Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Does Meditation Have a Downside?

Mindfulness and the often-used meditation techniques that accompany it have become increasingly popular with the legal profession. Law schools, law firms, state bars, and legal associations have endorsed these aspects as helpful in dealing with the stress and anxiety that are prevalent in the legal environment. Many legal professionals have personally commented on the benefits that they have received through their embracing mindfulness. An interesting article in The Chronicle of Higher Education asks whether the popular use of meditation may cause us to overlook inequities or injustices. The link is here: The Dangers of McMindfulness.

April 7, 2016 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Call for Learning Curve Submissions

Dear Friends,

As the academic year draws to a close, I would like to congratulate all of us who have completed another year of teaching and supporting our law students.  I am pleased to announce a call for submissions for the summer 2016 edition of The Learning Curve, the academic support newsletter for AALS.

We are witnessing an exciting time for law schools.  The legal profession is changing.  Technology is reshaping teaching and learning.  The law student market is becoming ever so more consumer-driven.  All of these shifts have implications on our teaching and the reshaping of programs for legal education at law schools nationwide.  We would love to hear from you and to help showcase the creative hard work of your teaching and support of our students.  Consider writing a short article for The Learning Curve to share your ideas on law teaching and support.

The Learning Curve is a newsletter reporting on issues and ideas for the Association of American Law Schools Section on Academic Support and the general law school academic support community.  It shares teaching ideas and early research projects by academic support professionals, bar support professionals, and the law teaching community at large.

Please send your submission to by no later than May 15, 2016. Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate, and attached as a Word file.  Attached is our most current Winter 2016 issue for reference. We hope to hear from you!


Jeremiah Ho

Executive Editor

The Learning Curve


Jeremiah A. Ho | 何嘉霖 | 助理教授 Professor of LawUniversity of Massachusetts School of Law333 Faunce Corner RoadNorth Dartmouth, MA 02747508.985.1156 •

April 6, 2016 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Announcement of Election Information for AASE

Hello All,

On behalf of AASE, I would like to announce the nomination and election procedures for the Executive Board for the upcoming year.  Our bylaws mandate an electronic election completed by the first day of our national conference that is overseen by an election committee.  For those of you who are fans of reading bylaws, they are attached below.

So, in accordance with the bylaws, we have set up the following process.  Please go to the Membership page of the AASE website and follow the Nomination link which can be found here:  To nominate someone, you must be an AASE Member. If you are unsure whether you are an AASE member, please contact us at  You many nominate only one person for each position, but you can nominate the same person for more than one position. Self-nominations are allowed.

Nominations are due by April 22, 2016.  All nominees confirmed by the election committee (Jamie Kleppetsch, Paula Manning, and myself – the members of the Executive Board who are not eligible to run for an office) will be forwarded to the Executive Board by May 1, 2016.  We will then circulate an online ballot.  Voting will be open for one week leading up to the national conference and will close on May 24, 2016, the end of the first day of the national conference.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, Jamie, or Paula. 


Pavel Wonsowicz

President, AASE


  1. Elections.  Any member of the Association in good standing, except an Emeritus Member, is eligible for elected office.

(A)            Pursuant to Article VIII, the President of the Association shall each year appoint an Elections Committee. By April 1 of each year, the chair of the Elections Committee shall invite AASE members to nominate candidates for officer election.

(B) A nomination may be transmitted to the Elections Committee in any form, but, to be effective, it must be received by April 22.  The Elections Committee shall determine whether each nominated person is eligible.  The Elections Committee shall also contact each nominated person to determine whether each nominated person is willing to serve.

(C) By May 1 of each year, the Elections Committee shall forward to the Executive Committee a list of eligible persons who have been nominated and have confirmed their willingness to serve (the “nominees”) together with statements of interest submitted by the nominees.

(D) In accordance with Article IV(8), the Elections Committee shall schedule an electronic mail election to be completed no later than the first day of the annual meeting for that year.

