Sunday, July 13, 2014

Law School Action Comics #2

Lsac2

(Alex Ruskell)

July 13, 2014 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Spaced Repetition for Bar Study

Repetition is one technique widely known and frequently used for memory retention.  However, during bar review, many students try to spend long hours cramming the black letter law into their heads without thinking about sequencing or spacing. 

Bar students typically focus on one subject over the course of 10-14 hours and only move on when they feel that they have sufficiently memorized the core substantive law for that area.  This is called “massed presentation” because it is focused study over a short span of time (i.e. one day or a few hours).

“Spaced presentation” differs because it entails studying the material several times spaced out over a longer time frame (i.e. one hour every four days).  There are several specific theories and detailed approaches that have been studied regarding spaced repetition.  However, the essence of what the research tells us is that repetition with spaced intervals increases learning, retention, and supports memorization of vast amounts of material.  Thus, it is advantageous for bar students to create a schedule that incorporates “spaced repetition” instead of cramming.

So, instead of “massing” all of Torts in one day, students should consider studying Torts one day for a few hours; and, then studying Torts again two days later for a couple of hours.  The more exposure to the material and the more they try to actively recall it, the better they will remember it.  

With 18 days left until the bar exam, students need to find the most efficient and effective study strategy.  Spaced repetition is not only efficient and effective, it also helps students avoid passive studying and keeps them focused.  Just think, if they are cramming Torts for 14 hours straight, they may feel like committing a tort by the end of it.  Instead, switching subjects and means of study, will provide variation and increase attention and retention.

Lisa Bove Young

 

July 10, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making Flash Cards for Bar Prep

Flash cards can help a bar taker memorize rules and elements quickly and effectively.  Like with law school outlines, it is the process, not the product of making them that provides the most benefit.  Commercial flashcards are available for purchase, but homemade cards will have a greater impact. Students should make a flash card for a rule every time they miss a practice question due to not knowing the rule.  It is not necessary, and not possible to make a flash card for all rules during bar review.  Students should focus on the rules that they have difficulty remembering.  The elements of a good bar review flash card are first to put the name of the rule on the front.  For example, “first degree burglary”.  On the back side, list the elements.  Depending on the student’s learning style, they may choose to make a list, or may choose to make a mind map.  In the traditional list style, the elements for this example are: 1) breaking AND 2) entering 3) the dwelling of another 4) in the night time 5) with intent to commit a felony therein 5) the felony is a) taking b) the personal property of another c) worth more than $500.  In the bottom left hand corner, write the page number of the bar review materials where this information is referenced.  This is done in case the student wants to go back for a more in depth review after looking at this card.  In the upper right hand corner, the student can write a mnemonic using the first letter of each element.  Here, “Big Elephants Dance Nightly with Iguanas.”  If it is something that can be visualized or is humorous it makes it easier to remember.  Finally, in the lower right hand corner the student can draw a small picture. For this example, it could be a drawing of an elephant wearing a burglary mask (because it is burglary), and a ballet tutu (because he is dancing) with the stars and moon above (because it is nighttime) next to an iguana holding a bag of money labeled > $500 (for the intent and amount).  Flash cards are a powerful tool students should consider using to enhance their bar studies. (Bonnie Stepleton)

July 8, 2014 in Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, July 7, 2014

More thoughts from the 2014 LWI Biennial Conference: using LRW assignments to teach critical case reading.

As I prepare to teach my final class of the summer term, I am also thinking of ways to tweak my ASP programming when the next term begins in August.  Fortunately, I attended both the AASE Conference in Indianapolis and the LWI Conference in Philadelphia.

The LWI Conference offered good opportunities for ASP folks and LRW folks, alike. At every turn, it was possible to take away good ideas to use to improve academic success programming.  On the last day of the LWI Conference, Jane Grisé of the University of Kentucky School of Law presented on the topic of "Integrating Academic Success in the Legal Writing Curriculum." 

