Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Director of Academic Support for the Part-Time Program at CUNY

The Director of Academic Support for the Part-time Program at CUNY School of Law will work with the Academic Dean, the Director of the Professional Skills Center, and the Director of Academic Support Programs in designing and implementing all aspects of the Law School's Academic Support Program. The Director will be assigned teaching duties as part of her/his regular 35-hour per week assignment.

The Director may work with first-, second-, and third-year students, primarily in the part-time evening program, as they develop the doctrinal, academic, study, and other skills they will need to succeed in law school, on the bar exam, and in practice. The Director may teach weekly skills sessions; teach academic support sections of required doctrinal courses; work with students individually or in small groups; and train and supervise teaching assistants.

The Professional Skills Center also designs and administers the Summer Law Institute and the Pre-Law Orientation Program. The Director will be involved in planning and teaching in those programs. In keeping with CUNY's integrated approach to academic support, the Director will also help develop faculty workshops on pedagogy and serve as a resource to faculty in areas of skills-based teaching and testing.

The Director may have additional responsibilities as determined in consultation with the Academic Dean and other Skills Center staff.

This job will include evening, day, and weekend duties.

For more information about the position including how to apply please click here:   

Please note that you will have to create a username and password to apply for the position.

Posting - ASP Job Opportunity
Where appropriate, more than one option may be checked when responding to the below listed
questions. Checking all options, for example in regard to salary, in an effort to avoid specifying
a legitimate range is discouraged. You may provide additional textual explanations after each
item. The completed form must appear within the body of an E-mail posting about a posting,
and the completed form must be included within the text of any file attachment.
1. The position advertised:
___ a. is a tenure-track appointment.
__√_ b. may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
___ c. may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years. (Full Time
___ d. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.
___ e. is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.
___ f. is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment. (One-Year
Visitorship only)
___ g. is for at will employment.
2. The professor hired:
__√_ a. will be permitted to vote on all matters at faculty meetings.
___ b. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on matters except those pertaining to hiring,
tenure, and promotion.
___ c. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked
below. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other
courses, or teaching in summer school; a base salary does not include conference travel or other
professional development funds.)
___ over $120,000
___ $110,000 - $119,999
__√_ $100,000 - $109,999
__√_ $90,000 - $99,999
_√__ $80,000 - $89,999
__√_ $70,000 - $79,999
___ $60,000 - $69,999
___ $50,000 - $59,999
___ $40, 000-49,999
___ this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000
___ this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000
4. The person hired will have the title of:
___ a. Associate Dean (including Dean of Students).
__√_ b. Director.
___ c. Professor (tenure track).
___ d. Professor (clinical tenure track or its equivalent).
___ e. Professor (neither tenure track nor clinical tenure track).
___ f. no title.
5. Job responsibilities include:
_√__ a. working with students whose predicators (LSAT and University GPA) suggest
they will struggle to excel in law school.
_√__ b. working with students who performed relatively poorly on their law school
examinations or other assessments.
_√__ c. working with diverse students.
__√_ d. managing orientation.
__√_ e. teaching ASP-related classes (case briefing, synthesis, analysis, etc.).
__√_ f. teaching bar-exam related classes.
__√_ g. working with students on an individual basis.
_√__ h. teaching other law school courses.
6. The person hired will be present in the office and work regularly during the summer months
(June – August).
__√_ a. Yes.
___ b. No.
7. The person hired is required to publish, in some form, in order to maintain employment.
___ a. Yes.
_√__ b. No.
Note: The Association of Academic Support Educators strongly recommends that this disclosure
form accompany all E-mail postings for academic support positions sent to subscribers of the
ASP listserv (

November 15, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs Position at Akron U

Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs

The University of Akron School of Law seeks applicants for the position of Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs (ASP). This is a 12-month salaried contract professional staff position.  The Assistant Dean for ASP will be responsible for oversight and coordination of academic success programs (working with other ASP staff and student assistants).  These responsibilities encompass programs providing support for law students throughout the law school curriculum, from pre-Orientation workshops through Bar passage, and include programs such as group workshops, online modules, one-on-one tutoring, supervising peer tutoring, and designing and supplying formative feedback for basic analytical, reasoning, study, writing, and time management skills.

