State Bar of Texas for this recognition.


November 3, 2015 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Two Positions at Whittier

Whittier Law School is now accepting resumes for the positions of Director of Bar Support and Assistant Director of Bar Support.

The Director of Bar Support helps students and graduates prepare for success on the bar exam. The Director reports to the Dean and the Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Support and collaborates closely with other faculty and staff.  The Director develops, implements, and coordinates school-wide initiatives to improve bar passage and teaches mandatory 3L bar support courses. The Director collaborates with commercial bar reviews, works with the alumni association on the school’s alumni mentoring program, tracks at-risk students, develops assessment tools, and prepares bar exam statistics and reports.

The Assistant Director reports to the Director of Bar Support and the Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Support. The Assistant Director works closely with the Director and Assistant Dean on all aspects of bar success preparation.

Whittier Law School is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes applications from all qualified individuals. These positions are academic staff, non-faculty positions.  Salary and benefits for both positions depend on a candidate's experience and other qualifications. Candidates must be graduates of an ABA law school, must hold a JD degree and possess an excellent academic record and prior work experience.  Candidates must also have passed the California Bar Exam or a bar exam in a UBE jurisdiction.

Please submit resumes and letters of interest describing qualifications for the above positions to the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Support at


Sara J. Berman, 

Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Support

Whittier Law School

3333 Harbor Boulevard

Costs Mesa, CA 92626


November 2, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Worthwhile Read: A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student

Have you read Alex Ruskell's new book, A Weekly Guide to Being a Model Law Student? If not, you will want to get a copy of this valuable resource for law students. The book was published this year by West Academic Publishing.

Alex is the Director of Academic Success and Bar Preparation at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He has held similar positions at Roger Williams University School of Law, Southern New England School of Law, and the University of Iowa College of Law.  He received his law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and has degrees from Washington and Lee University, Harvard University, and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. In addition, Alex is a Contributing Editor for the Law School Academic Support Blog and serves as a member of the Executive Committee for the AALS Section on Academic Support.

First-year students are especially anxious about exactly what they should be doing. The book is laid out with suggestions for what the student should accomplish each week. For the first semester, the initial weeks include extensive information on the study skills for the week. Later weeks combine task checklists with highlights on a new study skill or more advanced discussion of a previously introduced skill. In these later weeks, exam skills are delineated in detail. For the second semester, the first week discussion focuses on evaluation of first semester and review of exams. The later weeks are checklists with some extra tips. 

Alex has included a large number of practice questions with answers as an appendix to the volume. He has helpfully divided them into courses and topics with separate sections dependent on complexity: short, medium, and long questions.

For those of you familiar with Alex's law school comics that appear in this Blog, you will be pleased to know that each week starts with one of his drawings. I particularly liked the somewhat sad and perplexed Thanksgiving turkey given the time of the semester right now. (Amy Jarmon)


November 1, 2015 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Quick Tips from Law Students

Here are suggestions from law students on some of the software/apps they like:

For flashcards/spaced repetition:

  • Quizlet
  • Flashcardlet (a variation of Quizlet)
  • Flashcard Machine
  • SeRiouS

For visual organizers:

  • Mindjet
  • Inspiration

For to do lists:

  • Clear
  • TickTock
  • Evernote

For blocking distractions:

  • Cold Turkey
  • Self-Control

Do you have favorite apps for law school, time management, avoiding procrastination, or organizing your life? Add a comment to this post with your suggestions. (Amy Jarmon)

October 30, 2015 in Miscellany, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Associate Director of Academic Support Position at Ohio Northern

Associate Director of Academic Support

Ohio Northern University College of Law


Associate Director of Academic Support.  Rank dependent upon qualifications.  12 month appointment with eligibility for continuing appointment 

Primary Responsibilities

Be an integral part of the Academic Support Program (ASP) at Ohio Northern University College of Law; provide academic assistance for all students to improve essay writing, reading comprehension, issue spotting, and legal analysis skills; meet individually with academic at-risk students in the 1L and 2L classes or any student by request or upon recommendation by professor; host weekly essay success sessions open to all 1L students; teach one academic support based course each term; provide academic assistance and host weekly ASP sessions in the Summer Starter Program; provide input on issues such as academic assessment and data evaluation of student performance.

