Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

When The Students Are Away…

Monday officially marked the first day of the fall break for our students. This technically means that students have left the building until next week. First year law students who heeded warnings and upper level students who viewed the break as an opportunity to get ahead academically occupy study rooms in the library and classrooms throughout the building. A student or two might stop by my office or honor a scheduled meeting but this is also my opportunity to maximize my student-free time. While the students are away, I have much to accomplish but can also practice some self-care.

This is the first period of time since the semester began that I can sit, think, and complete a task without multiple interruptions. This is the perfect time to tackle some big projects and tasks that require minimal interruptions or multitasking. Below are just a few things I accomplished during this short week:

(1) Met and worked with a handful of students

(2) Met and discussed a January project with my supervisor

(3) Met with a colleague to discuss another January project

(4) Purged a number of papers

(5) Worked on mock exams

(6) Left the building for lunch

(7) Walked outside for some fresh air

(8) Took a personal day off from work

I hope that as Academic Support Professionals, we can all take a deep breath, rejuvenate, spend some time with family and friends, and come back energized to help students finish the semester strong. (Goldie Pritchard)

November 22, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Serve Up a Holiday-Themed Scavenger Hunt

It’s often difficult to keep law students engaged around the holidays when they’re anxious to spend time with friends and family. Below are a few fun ways to promote student engagement by integrating the holidays into your classes.

If you find yourself over-stuffed this week, I do not recommend trying to sue “Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, Mayflower Movers, Pilgrim Pride, Turkey Hill, Black Friday, Corn on the Cob, [or the] Cleveland Indians.” Riches v. Thanksgiving, 2007 WL 4591385 (N.D. Cal 2007). A prisoner who was “offended” by the Thanksgiving holiday tried to do just that, but the court dismissed his claim finding that “[t]o the extent any of these defendants are actual entities that may be sued, they are private organizations that do not act under color of state law, an essential element of a § 1983 action.” And if you want a second helping of prisoner litigation, dish out Professor Abigail Perdue’s suggestion: Karmasu v. Hughes, 654 N.E.2d 179 (Ohio App. 1995) (concerning a prisoner who sued the prison dietician for serving turkey stuffing for Thanksgiving).

In December, consider a Christmas tree or menorah themed case. There are over two thousand cases involving Christmas trees with issues ranging from freedom of religion to the Fair Labor Standards Act in agricultural production. See Mather v. Village of Mundelein, 864 F.2d 1291 (7th Cir. 1989) and U.S. Dept. of Labor v. N.C. Growers Assn., Inc., 377 F.3d 345 (4th Cir. 2004), respectively. For a more technical exploration of the holiday, turn to the U.S. Court of International Trade, which explored whether “14-foot long lengths of wire set with 10 light bulbs … in the form of such objects as fruits, vegetables, hearts, rearing horses, guitars and American flags” should be classified as “lighting sets of a kind used for Christmas trees” or “other electric lamps” within a tariff statute. Primal Lite, Inc. v. U.S., 15 F. Supp. 2d 915 (Ct. Intl. Trade 1998).

Pavlicic v. Vogtsberger (or any of the cases it cites) is an ideal choice around Valentine’s Day for both romantics and cynics alike because the case addresses “the recovery of gifts which [a man] presented to [a woman] in anticipation of a marriage which never saw the bridal veil.” 136 A.2d 127, 128 (Pa. 1957).

Meanwhile, in the spring, opt for an Easter Bunny themed case. If the case need not be published, then I recommend Rogers v. Walgreens, 2017 WL 3263783, where a woman was so startled by a Walgreens’ employee dressed as the Easter Bunny that she fell and injured herself. But if you require a published source, consider People v. Gaither, 173 Cal. App. 2d 662 (1959), which found the defendant guilty of poisoning his ex-wife’s family with chocolate Easter Bunny candies laced with enough arsenic to kill 75 people.

After you select your case, make sure it is sufficiently de-identified for the research exercise.  Here’s a quick “how to”:

  1. Download the opinion from Westlaw or Lexis as a Microsoft Word document.
  2. Delete as much of the identifying information as possible, including the case caption, syllabus, headnotes, and the judge’s name.
  3. Omit any concurring or dissenting opinions, for brevity, if desired.
  4. Substitute any extraordinarily unusual words in the opinion with more commonplace synonyms. Savvy students will simply search for the strange term instead of identifying the actual legal issue.
  5. Use the “find and replace” feature on Word to quickly substitute the parties’ last names with their first names or other designations such as buyer and seller or plaintiff and defendant.
  6. Try to locate the case yourself using traditional Westlaw and Lexis searches. Make sure that the case is findable but does not necessarily immediately reveal itself.
  7. Confirm that the case does not come up in the first few pages of Google search results.

Once the opinion is sufficiently scrubbed, announce the rules of the game and get researching!

For more information on fun holiday-themed research exercises, see the Winter 2016 edition of “The Learning Curve,” a publication of the AALS Section on Academic Support, which is available online at the Law School Academic Success Project.

