Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Empirical Evidence that Formative Assessment Improves Final Exams

Hat tip to Sandra L. Simpson at Gonzaga for sending out the link to the article review of the month on the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning web pages. The link to the posting is here.

October 2, 2016 in Exams - Theory, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Position at UCI Law Still Available for Applicants

Dear Colleagues, 

UCI Law is still actively recruiting for an Assistant/Associate Director of Academic Skills. Since we are hiring for the long-term, please feel free to apply even if you will not be available until January or summer of 2017. 

We are looking for an experienced instructor who will be able to teach ASP courses in the curriculum starting next Fall. We are willing to hold the position open for the right candidate so he/she can fulfill his/her current teaching obligations this year. We understand that it would be incredibly difficult to leave another academic institutional this time!

Applicants can access AP Recruit by following this link:  Anyone who is interested in being considered for the position should formally apply through this link, and also send me materials by email.

As always, I'm happy to talk to anyone about this position. 

All the best, 

Linda Puertas

October 1, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Director of Bar Studies Position at Seattle U

Position Title Director of Bar Studies Program
Position Number Staff_11262
Department Law School
Additional Department  
Market Reference Pay Range 14
FLSA Status Exempt
Position Category Professional
Position Type Full-time
Months Per Year 12
Hours Per Week 37.5
FTE 1.0

Job Description

Position Summary

The Director of the Bar Studies Program teaches the bar studies class and provides educational programs to law students to prepare them to gain admission to the bar. This position reports to the Director of the Academic Resource Center (ARC).

Seattle University School of Law educates lawyers who distinguish themselves through their outstanding professional skills and their dedication to law in the service of justice. Faculty, students and staff form a vibrant, diverse, and collaborative community that promotes leadership for a just and humane world. The Law School’s commitment to academic distinction is grounded in its Jesuit Catholic tradition, one that encourages open inquiry, thoughtful reflection and concern for personal growth. Innovation, creativity and technological sophistication characterize our rigorous educational program, which prepares lawyers for a wide range of successful and rewarding careers in law, business and public service.

Essential Job Functions

Teach bar preparation courses to law students and law graduates preparing for the bar exam. Provide individual students with skills counseling, along with small group skills counseling, that is complimentary to the class.

Counsel students (other than those enrolled in bar preparation courses) about their academic progress in law school and readiness to take the bar exam.

Provide programming and advice for students about the administrative aspects of the bar admission process. This includes timetables for registering to take the exam as well as the information needed to submit a complete application.

Provide the faculty and administration with information and advice regarding the bar exam and other aspects of the admissions process.

Collect and gather data to review, analyze and measure the success of the bar studies program.

As a member of the ARC Team actively participate in the development and implementation of events and programs that provide a comprehensive and meaningful academic experience for our law students.

Maintain the Bar Studies website, making sure all content is current and accurately reflects the programs that are being provided.

Marginal Job Functions

other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Juris Doctorate (JD) from an accredited institution and must have attained a license to practice law (need not be current).

Must have the ability to build rapport with students in individual counseling situations and maintain student and student record confidentiality.

A high level of self motivation, organization, flexibility, and solid judgment and interpersonal skills.

Must have outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written legal writing skills, with the ability to use these skills in individual and group presentation situations.

Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and social media platforms.

All candidates must show a demonstrated commitment to diversity and the University’s mission, vision and values and requires a criminal history background check.

Preferred Qualifications

College level teaching experience

counseling experience

Compensation Salary will be discussed during the interview process and is commensurate with qualifications.
Excellent Benefits Package

Our excellent benefits package currently includes: Medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance, significantly subsidized for employee and dependents; generous retirement plan; vacation, sick leave, 12 holidays plus Christmas week off, community service leave; Transportation pass 75% paid; Automatic payroll deposit; Library privileges for employees; University fitness facilities free for employees; S.U. tuition for employees and dependents administered in accordance with University policies.

Application Instructions

Application Instructions: Please apply online at: Applicants are also strongly encouraged to attach an electronic cover letter and resume when applying.
Persons who need assistance with the recruitment process may contact the Office of Human Resources at: 206-296-5870.

Close Date  
Non-Discrimination Policy

Seattle University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran in the administration of any of its education policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletics, and other school-administered policies and programs, or in its employment related policies and practices. In addition, the University does not discriminate on the basis of genetic information in its employment related policies and practices, including coverage under its health benefits program.

All University policies, practices and procedures are administered in a manner consistent with Seattle University’s Catholic and Jesuit identity and character. Inquiries relating to these policies may be referred to the University’s Assistant Vice President for Institutional Equity, Chief EEO Officer, Title IX Coordinator, and ADA/504 Coordinator by calling (206) 296-2824.