Required Skills

  • Strong writing, analytical, and organizational skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to communicate with groups of students

Minimum Qualifications

  • A JD from an ABA accredited law school with strong grades
  • Admission to a state bar
  • At least one year prior experience working in academic support in an ABA accredited law school, which included individual counseling of students

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with outcomes based assessment
  • Ability to think critically and innovatively about measuring student academic progress


Competitive salary, dependent on experience and qualifications.  Fringe benefits include TIAA-CREF retirement program, medical insurance, disability benefits, life insurance, and tuition remission for dependents.

College Information

Ohio Northern University is a 143 year old, coeducational, residential university related to the United Methodist Church.  In addition to law, the university has colleges of arts and sciences, business, engineering, and pharmacy.  The university is located 15 miles east of Lima and Just over an hour from Columbus, Dayton, Fort Wayne, and Toledo.  The Pettit College of Law has a 129 year history at the university and is a small College of 218 full-time students, three-fourths of whom come from outside Ohio.  The law college is accredited by the ABA and an AALS member

To Apply

            All applications must be submitted online at EOE


October 29, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Learning Curve- Call for Submissions

The Learning Curve is the official publication of the AALS Section on Academic Support and is published twice yearly, once in the summer and once in the winter. We currently are considering articles for the Winter 2016 issue, and we want to hear from you! We encourage both new and seasoned ASP professionals to submit their work.

 We are particularly interested in submissions surrounding the issue’s theme of using ASP to increase student engagement. How do you motivate students? Are you integrating ASP throughout the curriculum to offer engaging opportunities for students? Are you involved with assessment at your institution and have tools to share with your colleagues that will enhance engagement? Do you creatively use social media platforms to reach students? Please ensure that your articles are applicable to our wide readership. Principles that apply broadly- i.e., to all teaching or support program environments are especially welcome. While we always want to be supportive of your work, we discourage articles that focus solely on advertising for an individual school’s program.

Please send your submission to by no later than October 30, 2015. Attach it to your message as a Word file. Please do not send a hard-copy manuscript or paste a manuscript into the body of an email message. Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate. Our publishing software does not sup-port footnotes that run with text, so please include any references in a “References and Further Reading” list at the end of your manuscript. (Please see the articles in this issue for examples.)

For more information, you may contact Lisa Young at Please do not send inquiries to the Gmail account, as it is not regularly monitored.

We look forward to reading your work and learning from you!


The Learning Curve Editors

Lisa Young, Seattle University School of Law (Executive Editor) 

Jeremiah Ho, UMass Dartmouth (Associate Editor)

Chelsea Baldwin, Oklahoma City University (Assistant Editor)

October 28, 2015 in Publishing, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

ASSE Future Conference Sites - ASP'ers Suggest Your Schools

Hello ASP Colleagues:

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

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

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

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

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

Please respond directly to Pavel Wonsowicz, who can be reached at

Thanks in advance for responding!