Professor Grisé noted spoke about her experience using cases and statutes from Legal Writing assignments  in early ASP sessions.  She found that doing so motivated 1L's to attend the sessions and decreased stigma that can deter some students from attending ASP sessions. 

The sessions appeal to a lot -- if not all -- of the first year class because the sessions adress skills necessary to succeed on impending LRW assignments.  At the same time, the sessions allow students to gain case-reading skills that can transfer to their reading for other classes.  These early sessions can use LRW cases as the focus in teaching critical case reading and case synthesis.  The sessions can also address time managment in the context of both the impending LRW assignment and the semester writ large.

(Myra G. Orlen)

July 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Law School Action Comics #1

Lsac1

(Alex Ruskell)

July 6, 2014 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Happy Fourth of July Bar Exam Hypo

A fun 4th of July hypo for all of you studying for the bar exam.  

Ariel and Elsa decided to throw a party for the 4th of July, which also happened to be their 20th birthday, at their parent’s beachfront home.  Their parents were out of the country traveling, but they knew of Ariel and Elsa’s party plans and provided the beverages, which included several cases of the finest French champagne.  After Triton’s Catering delivered the crab cakes, caviar, and chocolate ganache cake, the guests started to arrive.  Swarms of invited guests mingled and danced to the tunes of the band, The Snowman and The Mermaid.    

Ariel is allergic to nuts and Triton’s Catering was informed that the food should be prepared without them.  Sebastian and Olaf, Ariel and Elsa’s neighbors, brought fireworks to set off during the party.  After each consuming several glasses of champagne, Sebastian and Olaf started the firework show on the beach.  The fireworks beautifully lit the dark night sky.

During the firework show, Olaf’s little sister Anna, who was 7 and uninvited, grabbed a firework from the pile on the sand and set it off over the water.  Since the firework was not properly ignited, Anna received 3rd degree burns on her arm and the firework landed on a wooden boat moored in the harbor, which went up in flames.  Paramedics responded to a call and placed a tourniquet on Anna’s arm.  The tourniquet was applied too tightly and resulted in Anna’s arm being amputated.

The music and noise from the partygoers angered neighbor Ursala and she told them to end the party or she would call the police.  Elsa, yelled at Ursala in front of the crowd of partygoers and told her to “Let it go!  Just go away and slam the door! You are crazy and should go back to the crazy farm where you have been for the last year.”  

After enjoying some champagne and caviar, Ariel ate a slice of chocolate cake.  Her throat began to swell and she stopped breathing.  The paramedics tried to revive her, but it was too late and Ariel died.  A reporter showed up and included in an article the next day, that the neighborhood is convinced that Ursala is crazy.  Neighbor Hans was quoted as saying that, “It was only 9:30 at night and the music didn't bother him anyway.”  Ursala had a breakdown as a result and now cannot leave her house.

 

Discuss the liability of:

1. Ariel, Elsa and their parents

2. Sebastian and Olaf and Anna

3. Triton’s Catering

4. Paramedics

 

(LBY)

July 3, 2014 in Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Dispatch from LWI