This post originally appeared on the "Teach Law Better" blog on November 20, 2017.  (Kirsha Trychta)

November 21, 2017 in Games, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Reminder: Deadline for Learning Curve Submissions is December 1

Good afternoon,

This is a gentle reminder that our December 1 deadline for article submissions is approaching. For our upcoming Winter issue, we are particularly interested in submissions surrounding the issue’s themes of academic advising, counseling, and troubleshooting performance issues our students' experience. Are you doing something innovative outside of the classroom that helps motivate a new generation of law students? Do you have classroom exercises that promote the positive effects of supportive peer groups? Do you use technology to facilitate difficult conversations with students who are performing at a level they find unacceptable?

Please ensure that your articles are applicable to our wide readership. Principles that apply broadly — i.e., to all teaching or support program environments — are especially welcome. While we always want to be supportive of your work, we discourage articles that focus solely on advertising for an individual school’s program.

Please send your article submission to by December 1, 2017. (Please do not send inquiries to the Gmail account, as it is not regularly monitored.) Attach your submission to your message as a Word file. Please do not send a hard-copy manuscript or paste a manuscript into the body of an email message.

Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate. Please include any references in a references list at the end of your manuscript, not in footnotes. 

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


The Editors

Chelsea Baldwin, Executive Editor

DeShun Harris, Associate Editor

Christina Chong, Technology Editor

November 20, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Save the Date for the AASE Conference in May

The dates for the sixth annual Association of Academic Support Educators conference are May 22-26, 2018. The conference is in St. Louis, Missouri with Saint Louis University School of Law as the host school. If you are new to the ASP/bar prep community, you will find this conference very helpful. Experienced ASP'ers always look forward to the sessions. Hope to see you there!

November 19, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Count Your Blessings

It is a stressful time of the semester for many law students. Even if they have kept up with tasks, there is more to do. And if they are feeling behind, it can seem overwhelming.

As we draw closer to Thanksgiving, it is a good time to count one's blessings to put the stress into perspective.

Consider these law school and legal profession blessings:

  • Being in law school and preparing to enter the legal profession are privileges that few people have.
  • Being a lawyer will allow you to impact positively many clients and your community throughout your working career.
  • Law school introduces you to people who will be life-long friends and colleagues.
  • Learning the law challenges your status quo each day and forces you to use your intellect in new ways.
  • Learning the law provides you with knowledge and insights that impact many aspects of your daily life: signing a lease, buying a house, filing your taxes, evaluating TV news stories, financing a car, writing a will.
  • Law skill will advance your critical reading, critical writing, and critical thinking skills beyond what you envisioned before attending.
  • Learning the law is valuable for many areas of employment whether you choose to practice or use your legal knowledge in industry, government, health care, or a myriad of other career paths.

Now consider all of the non-law-school blessings we have compared to so many other people in our world:

  • Freedoms provided by living in the USA
  • Family and friends
  • Shelter, food, and clothing
  • Safety and security
  • Financial means

If your perspective becomes too narrow with upcoming exams on the horizon, just step back and broaden your perspective. Remind yourself that you are blessed in many ways. (Amy Jarmon)

November 18, 2017 in Encouragement & Inspiration, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Assistant Director of Academic Excellence Position at American

Position Title: Assistant Director of Academic Excellence (13862)
Position Number:
Open Date:
Washington College of Law
Close Date:
Salary Range:
$60,000 - $65,000
Sr Coordinator/Sr Analyst B
Work Hours per Week:
Position Type:
Full-time Staff

The Assistant Director of Academic Excellence will promote the academic excellence of American University Washington College of Law students, from matriculation through graduation. The Assistant Director will direct and implement the law school’s programs and initiatives designed to enrich students’ learning experiences and help prepare students to pass the bar exam. The Assistant Director will design, implement, and evaluate comprehensive workshops for all law students on topics related to academic and bar exam success. The incumbent will meet with and counsel students on their academic progress; develop and oversee the execution of individualized learning plans; plan, conceptualize and teach workshops to faculty, staff, and students about best practices for bar exam preparation; and develop and implement events, programs, and initiatives that provide a comprehensive and meaningful academic experience for law students. Reporting to the Director of Academic Excellence, the incumbent will have a central role in the law school in incorporating best practices in preparing students for academic and bar exam success. The Assistant Director will supervise and train all Academic Excellence Dean’s Fellows.

Educational Requirements:
J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school

Minimum Requirements:
• Admission to the bar
• Four (4) years’ experience advising or mentoring law students and/or law graduates preferably in the area of bar preparation or academic support
• Strong legal writing, research, and analysis skills
• Ability to build rapport with students, faculty and staff
• Demonstrated ability to exercise sound, ethical, and professional judgment
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and social learning platforms

Preferred Requirements:
• At least 1 year of legal practice or post-graduate clerkship

Additional Information:
Some evening and weekend work is necessary based on program and student needs.

Hiring offers for this position are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.