(E) The Elections Committee, under the supervision of the President and the President Elect, shall oversee the counting of ballots and shall certify the results to the Secretary.  Nominees receiving the largest number of votes shall be deemed elected whether or not they receive a majority of the votes cast.  In the event of a tie vote, the Elections Committee shall schedule a runoff election between the nominees who received an equal number of votes on the first ballot. The Elections Committee shall provide seven days’ notice of any such runoff election.

April 5, 2016 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 4, 2016

Assistant Director of ASP at Akron Position

Assistant Director of Academic Success Programs

The University of Akron School of Law seeks to fill a full-time Assistant Director of Academic Success Programs position. The position is a salary position, paid on a monthly basis.  Akron Law is excited to expand its Academic Success Programs to support its traditionally strong performance on the bar examination, increasing student enrollment (first year enrollment increased close to 30% this year), and new international programs.  We are currently enjoying growing national recognition for particularly with respect to our bar examination preparation (top 25 ranking by National Jurist), training of prosecutors and public defenders (No. 7 ranking by National Jurist), intellectual property program (“A” grade by preLaw Magazine), and overall ranking (top 50 ranking from Above the Law).    

The person in this position will be responsible for providing support to law students by teaching, providing formative feedback, conducting workshops and supplying assistance with basic writing and analytical skills as needed.  This person will develop, schedule and administer academic success (including bar support) programming and courses, and teach, or assist in teaching, ASP courses (including Legal Reasoning and Advanced Legal Applications). 

Other responsibilities include:

  • Assisting in recruiting, managing, developing, and training ASP Fellows, including helping them design effective skills-based tutoring sessions.
  • Assisting in developing, scheduling and administering academic success programming and courses, including pre-matriculation and post-matriculation efforts.
  • Maintaining and developing ASP resource holdings.
  • Administering bar preparation support efforts, including participating in bar support efforts in Columbus twice a year.
  • Assisting in entering attendance data in advising database.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications:

Requires a Juris Doctorate Degree, Law License, and a minimum of two years of experience in bar preparation teaching, bar preparation grading, academic teaching, legal skills teaching or legal practice.   Ability to teach required.  Computer skills (including spreadsheet, word processing and database capabilities) required.

Preferred Qualifications:

Demonstrated record of effective self-starting and follow-through, demonstrated success in assisting student learning, ability to identify methods to enhance learning for multiple learning styles, ability to build rapport with all students( including at-risk students), and demonstrated ability to work well with a variety of constituencies preferred.  Ability to create, implement and evaluate academic support preferred.

For complete details and to apply please visit: Job ID# 9473.

Evaluation of applicants will begin immediately.

April 4, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Character and Fitness Questions on Bar Applications

Hat tip to Katherine M. Bender at The Dave Nee Foundation for sending a link to a video yesterday (Law Student Mental Health Day) that the State Bar of Washington has launched to openly discuss the mental health questions on many bar applications. The video can be found here: Questions of Discrimination. (Amy Jarmon)

March 29, 2016 in Bar Exam Issues, Disability Matters | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Recent Study on Sleep

Many law students have problems with sleep. Students typically tell me that they get six or less hours of sleep on a regular basis. The ones who get less than six hours sleep often tell me that they know they are too tired to focus in class or in their studies. The students who get six hours usually tell me they function just fine and have not had more hours of sleep since they left home to attend college.

Sleep research for many years has recommended 7 - 8 hours of sleep on a consistent schedule as optimal for productivity, focus, retention, etc. When I can convince students to get on a regular sleep routine with 7 - 8 hours per night, they are initially skeptical. But after their body clocks adjust and they get on that regular schedule (it takes a week or two depending on how sleep-deprived the student is already), they are amazed at how much more they get done with improved focus and understanding.