I just returned from the LWI Biennial in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay the full three days, but I was able to attend the majority of the conference. And it was well worth it. I would strongly suggest Academic Support professionals with the means to attend legal writing conferences to do so. Legal writing and ASP have collaborated for as long as we have been a part of legal education, and our histories are intertwined.  ASP well-represented at LWI, and the sessions gave me much food for thought. An example was the presentation by Jeremy Francis of Michigan State. He presented on a long-term study of writing support. The study was one that could easily be replicated by ASP folks (with the assistance of institutional research or statisticians), and I found his results to be fascinating.  Katie Rose Guest Pryal of UNC Law gave a fascinating presentation on genre theory. For everyone reading this, thinking, "that's so legal writing, and I have nothing to do with legal writing," let me clarify. She presented on how to teach students the basics of all legal documents, but examining the similarities and differences between them. I left her presentation thinking, "WOW! This is a revolution in legal writing, and it has SO much applicability to ASP!" The ASP work being done by Chelsea Baldwin of Oklahoma City Law School has significant overlaps with Dr. Pryal; Chelsea is looking at the difference between doctrinal subject matter, and Dr. Pryal is looking at similarities. Both scholars are examining law in ways that can help our students see the big picture.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the number of ASPers who presented at LWI; Kris Franklin and Paula Manning had an amazing presentation on using visuals to teach students about applying and distinguishing cases, Corie Rosen (formerly of ASP, but still a friend of ASP) presented on positive psychology, Myra Orlen presented on the new normal, and Courtney Lee presented on bar support. I strongly recommend that ASPer's beg, borrow, or steal a copy of Kris and Paula's presentation materials--their material was a game changer. It is a credit to Kris that I have seen a version of her presentation several times, and yet I get something new from it each time. And if I missed anyone, I sincerely apologize, I wasn't able to attend the entire conference.

(RCF)

 

July 3, 2014 in Current Affairs, Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Stay focused on your goals

I've started working out recently with this exercise DVD program called Focus T25 by Shaun T.  It's incredibly hard and I often find myself wanting to quit half way through, it's only a 25-minute video.   Whenever I want to give up Shaun T will chime in and say “stay focused, don’t quit.”  After yelling several obscenities at the TV screen, I usually manage to crawl to the end by staying focused on the end goal, which is to get back in my skinny jeans and ultimately to have a healthy lifestyle.  For those of you taking the bar exam, the bar review is much like that exercise video.  There are times when you want to give up and may yell obscenities at anything bar related (aside from an actual bar), but I beg of you to please don’t lose focus and don’t give up.

Most of you entered law school with an end goal in mind.  You wanted to help the underserved access legal services, you wanted to work on the next big deal or you wanted to fight crime as an ADA.  Whatever the case may be, you entered law school with a goal.  Don’t let the bar exam make you lose sight of that goal.  I know it’s hard and you may want to give up at times, but that’ s when you need to stay focused and as Shaun T would say “dig deeper.”  Ask yourself “why am I doing this?”  If you can still answer, because “I want to help the underserved”, “I want to be a great litigator “or  “I want to be the next great deal maker”, then you must hang on to that and power through.   

The bar review and the bar exam will test your mentally, physically and emotionally, but stay focused and fiercely hang on to your goal.  It really is worth it.  (Larasz Moody-Villarose)

July 2, 2014 in Advice, Bar Exam Issues | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bar Prep -Think Positive, Get Results

Some may remember from Saturday Night Live the lovable character Stuart Smalley -  “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”  Students studying for the bar will do well to heed Stuart’s affirmation.  As a part of my bar review class, I begin each session by handing out a 3 x 5 index card and asking students to write an affirmation, prayer, statement, or to draw a picture that will help them form a positive mental attitude.  In writing these, I remind students to phrase them in a positive voice.  For example, rather than writing, “I am not stupid” write, “I am competent.”  The mind tends to hear and remember the last word spoken.  The affirmation should be short - preferably one sentence long.  At the end of each class, we take a minute to have one volunteer share one affirmation for the group and then read aloud all the affirmations compiled up to that point.  I was hesitant to do this for fear of being crtiticized as being too "touchy/feely" but decided to take the risk.  I am glad I did.  Many students report that although initially skeptical, they find this exercise helpful in maintaining calm.  Because the affirmations are personal, they are powerful. (Bonnie Stepleton)

July 1, 2014 in Advice, Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 30, 2014

Conference Announcement: Teaching the Academically Under-Prepared Law Student

Teaching the Academically Under-Prepared Law Student
The Fourth Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference
Hosted by the Duquesne University School of Law
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Saturday, December 6, 2014

