Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Waiting

Writing papers is a drag.  I think it's a safe generalization to say that most students, when faced with a writing assignment, start down the primrose path of procrastination, which pushes people to panic and plot putting down their pencils in the p.m. instead of producing a page of proper paragraphs or poetic prose, probably producing protracted palsy and palm sweat with poisonous prophecy and postgraduate poverty, prayer, and pupil pressure.

Basically, anticipating starting the work is the worst part.

So, instead of waiting until you have a few clear hours or a clear day to do your work (in most cases, seemingly the day before it is due), try to do a little bit every day as soon as you get the assignment.  Fifteen or 30 minutes every day adds up, and once you get started, your brain will likely come up with ideas during your downtime, making the entire project a lot easier and giving you time to edit and rethink the way you might be analyzing or phrasing things.

If you don't believe me, believe Tom Petty:

The Waiting -- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

(Alex Ruskell)

 

February 10, 2017 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Should I Be My Students' Teacher or Their Coach?

I just came out of a great conference.  However, it wasn't a great conference because it made me feeling better.  In fact, I left the event realizing how far I often fall short of the mark as a teacher.  But, it was great...in the sense that I learned (or perhaps re-learned) some key principles...that I can bank on in trying to BECOME a better teacher.  

So, let me cut to the chase.  Based on the principles shared by conference leader Dr. Maryellen Weimer, Professor Emeritus at Penn State University, I started to think that I might be trying too hard to teach my students.  That's right.  I might be trying so much to help my students learn that I leave very little for them to do, which is to say, that I leave them no room for learning.

You see, according to Dr. Weimer, I can't actually "learn anything for my students."  Rather it's my students that are the learners.  And, to be frank, learning is just plain hard work.  It's messy.  Its discomforting.  It's even downright excruciating sometimes.  But, I often don't want my students to feel that sort of uncomfortable frustration that is required to generate real learning.  Or, as Dr. Weimer put it, "we are often doing a lot of the hard messy work of our students" by making decisions for them, which, if true, means that our students are not truly learning.  In short, we are just teaching them to be dependent on us rather than coaching them to succeed as independent learners, to put it in my own words.

So, my sense is that my students need less of me as a teacher and more of me as a coach.  They need me to step out of the limelight, to give them fresh air to try, to let them work hard and ponder mightily as they grapple with the course materials.  That's because learning is personal.  It therefore requires lots of practice.  It requires deep engagement in the materials.  It requires sometimes (or even often) failing.

But, as Dr. Weimer pointed out, my students often do not see me fail.  Instead, they often see me demonstrating how to succeed (i.e. teaching!).  But, I didn't learn the materials through success.  Rather, I learned the materials through lots of rough 'n tumble practice (and that means through lots of trials, errors, and downright embarrassing mistakes).

So, Dr. Weimer encouraged me (us) to open up with our students, to admit our mistakes, to let our students have empowered agency to personally engage with the materials.  In short, it's time for me to teach from the sidelines, and, that means that I am not "making the big plays for my students." Instead, I am their coach on the sidelines and they are the players moving the ball downfield as learners.  That's a game that I am excited about watching.  Oh, and by the way, taking Dr. Weimer's words to heart, I admitted to my students just today that I have made lots and lots of mistakes on the path to learning how to become a lawyer, and it was through walking through those experiences that I truly learned.  (Scott Johns).

February 9, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Learning Styles, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Law School Diversity Professionals Annual Meeting

Information about this April 27-28 conference was recently posted to the ASP Listserv. The information is here: Download ASP-L6688 AMLSDP - Conference Hotel Rooms Available.

February 7, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Learning Curve Winter Issue and Next Submission Deadline - March 15

Through The Learning Curve, we hope their works here can enrich all of our work in law teaching and support.  And if you have something to contribute to the conversation, the submission deadline for next issue of The Learning Curve is March 15, 2017.  Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate, and attached as a Word file.  Please send your submissions to LearningCurveASP@gmail.com.    

The Winter 2017 issue of The Learning Curve is here: Download The Learning Curve (Winter 2017).