So, I was interested to read Jill Duffy's post on a recent sleep study that explained the 6-hour phenomenon of thinking one has had enough sleep to perform well. The link to the posting is here: Why Six Hours of Sleep Is As Bad As None At All . (Amy Jarmon)

March 27, 2016 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Assistant Director of Academic Success & Student Affairs at Mercer

Good morning,

Mercer Law School has an opening for an Assistant Director of Academic Success & Student Affairs. For a full job description and the desired qualifications, a link to post is here: If you have any questions about the position, please contact Mary Donovan, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at

Margaret (Peg) McCann
Director of Academic Success
Mercer Law School
Macon, Georgia 31207

March 25, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Academic Excellence Program Coordinator Position at UNC


We are thrilled to announce that the University of North Carolina School of Law is expanding its Academic Excellence Program by hiring an Academic Excellence Program Coordinator. The position will work with the Assistant Dean of Academic Excellence and other faculty to administer the school's Academic Excellence Program, which includes the LEAP Preorientation Program, Bar Success Program, and other school-year academic success initiatives. She will develop programs and deliver presentations on academic support-related topics; provide individual and small-group academic counseling; collect, track, and analyze data to better understand the impact of academic success initiatives on law school and bar exam performance; and collaborate with Student Services, Admissions, Career Development, and faculty to ensure that academic excellence services are integrated throughout the law school. The position is a full-time staff position and the first of its kind at the UNC School of Law.

The UNC School of Law has a robust Academic Excellence Program begun by Ruth Ann McKinney, a national leader and pioneer in law school academic support. The program is currently led by the Assistant Dean of Academic Excellence, Jon McClanahan, as well as two other outstanding full-time faculty, Kaci Bishop and O.J. Salinas.

To read more about the position and submit an application, please click on this link:
If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Jon McClanahan

Jon P. McClanahan
Associate Dean for Administration,
Assistant Dean for Academic Excellence, &
Clinical Associate Professor of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law
Appointment Calendar
Cell: (919) 428-3869

March 24, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

AASE Registration for the May Conference Is Open


4th Annual AASE National Conference
May 24-26, 2016
CUNY School of Law
Long Island City, NY

To register go to:
You can update your AASE membership at the time of registration!

We have reserved a block of rooms at Hotel Edison, 228 West 47th Street, New York, NY 10036. Conference attendees should make their reservations directly with the Hotel Edison by calling 1-212-840-5000 ext. 8010 and referring to the room rate for the AASE group. The conference rates are $209/night for a signature queen or $229/night for a room with 2 double beds. Reservations must be made by 4:00pm EST on Monday, April 25th to take advantage of the rate.

Please note:
This year’s conference will include a first day “pre-conference” session called Academic Support Essentials for the New Professional. It will be an intensive training for new professionals, which will cover basic topics such as learning theory, course design and teaching methods, as well as an introduction to the key scholarship and literature in
our field. The 2-hour session is designed for newcomers to ASP, but all are welcome to attend.

Also, AASE is pleased to announce that in order to help subsidize some of the costs of attending the AASE National Conference, we will be awarding need-based travel scholarships. More information about the scholarships is attached. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2016.

Haley A. Meade ∙ Director of Skills Center ∙ CUNY School of Law ∙ 718.340.4556


March 23, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Coordinator of Academic Support Position at Ohio Northern

Coordinator of Academic Support

Posting Details

Posting Details

Posting Number:  
Posting Type: External - Open to All Applicants
Job Title: Coordinator of Academic Support
Position Title: Administrator
Position Type: Administrative Staff
Department: College of Law
Benefits Summary:

Benefit package includes: Medical, Dental, Vision, and Prescription insurance, Life insurance, Workers’ Compensation insurance, Unemployment insurance, and Total Disability insurance. Retirement: The University contributes 4% of the regular salary with up to 3% additional in matched contributions into the TIAA-CREF Retirement Program. Other benefits include tuition remission for employee, spouse, and employee’s dependent children under the age of 25 (this does not include the last two year of the PharmD program or the JD), and twenty days of paid medical leave per year.

Pay Band:  
Job Summary:

Candidates must hold at least a J.D. from an ABA accredited law school with a minimum of more than one year’s prior experience in academic support. The Coordinator will report to the Director of Academic Support to provide an integrated program of academic support and bar support services.