For generations, college and law school educators have often voiced the belief that their students are not as prepared as they used to be.  Although some educators may disagree about whether there really has been a change in students since the apocryphal “good old days,” there is a growing body of scholarship suggesting that 21st Century college graduates and law students lack the critical thinking skills necessary for law study and that as educators we are facing new challenges in teaching these students.  Scholars and other commentators have pointed to many causes for the real (and perhaps perceived) problems that new law students experience while trying to cope with the demands of academic and professional training.  These causes include the declining quality of pre-college schooling, the focus on standardized testing, lowered expectations at the undergraduate level, a decrease in the numbers and “quality” of incoming law students, the generational characteristics of current law students, the effects on student learning from psychological problems such as anxiety disorders, the deleterious influence of the Internet and computer technology, and more.  This conference will offer attendees an opportunity to hear from others who are interested in these questions, and, hopefully, learn how to better teach current law students or change the current educational environment.  The DUQUESNE LAW REVIEW, which has published papers from two previous Colonial Frontier conferences, will devote space in its Spring 2015 symposium issue to papers from the conference. 

Here is an alphabetical list of the presenters, their schools, and the topics of the twelve 30-minute presentations:

• Mary Ann Becker, Loyola Univ. Chicago College of Law – Understanding the Tethered Generation: Net Gens Come to Law School
• Heidi Brown, New York Law School – Empowering Millennial and Generation Z Students to Overcome Extreme Public Speaking Anxiety in the Socratic Law School Classroom
• Catherine Christopher, Texas Tech Univ. School of Law – Eye of the Beholder: How Perception Management Can Counter Stereotype Threat Among Struggling Law Students
• Rebecca Flanagan, Univ. of Massachusetts Law School – Should Law School Admissions Follow a Medical School Model?  An Argument for A Pre-Law Curriculum 
• Shailini George, Suffolk Univ. Law School – How Mindfulness Training Can Improve Learning in Law School
• Julia Glencer, Duquesne Univ. School of Law – Emerging Adults, “Rules” and Authority: Navigating the Minefield to Cultivate Professional Behavior
• Jane Bloom Grisé, Univ. of Kentucky College of Law – Critical Reading and Legal Writing
• Sherri Keene, Univ. of Maryland School of Law – Are We There Yet? Aligning the Expectations and Realities of Gaining Competency in Legal Writing
• Susan Landrum, Savannah Law School – Drawing Inspiration from the Flipped Classroom Model: An Integrated Approach to Academic Support for the Academically Underprepared Law Student
• Courtney Lee, Pacific McGeorge School of Law – Changing Gears to Meet the New Normal in Legal Education
• Tammy Pettinato, Univ. of North Dakota School of Law – Special Challenges for Law Students from Lower Socio-Economic Backgrounds
• Ruth Vance and Susan Stuart, Valparaiso Univ. School of Law – Academically Underprepared Yet Overconfident: Teaching the Learning-Resistant Law Student

The attendance fee for the conference will be $50 for non-presenters.  Duquesne will provide free on-site parking to conference attendees.  The conference will begin 8:00 a.m. with a breakfast reception at the Duquesne University School of Law, followed by a welcome and a series of presentations beginning at 9:00 a.m.  We will provide a catered, on-campus lunch, followed by a series of afternoon presentations, ending at approximately 3:00 p.m.  The conference will close with food and drinks in the “Bridget and Alfred Pelaez Legal Writing Center,” the home of Duquesne’s Legal Research and Writing Program.  

Pittsburgh is an easy drive or short flight from many cities.  To accommodate persons wishing to stay over in Pittsburgh on Friday or Saturday evenings, Duquesne will arrange for a block of discounted rooms at a downtown hotel adjacent to campus, within walking distance of the law school and downtown Pittsburgh.  We will also provide attendees with information about the Pittsburgh area’s attractions, including our architectural treasures, museums, art collections, shopping, and world-class professional sports teams.