Consistent with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations, Seattle University has designated three individuals responsible for coordinating the University’s Title IX compliance. Students or employees with concerns or complaints about discrimination on the basis of sex in employment or an education program or activity may contact any one of the following Title IX coordinators:

Office of Institutional Equity (OIE)
901 12th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122-1090
(206) 296-2824

Office of Human Resources
RINA 214
(206) 296-5870<>

Individuals may also contact the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

Quick Link

Applicant Documents

Required Documents Optional Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * How were you referred to this job posting?
    • Seattle University jobsite
    • Times
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc-Please name in next question)
    • Industry Specific Jobsite (Please name in next question)
    • Employee Referral (Please name in next question)
    • Other (Please name in next question)
    • Yesler Terrace Resident
  2. If Other, Employee Referral, Social Media or Industry Specific Job Site please specify:

    (Open Ended Question)

October 1, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Law School Action Comics


(Alex Ruskell)

September 30, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Some Thoughts on Teaching Outlining, etc.

As mentioned in a previous blog, most of my law school outlines were - simply put - not outlines…and not useful at all in law school.  Rather, my outlines were just my regurgitated notes with my case briefs and class notes filling out the details.  

And, there was a good reason that I didn't know how to outline or create another organization tool (such as a flowchart, a map, an audio file, a poster, etc.).  That's because I didn't have a framework in mind to organize my notes, briefs, and casebook materials.  And, I suspect that many of our students find themselves in similar straits.

So, here's a thought…just a thought.  Perhaps Academic Support Professionals might lend a hand in providing the organizational template for outlining.  

Here's why.  First, the casebook and the class syllabus already provide our students with a rough guide as to methods to organize a law school subject.  So, we don't mind giving our students some sort of start in the process.  But, the rough guide from a casebook and syllabus are not enough.  

That's because the rough outlines in those materials do not provide students with sufficient details to organize the subject.  The tables of contents, for example, usually just provide legal terms of art.  That's it.  No so-called "black letter" law at all.  

So, here's the rub. We expect our students to craft the rules for themselves. But, in the practice of law, we don't do that at all.  Rather, at least speaking for myself, when I work on a novel legal problem, I don't ever start with a casebook.  Instead, I start with a mini-hornbook to provide me an overview of the black letter law, including the big picture "umbrella" rules, such as:  A refugee is "one who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion…"  Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(a)(42)(A).  

Then, I start digging into the cases to figure out, assuming that the law does not define the various terms, what persecution means or membership in a particular social group, etc.  In short, as an attorney, I have never had to create an umbrella rule from scratch based on reading a bunch of cases.  Instead, I use the cases to determine how to apply (or distinguish) the rule to (or from) the situations that my clients are facing.

If that is how most of us practice law, then maybe that is how we should study law too.  If so (and this is just a hunch of mine), maybe we should be giving our students a template of the black letter law. Then, our students can proactively use that template to flesh out the meanings of the rules, the limits of the rules, and the particular applications of the rules…by inserting within that template their case blurbs, class notes, class hypotheticals, policy rationales, etc.  

One of my best professors in law school (and also one of my most difficult in terms of grading) was not afraid at all to set out the black letter law for us, both as a preview of the coming class and as a review of the previous class.  With the law set out, we were much better able to dig into the heart of the law…what do the words mean, what are the policy implications behind the rules, should the rules be changed, etc.  

In short, we learned to think like a lawyer…even without having to craft our own umbrella rules.  And, amazingly, that's one of the few law school classes that I can still recall many of the things that I learned.  The others - just like most of my law school outlines - are just faded memories.  (Scott Johns).


September 29, 2016 in Advice, Exams - Studying, Learning Styles, Study Tips - General, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Is Your ASP Office a “Safe Space”?

As of late, the higher education world and various outlets have been buzzing about “Safe Spaces”, “Free Speech”, and other related topics. I am not going to insert myself into this discussion nor am I going to express my viewpoint.  I do however wonder if Academic Support offices are “Safe Spaces” for students?

I understand that as ASP professionals our primary purpose is to support students academically. We help students identify strengths and weaknesses; we help students develop weaknesses into strengths; we help students develop and implement processes that work for them; and we help them develop effective learning tools.  We help students on academic probation build their confidence and achieve their goals.  We also help students prepare for and overcome the bar exam hurdle, the first, second, or third time around.  As ASP professionals, we are an important part of the lives of the students we engage with.