The Ohio Northern University College of Law is seeking to appoint a Coordinator of Academic Support to begin on or after May 15, 2016.

Principal Responsibilities:

To coordinate the Academic Support Program (ASP) at Ohio Northern University College of Law; work with the Director of Academic Support to provide an integrated program of academic support and bar support services; manage the January term Legal Problem Solving and Analysis course and teach one section of the course; meet individually with academic at-risk students in the 1L and 2L classes or any student by request or upon recommendation by professor; host weekly academic support sessions open to all 1L students; teach one academic support based course each term; provide academic assistance and host weekly ASP sessions in the Summer Starter Program; provide input on issues such as academic assessment and data evaluation of student performance.

Required Skills:

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

Minimum Qualifications:

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

Preferred Qualifications:

- Familiarity with outcomes based assessment
- Ability to think critically and innovatively about measuring student academic progress
- Prior administrative experience

College Description:

The Pettit College of Law has a 129 year history at the university and is a small College of 218 full-time students, three-fourths of whom come from outside Ohio. The law college is accredited by the ABA and is an AALS member.

Appointment Length: 12-months
Closing Date: 04/15/2016
Open Until Filled No
Special Instructions to Applicants:

Candidates should submit an introductory letter, resume, transcripts, and names of three references with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers to: Assoc. Dean Bryan H. Ward, Ohio Northern University College of Law, 525 S. Main Street, Ada, Ohio 45810.

Status: Full-Time

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Do you currently hold a J.D?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. * How many years of similar work experience do you have?
    • 0-1
    • 1-3
    • 3-5
    • 5-7
    • 7-9
    • 9+

Optional & Required Documents

Required Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Copy of Transcript 1
  4. Copy of Transcript 2
Optional Documents
  1. Other Document

March 22, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Assistant Director Position at Vermont Law School

Assistant Director, Academic Success Program

About Vermont Law School:

Vermont Law School (VLS) is a private, American Bar Association-accredited law school located along the banks of the beautiful White River in central South Royalton, VT. The Law School offers the nation's premier environmental law program, and it is currently ranked #1 in Environmental Law by U.S. News and World Report (no lower than #2 since rankings began in 1991). The school offers several degrees, including Juris Doctor, Master of Laws (LL.M) in Environmental Law, Master of Environmental Law, Master of Laws in Energy Law, as well as dual degrees with a diverse range of institutions, including the University of Cambridge, the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and the University of Vermont, offering more courses in the field than any other law school in the country.

Vermont Law School is distinguished by the character of the students, faculty and staff who have chosen to learn, teach and work here. From its founding, VLS has consistently drawn individuals from across the country and world with a passion for public service, a concern for justice, and an interest in pursuing legal education as a means to make a difference in the world. It is not surprising that Vermont Law School has risen to the top as a place to study environmental law and a place to work.

Job Description:

Position Summary:

The Assistant Director of Academic Success will assist the Director by developing and executing classes, workshops and other initiatives to improve the academic skills of J.D. and master's students.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Responsible for first-year J.D. student programming, including, but not limited to, curriculum design and implementation of annual first year J.D. student skills-based course.Success will be determined by student evaluations and feedback, evaluation by the Director and other appropriate faculty and administrators, and by student success in their doctrinal classes.

Responsible for master's student programming, including, but not limited to, curriculum design and implementation of annual master's student skills-based course.Success will be determined by student evaluations and feedback, evaluation by the Director and other appropriate faculty and administrators, and by student success in their doctrinal classes.

Design and implement workshop series and informational resources for all first year J.D. and master's students, manage TWEN web sites, bulletin boards, send emails and distribute flyers advertising programs.Success will be determined by student evaluations, attendance at programs, Director, and faculty feedback.

Provide individual counseling and tutoring for students on study habits, skills, tools for improvement, time management, outlining, exam preparation, etc.Success will be determined by student feedback, evaluation by the Director and other appropriate faculty and administrators.