For more information contact Professor Jan M. Levine at 412.396.1048 or levinej@duq.edu.  Online registration for the conference and hotel will be available in September 2014, at www.duq.edu/law/legalwritingconference.  
 
(Myra G. Orlen)

June 30, 2014 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Done is better than perfect

I am in the middle (or actually, the middle of the end) of writing my first law review article in 7 years. It has been a monumental task, starting with the fact that I am terribly out of practice. The Bluebook has changed since the last time I published in a law review (and I wasn't great at Bluebooking to begin with!) I have only had a month of solid writing time, although I have been researching and writing piecemeal for almost a year. To get inspired this morning, because I am so tantalizingly close to the end, but just so burnt out and exhausted, I read an article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed comparing writing to running. I am a long distance runner, primarily at the 10k to half-marathon length, so I thought the article could help inspire me. And she did have some good advice.

Done is better than perfect. As I write, I think about all the connections I should be making. However, I don't have the time to write the article of my dreams, I have to finish. And done is better than perfect. I think this also applies to bar takers. So many high-achieving students get stuck during bar prep because they have trained themselves to be perfect. On law school exams, aiming for perfect is important if you want to be in the top of your class. But for bar prep, just getting the work done is more important than perfect. You can't be perfect when you have so many subjects to cover, and so little time.

Writing and running each require one small step. An article doesn't come out whole in a day or a week. Neither does bar prep. Each are about taking one small step, then another, and so on. Because if you look at the project, the race, or the bar exam, as one giant  monolith, you will never get started. And you have to get started. And you have to keep going when you only have 4 pages of a 30 page article, or you have only read one subject in a 15 subject outline, or you have run one mile, and have 12.1 more to go.

So with that, I need to get back to writing. I am working on one of my last sections, a section that is dear to my heart--ASP. And then I need to write my conclusions. Wish me luck. And to all of you working on the bar exam, good luck to you, too. I hope to see fellow ASPers at LWI next week.

(RCF)

 

 

June 28, 2014 in Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Miscellany, Sports, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Went Well at AASE

The Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) convened in beautiful Indianapolis for their second annual conference.  What went well at AASE?  Well...the program was packed with creative, informative, and inspirational presentations; all in attendance can attest to knowing how to add multiple choice questions to help students achieve core competencies, recognize the implications FERPA has on Academic Support, and to design effective learning experiences for their students.  Plus, it was 80+ degrees and sunny!

In true ASP fashion, everyone was encouraged to acknowledge "what went well" by expressing their gratitude, thoughts, or observations to each other on index cards.  While this was conceived at the inaugural AASE conference, I am happy to report that it has now become a tradition.  Honoring each other in this manner is such a gift.  Both receiving an index card or giving one provides a great opportunity for us to show our support for each other.

In addition to the amazing presentations, the conference provided the perfect venue to network (and dance) with AASE members and Indianapolis was the perfect backdrop.  A huge thanks to the program and planning committees and to the host school representative Carlotta Toledo for organizing such a wonderful conference.  Next year's AASE conference will be in Chicago, at John Marshall Law School, and our host school representative will be Jamie Kleppetcshe.  

June 26, 2014 in Current Affairs, Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Take Advantage of Your University's Opportunities

I am fortunate to work at a law school that is part of a major university.  Physically, the law school is located at the northernmost end of the campus across a busy street (It is known as “Rio Lomas” -- which many do not dare to cross).  There are amazing resources available to students, staff and faculty on main campus.  Students can take advantage of all the services and resources available from training in a first class gym to attending a movie for two bucks, to taking advantage of a career fair that has cross over opportunities with graduate students.  There are regularly national level speakers lecturing on a host of topics.  At our school, law students can take up to 6 hours of graduate level courses in other departments such as Business, public administration, Latin

American studies and more.  For staff and faculty there is top notch training for teachers through the Office for Support of Effective Teaching.  Staff  have tuition remission available to take classes.  Take advantage of what your school has to offer this summer! (Bonnie Stepleton)

June 24, 2014 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Taking notes in law school: pen and paper or laptop.