Required Qualifications:

Juris Doctorate; law license; demonstrated record of successful teaching; effective verbal and written communication skills; ability to successfully supervise others.

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience with design and implementation of academic success programs in a law school context; ability to assist student learning in a variety of modes; ability to identify methods to enhance learning for multiple learning styles; ability to build rapport with a variety of students (including those at-risk); ability to work well with a variety of constituencies (including faculty and staff); demonstrated record of effective self-starting and follow-through; experience in organizing and coordinating multiple projects simultaneously; ability to effectively manage workload priorities. 

Interested applicants must fill out an online application and submit a cover letter, resume, and references online.  For complete details and to apply please visit: Job ID# 9824.

While all candidates are required to submit their applications via this centralized system, please feel free to direct any inquiries to Assistant Dean Brian Fuller, Chair of the search committee, at Review of applications will begin immediately.    The University of Akron is committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and to the principles of affirmative action in accordance with state and federal laws.

November 14, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Registration Open for NECASP Conference

I am pleased to announce that we are now accepting registrations for the 2016 NECASP Conference at Western New England University School of Law in Springfield, MA on Monday, December 5, 2016. 

ASP Tackles new ABA Standards: ASP's Indispensable Role  will be our focus this year.  This one day conference is open to all and is FREE!  Come learn about the various new ABA standards, implementation at the law schools and how our colleagues are using teaching strategies and guiding students' success in compliance with these standards.  

To register please email  your name, email address, and institution to Joe Brennan at  Deadline for registration is Monday, November 21, 2016. 

We do have hotel rooms reserved for people who wish to come early and/or stay late.  Just let Joe or me know and we will forward the information to you.

Hope to see you.


Kandace J. Kukas

Assistant Dean & Director of Bar Admission Programs

Western New England University School of Law

(o) 413-782-1751

(c) 978-210-0497

November 13, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Registration Open for the LWI One-Day 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.  

We look forward to seeing you – either in person or virtually – in December!

The LWI One Day Workshop Committee Co-Chairs

Renee Allen, Cindy Archer, and Meredith Stange

November 12, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 11, 2016

You're a Street Walking Cheetah with a Heart Full of Napalm!

In the past couple of weeks, I've had dozens of students tell me that they "aren't ready" to start doing practice problems.  

If you haven't started doing practice problems, YOU MUST START NOW!  

The thing is, when exactly are you going to feel ready?  The day before the exam?

Ask yourself, have you ever actually felt "ready" for anything that was really important to you?  If I had had much of a choice to when I was "ready" to take the SAT, the LSAT, the Bar (actually, I was ready for that one, because I was so sick of it); when to turn in a short story to go to the Iowa Writers' Workshop; when to walk up and say "hi" to a woman I thought was really pretty; when to get married to that same woman; when to get a mortgage; when to get puppies; when to have children; when to appear in court; when to write law books; when to play with my band on the radio; when to teach a class; etc., etc., so on and so forth, there's a good chance I'd currently be unmarried, unemployed, and living under a bridge.

Most of us are never really going to feel perfectly "ready" for whatever big thing is coming down the pike.  

For law school exams, it's pretty easy to hide behind making outlines and reading notes.  There's nothing at stake.  Until you actually test yourself, you can believe you know enough to get by.  It's a safe feeling.  It's frightening to suddenly find out, "Holy smokes!  I have no idea how proximate cause works!"

However, you need to test yourself before your actual exams, or you're going to be finding out what you don't know when you get your grades.  You need to tell yourself, "I have to get ready for this.  I can get ready for this.  I am strong enough to discover what I don't know and I can fix it now."

Listen to this song, and tell yourself, "I'm not scared of anything!  I am a street walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm!"