Assist in design and implementation of pre-orientation and orientation activities for incoming students.Success will be determined by student evaluations and feedback, evaluation by the Director and other appropriate faculty and administrators.

Assist in design and implementation of for-credit bar preparation course, bar information workshops, and individual student bar counseling.

Assist in increasing awareness of ASP services and provide support to doctrinal faculty in using those services.

Assist in coordinating Student Mentors' activities and assist in Mentor selection, training, and support.  Meet regularly with Student Mentors to monitor mentor and mentee progress.


Education, Skills and Experience:

B.A., J.D., Admitted to bar in at least one jurisdiction.

Experience in higher education administration and/or teaching.

Experience in actual practice of law.

Training in learning theories.

Experience in multi-cultural setting and/or with diverse student body.

Background in environmental law not required, but preferred.

Knowledge of legal theories.

Knowledge of legal analytical and writing skills.

Strong interpersonal and communications skills.

Computer skills.

Additional Information:

Please include a cover letter and salary requirements along with your resume.

Vermont Law School has an opening for its Assistant Director, Academic Success Program position. A full description of the position and required qualifications is posted on the Vermont Law School website at: All applications should be submitted through the link on the website. Please pass on to anyone who might be interested in the position.


Joe Brennan
Director, Academic Success Program; Assistant Professor of Law
164 Chelsea Street, P.O. Box 96, South Royalton, VT 05068
T: 802-831-1244


March 21, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Assistant Director of the Academic Achievement and Bar Preparation Program Position at University of Maryland

Job Description
Assistant Director of the Academic Achievement and Bar Preparation Program - School of Law - (1600005Y)
The University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law seeks an enthusiastic and talented individual for an Assistant Director of the Academic Achievement and Bar Preparation Programs (payroll title Research Assistant). The Academic Achievement Program is designed to help students develop the skills necessary for law school success and bar passage. The Assistant Director position is a 12-month, full-time, non-faculty, non-tenure track position.

The Assistant Director of the Academic Achievement and Bar Preparation Programs will work with the Director of the Academic Achievement Program in providing academic support to law students in all three (or four) years of law school. The Assistant Director of the Academic Achievement and Bar Preparation Programs is an administrative appointment at the discretion of the Dean of the School of Law.

Essential Functions:
• Teaching in the Bar Preparation Program, including teaching or co-teaching the Bar Preparation Course, a course designed to teach bar writing skills, multiple choice test-taking skills, and limited substantive law;
• Providing bar preparation support, including during the summer, to recent J.D. and LL.M. graduates of the law school;
• Counseling recent graduates who were unsuccessful in passing the bar exam;
• Designing and conducting programs and workshops for current students to educate them about issues related to the bar exam;
• Teaching academic skills to LL.M. students;
• Assisting in the administration of the Academic Achievement Program, including:
• Conducting workshops for first-year and LL.M. students;
• Meeting one-on-one with students;
• Coordinating with faculty
• Working with upper level teaching fellows;
• Assisting with website and social media delivery of academic support information; and
• Assisting faculty and administration in developing outcomes and assessment tools;
• Performing other duties, as requested by the Director of the Academic Achievement Program.

To Apply: Interested applicants should submit (a) cover letter, (b) resume, and (c) the names and telephone numbers of three references to, with “Academic Achievement” in the subject line. Alternatively, application materials can be mailed to:

Mary Alice Hohing
Director of Administration and Operations
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786

DEADLINE: April 1, 2016

START DATE: May 2, 2016


• J.D. degree with a record of high academic achievement from an ABA-accredited law school.
• Bar Passage required.
• Experience in bar preparation and academic support at the law school level is preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Excellent oral/written communication, presentation and interpersonal skills.
• Demonstrated commitment to bar passage and academic support.
• Ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty, and administrators.
• Strong organizational skills.