February 6, 2017 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

SCASP Workshop Information

5th Annual Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Workshop

Outside the Box:  Creative Strategies in Academic Support

at University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas on March 3, 2017

The Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals will host a one day conference focused on creative solutions to help students succeed.  ASP departments face the daunting task of reaching a new generation of learners with diminishing budgets.  Academic Support Professionals must adapt faster than most in academia, so we hope to provide a range of ideas to help all programs from first-year to bar passage. 

Registration is open to anyone interested in academic support.  The registration form is attached.  Return it to Elizabeth Bangs at ebangs@law.utexas.edu.  UT School of Law is located in Texas’ capital city of Austin.  Austin’s music scene and beautiful weather will make this a great place to visit in early March.

Hotel Information

A block of rooms has been reserved at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at 1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX 78705.  This hotel is located on campus.  You can book your room online at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/UTLAWA0317.

Conference Dinner – March 2nd

The University of Texas School of Law is hosting an awesome dinner cruise on Lady Bird Lake Thursday night prior to the workshop.  It will be a can’t miss event with a cash bar.  A bus will pick everyone up at the hotel around 5pm and bring everyone back after the cruise.  Please let us know if you plan to attend the dinner so we have an accurate count.

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

Steven Foster (sfoster@okcu.edu)

Director of Academic Achievement at Oklahoma City University

Elizabeth Bangs (ebangs@law.utexas.edu)

Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at University of Texas School of Law

(See the ASP Listserv announcement for the attached Registration Form.)

Schedule

March 2nd:

Dinner for anyone arriving early.

March 3rd:

9-9:50 – Using a Practical Skills Curriculum to Improve Academic Success – Ellen Pryor and team from UNT Dallas’ School of Law

10-10:50 – Practical Methods to Integrate a Growth Mindset into the Curriculum – Carrie Sperling from the University of Wisconsin School of Law

11-11:50 – Utilizing Early Assessment Tools to Help At-Risk Students in First Semester – Camesha Little and DeShun Harris from Texas A&M University School of Law

12-12:50 – Lunch

1-1:50 – A Deep Look at Variables that Predict Bar Exam Outcome – Cassie Christopher from Texas Tech School of Law

2-2:50 – Providing the Last Piece of Supplemental Instruction to Get Students Passed the Bar – Scott Johns from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law

February 5, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

NY Academic Support Workshop Coming Up

Dear ASP friends;

We are pleased to announce this year’s full-day NY Academic Support Workshop, to be held from 9:30 to 5:30 at New York Law School on March 31st.  This will be an intimate gathering of academic support professionals and colleagues actively working to learn from one another. 

As is our usual practice, the afternoon sessions of the workshop will have an open agenda and room to include any subject of interest to those in attendance, while the morning sessions will be centered on a specific topic. For this year’s morning session we would like to concentrate on interactive/experiential learning and academic support. What new ideas do you have for interactive ASP exercises? Is the new emphasis on experiential learning inherently ASPish? Is ASP inherently experiential? Is there any tension in the curriculum between the two? Any and all insights, discussions, ideas or activities on this topic will be welcome.

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

RSVP to Kris and Linda, at addresses below and cc’d above. Since this workshop is not a formal conference, there will be no fee to attend. 

We hope to see many of you soon!

Kris Franklin                                  Linda Feldman                                                  

New York Law School                  Brooklyn Law School                      

kris.franklin@nyls.edu                   linda.feldman@brooklaw.edu                    

February 4, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Easy

If you are taking the February Bar exam, remember there are several easy things you can do to score points:

  1.  On the MPT, follow the directions -- If the task memo says that argument titles have to contain a legal argument or that you don't need to talk about some issue, make sure you do what it says.  Imagine if you were writing whatever the assignment is for your boss or a judge -- imagine how ticked he or she would be if you didn't follow a simple direction.
  2. Pretend essay and MPT questions are real life -- Don't view the bar exam as some abstract hoop you have to jump through.  What would real people do in this situation?  For example, if you were in court trying to convince a judge that a child of divorced parents should be allowed to move to a different state, would you say "The wife has put things in place to keep the husband involved in their child's life" or would you say  "Wife has installed FaceTime on her child's computer, set up a weekly FaceTime date with husband, bought Xbox gold so father and child can play Halo together, and scheduled a trip every 15th of the month for child to see father"? 
  3. Plan for the worst on bar exam day -- Study so much that it doesn't throw you off your game if your computer catches fire or the person next to you cries.  Have a backup plan for getting to the bar exam if there is a transit strike or your car is stolen.
  4. Don't panic if you don't know the exact rule -- Even if you have never studied family law, you could probably guess that the best interests of a child include mental and physical health, friends, and his or her relationship with his or her parents.  Even if you don't remember the elements for adverse possession, you could probably guess it needs to be open and notorious, and that you don't necessarily get the entire parcel if you just possess part of it.  
  5. Always build around a rule -- IRAC is your friend!  If you don't state some clear rule in the first or second sentence of an essay, you're probably just rambling.
  6. Don't skip MBE questions -- You only have 1.8 minutes per question -- how is coming back later going to help?
  7. Don't talk yourself out of MBE answers -- You've studied and gone to law school.  Most of the time, your first choice is more likely to be right than the second one that you only chose because you spent 30 seconds talking yourself out of the first choice.
  8. There's not a lot of new things under the sun -- More than likely, questions and essays will focus on that subject's major points of law (i.e., negligence, diversity jurisdiction, intestacy, etc.).  Do a lot of practice questions in those areas.
  9. This is not the time to be nice to yourself -- You only have a few weeks left, so study as much as you can.  You can relax and kick back later.
  10. For the love of all that is good, stay off the Internet --  Salt-throwing cooking videos are fun, but not helpful.  Social media political discussions are pointless.  You will not miss anything important if you take an Internet (and phone) break for the next few weeks.  If the earth is visited by aliens, someone will let you know.
  11. Keep everything easy -- The Commodores -- Easy                                                                                         (Alex Ruskell)

February 3, 2017 in Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Friendly "To-Dos" in Preparation for the February Bar Exam!

February Bar-Takers!

Here's a list of friendly "to dos" as you prepare for success on your bar exam (adapted from Pass the Bar!):

  1. Confirm the exam location, times, transportation solutions, and parking locations, etc.
  2. Pack your bar exam items (i.e., baggies, pencil sharpeners, extension cord, etc.).
  3. Plan your lunches (i.e., bring a cooler-filled lunch in case the lines are too long at restaurants).
  4. Test your games plans and memory for each subject area (two subjects per day) by rehearsing, writing, talking, singing, etc., your lines.
  5. Practice 34 MBE questions per day & one essay question to keep you in the flow for success.
  6. Get exercise every day!
  7. Start going to bed early to adjust for bar exam time!
  8. Plan how you'll celebrate once all of the hard work of bar exam preparation is successfully completed in just two weeks.
  9. And, remind yourself daily why you will pass your bar exam!  (Scott Johns)

February 2, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Simulated Exam Meltdown

      Most bar review programs include a simulated practice exam which might be a full MBE, a full written day, or a combination. First time bar takers might be apprehensive about completing the simulated exam under timed circumstances but they typically complete the task because they are fearful of not doing what they need to do to be successful on the bar exam. For repeat bar takers, it is a little more of a challenge. Repeat bar takers hold on to memories of all of the effort they previously put forth and the negative result it yielded. Often, these students might either start but never finish the simulated exam or complete the simulated exam but experience emotional trauma. For students who finish the task, the raw score is a verdict on how they will perform on the exam. When things seem to fall apart, this is the time to remain optimistic, not give up, and expect the best. Keeping the exam in perspective is imperative.

      The bar exam is only a few weeks away so be realistic about what you can accomplish in the weeks and days to come, cater to your weaknesses because what you are afraid of will show up on your exam, visualize the exam taking process, and be positive. Good luck to all of the February bar takers. (Goldie Pritchard)

February 1, 2017 in Bar Exam Preparation, Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Meet Goldie Pritchard, Contributing Editor

GPritchard Picture 2 (1)

I am Goldie Pritchard and I love what I do!  I recognize that it is quite rare for one’s passion and proficiency to intersect but please do not think that I am not challenged on a regular basis. I serve as one of two Co-Directors of the Academic Success Program at Michigan State University College of Law (MSU-COL) and as Adjunct Professor.  I have worked at MSU-COL for seven and a half years now and had the unique opportunity to create and establish the academic support program we currently have which is now an integral part of the law college.  I started as Interim Director and later became Co-Director providing general academic support and bar exam preparation support.  As an adjunct professor, I teach Effective Legal Analysis and Process, a 1L course and Problem-Solving in Contracts, a bar preparation course.  For approximately two and half years, I served as Director of the Legal Education Opportunity, a conditional admission program MSU-COL no longer offers.  When I was a law student, my mentor encouraged me to enter the academic support workforce but I resisted for a period of time.  Who knew that years later, this would be the best professional move for me.