Iggy and the Stooges, "Search and Destroy"

(Alex Ruskell)

November 11, 2016 in Advice | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Vulnerability: A Required Prerequisite for Learning?

According to research referenced by columnist Elizabeth Bernstein, vulnerability can be a great thing.  Although being vulnerable is often seen as a sign of weakness, something to be avoided at all costs, it can actually operate to produce wonderful things in our lives.  As case in point, Ms. Bernstein paraphrases Dr. Hal Shorey, a psychologist, as stating:"Vulnerability can also humanize you, facilitate learning, and enable optimal problem solving."  In short, real learning requires us to be vulnerable.  But, what is vulnerability?  "Psychologists and social scientists define vulnerability as the courage to show up and be seen and heard when you can’t control the outcome." 

Ouch!  That's how I felt throughout most of law school…out of control...but not at all courageous.  And, as I'll explain below, that's because I spent most of my time preparing for exams by creating giant study tools rather than practicing exam scenarios.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself here...

Stepping back, how does the courage to be vulnerable relate to law school learning?  

Let me give a suggestion.  The "safe" thing to do to prepare for law school exams is to do what everyone else is doing:  grab your lecture notes, get hold of your case briefs, and create massive gargantuan outlines of all of your subjects…and...if you still have any time left before exams, read through a few old final exams to get a sense of the subject.  But, if you are like me, when I read through exams (or even just outline a few old exams), I sort of convince myself that I understand it, that I could write it, that I actually know what I am doing.  And, here's the rub.  That's not learning but rather just presuming that I know how to answer final exam questions.  So, here's the key.

Rather than spending the bulk of your time over the course of the next several weeks or so creating massive outlines, reorient your time so that most of your final exam preparation efforts are focused on what you are actually going to be tested on in your final exams, namely, solving legal problems.  That means that you should be reading, conversing, debating, outlining, writing, re-thinking, and re-writing old practice exams.  It will be hard.  It will not feel good.  It will not feel safe.  In fact, you'll probably feel like you don't know enough to start practicing exam problems.  But, if you wait until you think that you know enough to start practicing for your final exams, you will run out of time to practice final exams.  And, because you are not tested on creating great study tools but rather solving final exam problems, it will be both too little and too late to do much good if you just create study tools.  So, be brave by being vulnerability.  Grab hold of some old final exams from your professor.  Take a stab at them.  Try writing out answers.  Input what you learn into a study tool. Then go see your professor for feedback.  It will be hard to ask for help, to show your work to your professor.  That's because it requires you to accept that learning requires vulnerability.  But, you'll be might glad that you did.

Finally, in case your professor or your law school doesn't have old final exams readily available, do not give up…at all.  Instead, there are lots of free resources through your Academic Support Professionals, your Dean of Students, and even on the internet.  As a suggestion, here's a website that consolidates old bar exam essays, point sheets, and answer guides for a whole host of subjects to include Criminal Law, Torts, Contracts & Sales, Property Law, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Criminal Procedure, all arranged by date of the exam and…here's some great news…by subject matter too!  Old Bar Exam Essays By Subject Matter   So have at it by opening yourself up to focusing your final exam preparations on practicing lots of exam problems intermixed with creating your study tools.  (Scott Johns).  

November 10, 2016 in Advice, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Self-Care and Stress Management

Life is filled with ups and downs but how do you manage your emotions?  Some students are working on their final legal writing assignment, signaling that exams are fast approaching for all students.  Around this time of the year, various student organizations and institutional entities have programming to help students manage stress.  We have a range of activities available to our students. Activities include “Game Night” which allows students to gather together to play various board games to de-stress.  Each semester, there is a “De-stress” day which includes ice cream and opportunities to pet dogs from the Veterinary Medicine School; this is a hit with our students.  We have “Mindfulness” Tuesdays and “T’ai Chi and Qigong” Tuesdays led by two of our professors.  There are several offices such as the Office of Student Engagement, Diversity Services Office, and Academic Success Program where students can seek assistance and direction on how to manage stress.