To Apply Please Visit:

November 17, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pause For Your Mental Sanity

Fall semester break (Thanksgiving Break) is approaching and there are many signs that students need a break to refocus, rest, and put a dent in tasks they have either avoided or simply had insufficient time to tackle. First year law students, in particular, have been spread very thin trying to learn new skills, balance multiple tasks, and learn new information. Simply put, they are pushed to the brink of their perceived capabilities. These activities are all potential sources of stress that may negatively impact one’s body and mind even when you are aware that you need to slow down. Students forget about focusing on what is most important to them when everything within them says that they cannot complete this or that assignment. Productivity starts to plummet, sleep schedules are off, healthy eating habits are replaced with unhealthy ones, gradual withdraw from social life takes place, frequent panic attacks occur, and some students no longer enjoy things they once enjoyed. In essence, students no longer feel good about themselves.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “mental health” as:

“the condition of being sound mentally and emotionally that is characterized by the absence of mental illness and by adequate adjustment especially as reflected in feeling comfortable about oneself, positive feelings about others, and the ability to meet the demands of daily life; also: the general condition of one’s mental and emotional state.”

Our students should aspire to have good mental health; always be aware of how they feel and how they manage their feelings. There are several resources at counseling centers and student affairs offices on various campuses on this topic that I am only mildly addressing.

Our students have a week off before they return to wrap-up the semester and take final exams. Of course, I relentlessly encourage students to maximize the time they have over break. Use this time wisely and effectively but also get some rest. I encourage students to develop a realistic and productive study plan in order to set themselves up for success by implementing the plan. I also encourage students to develop an additional plan for rest and recuperation, emphasizing it is very easy for time off to develop into all play and rest and no work, nevertheless, it is important to plan and limit their rest time.

A top priority on the list is to get some true rest and some valuable sleep of at least eight hours each and every day. I also encourage students to have a day when they do absolutely nothing but what they want to do and engage in at least one activity that makes them happy. Their goal is to be re-energized and in the best, mental and emotional state to wrap-up the last few weeks of the semester.

This is not to say that no time is spent on maximizing study time but I would let you refer to my colleague’s entry here which addresses exam preparation in detail. Happy restful yet productive break to all students. (Goldie Pritchard)


image from

November 15, 2017 in Advice, Exams - Studying, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Plotting Your Final Exam Study Time

Last week Professor Jarmon offered her tips on how to “Find[] Time for Exam Study.” This week I’d like to share my strategy for managing that (perhaps, newly found) time, especially between now and the end of the exam period.

Step One: Put all of your final exams and legal writing deadlines on a one-page calendar, so that you can see everything at the same time. Microsoft Word has tons a free calendar templates available for download. For example, here is what our first-year, fall semester exam schedule looks like:

Fall exams 2017 calendar mini

If you prefer to edit my calendar instead of creating your own, then Download Fall Exams 2017 Calendar here.

Step Two: Make a list of all the major topics that were discussed in each of your courses this semester. The Table of Contents to your casebook will help guide you through this step. If you don’t want to mark-up your textbook (or it’s already heavily marked up), consider downloading a printable version of the Table of Contents from the publisher’s website or online casebook companion.  For this step, focus only on the big picture, not on all the subtopics and individual cases contained within each major topic.  For example, this semester we covered three chapters—general principles, homicide, and property offenses—in my criminal law course, so a student’s Table of Contents may look like this:

  Table of contents mini

Step Three: Think about how long it will take you to learn each one of these major topics. Questions to ask yourself, include: Do you still need to outline, draft rule blocks, or make flashcards for that topic? Did you understand that topic when it was covered in class or were you confused then? Do you already have, or know where to easily find, practice hypotheticals for that topic? You will also want to think about how much time you’ll need to engage in active studying techniques—such as using flashcards or writing out practice essay responses—after you have gathered and refined your notes. Once you’ve reflected on the amount of work you have left to do, write that time allotment down. When in doubt, estimate on the high side; it’s better to have extra time than to run short of study time. And, if you prefer to be overly cautions, also schedule in some wiggle room just in case. For example:

List of topics to master mini 2

If you like my chart, then feel free to Download List of Topics to Master, an editable version, here.  Repeat step three for all of your subjects.

Step Four: Assign specific days and times to each chunk of material, keeping in mind your final exam schedule. For example, if it’s going to take you a total of 32 hours to review criminal law, and the criminal law exam is on Friday, December 1, then you have to spread out those 32 hours between now and November 30. Repeat this same process for each of your exams, bearing in mind that you can’t double-up any timeslots (you can only study one thing at a time, after all) and will still need to sleep, eat, and exercise.  This is the hardest step, because you have to combine the calendar from Step One with the chart in Step Three, into a single, useable study schedule.  As you combine all the information, you may realize that you don't have as much time to study as you had hoped.  If you find yourself in this category, you'll have to start Step Three over, this time making tougher choices about where you'll spend your time and prioritizing certain topics over others.

Step Five: Stick to the plan! If you find that you’ve only allotted 30 minutes to focus on embezzlement, but that after a half-hour of reviewing your notes, you still don’t understand it, you need to move on. Don’t get caught spinning your wheels on any one particular topic. If you have some extra time later, either because another topic didn’t take as long as you expected or because you smartly scheduled in some wiggle room in Step Three above, then revisit the troubling topic again. 