When I say “Safe Space”, I mean are we individuals students might seek out for non-academic support as well? Are our offices a place where students feel welcome, included, unjudged, and supported?  For me, my answer is an emphatic YES!  Aside from the key aspects of my job, I also build relationships with my students.  I would be ineffective at my job if I did not help students feel a sense of community and humanize the law school experience and profession.  I challenge my students and support them because I care about them.  I occasionally share my experiences with similar challenges students encounter to normalize their experiences.  I listen carefully, actively engage, remember the discussion and ask about how students are doing.  I may also use some of the information the student shares to help bring some of the exercises and assignments we work on together to life.  I do recognize that not every student might feel a connection with me initially or ever but I do my best to ensure that each and every student feels that I am personally invested in their journey, looking out for their interest, will work with them to achieve their goals, and relish in their successes.

This week has been particularly challenging for several of my students. I have heard about stressful interviews, coping with illness, the challenges of meeting deadlines, and the stress of time management and balancing work and school.  Students also wanted to have serious discussions and vent about the events in the news and their reactions to them, classroom discussions or the lack of discussion about the news, reactions of classmates to discussions on the topic, feelings, etc.…  Others discussed job search, insecurities about grades, family, financial challenges, and successes and accomplishments.  I also fielded questions about when the library and computer lab open and several questions prefaced with “This might be a stupid question but…” or “You might not be the person but…”  I am grateful for a background in student affairs which has equipped me to manage many of these situations and direct students to resources.

While some of the week was spent encouraging, empowering, and redirecting students, my students are well aware of my expectation that we will be back on track next week. (Goldie Pritchard)

September 28, 2016 in Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sad News: Death of Dan Bernstine, LSAC President

Many ASPers have been involved with LSAC committees, workshops, and other aspects over the years. Below is an announcement regarding the sad news that LSAC's President, Dan Bernstine, has passed away.

Dear Colleagues,

I apologize if you have received this sad announcement more than once. It is with overwhelming sadness that I have the unfortunate task of telling you that Dan Bernstine, President of LSAC, has passed away at his home. As soon as we have more information about arrangements, we will communicate that information to you.  

While our concern right now is with helping all of Dan's friends and colleagues to deal with his loss, I want to assure you that the Board and I have complete confidence in the senior management team that Dan built.

Please do not hesitate to contact me.



Chair, LSAC Board of Trustees

September 27, 2016 in Academic Support Spotlight, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 26, 2016

WCCASP Conference Registration and Agenda

If you wish to register for the West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals conference on Saturday, November 5th, the registration and information link is here.     The agenda for the meeting is below.

Fifth Annual Conference: Preparing Our Students for What’s Next
McGeorge School of Law, Sacramento, CA
Saturday, November 5, 2016                                                                                                                                           


9:00-9:30: Breakfast & Welcome
Jay Mootz, Dean and Professor of Law

9:30-10:15: The MPT: A Tool for Preparing Students to Critically Self-Assess During Bar
DeShun Harris, Texas A&M University School of Law
This interactive presentation will focus on how the Multistate Performance Test can be used as a
mechanism for preparing students to critically self-assess during their bar preparation and the
presentation will engage in a discussion about other possible tools that may assist students in
developing their ability to self-assess.

10:15-10:25: Break

10:25-11:10: Harnessing the Power of Self-Control to Create Better Learning Outcomes for
Law Students
Kevin Sherrill, University of La Verne College of Law
Are there very simple strategies we could be using in law school classrooms to increase student
learning? Psychological scientists would say yes, and there is ample evidence to support such an
assertion. This presentation will examine some of these strategies organized in the process model of

11:10-11:20: Break

11:20-12:20: Exam First Aid: Teaching a Multiple Choice Exam System
Jennifer Kamita and Chris Hawthorne, Loyola Law School Los Angeles
Jennifer Kamita and Chris Hawthorne, two of the authors of Exam First Aid: Multiple Choice, will explain
how to train your students in this innovative system and improve their multiple choice scores.

12:20-1:15: Lunch

1:15-2:00: There’s No App for That: Teaching Students Synthesis in an Era of Information
Reichi Lee and Rana Boujaoude, Golden Gate University School of Law
In this presentation, participants will:
• Understand why students today are less equipped than they have ever been to perform at the
level that the study of law requires.
• Articulate a short list of core skills – with emphasis on synthesis – that all students need to
master in order to excel in law school, on the bar exam, and in the practice of law.
• Identify concrete ideas for incorporating the teaching of synthesis into the law school curriculum
that does not require major curriculum reform or additional resources.

2:00-2:10: Break

2:10-2:55: Helping Students Add Value to the Team Through Learning Styles-Directed Tasks
Shane Dizon, California Western School of Law
This presentation will share my ongoing efforts to revise all small-group work modules in existing
academic support curriculum to suggest specific tasks to students based on learning styles. The
presentation will also detail how this learning styles-directed task builds successfully on early
introduction of learning styles to entering students, as opposed to the novel challenges of embedding of
such task divisions in upper-division/remediation courses or programming. Ultimately, this presentation
hopes to inspire others to actively incorporate learning style task suggestion into their own group work
modules in classes and programs (building greater engagement), and to cross-promote the importance
of value adding and active giving in a teamwork setting on future career success.