I find it important to explore a number of mediums of delivering important information to students.  The video below addresses stress relief tips in a quick, quirky, and informative manner.  “WellCast” explores physical, mental, and emotional paths to wellness.  While many of the videos on WellCast are geared to a younger audience, a few of them apply to an adult audience.  We can always use some animation in our life! (Goldie Pritchard)


November 9, 2016 in Advice, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nominations for the Balance in Legal Education Section of AALS - November 14 Deadline

The Nominating Committee of the Balance in Legal Education Section of the AALS is requesting nominations for the following positions:

-           Executive Committee Board Member

-           Chair Elect

The Balance in Legal Education Section seeks to make law school a more humane experience and to better prepare law students to become effective and well-rounded practitioners. We strive for diversity in our membership and on the Executive Committee, wanting representation from all aspects of our community. We look for participation from our colleagues in private and public schools from different regions of the country. We also seek members with a variety of years and types of experience as well as diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

Participation as a member of the Executive Committee involves:

-           Monthly (hour long) telephone meetings

-           Work on a committee (averages 2-3 hours a month over the year)

-           One in-person meeting at the Annual AALS meeting in January, and typically one social event at the AALS meeting as well

Beyond that, the Executive Committee seeks to facilitate flexible participation based on each member’s interest and availability. Our goal is to facilitate meaningful engagement that is also sensitive to the time commitments of our members. The term for a board member is typically three years, unless we are filling a vacant unexpired term. Members wishing to seek additional terms are easily accommodated.

If you are interested, please address the following questions:

-           How would you describe your enthusiasm, energy, and time for work with the Section?

            -           Do you think you could commit to roughly 3 hours per month? (More or less?)

-           How would your work for the Section add to, or complement, the work you are already doing?

-           What committees might you be interested in serving on? (Work in addition to the meetings ebbs and flows, but takes approximately 2-3 hours per month on average)

o   Scholarship – supporting and creating access to scholarship in this area and creating opportunities for new scholarship

o   Nominations – recruiting nominees for the Board

o   Section Program – planning each year’s program at the Annual AALS meeting

o   Outreach – sharing information, newsletter, website, list serv, etc.

o   Other Programming – planning other conferences and events, including bi-monthly topic open calls to discuss matters of interest

-           Do you have a particular project or initiative that you would want to work on?

Please feel free to nominate yourself or others. Please note that AALS currently requires Executive Committee members to be a full-time faculty or professional staff member (with some teaching responsibilities) at an AALS member school.

To make a nomination, please send a one-paragraph description of interest to:

Kathy Hessler ‑ by November 14, 2016.

November 9, 2016 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 7, 2016

New Professional Organization for Law School Professionals in Student Affairs

Thank you to Emily L. Scivoletto at UCLA School of Law for providing the following information on NALSAP:

Introducing NALSAP

We would like to share some exciting news with you. An organization has recently been formed to serve as the professional home for those who work at law schools in student affairs. You can join now by clicking here

The National Association of Law Student Affairs Professionals (NALSAP) was first imagined in January during the AALS meeting. We brainstormed about how helpful it would be to have a national organization solely dedicated to providing leadership, professional development, and resources for those who work in student affairs at law schools... Then in March 2016, we founded NALSAP, a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.

The NALSAP vision is that this organization will bring together a broad array of professionals working in the field of law student affairs. Some of us have decades of experience and others are brand new to the field. We imagine a collaborative and collegial group, with an emphasis on providing practical tools for members.

November 7, 2016 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Indiana Tech Law School Closing

See the Inside Higher Ed post here.

November 6, 2016 in Current Affairs, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Director of Academic Excellence Position at American U Washington College of Law

Position Title: Director of Academic Excellence (13487)
Position Number: 13487 Open Date: 10/27/2016
Department: Washington College of Law Close Date:  
Salary Range: $70,000-$72,000 Band: Team Leader/Consultant B
Work Hours per Week: 35-Exempt Position Type: Full-time Staff
Location: Tenley Campus    
The main function of this position is to promote the academic excellence of American University Washington College of Law students, from matriculation through graduation. The Director will be responsible for formalizing the efforts the law school has taken to date, and leading a centralized effort to optimize students’ academic achievements.      