March 21, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Reminder: New York Academic Support Workshop

Dear ASP friends;

There is still time for you to RSVP and attend our full-day NY Academic Support Workshop, to be held from 9:30 to 5:30 at Brooklyn Law School on Friday, April 15. This will be a small and rather-intimate gathering of academic support professionals and colleagues actively working to learn from one another.

As is our usual practice, the afternoon sessions of the workshop will have an open agenda and room to include any subject of interest to those in attendance, while the morning sessions will be centered on a specific topic. For this year’s morning session we would like to concentrate on incorporating new (or newer) learning theories into our academic support work. What sorts of learning theories are especially exciting you right now? Do they affect what you teach? How you advise students to study or work? What insights into law school learning can we or should we derive from general learning theories and apply or adapt for law students? Any and all insights, discussions, ideas or presentations will be welcome.

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

RSVP to Kris and Linda, at addresses below and cc’d above

Since this is not a formal conference there is no fee to attend. We hope to see many of you soon!

Kris Franklin Linda Feldman
New York Law School Brooklyn Law School

Kris Franklin/Professor of Law/Director, Academic Initiatives & Co-Director, NYLS Initiative for Excellence in Law Teaching
New York Law School/185 West Broadway/New York, NY 10013/212.431.2353

Linda Feldman/Associate Professor and Director, Academic Success Program.
Brooklyn Law School/250 Joralemon Street/Brooklyn, New York, 11201/718.780.7929

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

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Academic Advising

It is the time of the year when 1Ls are anxious as they face their second set of finals, 2Ls are overwhelmed with the rigors of the 2L workload and the pressure to line up a job for the summer, and 3Ls are feeling antsy to graduate and anxious about the approaching bar exam. Whether you are working with 1Ls, 2Ls, or 3Ls, academic advising can help students feel empowered instead of crazed. What exactly is academic advising? Academic advising helps students understand educational options and opportunities that are available to them, and shows them how to develop a plan that will help them achieve their educational and career goals.

When I meet with students for academic advising, I first ask them a series of questions. These questions help me to understand who they are as a learner, as well as, get a sense of their future career goals. Here are a few questions to help guide your conversations regarding academic advising and course planning.


  • In your first year, which class was your favorite? Why? Did you like the style of teaching, the content of the material, or the classroom dynamic?
  • Which class was your least favorite? Why? Did you dislike the style of teaching, the content of the material, or the classroom dynamic?
  • Why did you want to go to law school? Have your goals shifted since beginning law school?
  • Which classes that are being offered next year seem most interesting to you?
  • Where do you plan to take the bar exam?
  • How did you perform on your final exams? In legal writing? Have you determined ways to improve your future performance?
  • Consider the sequencing of courses and prerequisites if applicable.
  • Also, consider how often certain courses are offered. For example, some courses are only offered in the fall, while others are offered every other year. If certain courses are a priority for you, incorporate this into your plan.


  • How did your upper level classes compare to your first year coursework?
  • Do you feel more engaged with the material in your current courses? Why or why not?
  • Do you still have requirements to fulfill? Courses? Pro bono hours? Experiential credits? Writing credits?
  • Have you taken Professional Responsibility? If yes, have you registered for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam? If not, when do you plan to take it?
  • How many bar tested courses have you taken? Which ones do you plan to take before graduation?
  • How can you plan for your bar study in advance even if you are not taking all of the bar tested subjects as a law student?
  • Create a few alternate plans just in case certain courses are overenrolled, not offered, or conflict with your other choices.


  • Do you have any requirements that still need to be fulfilled before graduation? Courses? Pro bono hours? Experiential credits? Writing credits?
  • Do you plan to work during your last year? How will you manage your course work and your job responsibilities?
  • Are there particular areas of law the interest you? Take at least one class that is not required, but that interests you, you are curious about, or it just seems like fun.
  • Are there common trends in your class or exam performance that can be remedied before graduation and bar study?
  • Have you determined where you plan to take the bar exam? If yes, have you reviewed the bar application and calendared important dates and deadlines?
  • Have you researched the available options and signed up for a commercial bar review course?