I also serve as advisor to the Black Law Student Association and participate in various support programs lead by the Diversity Services Office and targeting students of color.  For my own professional development, I strive to stay engaged with the Academic Support Section of Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) by serving on committees.  I had the opportunity to chair the ASP section program at AALS one year and to present at AASE another year. 

Writing for the Law School Academic Support Blog has been a rewarding experience for me thus far.  It gives me an opportunity to reflect on what I do, how I do it, how to maximize impact with limited resources, and how to best engage students in their learning.  I am very grateful for this opportunity.

January 31, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 30, 2017

States Banning the New MacBook Pro for the February Bar Exam

A number of states are banning the use of the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar for the February bar exam because of issues with fully disabling the touch bar functions when using ExamSoft.  ASPers at law schools may want to check out the recent chain of emails on the ASP Listserv.  Some state bars have started posting official announcements on their websites. Keep a watch for what your state is doing.

 

January 30, 2017 in Bar Exam Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Dean's Fellow Position at Whittier

Position available for recent JD graduates who want to be in Academic Support: Download Deans Fellow ASP Job Description

January 29, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Reminder: Deadline for Proposals to Present at NALSAP Conference Due Feb. 3rd

Reposted from earlier:

The NALSAP Conference Committee is now accepting program proposals! The Call for Proposals document (PDF) is available by clicking here. Because we all wear many hats, presentation proposals will be accepted on a wide variety of topics. An example is included with the Call for Proposals document.

Proposals should be submitted no later than Friday, February 3, 2017. If you have any questions, please email the Conference Committee Co-Chairs Rebekah Grodsky and Emily Scivoletto at nalsapconference@gmail.com

January 28, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

About the AALS Section on Academic Support Program Committee

      On Friday, January 6, 2017, several brave souls woke up early to attend the Academic Support (ASP) Business Meeting scheduled for 7:30AM. Some had seen colleagues at presentations earlier in the week while others were seeing colleagues for the very first time. In true ASP fashion, someone at the business meeting suggested we move chairs into a circle and introduce ourselves. There was a mix of veteran, mid-career, and new ASPers. Aside from the usual flow of a business meeting, one of the key conversations addressed how to include ASPers who are unable to attend the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting in the ASP business meeting.

      The business meeting was immediately followed by the Section on Academic Support Program: “Why Academic Support Matters.” The Program was moderated by Professor Danielle Bifulci Kocal who also chaired the programming committee. Speakers included Louis N. Schulze, James McGrath, and Richard Sorrow. Topics discussed included alternative justifications for academic support, how to convince administration and doctrinal faculty to adopt proven learning techniques, and how to integrate academic support methods into doctrinal courses. The program was well attended; we all laughed at funny pictures and learned about a few helpful must-have books, resources and techniques.

      Aside from programs led by the Section on Academic Support , several ASPers attended the AALS Hot Topic Program: “Declining Bar Exam Scores, the New Bar Pass Accreditation Standard, and Ensuring new Lawyer Competence: a Perfect Storm” which prompted much discussion.

      AALS typically makes audio recordings of all of the sessions and makes them available to member schools. (Goldie Pritchard)

 

AALS2017

Picture of the Section on Academic Support Program courtesy of Professor Twinette Johnson

January 25, 2017 in Meetings, Professionalism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Academy Fight Song

As your grades are coming in, you may be less than happy with how things are turning out. Use this to your advantage.

In all honesty, the best thing that ever happened to me during my college career was getting a C on my first English paper.

When I went to talk to the professor, a man who wore seersucker suits and looked like a cross between Mark Twain and Colonel Sanders, he said in his genteel Virginia-tidewater accent, “Is English your first language? Your name is Russian. Are you translating as you write?”

The unfortunate thing was that he was genuinely curious and English is my first and only language.