2:55-3:05: Break

3:05-4:05: Putting Students at the Center of Academic Success Programming
Devin Kinyon and Liza-Jane Capatos, Santa Clara University School of Law
Over the past five years, we’ve made some big (and small) changes to our first-year academic success
programming at Santa Clara. All of those changes have been guided by the simple idea that we serve
students, and they should be at the center of everything we do. The changes have been helped by our
own experience as former peer academic success leaders.
This session will look at two big ideas we’ve implements in recent years: (1) We’ve changed the way we
hire, train, and work with our upper-division peer leaders, and have some ideas about how to make the
most of that role; and (2) we’ve shifted our communications focus to better reach students,
recalibrating our individual and large-format messaging so that it really “speaks” to them. Join us to
hear our ideas and share some of yours.

4:05-4:15: Break

4:15-5:00: Engaging the Unengaged: Breathing Life into Lessons to Re-engage Students
Anne Wells, Loyola Law School Los Angeles
Over the course of a semester or the year, there are times when some students may disengage from a
class, whether from disappointing grades, anxiety, fatigue, burnout or even boredom. To re-engage
these students, sometimes all that is needed is something that reminds them that the law can be
interesting, engaging, relevant and even fun. This talk will present various ideas, exercises and
techniques for use in the classroom that students respond to and relate to, and, in the process, once
again become more positively and fully engaged in and excited about the material.

5:00: Conference Close

September 26, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Are Wellness Dogs in Law Schools' Futures?

Our student organization on animal law has brought dogs into the law school during several exam periods to de-stress law students. Other law schools have also done this type of pet therapy. Now USC is touting its new hire: USC "Hires" Full-Time Wellness Dog.

September 26, 2016 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Foreign Students and Class Participation

Many of our law schools have exchange or L.L.M. foreign students enrolled in our courses. Our educational system (both undergraduate and legal) is very different from the educational backgrounds of many of these students. Adapting to the U.S. educational system is compounded by adapting to the U.S. legal system as well. It is not unusual for foreign students to tell me how very difficult the transition is for them.

I can empathize because I had to adjust to the British legal system and language when I cross-qualified as a solicitor for England and Wales - and I already spoke American English and came from a common law country! It was hard to think in two versions of English and make the mental switches to a very different common law legal system. Most of our foreign students are adjusting to an entirely different language and from civil law to common law!

A recent Inside Higher Education post addressed the participation in class aspect of the adjustment for foreign students. The post provides food for thought and practical tips as we try to help these students adjust to the very American emphasis on class participation. Read the post here: Helping Foreign Students Speak Up .     (Amy Jarmon)

September 25, 2016 in Diversity Issues, Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Legal Ed Videos on Teaching

Hat tip to Dr. Victoria Sutton, Texas Tech Law's Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, for alerting me to the collection of videos from the Igniting Law Teaching conference in 2015  found on the Legal Ed web pages. You can also find the 2014 conference through the Legal Ed web page by following the conference link. (Amy Jarmon)

September 24, 2016 in Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 23, 2016


I have reached the age where I have a lot of "back in my day" thoughts.  EDM makes my head hurt.  Modern movies are terrible.  I hate how connected people are with phones.  I hate ball parks named after corporations.  What was so wrong with the original pop tart that we had to fancy it up with the toaster strudel?  

Law schools have had a few rough years in the popular press and imagination, and the struggles of law students seem to hit a blog or newspaper more or less every day.  I read all of it.  A criticism that bothers me is when someone says, "a law student who needs _____________ to be a lawyer shouldn't be a lawyer."

First, it's an easy, flip, and reductive statement.  Second, the hubris of making such a flat declaration about someone else's talents or abilities based on one factor is stunning.  Third, it's just another version of "back in my day," the implication being that the person making the statement became a lawyer (or entered some other profession) without that particular need.

Whenever a commentator questions certain things schools do to help law students, I think about "back in my day" and how I studied for the bar.  I had to go all the way across Austin (on a mule, uphill both ways, in the snow, with an onion on my belt) and sit in a hot warehouse for several hours with a couple of hundred people and listen to live lectures.  Although some of the lectures were O.K., many of the lectures were horrible from an easy-to-follow/easy-to-pay-attention/not-rather-be-eaten-by-rabid-weasels standpoint.  One lecturer in particular had a seemingly inexhaustible supply of jokes involving America's Greatest Living Thespian Keanu Reeves.  There is nothing wrong with jokes and I loved the original Point Break and My Own Private Idaho, but the jokes were not funny.  It might have been a brilliant display of Kaufman-esque anti-humor, but I was too freaked out and tired by the looming bar exam to be more than put off by it.