March 17, 2016 in Advice, Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Proposals AALS Section on Academic Support January 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA

Call for Proposals: AALS Section on Academic Support

January 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA

 Why Academic Support Matters

In order to address the needs of a changing law school student body in recent years, Academic Support has become increasingly ingrained in the broader law school curriculum.  From first year courses to the bar exam, Academic Support is no longer the standalone skills component of legal education.  In many schools, ASP has become a vital part of how doctrine and substance are presented as well.  This program will explore the importance of Academic Support, and why Academic Support Programs matter to the law school experience, now more than ever before.

Topics might include, but are not limited to: innovative programs combining skill and substance in the law school curriculum; statistical analysis of Academic Support programming from first year to the bar exam; ideas for expanding Academic Support programming; partnerships between doctrinal faculty and academic support professionals. 

Proposals should contain a detailed explanation of both the substance of the presentation and the methods to be employed.  Individuals as well as groups are invited to propose topics.  The Committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas. Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals must include the following information:

  1. A title for your presentation.
  2. A brief description of the objectives or outcomes of your presentation.
  3. A brief description of how your presentation will support your stated objectives or outcomes.
  4. The amount of time requested for your presentation. No single presenter should exceed 45 minutes in total. Presentations as short as 15 minutes are welcomed.
  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 employ other technology.
  7. A list of the conferences at which you have presented within the last three years, such as AALS, AASE, national or regional ASP or writing conferences, or other academic conferences. (The Committee is interested in this information because we wish to select and showcase seasoned, as well as fresh, talent.)
  8. Your school affiliation, title, courses taught, and contact information (please include email address and telephone number).
  9. Any articles or books that you have published that relate to your proposed presentation.
  10. Any other information you think will help the Committee appreciate the value your presentation will provide.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, May 4th at 5pm to Danielle Kocal, Pace Law School,  If you have any questions, please email Danielle Kocal or call 914-422-4108.

The Section on Academic Support Program Committee:

Danielle Kocal, Chair

Robert Coulthard

Melinda Drew

Marsha Griggs

Amy Jarmon

Twinette Johnson

Jamie Kleppetsch

Myra Orlen

Goldie Pritchard

ASP Section Chair:  Lisa Young



March 17, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Narcissism and Grades

Hat tip to James B. Levy (Nova Southeastern) of the Legal Skills Prof Blog for a post that mentioned a Harvard Business Review article on a study looking at grades and narcissism. The link to the Harvard Business Review article is here: Narcissistic Students Get Better Grades from Narcissistic Professors.

March 16, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Glocking Bunnies

The above title is from a February 5th posting Dean Richard Bales (Ohio Northern) on the Law Deans on Legal Education Blog. The post considers the Mount Saint Mary College's President's controversial remarks on struggling students and the pressure that law schools are under to increase bar pass rates. The link is here: Glocking Bunnies.

March 15, 2016 in Bar Exam Issues, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Plethora of Procrastinators

Are you a procrastinator? Do you know someone who is?

Most people procrastinate sometimes. And, some people procrastinate all of the time.

Some people only procrastinate in certain areas of their lives: just school, just chores, just financial decisions. Some people procrastinate in all areas of their lives: personal, academic, work-related, and more.

Most of my law students have at least occasional problems with procrastination. Some of them admit that procrastination has taken over every aspect of their lives. Often, students know they procrastinate and feel helpless to change their ways.

Procrastinating in law school can mean lower grades and increased stress. Procrastinating during bar exam study can mean a failure on the first attempt at the exam. Procrastinating in practice can mean tremendous stress, loss of reputation, or even disciplinary actions if it includes missed filing deadlines or lack of preparation for a trial.

Here are some things to keep in mind if procrastination is a problem for you:

    Procrastination is learned behavior that can be unlearned with conscious effort and strategies.

    A good habit, according to research, takes 21 days of consistent implementation to become natural.

    Procrastination is really part of a "habit pair" - ending a bad habit and replacing it with a good habit. Thus, change may take longer.