Good luck!  (Kirsha Trychta)


November 14, 2017 in Exams - Studying, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 13, 2017

ETS Study on the GRE for Law School Admissions

Inside Higher Ed posted a brief news item on an ETS study showing the GRE as valid for law school admissions. According to the post, LSAC disputes the accuracy of claims made by ETS. As our readers know, some law schools are now accepting the GRE for their admissions decisions. The recent council for the ABA Section on Legal Education recommendation for greater discretion for law schools to use the GRE or LSAT will make this a hot topic for some time. We can expect more studies, I am sure. The news item is here. (Amy Jarmon)

November 13, 2017 in Miscellany, News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Presentation Proposals for 2018 AASE Conference

2018 Annual Conference
May 22 – 24: St. Louis, MO
St. Louis University School of Law
Call for Proposals

The 2018 Conference of the Association of Academic Support Educators will bring together colleagues interested in legal education and academic support. In this collegial and collaborative environment, colleagues will have a chance to meet, reconnect, and share ideas about pedagogy, scholarship, and professional growth.

In order to present at the conference, you need to be a current AASE member and current with your annual dues at the time of the submission. If you are not an AASE member, you must submit an application to verify membership eligibility and pay your annual dues before submitting your proposal.

The program committee welcomes proposals on any subject relating to legal education and academic support.

Please craft your proposal carefully using the required online form. The program committee will only look at proposals submitted through this online form. Please copy and paste the following link into your browser to access the required online form and follow the instructions to submit a proposal:

A “Sample Proposal” is available at the end of this document and it contains more detailed explanations and sample answers of the questions you will see in the required online form. The program committee will look for proposals that describe the presentation and its goals in detail. Our assumption is that a clear and detailed proposal today will lead to a stronger presentation at the conference. Please review the Sample Proposal before submitting the required online form.

Presentation Topics
The committee seeks various presentations and topics, including but not limited to presentations
that address:
• diversity and inclusion (particularly programs that focus on sustaining women and minorities in legal careers);
• teaching ideas for new and veteran teachers;
• scholarship;
• research;
• professional growth;
• assessment;
• hot topics in legal education;
• creativity in law teaching and learning;
• teaching methods;
• analytical and academic competencies necessary for success in law school, on the bar, and in practice;
• counseling;
• educational psychology;
• assisting students with learning disabilities;
• the role and status of Academic Support Professionals in the legal academy; and
• intersections between academic support, legal writing and doctrinal teaching.

Presentation Format
Presentations may be in any form the presenter finds effective. Although the committee does seek to accommodate all presenters with their selection for presentation format and timing, the committee may occasionally ask presenters to change the format or timing of a presentation to fit the needs of a comprehensive and diverse program.
The following is a description of the different types of presentations:

Interactive Workshop
An interactive workshop is a presentation with audience participation throughout. A proposal for an interactive workshop should discuss what you plan to do to make the presentation interactive.

Examples include: pair and share, break-out group discussions, use of demonstrative aids that involve the audience, or other audience participation. Note that providing handouts, although very beneficial for attendees, does not on its own make the presentation interactive.
If you submit a proposal with more than one presenter for your session, your proposal should include the name, e-mail address, and school for each presenter. In determining how many presenters to include in your proposal, please make sure that each person will have sufficient time to fully discuss his or her topic. Because most presentations will last only 45 minutes, we recommend no more than 2 to 3 presenters.

Lesson in a Box
A lesson in a box presentation is a session devoted to the presentation of a lesson on a single topic. Such sessions should include all of the information and materials necessary for attendees to leave the session prepared to deliver the lesson on their own.

Moderated Group Discussion
Moderated Group Discussions are more informal presentations that feature group conversations and interaction. The committee encourages presentations that will foster dialogue among conference attendees. These sessions are particularly well suited for hot topics.

Speed Round
Speed Rounds are 10 minute, fast-paced, high-impact sessions. These are opportunities for new ideas, or for emerging professionals to present ideas that might not have been presented on before. There will be several Speed Rounds running concurrently throughout the period.

Brochure Summary
Please provide a short summary of your presentation for the conference brochure. The summary should not exceed 250 words and should accurately reflect the subject of the presentation.

As part of your proposal we ask that you explain whether your presentation requires projection, internet access, audio, or other technology and the degree to which each is necessary to your presentation. We ask that proposals identify any technology needs at this early point so that we can be prepared well in advance of the conference to provide accessibility.

Time Slots
The committee expects that nearly all presentations will be assigned a 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour time slot. Proposals should indicate the time needed for the presentation. Please also address how the presentation can be adapted if you are allotted a shorter amount of time. However, we recognize that a few presentations are better served with more time. If you are interested in a 75-minute time slot, your proposal should clearly explain why 75 minutes is necessary.

Submission Deadline
Proposals must be submitted no later than January 19, 2018. Late submissions will not be accepted.

All individuals submitting a proposal will be notified about the status of their proposal on or before February 16, 2018.

Multiple Proposals and the “One-Presentation Rule”
You may submit a maximum of two proposals, and you need not rank your proposals in order of preference. If you are selected for more than one presentation or panel, you will be given the opportunity to select the one presentation or panel in which you would like to participate, as each person is limited to one presentation or panel.