Despite the Keanu jokes, without that forced structure of getting up, driving, and sitting there, I wonder how I would have done on the bar exam.  Because of how brutal I found the entire thing, if I could have, I probably would have studied and watched lectures at Barton Springs pool.  I'd probably have started every day at 11 and stopped at 5.  Studying on Fridays would probably be out.  I doubt I would have written out any practice questions or done any practice exams.  I probably would have simply relied on my history of being very good at standardized exams to get me through.  

When I actually sat for the exam, I had pneumonia and the woman sitting next to me cried the entire time (not because of my pneumonia).  Without the enforced structure, I wonder if I would have passed under those circumstances.  As it was, I had been forced to learn the bar material so well that I could have been on fire and still passed.  However, I doubt I would have put myself in that position if I had been left to my own devices.  I think I was "a law student who needs to be forced to sit in a warehouse and listen to Keanu jokes to be a lawyer" and, despite that need, I think I turned out to be a pretty good one.

I understand why some observers say that "a law student that needs _______ to be a lawyer shouldn't be a lawyer," but very few people can succeed in an endeavor without help.  For 25-year-old me, I think I needed the help of that warehouse.  For my students, it might be giving them extra help, handing them physical books, going over practice questions with them, etc., but I do not believe that needing a particular type of help is any kind of inherent disqualification to being a lawyer.

(Alex Ruskell) 

September 23, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Predicting Success? Exciting Research from the Western Heart of Texas

There’s exciting research work going on in West Texas, entitled: “Will I Pass the Bar Exam? Predicting Student Success Using LSAT Scores and Law School Performance,” co-written by Dr. Katherine Austin, Professor Catherine (Cassie) Christopher, and Dean Darby Dickerson, all hailing from Texas Tech University.

According to the abstract: “Texas Tech University School of Law has undertaken a statistical analysis of its recent alumni, comparing their performance in law school with their success on the Texas bar exam. The authors conclude that LSAT predicts bar exam success while undergraduate GPA does not. The also study replicates findings in previous literature that both 1L and final law school GPA predict bar exam success. Going beyond existing literature, this study also conducted more specific analysis of how student performance in specific courses can predict success on affiliated subcomponents of the bar exam; the Article identifies which courses have significant impact on bar exam performance and which do not. Additionally, the Article reports a completely new analysis of whether student participation in curricular student engagement activities (such as journal, clinic, and advocacy competitions) predicts bar exam success.”

As background, the researchers used first-time Texas Bar Exam results (and scores) to analyze a host of factors that might predict bar exam performance– such as UGPA, LSAT, first-year LGPA, graduating LGPA, law school grades in some bar-tested subjects, bar exam percentile subject matter scores, and final bar exam scores. The study pool comprised a total of 1562 Texas Tech law school graduates that sat for the Texas Bar Exam as a first-time taker during the period of 2008 to 2014. Consequently, the authors use a robust database for analyzing bar exam performance.

In brief, here are some of the major findings:

  • UGPA did not predict either LGPA or bar exam performance
  • LSAT scores predicted bar exam performance, albeit imprecisely as LSAT only predicted about 13 percent of bar exam scores
  • Final LGPA was a substantially better predictor of bar exam scores than LSAT scores, accounting for about 52 percent of the variance in bar exam scores
  • Law Schools can either use first year LGPA or final year LGPA to predict bar exam scores as both LGPA measurements have substantially similar predictive abilities
  • Because first year LGPA is substantially similar to final year LGPA in predicting bar exam scores, law schools can use first year LGPA to help with early intervention efforts to improve bar exam performance for their graduates
  • Civil procedure grades were more predictive of bar exam performance (accounting for about 25 percent of bar exam scores) than legal research & writing grades (accounting for about 18 percent of bar exam scores)
  • Journal participants had both higher LGPA and bar exam scores
  • Clinic participants had higher LGPA but lower bar exam scores (but only slightly lower with a mean bar exam score still substantially above passing)
  • Moot court and advocacy participants had higher LGPA and bar exam scores
  • Some bar-related “courses…predict[ed] bar performance on the relevant subcomponent of the bar exam, while others did not”

For the ground-breaking details, particularly regarding the relationship between law school courses and bar exam scores and the relationship between core extra-curricular activities and bar exam scores, please see the article at:  "Will I Pass the Bar Exam."  It provide us all with much to reflect upon and and talk about!  