    By making changes in small increments over time, it is easier to curb procrastination than trying to "change everything at once."

    Procrastinators may "fall off the wagon" and should not give up. Instead immediately start again on your strategies.

    A time management routine that gets repeated at least in part every week can often help procrastinators to finish regular tasks at their regular times.

    Curbing procrastination becomes more realistic if you become aware of your procrastination patterns:

  1. What aspects of your life do you procrastinate in? Examples: academics, employment, finances.
  2. How often do you procrastinate in these aspects of your life? Examples: daily, weekly, monthly, rarely, sometimes, frequently.
  3. What types of tasks trigger your procrastination? Examples: writing papers, studying for exams, project deadlines, balancing the checkbook, housecleaning.
  4. How do you '"act out" your procrastination? Examples: delay starting tasks, delay finishing tasks, refuse to follow instructions, stew about making a mistake, daydream, play video games.
  5. How do you justify to yourself that it is okay to procrastinate? Examples: too much to do, stupid assignment, work better under pressure, task is too hard. 
  6. How do you justify your procrastination to others? Examples: brag about your finishing right before the deadline, tell team members they worry too much, pretend you got a better grade than you did.
  7. What emotional toll does procrastination take on you - or others? Examples: your increased stress, your guilt over bad habits, others get stressed out by your procrastination, others have to nag you on tasks.
  8. What other consequences does your procrastination have on you - or others? Examples: all-nighters before deadlines, lower grades than could have been achieved, run out of time to do everything, frustration of others during a group project, reputation for being unreliable, lost friends.
  9. Who do you trust to tell about your plan to stop procrastinating and ask to be an accountability partner to help you curb your procrastination? Examples: roommate, study group member, spouse.

    Consider one aspect or task that you procrastinate on and choose one or two small strategies that you could implement to prevent procrastination. Here are some examples:

  1. Aspect: Lose track of deadlines for classes. Strategy: Use a hard copy daily planner to track all assignments and deadlines. (You can also use a phone calendar - but you have to actually look at it for it to be useful.)
  2. Aspect: Not good at prioritizing tasks so leave important ones until last. Strategy: Make a to-do-list that has tasks prioritized by most important, important, and least important.
  3. Aspect: Finish tasks right before the deadline. Strategy: Set a deadline two days earlier than the real deadline. Work to meet that new deadline. Use the extra time to edit or rewrite as needed.
  4. Aspect: Waste time with my electronic devices. Strategy: Install one of the apps that blocks Facebook, games, or other electronic distractions for set time periods.
  5. Aspect: Worry constantly about all sorts of things. Strategy: Schedule a worry time slot at the end of the day. Tell yourself when you start to worry that you have to wait until that time and must get back on task. (This sounds strange, but it works for many people.)
  6. Aspect: Spend hours on chores or cleaning to avoid other tasks. Strategy: Once a month schedule a serious chore/cleaning half-day. The rest of the month spot clean, pick up, and do only urgent chores.

There are many good books on procrastination and how to avoid it. Take control of your procrastination now - don't wait until tomorrow. (Amy Jarmon)


March 14, 2016 in Miscellany, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Feeling Stressed by Law School?

Most law schools are at the midpoint in their semesters.  The downward slope is upon students, and they are beginning to see finals looming ahead of them. It is not unusual for students to feel more stressed at this time of the semester.

The Jed Foundation and David Nee Foundation launched a website several years ago to help law students deal with stress and anxiety. The website is LawLifeline; it includes articles, assessment tools, and resources. Law students can even enter the name of their law schools to get campus-specific resource information. The link is here: LawLifeline

March 13, 2016 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Diversity and Inclusion: Harvard to Change Law School Seal

Two articles of interest: A summary of the dispute and recent action in The Harvard Crimson  An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education regarding a committee recommendation that Harvard Law change its seal after student protest because of its connection to a slave-owning family: Harvard Law School Seal

March 11, 2016 in Diversity Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)