Best regards,

The AASE Executive Committee

Pavel Wonsowicz, President

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

Monday, October 26, 2015

Refining Memorization Skills

Memorization comes easily to some; and is loathsome to others. Understanding your learning preferences can help you refine your memorization skills and help you retain information longer.  Listening to your inner voice and sticking with what works best for you is the best way to hone your memorization strategies.  If you have not fully explored alternative ways to memorize, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Try to find creative ways to interact with the material and keep it fresh. Think outside the box. Use a white board to write out the law, draw pictures, or color-code topics. Or, match up a concept or theory to one of your favorite songs.
  • Use a study partner or significant other to test you on your knowledge with flashcards or just talk out a subject together. If you can teach it, you know it.
  • Use other memory devices such as: flash cards, sticky notes, or a digital recorder. Carry them with you and pull them out when you have a few extra minutes. These brief reminders throughout your day will help you solidify the concepts in your memory.
  • Create mnemonics that have meaning to you or use ones that you have found in a study aid. Test yourself on these mnemonics.
  • Explain the main points of a subject or essay to someone (a family member, friend, or roommate). When you connect a topic or concept to a set of facts you create an association that helps you recall the information at a later time.
  • Create tables, flowcharts, or diagrams to illustrate difficult rules or concepts. Depending on the subject or concepts a linear or pictorial study aid makes more sense. For visual learners, these are essential.
  • Read your lecture notes or outline/study-aid aloud, record it, play it back and listen to it. When you read silently, you are likely doing a lot of skimming. However, when you read out loud, you are forming a visual and auditory pathway, which will help strengthen your memory of the material.



October 26, 2015 in Exams - Studying, Learning Styles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Assistant Director/Director of Academic Support Position at Thurgood Marshall

Assistant Director/Director of Academic Support

POSITION SUMMARY: Thurgood Marshall School of Law, recently recognized for having the most diverse student body, seeks an Assistant Director of Academic Support to join the Academic Support department. Under the supervision of the Assistant Dean for Academic Support and Bar Readiness, the Assistant Director of Academic Support will assist with the coordination and execution of strategies designed to strengthen academic support services and improve student outcomes. The ideal candidate will have a strong academic record, experience as an instructor, lecturer or tutor, and engaging presentation skills. The position is a staff position and the appointment may be at the level of assistant director or director, depending upon the experience of the candidate.


  • Deliver academic and degree plan advising to students; respond promptly to student requests.
  • Work one-on-one with students needing academic assistance.
  • Collaborate with faculty to identify areas where academic remediation is needed and create an effective outreach program to service students most in need.
  • Utilize print and broadcast media to communicate program events to students.
  • Administer and grade practice exams and maintain records of student performance.
  • Assist with the planning and implementation of the 1L Orientation and 1L Skills Academy.
  • Identify at-risk students.
  • Recommend new or additional learning interventions tailored to student performance.
  • Offer skills-based instruction in to law students in a variety of areas.
  • Is accessible to students during Law School operational hours and as needed evenings, weekends and summers.


  1. Juris Doctor from an ABA approved law school with track record of academic achievement
  2. Strong oral presentation skills and ability to remediate complex legal rules
  3. Demonstrated ability to work with diverse student body
  4. Ability to manage multiple tasks, meet deadlines and work collaboratively with existing leadership team
  5. Excellent written communication and legal writing skills
  6. Professional appearance and demeanor
  7. Candidate must be available to work Monday - Friday during business hours throughout the academic year and also willing to work evenings and weekends during bar study periods as needed.


  1. Law school teaching or tutoring experience. Trial experience may be substituted for teaching experience, on a case by case basis.
  2. Law license earned by exam, with MBE score ≥ 150
  3. Sufficiently knowledgeable in one or more MBE subject, as evidenced by academic performance, AmJur or Cali Awards
  4. Familiarity with Blackboard, TWEN, Banner, and other technologies
  5. Quantitative skills and ability to analyze or create data intensive statistical reports


Marsha Griggs                                                                                                     

Assistant Dean for Academic Support and Bar Readiness                        

Texas Southern University                                                               

Thurgood Marshall School of Law                                                 

3100 Cleburne Street                                                                                         

Houston, Texas 77004                                                                            


Texas Southern University is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment or in the provision of services on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability. 

October 25, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Two Faculty Positions at La Verne

La Verne College of Law is excited to offer 2 full-time faculty positions in the Center for Academic and Bar Readiness. Please see the position description below and if you are interested in applying, please click here.

Position Information

Functional Title

Assistant Professor Center for Academic and Bar Readiness

Position Details

Job Description Summary

This is a contract faculty position. This is not a tenure or tenure-track position. This position has a series of presumptively renewable contract of varying lengths. The person employed in this position will teach academic and bar readiness courses with the possibility of teaching doctrinal courses. This is a 12-month position.