No Marketing
Although the committee welcomes proposals on any topic of interest to academic support faculty, a proposal will not be accepted if it appears to be a means to market a textbook or other for-pay product. AASE does not accept proposals from any commercial vendors. Any commercial vendor interested in promoting their materials may do so as a sponsor of the conference. Please email to request information on becoming a sponsor.

If you have any questions, please contact the Programming Committee at:


Proposal for AASE 2018 Annual Summer Conference

Presenter Contact Information: Cai Leonard, Law School, 2 Main Street, Springfield, ST 98765.
T: 112-356-7890

Presentation Title: Building Positive Classroom Environments

Background of Presentation Topic: Creating a positive learning environment is one of the components critical to successful learning (e.g. Bransford et. al, How People Learn 25; Goleman, Social Intelligence 268-76; Hess & Friedland, Techniques for Teaching Law 326-27). Emotional intelligence and neuroscience studies show that we learn better when we are challenged, supported, respected, and engaged. Too much stress impedes learning; lack of challenge does the same. This workshop focuses on how to create a positive learning environment for law students.

Goals of the Presentation: By the end of this workshop participants will:
• Be able to explain the value of positive interpersonal environments in helping students learn;
• Be able to identify methods for building positive interpersonal classroom environments; and
• Be able to engage their own students in exercises that help build positive classroom environments.

Target Audience: Newbies & moderate experience level; all school sizes

Presentation Format: Interactive Workshop

Presentation Methodology: Participants will be actively involved in different techniques that affect classroom dynamics. Participants will engage in:
 Writing
 Discussing ideas in pairs
 Looking at visuals
 Listening & reflecting
 Discussing ideas with the whole group
 Practicing with a small group
Participants will first examine the environments that have been conducive to their own learning, and exchange their ideas with a partner. This will be followed by a short, whole group discussion about the value of creating positive affect — and the value of engaging others in talking about it. Participants will then be given scenarios about classroom behaviors and asked to consider the following kinds of questions:
 What could the professor have done at the beginning of the course to increase the positive interpersonal engagement?
 What are the likely consequences of negative classroom interactions?
 What small steps can professors take to improve the classroom environment?

Participants will be given an overview of how positive and negative interpersonal dynamics and environments affect student learning. They will then discuss things they have noticed within their classes and ways to improve classroom dynamics. Depending on participants’ teaching areas, participants may engage in small group discussions about questions relating to doctrinal areas, upper level vs. first year courses, skills courses, or clinical courses.
Throughout the workshop, I will share my own experiences and give examples of what I have found effective in my classes, others’ classes, and I will answer participants’ questions.

Timing Required: 30 minutes

Materials: Outline of the workshop, scenarios regarding different kinds of classroom environments, questions for participants to respond to, specific techniques professors can use to create positive environments, and short list of resources.

Technology Required: Access to PowerPoint would be very helpful, although the session could be modified to be done without it.

Brochure Summary: We have all witnessed our students struggle in their classes due to too much stress. This workshop focuses on how to create a positive learning environment for law students. Through group discussion and partner work, participants will learn how to build positive interpersonal classroom environments.

November 13, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Director of Academic Success Position at Concordia Law - Updated Link in Job Ad

Concordia University School of Law, located in Boise, Idaho, invites applications for a Director of Academic Success position beginning in the 2017-18 academic year. This is a full-time position that may be a contract faculty or staff position, depending upon the qualifications of the candidate. Under the direction of the Associate Dean for Academics, the Director of the Academic Success Program will have lead responsibility for maximizing student learning and performance in law school courses and on the bar exam by instructing students on learning techniques, identifying external resources for student academic success, collaborating with faculty on instruction, and assessing the success of educational programs. In addition, this position will have responsibility for teaching courses targeted at students who would benefit from support in legal analysis; supporting students seeking assistance in learning; and for developing and implementing a strategy for bar exam passage. The Director is also responsible for administering the Admission by Performance Program, the law school’s conditional admission program for prospective 1L students. The position requires interaction with prospective students, students, staff, faculty, and administrators on a daily basis. Our goal is to recruit a dynamic, bright, and highly motivated individual who is interested in making significant contributions to our law school and its students. Experience in academic support and bar exam support is preferred, and teaching experience is desirable. As a Lutheran institution of higher education, we seek candidates who will support our mission and promote Lutheran values. 

Special Instructions to Applicants: Questions about the position can be directed to the Chair of the Committee. Applicants should submit a current Curriculum Vitae, a statement of faith, and a letter of interest to Please also provide the names and email addresses of three individuals prepared to speak to your professional qualifications for this position. Please note: these references will not be contacted immediately, but may be contacted at an appropriate later point in the review process. Additional materials related to teaching excellence and samples of scholarly publications may be emailed to the Victoria Haneman, Chair of the Committee, at Review of applications will begin immediately and continued until the position is filled. Concordia University reserves the right to give preference in employment based upon religion in order to further the Lutheran objectives of the University and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

November 12, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Assistant Professor of Academic Success Position U of Dayton - Deadline is Novermber 21st

Assistant Professor of Academic SuccessPOSITION SUMMARY

The University of Dayton School of Law invites applications for one Assistant Professor of Academic Success. This is a non-tenure track position with an initial appointment of one year and the possibility of renewal for long-term (three or five-year) appointments after three years of satisfactory service.