As painful as it was at the time, I truly believe that that C made me a better student — I learned that college was going to be a lot different from high school (where I got all As without doing much), figured out my mistakes, buckled down, and did a lot better in school than I probably would have had I never experienced that setback.


So, if you’re not happy with all of your grades -- what should you do? First, please email your academic success office to set up an appointment to talk. Every year, students in your position raise their grades in the spring semester and throughout the rest of their law school career – however, those that raise their grades address issues head-on and come up with a plan.

Second, you should go over your exams with your professors. Contact them to see how you go about doing so. Without looking at your exams, you won’t know what the problem was.

Everyone on the faculty, staff, and administration at your law school wants to do everything they can to help you succeed. Take advantage of what your law school has to offer.

(Alex Ruskell)

January 20, 2017 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King, "The Letter from the Birmingham Jail," and IRAC?

Continuing from Professor Goldie Pritchard's excellent post yesterday regarding "Student Motivation and MLK Celebration Day," on April 13, 1963, Dr. King penned one of the most famous letters of all time: "The Letter from the Birmingham Jail."

In writing to fellow religious letters, Dr. King explained, in his words, that "I am in Birmingham because injustice is here."  Then, turning to the question about whether it was proper to engage in direct action in the form of sit-ins and marches, Dr. King defends civil disobedience, arguing that the root question was whether the segregation laws were just or unjust.  If unjust, then disobedience was justified.  

That led Dr. King to explain why the law was unjust in a very famous paragraph:  "Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong."

Wow!  Impactful!  Poignant!  Straight to the heart of the issue!  Take a close look at the paragraph above.  Did Dr. King start with the issue?  After stating the issue, did he next state a rule and then explain the rule to his fellow religious leaders?  Moving on, didn't he next transition to an analysis of that principle by concretely applying the rule to the segregation laws?  Finally, look closely as Dr. King finishes with a succinct conclusion.  That's right...Dr. King's argument is structured in IRAC and yet Dr. King was not an attorney (rather, he earned a Ph.D. from Boston University).

When I first saw Dr. King's use of IRAC, I was shocked because I thought that IRAC was just a tool that lawyers used to analyze legal problems.  In short, I was convinced that my legal writing professor invented IRAC.  And, it felt SO unnatural to me...so mechanical...so impersonal...that I tried my utmost to avoid writing in IRAC.  

Looking back, I see my folly.  IRAC was not invented by attorneys. Rather, IRAC is the structural foundation for some of the most monumental moral arguments of all time.  In short, IRAC (what the rest of the world calls deductive reasoning) is powerful because it is a common form of analysis to all of us, long before we ever came to law school.  Simply put, we have been using IRAC for all of our lives, and yet, we just didn't know it.  So, take time out to reflect on the power of IRAC as a tool for persuasive analysis.  As demonstrated by Dr. King, IRAC can be the structural foundation for making moving moral arguments, arguments that in Dr. King's day led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  So, don't shy away from IRAC.  Rather, embrace it, refine it, polish it, and always, with an eye on what's the right thing to do.  In that way, paragraph by paragraph, you as a future attorney can make the world a better place for others.  (Scott Johns).

January 19, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Professionalism, Study Tips - General, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Student Motivation and MLK Day Celebration

At various points in a given semester, students find themselves unmotivated for a number of reasons.  Some of those reasons include managing financial pressures, dealing with academic challenges, feeling lonely, suffering from stress, and experiencing racism, sexism or some other “ism.” There are several articles and other sources that address intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how to engage students.  However, I am always seeking innovative ways to encourage and support students.

Monday marked the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2017, an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.  Most institutions of higher education commemorate this day with a variety of activities.  Institutions have a variety of programs which include breakfasts, lunches, dinners, artistic expressions, marches, community service, and speeches.  Students attend the various programs but for others this is simply a day off and an opportunity to either rest or get ahead academically. 

This year, I am an advisor to a student group and based on my interactions with this group of students, it was imperative for me to find different ways to re-motivate these students.  Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a great opportunity to encourage them by drawing examples from his life and encouraging students to partake in at least one activity.  For students, there are a number of qualities and values they can draw from his life as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, an activist, a well-educated and accomplished man of color, his commitment to society, his ability to stay true to his convictions, and the ease with which he communicated, encouraged, and rallied those around him.  Reflecting on all that he was able to accomplish with the challenges of his time, we should all be courageous in the face of adversity and preserve our hopes, dreams and aspirations. (Goldie Pritchard)

 

 

January 18, 2017 in Diversity Issues, Encouragement & Inspiration, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Prepare for Your Profession

Law students often become so caught up in surviving each class week that they forget the bigger picture. They are preparing for being lawyers! Their clients will depend on them to be great lawyers, not just mediocre lawyers.