To type or not to type; that is the question . . ..

Susan Bakhshian of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles addressed this issue in her presentation at the Second Annual Conference of the Association of Academic Support Educators.  Professor Bakhshian, like many of us in academic support, encourages law students to take notes the old fashioned way -- in longhand. 

For years, many of us have been telling students of the potential downfalls of relying on laptops for note taking in class.  First,  typing notes leads students to create a transcript of the class discussion, rather than a meaningful account of what students should take from the class.  Second, laptops and the internet can be unwelcome distractions in the classroom.

Recent publications  confirm what we have been telling students over the years; students will get more out of writing their notes in longhand than they will if they type notes on their laptops.   One such publication is a research article published in Psychological Science OnlineFirst: "The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop," by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. 

Professors Mueller and Oppenheimer's article indicates that "laptop use can negatively affect performance on educational assessments even -- or perhaps especially -- when the computer is used for its intended function of easier note taking."  The studies described in their article confirm what we surmised: even though more notes are better than fewer notes, indiscriminate transcription of class content does not promote learning as well as purposefully synthesizing and summarizing class content.

Additionally, following on the heals of the AASE Conference, the New York Times published an article further addressing the connections between writing and learning: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html.  In addition to Mueller and Oppenheimer's work, the New York Times article references work done studying the connections between longhand and learning. 

(Myra G. Orlen)

 

 

 

June 23, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Answer the Question!

Many bar applicants are unsuccessful on the written portion of the bar exam because they fail to adequately answer the question(s) posed by the examiners.  However, telling our students to “answer the question” not only seems obvious, but can also feel patronizing.  To avoid this, I clarify how a student can ascertain what the examiners are really asking by following these steps.

Step 1. Read the call of the question to identify the subject, parties, and cause(s) of action.  If the call is narrowly crafted (i.e. Can Abel be found liable to Cain under a strict liability theory?), make sure that you are answering the specific direction within the call.  If the call is broadly drafted (i.e. Discuss the liabilities of the parties.), you will need to determine the central focus from the facts presented.

Step 2. Before moving forward, recall the key topics within the subject area being tested.  You should be able to visualize your checklist, flowchart, or outline for each topic area.  You may even want to quickly write your mnemonics on your scratch paper.

Step 3. Now, it is time to “actively read” the fact pattern.  What does “actively read” mean?  Use a pen/pencil/highlighter (depending on your state bar policies) to circle, underline, or annotate the facts as you read through them slowly.  Pay attention to numbers, quoted language, unusual FORMATTING, and repetition within the fact pattern.  These are structural and factual issue signals.  Pay close attention to these facts and use them liberally within your answer as you apply the law.  Reading slowly and carefully will help you to fully synthesize and find relevance for all of the facts.

Step 4. Use your scratch paper.  Yes, use the paper provided to sketch out your answer before you begin typing your response.  Do NOT rewrite the entire fact pattern or your entire outline.  Use your scratch paper to list the buzzwords and legally significant facts.  But, you may also want to write the call of the question on your scratch paper to ensure that you answer it.  These brief notes will help later with your IRAC.

Step 5. An important last step: reread the call of the question!  Make sure that your scratch paper notes and initial impressions align to the actual question being asked.  Now, you are ready to begin writing your answer.

Bar exam drafting committees are constructing fact patterns and questions to test various skills and abilities.  The ability to identify legal issues and determine the legally relevant facts are two such skills.  Knowing the law thoroughly will help you spot issues and will help you answer the question.  But, practice will help even more.

(Lisa Bove Young)

June 19, 2014 in Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Is Word Processing Dead?