And, if your state supreme court does not provide your law school with bar exam scores (as many do not), share this article with your local bar examiners because the researchers empirically demonstrate the priceless worth of transparent sharing of data in order to better understand the relationship between legal education and bar exam performance.  Or, as Helen Keller said:  "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

(Scott Johns)


September 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Early Semester Stress

This the fourth full week of classes for our students and stress has already crept in. First year law students who were enthusiastic about the beginning of the law school journey are now working hard and trying to balance all of their responsibilities.  More assignments are due in legal writing and doctrinal courses now include some challenging material.  Students are trying to maintain their sanity and humanity while balancing the demands of their checklists and trying to do one or two things they enjoy.  Moreover, students are trying not to be too distracted by the various news reports about tragedies and events in our backyards and around the world.  With students feeling a number of emotions, self-care is essential.

Here are my top five self-care considerations:

  1. Check-in with your emotions. It is helpful to sit by yourself, quietly, and name what you are feeling. Don't judge your emotions but simply name them, claim them, and maybe even feel them so you can let go of the negative ones.
  2. Boogie down. Select your favorite upbeat tunes and dance or sing at the top of your lungs. This helps you reconnect with positive emotions and gets your body moving.
  3. Unplug all devices. For about an hour daily, turn everything off. Turn off your computer, put your cellphone on airplane mode or silent, and shut off all electronics with alarms or alerts.
  4. Be selfish. Weekly, do something just because it makes you happy. Have something to look forward to particularly if you have a very demanding week.
  5. Mute the negative. If you have negative people in your life or individuals who fill your social media feeds with sad or negative information you might want to mute them. You may have close or long term relationships with these individuals so you might not want to delete them. You can temporarily or permanently block their information and go from there.

(Goldie Pritchard)

September 21, 2016 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Call for Proposals for NECASP Conference

Request for Proposals: Presentation of Scholarly “Works in Progress”

New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals (NECASP) Conference

December 5, 2016

Western New England University School of Law

Springfield, MA

NECASP will be holding its annual one-day conference and has designated time for the presentation of scholarly “Works in Progress.”  Our topic this year is “ASP Tackles new ABA Standards; ASP’s Indispensable Role.”  We will gather in Springfield to share and explore ideas with ASP colleagues on issues surrounding the plethora of new ABA standards.  We are all required to comply with new bar pass, learning outcome, experiential learning and many other standards. We welcome a broad range of proposals – from presenters in the New England Region and beyond – and at various stages of completion – from idea to fruition!  If you wish to present a Work in Progress, the proposal process is as follows:

  1. Submit your proposal by October 11, 2016, via email to Kandace Kukas at
  2. Proposals may be submitted as a Word document or as a PDF
  3. Proposals must include the following:
  4. Name and title of presenter
  5. Law School
  6. Address, email address, and telephone number
  7. Title of Work in Progress to be presented
  8. Abstract of your scholarly Work in Progress, no more than 500 words
  9. Statement regarding the status of the work (whether in outline form, early draft, or near completion).
  10. Media or computer presentation needs
  11. As noted above, proposals are due on October 11, 2016.  The NECASP Board will review the proposals and reply to each by November 1, 2016.

If you have any questions about your proposal, please do not hesitate to contact one of us, and we hope to see many of you in Springfield later this year!

NECASP Board members are as follows:

Chair:              Kandace J. Kukas

                        Assistant Dean and Director of Bar Admission Programs

                        Western New England University School of Law

Vice Chair:      Philip Kaplan

                        Associate Professor of Academic Support

                        Suffolk University Law School

Treasurer:        Lori Albin

                        Director of Bar Success

                        UMASS School of Law

Secretary:         Joe Brennan

                        Director of Academic Success and Assistant Professor

                        Vermont Law School

September 20, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Senior Director Position at St. Thomas University (FL)

ST. THOMAS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for a Senior Director of Academic Support beginning in Fall 2017.  The position title and whether the position is tenure-track depend on the applicant’s qualifications and experience.  The Faculty Recruitment Committee will review applications on a rolling basis.   Applicants should send a cover letter indicating their experience with and vision for Academic Support, a current curriculum vita, and at least three professional references to Professor Lenora Ledwon, Co-Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee, St. Thomas University School of Law, 16401 NW 37th Avenue, Miami Gardens, FL 33054 or email

Located in Florida's beautiful, cosmopolitan, diverse Miami area, St. Thomas University School of Law was founded in 1984 and is continually ranked as one of the most diverse, student-oriented law schools in the nation. Our main campus is commuting distance from Broward and Palm Beach County. St. Thomas University School of Law has earned a national reputation for its mission of inclusion and admission opportunity for students from historically underrepresented groups, for academic support, legal writing, tax, business, environmental and intercultural human rights legal education programs.

We encourage potential applicants to visit our website at to learn more about our school of law, our community and our programs.  St. Thomas encourages applications from female and minority candidates, and all others who will contribute to our stimulating and diverse cultural and intellectual environment. All applicants must have a strong academic record and be committed to outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service.