Every skill learned and honed in law school assists the graduate to be a great lawyer.

  • By learning and honing skills in reading and briefing cases, students prepare for being experts for reading thousands of cases during their legal careers.
  • By learning and honing skills in understanding judges’ reasoning and the evolution of the law, students prepare for expert legal reasoning and possible policy arguments for necessary modifications in the law.
  • By learning and honing listening and note-taking skills in class, students capture the nuances of the law and recognize the important information.
  • By learning and honing skills at arguing both sides of a scenario, students prepare for being experts at arguing their clients’ positions and anticipating the arguments of opposing counsel.
  • By learning and honing skills at legal research and writing, students prepare for being experts at locating the relevant law and clearly and concisely stating the law in a variety of legal formats.
  • By learning and honing their skills through clinics, client interviewing, trial advocacy, law office management, and other skills courses, students prepare themselves for the daily rigors of legal practice.

There are more skills learned and honed during law school. These are just a few that law students need to become great lawyers. Academic support professionals and professors are there to assist in the process. Law students need to reach out for assistance when they are struggling with the skills needed as lawyers. (Amy Jarmon)

January 17, 2017 in Encouragement & Inspiration, Professionalism, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reminder: Associate Director of Bar Services Position at Duquesne

Associate Director of Bar Services

Faculty Posting Date: November 2, 2016

To Apply: apply.interfolio.com/39174

Duquesne University School of Law invites applications for the position of Associate Director of Bar Services, a hybrid academic support and bar preparation position. The successful candidate will be appointed to a 12-month, renewable, 405(c), non-tenure-track, assistant clinical professor position. The Associate Director's primary responsibilities will be to teach a section of the Law School's Bar Preparation course and to help the Director of Bar Support to prepare graduating and recent graduates to sit for the bar. As a member of the Law School Faculty, the Associate Director may be assigned other duties consistent with that role and the overall goals of the Law School and the Bar Preparation and Academic Support Programs, including, but not limited to, helping the Director of Bar Services and the Director of Academic Support to implement programming to enhance the professional development of second- and third-year students as they make curricular choices, sharpen their academic skill, and prepare to take the bar examination and helping upper-level students improve their academic and professional skills.

Catholic in its mission and ecumenical in spirit, Duquesne University values equality of opportunity as an educational institution and as an employer. We aspire to attract and sustain a diverse faculty that reflects contemporary society, serves our academic goals and enriches our campus community. We particularly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups and support dual-career couples through our charter membership in this region's HERC (http://www.hercjobs.org/oh-western-pa-wv/).

Qualifications:

Minimum requirements include a J.D. degree and admission to the practice of law, preferably within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Ideal candidates will have teaching experience in bar preparation or academic services, preferably as a full-time member of a bar preparation or academic support program, or, failing that, in legal research and writing or in some other capacity that required an emphasis on analyzing and applying the law. Substantive knowledge and experience regarding Pennsylvania law and the Pennsylvania bar exam is helpful. The successful candidate must have excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal skills, strong organizational skills, and the ability to work with a wide range of constituents.

Application Instructions:

Duquesne University uses Interfolio to collect all Division of Academic Affairs faculty and administrative job applications electronically. The application consists of a detailed letter of application, a current CV, and contact information for three professional references. Review of applications will begin immediately and will close no later than March 10, 2017. Apply at http://apply.interfolio.com/39174. To learn more about Duquesne University School of Law, please visit: http://law.duq.edu/.

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Duquesne University was founded in 1878 by its sponsoring religious community, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Duquesne University is Catholic in mission and ecumenical in spirit. Motivated by its Catholic identity, Duquesne values equality of opportunity both as an educational institution and as an employer.


January 15, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Carolinas Colloquium - Call for Proposals

See the attached PDF for more information: Download 2017 Carolinas Colloquium Call for Proposals.

January 14, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)