In a recent conversation with a student, she commented that she wished knew more than just how to type on a word processor. She was disappointed with her first year advocacy brief’s appearance. She spent many frustrating hours reformatting and page numbering which took away from precious writing time. With the current generation’s use of mobile devices, texting, tweeting and blogging, the fine art of word processing seems to be on the downward slide. Having worked in a law office many years ago using onion skin paper and carbon, I was struck by this difference. Brief writing can be made much easier by using simple tools available in the basic Word program. For example, the use of styles enables students to automatically format the table of contents and table of authorities. The problem becomes how to find the resources and time to learn to use this tool. Check to see if your University has any continuing education or distance education resource for learning Word. At our law school we are very fortunate to have members of the IT team who are expert word processors and available for workshops and individual assistance. Each fall, I coordinate with the IT department to present a workshop on basic word processing for law students. There are many online tools available as well. For example Lynda.com provides tutorials for a low cost subscription. The time invested in learning to use these tools can be paid back many times over as students go through law school and eventually into the practice. (Bonnie Stepleton)

June 17, 2014 in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Welcome changes at Western New England University School of Law . . .

Beginning on July 1st, Kandace Kukas will be the Assistant Dean of Bar Admissions Programs at Western New England University School of Law.  Kandace Kukas comes to Western New England University School of Law with a wealth of experience in bar preparation.  Beginning on August 1st, I will take on the role of Director of Academic Success Programs -- in addition to that of Associate Professor of legal Research and Writing.

(Myra G. Orlen)

June 16, 2014 in Academic Support Spotlight, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Reminder about Call for Papers for AALS Section on Academic Support - Deadline August 15th

As you plan your summer writing, remember the call of papers by the Section on Academic Support for our fourth speaker at the AALS Annual Meeting in January 2015.  The call for papers deadline for submission of your paper is 5:00 p.m. Friday, August 15, 2014.  The full announcement is below.

 

Call for Papers

AALS Section on Academic Support

January 2015 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

 

ASP a Roadmap at the Crossroad: How Academic Support Will Meet Today’s Varied Challenges

 

This year, the Academic Support Program Committee opted to have a call for papers and one speaker will be selected from the call.  From isolated academic support efforts to more formalized multifaceted programs, academic support has fundamentally changed itself and legal education over the years.  In light of shrinking budgets, disappearing positions, smaller applicant pools, changing profiles of incoming students, and media attacks on legal education, academic support programs face newer and varied challenges. We seek papers highlighting innovative methods, programs, or ideas related to these challenges.

 

Topics might include, but are not limited to, efficient and effective ways to:  collaborate with faculty; manage limited human and financial resources; attract and retain students; provide resources for students with learning and other disabilities; and create programming for diverse populations to address any social isolation and/or bridge any skills deficiencies.

 

As the deadline for program proposals was April 1, 2014, our list of program proposal speakers will be forthcoming.  The selected paper speaker will join those speakers as one of the presenters.  There is no formal requirement as to length of the abstract and paper submission.  Preference will be given to papers that offer novel scholarly insights on the panel topic.  A paper may have already been accepted for publication as long as it will not be published prior to the Annual Meeting.  The Section does not have plans to publish the papers, so individual presenters are free to seek their own publishing opportunities.

 

Papers must include the following information:

1.  A title for your paper.

2.  An abstract of your paper.

3.  A final draft of your paper.

4.  The amount of time requested for your presentation. No single presenter should exceed 30 minutes in total.  [Deleted statement about shorter presentations because paper speaker should be given at least 30 minutes.]

5.  A detailed description of both the substantive content and the techniques to be employed, if any, to engage the audience.

6.  Whether you plan to distribute handouts, use PowerPoint, or employother technology.

7.  A list of the conferences at which you have presented within the last three years, such as AALS, national or regional ASP or writing conferences, or other academic conferences.

8. A list of your published scholarly articles or books within the last three years.

9.  Your school affiliation, title, courses taught, and contact information (please include email address and telephone number).