The focus of the Academic Success Program at the School of Law is to help students develop the skills necessary for law school success and first-time bar passage. Responsibilities of the Assistant Professor of Academic Success will include:

  • teaching academic success courses related to legal reasoning, critical reading, exam- writing, and bar examination preparation;
  • providing academic advising and professional development counseling for students;
  • supervising and evaluating the Law School’s Learning Communities program, including designing student-led sessions and working with upper-level Dean’s Fellows;
  • participating in the larger community for academic success professionals through regular

attendance or presentations at conferences and other relevant endeavors to support the faculty member’s professional development;

  • delivering and assessing a comprehensive program of academic support from orientation

until graduation.

Applicants must have a J.D. degree from and a record of high academic achievement at an ABA- accredited law school and recent experience in legal education or law teaching in an American law school, particularly in designing and teaching academic success courses or those related to legal reasoning, critical reading, exam-writing, and/or bar examination preparation. Applicants must also articulate a commitment to academic support, including implementing the best models and practices available to encourage student success and utilizing recent developments in pedagogy in American law schools.

We prefer candidates with:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to academic support, including implementing best models and practices available to encourage student success and utilizing recent developments in pedagogy in American law schools;
  • Demonstrate successful experience providing effective academic advising and professional development counseling for students;
  • Recent successful experience developing and administering structured intervention and counseling programs for at-risk students;
  • Recent successful program administration, including delivering and assessing all aspects of a program, especially if the experience relates to academic support;
  • Demonstrate successful experience compiling and analyzing data for statistical analysis, including familiarity with the most commonly used statistical software programs;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including effective presentation skills;
  • Effective interpersonal communication skills with various constituencies;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues;
  • Demonstrate successful experience mentoring and working with students from diverse backgrounds; and
  • Expressed willingness to engage with Catholic and Marianist educational values.

The University of Dayton, founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary, is a top ten Catholic research university.  The University seeks outstanding, diverse faculty and staff who value its mission and share its commitment to academic excellence in teaching, research and artistic creativity, the development of the whole person, and leadership and service in the local and global community.

To attain its Catholic and Marianist mission, the University is committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion and affirmative action and to equal opportunity policies and practices.  As an Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Employer, we will not discriminate against  minorities, females, protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, or on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Applications will be accepted until November 21, 2017. To be considered as a candidate for this position, you must apply online at:  Cover letter and CV should be submitted electronically on the website at the time of application. The cover letter should address the applicant’s ability to meet the minimum and preferred qualifications. For more information about the School of Law or the Academic Support Program, please visit our website at or contact the chair of the hiring committee, Professor Victoria VanZandt, University of Dayton School of Law, 300 College Park, Dayton, Ohio 45469-2772.

November 11, 2017 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Top 10 Award for Goldie Pritchard


Congratulations to Goldie Pritchard for winning another Texas Bar Today Top Ten badge! She was recognized for her post on November 1st entitled Everyone Passed the Bar Exam But Me. You can find the post here if you missed reading it. (Amy Jarmon)

November 10, 2017 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Power of Positive Thinking

It can be quite difficult to adopt and maintain a positive outlook when everything around you seems to be falling apart. You may not find yourself in a position to have a positive attitude when time seems to evade you and you simply cannot find ample time to complete each and every task. This is a particularly stressful period of time for various populations I interact with; therefore, why not address positive thinking? 1Ls have possibly received feedback from a midterm and now have to change everything about the way they study, all while balancing their final writing assignment for the legal writing course. 2Ls and some 3Ls completed the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and some are now questioning whether or not they adequately prepared for the exam to obtain the desired score. Others are hoping to have successfully passed the MPRE so they do not have to take it again or take it for the third time if this is their second go at it. 3Ls are starting to panic as they realize that this is the last set of exams and all that stands between them and a law license are bar applications, final grades, and the bar exam. For all these groups, there are a few short weeks prior to final exams and each day gets them even closer.

With the above-mentioned concerns and the semester progressively nearing a close, students are tense and quite stressed. I try to keep all of this in perspective as I interact with these students individually and collectively. A positive attitude is infectious and with each interaction, my intent is to highlight positivity thus enabling students to focus on the “big picture” while remaining positive in each challenge they face along the way. A positive disposition can lead to success when obstacles are no longer viewed as obstacles but rather seen as opportunities. Individuals are more disposed to help others with a positive attitude and more likely to avoid those with a negative attitude. Negative thoughts, words, and attitudes generate negative feelings, moods, and behaviors. Negativity can forge a pathway to failure, frustration, and disappointment. I have witnessed students talk themselves out of opportunities and successes simply because of fear which generated negative attitudes.