September 20, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Are you a new ASP/bar prep professional who needs to subscribe to the listserv?

For those of you who are new professionals in ASP/bar prep at your law schools, signing up for the ASP Listserv is done in the following manner. These instructions were sent to me by Stephen Sowle at Chicago Kent (he runs the listserv) in August 2015. If you run into problems after you have tried to subscribe, I would suggest that you contact him for assistance at (Amy Jarmon)

To sign up for the ASP listserv, follow these steps:

Address email to
No subject
In the body of the message enter: subscribe ASP-L your_first_name your_last_name title school_name
your_first_name is your first name,
your_last_name is your last name
title and school_name are optional

September 19, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

UNC Position: Director Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

Director for Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

Below you will find the details for the position including any supplementary documentation and questions you should review before applying for the opening.  To apply for the position, please click the Apply for this Job link/button.

If you would like to bookmark this position for later review, click on the Bookmark link.  If you would like to print a copy of this position for your records, click on the Print Preview link.

Please see Special Instructions for more details.

All candidates must submit a cover letter, CV/resume and a list of three professional references, in order to be considered for this position.

Posting Information

Position Information

Position Type Permanent Staff (EHRA NF)
Department Law-360001
Working Title Director for Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
Appointment Type EHRA Non-Faculty
Position Posting Category Student Services
Salary Range $55,000 - $62,000
Full Time/Part Time? Full-Time Permanent
Hours per Week 40
Vacancy ID NF0002165
Position ID 20018060
Posting Open Date 09/14/2016
Application Deadline 10/14/2016
Open Until Filled No
Proposed Start Date 12/01/2016
Position Summary

The UNC School of Law is seeking a seasoned admissions/student services professional with a proven record of commitment to diversity, inclusion and student success to serve as Director of Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion. The Director of Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion reports to the Assistant Dean for Admissions.

The Director will plan and implement the law school’s outreach and recruiting strategy for all JD students. The Director will work with the Office of Communications to annually develop creative recruiting strategies using a variety of print and electronic media to attract a talented and diverse class of students to the applicant pool. The Director will represent the School of Law at on-campus and off-campus functions with regard to admissions and diversity and inclusion matters and serve as a liaison with pre-law advisors. The Director will participate in the application screening and selection process. The Director of Admissions, Diversity & Inclusion will play an important role in developing and implementing diversity and inclusion programming and strategies in collaboration with Student Services. The Director will serve as the liaison with a range of affinity organizations and assist with outreach efforts to alumni from underrepresented constituencies. Other duties as assigned by the Assistant Dean for Admissions.

Educational Requirements

Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree required; for candidates demonstrating comparable independent educational or instructional activities associated with the delivery and/or management of admissions and/or student support functions, will accept a relevant undergraduate degree and relevant experience in substitution. Specific minimum experience requirements are at the discretion of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs or the Department Head in other units that may employ such positions based on accepted professional standards of practice within the field.

Qualifications and Experience

Three or more years of admissions and/or student affairs experience, preferred. Sophisticated working knowledge of the legal profession and legal education. Experience with database management. Excellent communication, marketing, interpersonal, and organizational abilities. Ability to interface and effectively maintain relationships with multiple constituencies. Ability to work independently in high-visibility and under high-stress situations, and make presentations before varied audiences around the country.

Other Preferred Qualifications include: Other professional experience with diversity and inclusion. Experience with PeopleSoft, ACES2 or comparable database management systems. Professional supervisory experience.

Equal Opportunity Employer

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Special Instructions

All candidates must submit a cover letter, CV/resume and a list of three professional references, in order to be considered for this position.

Quick Link

Department Contact Information

Department Contact Name and Title Naadii Salaam, HR Consultant
Department Contact Telephone or Email 919.962.8509
Office of Human Resources Contact Information

If you experience any problems accessing the system or have questions about the application process, please contact the Office of Human Resources at (919) 843-2300 or send an email to
Please note: The Office of Human Resources will not be able to provide specific updates regarding position or application status.

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Curriculum Vitae / Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. List of References
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Please select the response below that describes your level of education that best or mostly closely satisfies the education requirements for this position.
    • Bachelor’s degree in required discipline(s) listed or related field
    • Bachelor's degree in any field/discipline
    • Master's degree or Doctorate degree in required discipline(s) listed or related field
    • Master's degree or Doctorate degree in any field/discipline
    • None of the above
  2. * Do you have a J.D.?
    • Yes
    • No
  3. * Have you developed communications materials for diversity and inclusion events and programs?
    • Yes
    • No
  4. * Do you have at least 3-5 years of experience in graduate admissions or career services with an accredited institution of higher education?
    • Yes
    • No
  5. * Do you have experience leading or participating in a diversity recruiting initiative?