Specific Duties

Job duties include designing and assisting with the law school’s academic and bar readiness classes, workshops, and events; assisting the Asst. Dean and the Director of the Center for Academic and Bar Readiness in designing and implementing innovative academic and bar readiness programs and evaluating existing courses and programs; teaching workshops and/or classes related to law school and bar exam preparation; counseling and working with students in individual and small group sessions. Providing intensive support for graduates during the bar review period as they prepare for the bar exam. Additional duties include developing learning outcomes, exercises and assessments designed to help students develop into self-regulated learners

Minimum Qualifications

Juris Doctorate. Have taken and passed a bar examination in any U.S. jurisdiction. Good oral and written communication skills, strong analytical/critical thinking skills.

Preferred Qualifications

Admitted to practice law in the State of California. Teaching experience, working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and Power Point.

Benefits Summary

The hiring range for this position is dependent upon qualifications and departmental equity. Benefits of employment include a comprehensive health and welfare plan, tuition remission program for employee, spouse and dependent children and a generous 10% contribution to the University’s 403B retirement plan.


Ontario CA, College of Law

Posting Details

Posting Number



October 24, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 23, 2015

For ASP'ers Job Hunting

You might want to check out a short article by Dan Royles in The Chronicle for Higher Education this week: Killer Apps for the Academic Job Search. He suggests three useful ways to employ technology for your search. (Amy Jarmon)

October 23, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Registration for Legal Writing Institute One-Day Workshops

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

To register, please go  This year, twelve schools are hosting workshops between December 4 and December 11, 2015

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

We look forward to seeing you at a workshop. 

All the best,

Cindy Archer, Loyola Law School Los Angeles

Jason Palmer, Stetson Law 

Amy Stein, Hofstra Law School 

2015 One-Day Workshops Co-Chairs


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

WCCASP Conference Registration

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

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

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

- Shane

Shane Dizon

Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement

California Western School of Law 

225 Cedar Street

San Diego, CA 92101

Office: 350 Building, 2nd Floor

Phone: 619-515-1578


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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Multiple-Choice Exam Strategies

The old adage from college about multiple-choice was that you just had to study enough to recognize the right answer among the wrong answers. That bit of advice does not work for law school multiple-choice questions.

In law school, professors have a variety of styles when they write multiple-choice questions. The "best answer" format is popular. Some professors use a "circle all right answers" format. Other professors have answers that designate combinations of answers (a, b and d; b, c, e and f). Then there are professors who end their answer lists with "all of the above" and "none of the above."

Fact patterns may vary in length from one sentence to more than a page. There may be one question per fact pattern or multiple questions per fact pattern. The multiple questions for a fact pattern may be completely separate from one another or "waterfall" so that the answer to the second question depends on the correct analysis on the first question and the answer to the third question depends on the correct analysis on the second question.

With so many variations, law students often feel at a loss how to proceed. Some strategies tend to work for all of the variations:

  • First read the question that you are asked to answer at the end of the fact pattern (or before the answer choices). You want to make sure that you answer this precise question.
  • Realize that the question asked may have some interesting characteristics that you need to note:
  1. It may give you the issue (examples: "which motion will be filed" or "what crime will be charged").
  2. It may assign you a role (examples: judge or prosecutor or defense attorney).
  3. It may indicate a jurisdiction (examples: "under common law" or "in Texas).
  4. It may specify facts (examples: "if Phil were 14 years old" or "if the statute of limitations were 3 years").
  • After reading the question, you should then read the fact pattern with that specific question in mind. At the end of the fact pattern you should have the answer to the question in mind to help you analyze each answer choice.
  • Read each of the individual answer choices carefully and decide for each whether it is a good or bad answer. Use a coding system that makes sense to you: yes/no; true/false; plus/minus.
  • Do not skip any of the individual answer choices when you do your analysis. The best answer may be "the defendant is not liable unless..." even though when you finished reading the fact pattern you were sure that the best answer choice would begin with "the defendant is liable."
  • If the answer format indicates that you need to consider combinations, then your coding of individual answer choices should indicate the correct combination answer. For example, if your coding indicated that a, b, and d were good answer choices:
  1. you would pick the answer choice "a, b, and d" and ignore any other combinations
  2. "all of the above" could not be correct since you thought c was a bad answer choice
  3. "none of the above" could not be correct since you thought a, b, and d were good answer choices
  • To avoid holding the facts and rules that apply in your head while you consider answer choices, consider writing the rule and relevant facts in the margins of the exam paper or on provided scrap paper to allow you to easily evaluate each answer choice against that information.
  • Even if you are not 100% sure of an answer choice when you consider a question, circle your best answer choice on the exam paper and bubble in the answer choice on the Scantron sheet before you move to the next question. This method prevents you from misaligning your bubbled answer choices because you forgot you skipped a question. It also prevents you from leaving the question bubble blank if you run out of time to return to the question.
  • For any question that you want to return to for a second look, indicate that status in the exam paper margin with the percentage of certainty for the answer choice you bubbled in (examples: 80% or 70% or 60%; use a ? for 50% or less). Do not change the answer choice when you return to the question unless you are more than that percentage sure that the new answer choice would be correct.
  • Rather than trying to keep track of the time available for each question (example: 2 minutes), designate time checkpoints and the number of questions you should have completed by that time checkpoint.
  1. Example for 60 questions in 2-hour exam starting at 1:00 p.m.: 15 questions completed by 1:30 p.m.; 30 questions completed by 2:00 p.m.; 45 questions completed by 2:30 p.m.; 60 questions completed by 3:00 p.m.).
  2. You can reserve time for review out of the overall time and distribute the remaining time over the questions (for the example in 1: reserve 30 minutes for review; then you would have to complete 20 questions for each of three 30-minute checkpoints at 1:30, 2:00, and 2:30).
  3. You can use more checkpoints if you tend to go too fast or too slowly through multiple-choice questions. The additional checkpoints will monitor your time more often to indicate if you need to slow down or speed up.

Multiple-choice exams require in-depth understanding of the material so that you can determine why one answer is better than another. Completing as many practice questions as possible will assist you in learning the nuances in applying the law to each question. (Amy Jarmon)


October 21, 2015 in Exams - Studying, Exams - Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Coping with Low Motivation and Potential Burnout

It is the time of the semester when law students are getting tired. However, now is the time that focus and seriousness of purpose are even more important. Here are some tips for persevering in your studies:

  • Vary your study tasks to break the monotony. Switch between tasks for the same course: read for class; update your outline; memorize some flashcards; complete a practice question. Or switch between courses every hour.
  • Become more actively engaged in your study tasks. Ask questions about what you are reading. Read aloud to use inflection and tone to stay focused. Explain aloud what you just read to quiz yourself.
  • Break your study tasks on your to-do list into small pieces to prevent being overwhelmed. Thirty pages of reading becomes six five-page chunks or the separate cases that are more manageable. Writing a paper becomes writing separate sections or two-page chunks. An hour of practice questions becomes separate questions to complete.
  • Cross off each small task on your to-do list when it is completed. You will see progress more quickly which will motivate you more.
  • If the small piece you have broken a task into still seems too overwhelming on a particular day, break it down even more: one page to read; one paragraph to write. It is getting started that is the hardest; once you start you will usually be able to keep going.
  • Take short breaks to regain your focus. After 90 minutes, take a 10-15 minute break to give your brain a rest. Our brains continue to work in the background even as we take a break - think of it as their catching up on filing things away.
  • Move around during your breaks: walk to the water fountain and back; walk around outside; stand up and stretch. Sitting and texting does not get your blood flowing.
  • Give your brain a boost by eating an energy snack on your break if you are starting to slump. Think healthy snacks rather than sugar or caffeine: fruit, nuts, celery and carrot sticks, yogurt, granola bars.
  • If you hit a wall mentally and cannot absorb anything else, take 2-3 hours off and do something that will give yourself a total break during which you cannot think about law school: go to the cinema; play racquetball; play with your children. Afterwards return to your studies with a fresh start.
  • Agree with another law student to be an accountability partner. Help each other stay on track and make good decisions about priorities and time management. Support each other in positive study and life habits.
  • Exercise 30 minutes for 3-5 times a week. It does not have to be a long gym workout to benefit you: walk, jump rope, run in place. By combining exercise with a meal break afterwards, you give your body and brain some extra time to revive.
  • Watch your sleep routine. The temptation is to cut back on sleep to get more studying in. But when you are tired, you absorb less material, retain less material, and are overall less productive. Get 7-8 hours of sleep regularly.
  • Avoid loading up on junk food. Your brain and body need healthy meals. Buy prepared foods in your grocery store. Use a slow cooker on the weekends to make entrees for multiple meals. Prepare a week's worth of mixed fresh fruit and other healthy snacks on the weekend.