10. Any other information you think will help the Committee appreciate the value your paper presentation will provide.

 

Please submit your paper by Friday, August 15, 2014 at 5pm to Goldie Pritchard, Michigan State University College of Law, gpritch@law.msu.edu.  If you have questions, please email Goldie Pritchard or call at 517.432.6881.

The Section on Academic Support Program Committee:

Goldie Pritchard, Chair

Robin Boyle Laisure

Robert Coulthard

Steven Foster

Lyndsay Garmond

DeShun Harris

Danielle Kocal

Haley Meade

Maysa Nichter

Brendon Taga

ASP Section Chair:  Amy Jarmon

 

 

June 16, 2014 in Meetings, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

University of Louisville Director of Academic Success Position

Director of Academic Success position at the University of Louisville School of Law.   You can find the posting on http://louisville.edu/jobs under “Staff Positions”.  The job ID # is UL172 and will remain open until June 15.  The online application is available athttps://highereddecisions.com/uofl/current_vacancies.asp.   I think there are a lot of talented folks in ASP positions that would be a great fit for this.  Please share with anyone you think might be interested.

 

Position Description
Please note: this is the 80% FTE position with the salary of $40,000.00 annually.

The successful candidate will work with students in their transition to law school, will promote students' successful completion of the J.D. program, and will work with administration and faculty to provide students with a skill-set that will prepare them for the bar exam. The School of Law seeks to serve and retain a highly qualified and diverse student body, and the Director should have experience and training that will support working with a diverse student population. Ideally, the successful candidate will begin on June 30, 2014.

Some specific responsibilities of the Director of Academic Success include being responsible for the 1L Structured Study Group program, which includes providing curriculum, training, and supervision to Student Academic Fellows; working with students, individually and in small groups, on legal writing, time management, and test-taking skills; developing and conducting academic support workshops on class preparation, study habits, case briefing, outlining, and exam-taking; and assessing the academic success program, including the law school's bar passage, along with making periodic reports to the faculty on program outcomes. The Director should be prepared to develop and teach a one-hour Legal Methods Study Group in the Spring semester.

Finally, the Director is responsible for working more generally with the Assistant Dean of Student Life and others, to help acculturate students to the rigors of law school and to provide support and referrals to students in need.


The Brandeis School of Law is part of a dynamic metropolitan research university and has a student body of approximately 400 students. It is committed to maintaining a diverse student body and providing an educational experience focused on public service, interdisciplinary study, and public policy development.

 

June 14, 2014 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Assistant Director of Academic Achievement Position at California Western

Assistant Director of Academic Achievement

California Western School of Law seeks applicants for the Assistant Director of Academic Achievement.  Under the general direction of the Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement, the Assistant Director of Academic Achievement provides academic support to law students, particularly those at academic risk.  The Assistant Director is primarily responsible for supervising the tutoring program, presenting skills workshops, and working with first-year students who are facing academic difficulty.  The Assistant Director also teaches the Academic Achievement Workshop for second-year students and tutors alumni who are studying for the California bar exam. 

Qualifications:  (1) a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school with a record of academic success and bar passage; (2) at least two years of law teaching experience, preferably in an academic support or bar preparation program; (3) excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills; (4) strong problem-solving abilities; (5) good organization, judgment, and flexibility; (6) strong legal research and office computer skills, as well as an aptitude for learning new technology; (7) experience with educational technology and/or statistical analysis software (like SPSS) a plus; (8) experience  in course planning, classroom presentations, formative and summative assessment a plus; and (7) a demonstrated ability and interest in working collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty and staff.

Applicants must submit: (1) a cover letter describing their qualifications and salary requirements; and (2) a resume to Human Resources (hr@cwsl.edu). Salary will be commensurate with experience, and the position includes a competitive benefits package.  Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2014.  The preferred start date is August 1, 2014.

California Western is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity. Founded in 1924, California Western (www.cwsl.edu) is a private, independent law school located in downtown San Diego, California that is celebrating 90 years of excellence.  It is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. 

June 13, 2014 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)