How then does one address the inevitable occasional negative feelings? Creating a vision board with a list of things you aspire to have and are working towards. Stating weekly affirmations that uplift, encourage, and empower you. Adopting positive words in your inner dialogue or when interacting with others. Being cognizant of your negative internal dialogue and quickly changing it to positives can work wonders. All the best with the final stretch. (Goldie Pritchard)

November 8, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Imposter Syndrome Podcast

Hat tip to my colleague, Atiba Ellis, who forwarded me a link to the BBC World Service podcast series "The Why Factor," which recently explored the concept of Imposter SyndromeThe podcast smartly outlines the causes of Imposter Syndrome and then highlights the syndrome's prevalence in the workplace and higher education--especially among diverse or minority employees and students.

The 23-minute episode explains: "Have you ever felt like a fraud? You think that one day your mask will be uncovered and everyone will know your secret. According to psychologists, this is a common feeling that many of us suffer from and it has a name; Imposter Syndrome. The term was coined by two American psychologists, Dr Pauline Clance and Dr Suzanne Imes, in 1978. Dr Clance and Dr Imes first thought the feeling was only experienced by high achieving women, but quickly found that men experienced it too. According to subject expert, Dr Valerie Young, women are more susceptible to imposter feelings because they internalise failure and mistakes- whereas men are more likely to attribute failure and mistakes to outside factors. However, those who belong to minority groups of whom there are stereotypes about competence also commonly experience imposter feelings.  If you suffer from imposter syndrome, don’t worry you’re in good company; Maya Angelou, Robert Pattinson, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis and many more successful people have expressed feeling like imposters."

(Kirsha Trychta)

November 7, 2017 in Diversity Issues, Stress & Anxiety, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Registration Is Open for the December One-Day LWI Workshops

Registration is now open for the LWI One Day Workshops in December! You can register for the site of your choice here. If you have any questions about registration, please contact Renee Allen.

2017 Dates, Sites & Themes:

December 1, 2017   

Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, California – “Developing Writing and Research Skills from Orientation to Graduation” 

University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia, South Carolina – “Directing Traffic at the Intersection of Legal Research and Legal Writing: Teaching Analysis” 

December 8, 2017

University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas – “Stepping into Spring: Preparing for the Second Semester”

Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – “Research, Writing and What Else? Expanding the Legal Writing Classroom”

Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina – “Legal Writing: Passport to the Profession”

Shepard Broad College of Law Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – “Small Changes, Big Results: Incremental changes people can make in LRW Classes to Improve Learning, Feedback, and Engagement”

December 9, 2017

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in Tucson, Arizona – “Innovating Upstream: Meeting New Teaching Demands in an Increasingly Global and Technological Legal World”

We look forward to seeing you in December!

The LWI One Day Workshop Committee Co-Chairs

Renee Allen, Cindy Archer, and Meredith Stange

November 6, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Finding Time for Exam Study

Many students are trying to decide where they will find the time to get everything done. Here are some tips on finding more time:

  • Block distractors while you study to avoid wasting time or getting side-tracked:
    • put your phone into airplane mode
    • turn off your message signal for email
    • block internet sites that may tempt you
    • study where others will not stop to chat
  • Evaluate your class preparation time. You want to be well-prepared for class because the newer material will be tested. However, are you able to be more efficient and effective in your class preparation?
    • Ask questions as you read to get more understanding during your reading which helps you to avoid re-reading sections.
    • Make margin notes summarizing important points as you read so that you do not have to re-read the case to make notes/brief.
    • Read for understanding and for the case essentials, not minutia; for exams, you need to apply the law from cases, not recite the cases in detail.
    • Use the weekend to prepare for Monday and Tuesday classes and then review your briefs/margin notes before classes. You then free up time during the week to study for exams.
  • Evaluate your outlining time. You want to focus on the tools that will help you solve new fact scenarios on the exams.
    • Avoid minutia in your outlines; focus on the important items.
    • Ask yourself how an item of information will help you on the exam. If it will not be useful, then it does not need to be in the outline.
    • Avoid perfectionism. Make the best outline you can in the time you have left. Next semester you can work on outlines earlier, but for now focus on utility.
  • Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of study group/partner time.
    • Are you spending mega time on study group and not spending enough time on your own learning?
    • Is your group staying on task or becoming a social outlet?
    • Does your study group have a set agenda for each meeting so everyone comes prepared to discuss those topics/practice questions?
    • If your group is having problems, have a study group meeting with your law school's academic success professional to discuss strategies.
  • Evaluate your exercise routine. Are you spending more time worrying about your abs than exercising your brain?
    • Experts recommend that you get 150 minutes (30 minutes X 5 days) of exercise a week.
    • Consider exercising for shorter periods of time or fewer days a week if your routine is way over the 150-minutes recommendation.
    • Consider changing your exercise routine for the remaining weeks: walking some days instead of gym time that would take longer; treadmill some days rather than an elaborate multi-machine routine.
    • Would exercising and a meal as one longer block for a break be more efficient than several different blocks of time during the day?
    • Would exercising at your apartment complex fitness center or at the university rec center for a few weeks be less time-consuming than driving to and from your usual commercial gym in town?
  • Evaluate your daily life chores for more efficient and effective ways to get things done. We often waste a lot of time on chores and errands that could be avoided.
    • Set aside one block of time to run all of your errands for the week rather than make multiple trips; then plan the most efficient driving route to get them done without wasted miles (and fuel).
    • Do a major shopping now for non-perishable items so your grocery trips in future weeks will take less time.
    • Do your shopping for school-related items now so you have everything on hand when you need it later: pens, printer paper, colored tabs, highlighters, etc.
    • Do shopping and errands at off-times when the stores are less crowded and lines less long.
    • Do a major apartment cleaning twice during the remaining weeks; the rest of the time just pick up and spot clean.
    • Decide on a low-maintenance wardrobe for the remainder of the semester; avoid the extra dry-cleaning trips and ironing by choosing easy-care clothing.
    • Prepare meals on the weekends that can then be portioned out for the week rather than cooking every day. Freeze some extra portions for future weeks as well.
    • Consider packing your lunches/dinners to take to school rather than wasting time commuting back and forth for meals.