Take one day at a time. Do the best you can with the circumstances that you have each day. Once the day is over, let it go. Do not dwell on "should haves," "could haves," and the like. Move on to the next day. (Amy Jarmon)

October 20, 2015 in Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Studying for the Downward Slope to Exams

We are already in the tenth week of our 14 week-2 day semester. There are some essential tasks for students to complete if they are going to take advantage of long-term memory in exam review.

  • Getting caught up with course outlines is very important. These are the master documents for exam study. Course outlines condense briefs and class notes to manageable page counts. In addition, these outlines refocus students on synthesis of individual cases into the bigger picture with meaningful legal tools to solve new legal scenarios.
  • Although it is important to memorize black letter law, studying for exams is far more than memorization. Students should achieve understanding: how rules and exceptions work together; how the black letter law works to solve legal problems; how policy affects the law.
  • Reading a course outline from front to back page at least once a week helps to keep all of the topics and content fresh. This cover-to-cover review prevents memory loss while the student focuses on in-depth study of specific topics or subtopics.
  • Intense review of specific topics or subtopics leads to greater understanding. By really grappling with information, a student prepares to use that material on an exam. When focusing on a specific slice of the outline, it is important to think about what the concepts really mean and why the law works as it does for the topic. During this specific study, is the time to get any confusion clarified so that the topic is truly prepared for the exam.
  • Practice questions are imperative if a student is going to succeed at the highest level on an exam. Practice questions are most effective when done several days after intense review of a topic. The questions monitor whether the student has understood the material, has retained it, and can apply it to new fact scenarios. 
  • For essay practice questions, students should write out their answers and compare them to the model answers in the practice-question books. Merely answering a question in one's head does not promote the necessary skills of organizing a complete answer and writing that answer in concise sentences.
  • For multiple-choice practice questions, students need to pay attention to the reasons for their errors. Sometimes it is misunderstood content. However, it can also be misreading questions, choosing general rather than specific answers, picking by gut rather than analysis, and other errors.

Students want to distribute their learning throughout the remaining weeks rather than cram at the very end. By promoting long-term memory instead of brain dump, they will be able to retain more information for later bar review. (Amy Jarmon)

October 19, 2015 in Exams - Studying | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Assistant Dean, Bar Prep & Academic Success Position at Barry

invites applications for the position of:

Assistant Dean, Bar Preparation & Academic Success


STARTING SALARY: Depends on Qualifications
OPENING DATE: 08/12/15
CLOSING DATE: 11/30/15 11:59 PM
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law is seeking to fill the Assistant Dean position to their CLASP (Comprehensive Legal Academic Success Program) Bar Preparation and Academic Success Program.  The Assistant Dean is responsible for providing support to students from matriculation through admission to the bar examination, with the primary goal of enhancing the learning and study skills of students; primarily responsible for overseeing all academic support and bar prep functions.  
  • Maintain primary responsibility for collecting and analyzing academic support and bar preparation data.
  • Maintain responsibility for training CLASP Counselors on providing data for analyzing academic support and bar preparation data.
  • Maintain primary responsibility for training and support of CLASP counselors.
  • Provide intensive individual academic counseling to assigned students and advise them on various academic issues.  For those students on probation, advise students on the petitioning process to obtain an additional semester of discretionary probation.
  • Provide individual academic counseling to all students considered at-risk and/or those seeking to improve their academic performance.
  • Advise and approve course selections for students below an established GPA with the goal of providing a balanced legal education that aims to improve students’ success in law school and on the bar exam.
  • Counsel with the student’s assigned faculty mentor to provide the best advice to students.
  • Assess individual students’ learning styles and assist students in identifying the most effective study plans and strategies.  Review and provide individual feedback on students’ practice exams, outlines, and overall study and exam-taking skills.  Upon request by students or faculty, conduct individual exam reviews with students. 
  • Continually evaluate student performance, identifying which students appear to be struggling or at-risk; initiate and maintain contact with those who are at-risk or on probation.
  • Monitor progress and compliance with requirements of assigned students to include bar application, AMP and BEAT workshops, MPRE requirements, and other CLASP requirements through the creation and maintenance of student portfolios; notify students of due dates; file Student Conduct Code violations where appropriate.
  • Counsel and advise students regarding bar applications and admission, including all issues pertaining to the bar application.
  • Assist students in reviewing answers to practice bar exams and provide advice regarding exam strategy.
  • Attend and support students at each Florida Bar exam administration.
  • Plan and organize workshops designed to assist students with the bar applications.
  • Coordinate with CLASP counselors to monitor student progress on bar application completion.
Serve on faculty committees where appropriate and assigned.
5.  Assist in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of student data, performance, and outcome measures and assessments consistent with ABA standards.  
  • Remain educated on bar preparation and ASP pedagogy, trends, and developments.
  • Attend professional conferences aimed to improve students’ success.
7.   OTHER DUTIES:  Perform other related duties as assigned or as required.
  • JD from an ABA accredited law school required
  • Admission to a state bar, and strong academic records
  • 5-8 years of related work experience
  • Legal work experience in private practice, non-profit organizations, government, corporate, or judicial clerkship preferred
  • At least one year experience teaching legal writing/legal methods, or working in academic support and/or counseling law students from diverse backgrounds. 
  • At least two years of supervisory experience.
  • Strong skills in legal analysis and legal writing.
  • Ability to create, design, and manage programs aimed at at-risk students and students on academic probation.
  • Position requires multi-tasking, detail oriented skills
  • Excellent writing, analytical, speaking, organizational, and interpersonal skills required to work with diverse student body.
  • Experience in program management desirable.
Salary commensurate with experience. 

This position is located in Orlando, FL at 6441 East Colonial Drive. 

Barry University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment.



11300 NE 2 Avenue
Miami Shores, FL 33161

Position #00499


Assistant Dean, Bar Preparation & Academic Success Supplemental Questionnaire
* 1. Do you have a Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school?
  Yes Yes    No No
* 2. Do you have admission to a State Bar?
  Yes Yes    No No
* 3. Do you have 5-8 years of related experience?
  Yes Yes    No No
* 4. Do you have at least one year experience teaching legal writing/legal methods, or working in academic support and/or counseling law students from diverse backgrounds?
  Yes Yes    No No
* 5. Do you have at least 2 years of supervisory experience?
  Yes Yes    No No
* Required Question

October 15, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Associate Director Position at IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Deadline is October 19th. The position description, requirements, primary duties, and responsibilities can be found at: IU Associate Director Position.


October 12, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Legal Writing/Academic Success Program Instructor Position at NIU

The Northern Illinois University College of Law anticipates having an opening for one Legal Writing/Academic Success Program Instructor:

The Legal Writing and Advocacy Course is a core course in the first and second-year curriculum at Northern Illinois University College of Law.  The four-credit, two-semester course is structured to help first and second-year law students acquire and refine the basic legal writing and analysis skills fundamental to the successful completion of law school and to the competent practice of law.  As a secondary goal, students in Legal Writing and Advocacy are also introduced to other skills and topics important to the practice of law, including oral communication of legal issues, interviewing and counseling, professional responsibility, and motion practice.