    (Open Ended Question)

  6. * Describe a specific event within your professional career that demonstrates diversity or cultural competence and explain how you managed the event.

    (Open Ended Question)

  7. * Please state how your commitment to diversity has been demonstrated.

    (Open Ended Question)

  8. * Do you have any experience with student recruitment, admissions, and post-enrollment support? If yes, please describe.

    (Open Ended Question)

September 19, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Counterpoint to Laptop Bans

Much has been said about the positives of banning laptops in the classroom. Proponents of the ban position have pointed to studies that support handwriting over typing notes.

The Chronicle of Higher Education contained an article this week that does not buy in to the studies and takes a more moderate approach: No, Banning Laptops Is Not the Answer.

In that article is a link to a May blog post on The Tatooed Prof that also supports a different approach to classroom technology: Let's Ban the Classroom Technology Ban.



September 18, 2016 in Miscellany, Study Tips - General, Teaching Tips, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Additional Information on the Washburn Law Position

Washburn Law is searching for an ASP Director. Washburn has a long tradition of unitary tenure track for its full-time faculty, and this position has that potential, depending in large part upon the interests of the candidate.

Even though this is an ASP position, I have included the usual form after the full-text announcement. The only question that we can’t answer easily is class size, since it can vary quite a bit depending on how the ASP Director would like to design the program.

Full text of position announcement:

WASHBURN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW invites applicants for the faculty position as Director of Academic Support and Bar Passage. The position may be tenured, tenure-track or non-tenure track, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and interest. The commencement date for the position is the 2017-18 academic year.   The Director will design a comprehensive academic support program for law students, supervise other academic support professionals, teach in the academic support program, and direct the provision of a full range of academic support services. The successful candidate will have taught in a student success program, will be experienced in developing or teaching in bar exam support programs, and will have the ability to report on assessments and outcomes.

The Washburn campus is located in the heart of Topeka, Kansas, blocks from the state capitol.  Recently, the Topeka and Shawnee County Library was named the 2016 Library of the Year, the highest honor for libraries in the U.S. and Canada.  Topeka has previously been named a Top Ten City in Kiplinger’s magazine.  Topeka features affordable housing and beautiful, historic neighborhoods filled with well-maintained parks.  It is also the home of the Brown v. Board of Education historical site.

Washburn Law School is committed to diversity in its faculty and encourages applicants whose backgrounds will enrich the law school. Candidates should possess a JD degree from an ABA accredited law school; a distinguished academic record; record of, or demonstrated potential for, scholarly production; and a strong commitment to academic support.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  (All faculty appointments are contingent upon funding.)  Interested candidates should send a resume, listing three references, and a cover letter.  Contact: Professor Janet Thompson Jackson, Chair, Faculty Recruitment Committee, Washburn University School of Law, 1700 College Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, 66621.  E-mail:

Optional provision of LRWProfs listserv form:

  1. The position advertised:

     _*see below*_   a.   is a tenure-track appointment.

     __   b.   may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

     _*see below*_   c.   may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.

     __   d.  has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

     __   e.  is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

     __   f.   is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

Additional information about job security or terms of employment, any applicable term limits, and whether the position complies with ABA Standard 405(c):

The position may be tenured, tenure-track or non-tenure track, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and interest. The commencement date for the position is the 2017-18 academic year. The Director will design a comprehensive academic support program for law students, supervise other academic support professionals, teach in the academic support program, and direct the provision of a full range of academic support services. The successful candidate will have taught in a student success program, will be experienced in developing or teaching in bar exam support programs, and will have the ability to report on assessments and outcomes.

  1. The professor hired:

     _x_   a.   will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

     __   b.   will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

  1. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below.  (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other professional development funds.)

___ over $120,000

_x_ $110,000 - $119,999

_x_ $100,000 - $109,999

_x_ $90,000 - $99,999

_x__ $80,000 - $89,999

___ $70,000 - $79,999

___ $60,000 - $69,999

___ $50,000 - $59,999

___ less than $50,000

___ this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000

___this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000

Additional information about base salary or other compensation: Dependent upon candidate qualifications, term of annual contract, and nature of position.

  1. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be:

     __   a.   30 or fewer

     __   b.   31 - 35

     __   c.   36 - 40

     __   d.   41 - 45

     __   e.   46 - 50

     __   f.    51 - 55

     __   g.   56 - 60

     __   h.   more than 60

Additional information about teaching load, including required or permitted teaching outside of the legal research and writing program:     

The Director will design a comprehensive academic support program for law students, supervise other academic support professionals, teach in the academic support program, and direct the provision of a full range of academic support services.

If you have questions, our faculty recruitment committee welcomes contact as noted above.

September 17, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)