 We often fritter away time when we do not realize it. If you save 15 minutes 4 times during the day and put that time together, you find an hour you did not think you had. (Amy Jarmon)

November 5, 2017 in Exams - Studying | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Relaxation Resources

Our workshop topic last week was stress management. One of the handouts gave some suggestions on resources. Here are the suggestions:

Headspace – free and subscription meditation sessions (recommended by multiple law students)

MIT Medical webpages

– relax and rest

– some relaxing music

– body scan mindfulness meditation

Free white noise download

You can internet search for keywords (meditation, mindfulness, relaxation, white noise) and find many more websites. (Amy Jarmon)

November 4, 2017 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Call for Nominations for AALS Section on Academic Support Officer/Board Positions

Good morning,

I write on behalf of the Nominations Committee of the AALS Section on Academic Support (Amy Jarmon, Phil Kaplan, and myself).  Below  are instructions for submitting nominations to serve in Section leadership.  There are three positions open:  Treasurer and two Board positions.  Please note that according to the Section's rotation rules, the Treasurer moves to the Secretary position the following year, then Chair-Elect and Chair in the years after that.  As stated below, the deadline to submit nominations is Nov. 15, 2017, at noon (Pacific time). 

I encourage everyone in our community to consider volunteering for these positions or nominating someone.  You can participate meaningfully even if you do not regularly attend the AALS Annual Meetings.


At the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in San Diego, the Section on Academic Support will have its Business Meeting on Friday, January 5th at 7:30AM.  Section members will elect the 2018 Executive Committee.  The Nominations Committee is now accepting nominations for positions to be elected at the 2018 meeting.

The Executive Committee is comprised of Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, four board members, and the Immediate Past Chair.  Two Board Members are elected each year, serving two-year terms.  Per the bylaws’ rotation rules, Staci Rucker (Cincinnati) becomes the Chair of the Section for 2018, Courtney Lee (McGeorge) becomes 2018 Chair-Elect, and Jennifer Carr (McGeorge) becomes 2018 Secretary.  Danielle Kocal (Pace) will move to 2018 Immediate Past Chair. 

Positions to be filled at the upcoming meeting are Treasurer (to advance to Secretary in 2019, Chair-Elect in 2020, and Chair in 2021), and two Board Members (2018-2019).  The Secretary and Treasurer also serve as a chair or co-chair of a committee during the year.  Board Members serve as members of at least one committee during their terms.

Who May Be Nominated: Candidates must be faculty or professional staff at AALS member law schools (see  The nominated person need not be present at the AALS Annual Meeting.

Who May Submit a Nomination: You may nominate yourself or any other eligible candidate at an AALS member school.

Contents of the Nomination: Nominations must be in writing and include:  (1) the candidate’s name, title, institutional affiliation, and business email address; (2) a brief description of the candidate’s professional role at his/her institution and connection with law school academic support; and (3) a statement confirming that the candidate is willing to be nominated. 

Where to send Nominations: Send nominations to Courtney Lee at (please be sure to include the “1”).

Deadline: Noon (Pacific) on Wednesday, November 15, 2017.

After nominations close, the Nominations Committee will confirm nominees’ interest in serving; review nominations; choose a slate of candidates to recommend at the Business Meeting; and seek additional nominations at the Business Meeting. 

Courtney, Amy, and Phil

Professor of Lawyering Skills
Director of Bar Support
McGeorge School of Law
University of the Pacific
3200 Fifth Ave., Sacramento, CA 95817

November 3, 2017 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Learning Tune-Up Time!

With many law students facing final exams in just over a month, this is a great time for students to reflect on their learning with the goal of making beneficial improvements before it is too late, i.e., before final exams are over.  

There are many such evaluation techniques but I especially like the questions that adjunct professor Lori Reynolds (Asst. Dean of Graduate Legal Studies at the Univ. of Denver) asks each of her students because the questions are open-ended, allowing students to reflect, interact, and communicate about their own learning with their teacher.  

And, if you are a law student, there's no need to wait on your teachers to ask these questions.  Rather, make them part and parcel of your learning today.  

So, whether you are currently serving as a teacher or taking courses as a student, you'll find these questions to be rich empowering opportunities to make a real difference in your learning! (Scott Johns).

Photo of Evaluation

November 2, 2017 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Exams - Studying, Learning Styles, Study Tips - General, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)