In addition to, and in conjunction with the Legal Writing Program, Northern Illinois University College of Law assists law students in achieving their greatest potential through the Academic Success Program (ASP).  There are numerous components to ASP throughout the course of the students’ academic career at NIU Law.  As part of ASP, all 1L students participate in the Introduction to Legal Skills course during the second seven weeks of the fall semester.  This course is taught by the Legal Writing/ASP faculty and introduces students to exam-preparation, study skills, synthesis, and analytical writing.  Further, as part of ASP, select incoming 1L students are required to participate in a Jump Start Orientation program the week prior to the 1L Orientation. These students are instructed in basic analytical and rule development skills during a week of writing-intensive course work taught and implemented by the ASP Instructors.  Further, select admitted students are invited to participate in the 1L ASP based on objective criteria including undergraduate GPA and law school admission test scores.  Participation is a mandatory condition of admission for students who meet certain criteria determined by the faculty. Students participating in the program attend weekly mentor and study sessions conducted by upper-level student Graduate Assistants for their four doctrinal courses.  2L students with a GPA of 2.4 and below are required to participate in Upper-Level ASP, semester-long, one-hour, weekly, ungraded course taught by the ASP Instructors.  The writing-intensive Upper-Level ASP focuses on exam-writing, outlining, and study skills.

The Legal Writing/ASP Instructors, together with the Co-Directors of Legal Writing and Academic Success, are responsible for the delivery of the legal writing and academic success programs at Northern Illinois University College of Law.  The Legal Writing/ASP Instructors report to the Co-Directors of Legal Writing and Academic Success.  This is a ten-month position within the University.

The responsibilities of a Legal Writing/ASP Instructor include:

  • Teach the required Introduction to Legal Skills Course to first year law students
  • Teach the required Legal Writing and Advocacy Course to first and second-year law students
  • Plan and develop legal writing and legal skills problems for these courses
  • Provide individual instruction to first-year students
  • Grade and comment on legal writing and legal skills assignments
  • Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of programs tailored to help ASP students reach their full potential
  • Provide academic counseling to ASP students
  • Assist in the hiring, training, and oversight of upper-class students who serve as Graduate Assistants for ASP students
  • Assist in the planning and delivery of meetings geared toward developing general study and exam skills for the entire first-year class during the fall semester
  • Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of the week-long academic orientation program for select incoming 1L students participating in the NIU Law Jump Start Program
  • Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of the orientation program for the entire first-year class
  • Cooperate and assist with other programs involving oral and written communication skills, including the second-year moot court competition and  third-year external moot court teams
  • Provide individual instruction to students selected to participate in upper-level ASP during fall semester
  • Provide individual instruction to first-year students selected to participate in the  exam-writing seminar during spring semester
  • Assist in the planning, development, and delivery of Bar programs for upper-level students and alumni
  • Assist in the continuing in-depth evaluation of both the legal writing and academic success programs and identify and implement program improvements
  • Other responsibilities that may become necessary as determined by the Deans and      program directors

NIU Law seeks applicants for one anticipated Legal Writing/ASP Instructor position. 

Required qualifications include a J.D. from an ABA accredited law school, a valid license to practice law, strong writing skills, strong academic credentials, and a minimum of two years of teaching and/or practice experience. 

Preferred qualifications include the ability to work well within a coordinated program structure, background or training in counseling or educational theory, the ability to work with a diverse student population and strong organizational skills. 


Applicants please send a letter of application addressed to Interim Dean Mark W. Cordes stating qualifications, transcripts, current curriculum vitae, writing sample, and contact information for two professional references to:

Tita Kaus

Administrator, Office of the Dean

Applications will be received until the end of business day, Thursday, November 5, 2015. 

In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check.

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. NIU recognizes Dual Career issues.


October 9, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)