The Director will analyze student success in the law school curriculum and on the bar examination and will recommend and work with the Committee on Academic Excellence to implement and supervise supplemental academic training where necessary.  The Director will also advise students on academic excellence in law school and provide strategic planning assistance to improve academic outcomes for all students.  The Director will also be responsible for working with the Assistant Dean of Academic Services & Registrar to analyze and, where appropriate, enhance the experience of first-year JD students. In all of these functions, the Director will act as a liaison between the students, faculty, and staff for academic and first-year experience issues.     
Educational Requirements:
Juris Doctor degree.
Minimum Requirements:
  • At least six (6) years of legal experience
  • Experience either in academic skills at a law school or similar academic setting or in professional bar review services
  • Excellent writing, and analytical and organizational skills
  • Ability to analyze complex situations and recommend and implement appropriate actions
  • Experience in teaching, advising, and mentoring students
  • Highest ethical and professional standards and proven ability to exercise sound judgment
  • Superb administrative skills and multi-tasking abilities
  • Positive attitude and enterprising approach
  • Ability to work both individually and in a team
Additional Information:

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

Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a resume and cover letter with their application, detailing their interest and experience.

At AU we offer a competitive benefits package including a 2:1 matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, robust professional development opportunities and a variety of employee wellness programs. For more information regarding our benefits and life at AU please visit and

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.


November 5, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Not So O.K. Computer

I am bewildered by how some students approach their commercial bar prep class.  After paying a chunk of money for the class, going through three years of law school, and staking their personal futures on the idea of being employed as a lawyer, some students still fail to do everything the class tells them to do, fail to listen to lectures, fail to attend live classes, and fail to take advantage of practice opportunities.  Even if they do follow along with the class, they take advantage of the class's electronic features by running the lectures at 2 or 3 times speed or skipping sections.

For years, I've been trying to figure out the cause of this behavior, hoping that I could stop it.  For some of them, I suppose there might be depressive burnout and life events and students who didn't really want to be lawyers in the first place, so maybe there's not much that can be done there.  But for the rest of them who don't have an excuse like this, one would think that after all that time, money, and effort, that they'd be all over bar prep.  However, more often than I would like, this isn't the case.

So what is going on?  Ignoring the style of education most of our students receive in high school and college, I think a big part of the issue is the technological time we live in.  Everything is easy, and instantaneous.  On top of this, a large majority of students today grew up in a fairly consequence-free environment where everyone got a trophy and helicopter parents took care of their problems (as a side note, I never worry about college athletes, because they've already learned that not everything should be easy and that you can try "really, really" hard, but that's not going to guarantee you anything).

Basically, I think technology has taught all of us that things can and should be easy and we shouldn't worry too much about keeping things in our heads or the consequences of failing to do so.  I'm as guilty of this as anyone, even though I am, in the recent assessment of a 7th Grade cheerleader, an "old, fat, bald guy."  I have all my bills paid electronically.  I know no one's actual phone number or email (they are all automatically stored on my devices).  I don't have a map in my car and have only a weak understanding of the street names around here even after 5 years in Columbia. I can only imagine what I might have been like growing up with a lifetime of Googles and cell phones.  The other day, I told my kids a story about desperately trying to find a certain club when we were trapped in downtown Houston after a Pixies show.  By the look in their eyes, I could have been explaining to them how I witnessed the invention of fire.  They couldn't figure out why I just didn't look it up on my phone.  I had to explain that this was 1989.

If the problem is culture and technology, I suppose the question is what to do about it.  As of now, legal educators and companies seem to be going with the "easy, 24-hours, fun flow" model that most of society operates on.  There's games to help a student learn the law.  There's online programs that help with briefing cases, spaced repetition, note-taking, keeping focus by locking a student out of fun websites, lectures on demand, etc., etc.  However, bar pass rates continue to slip, so all of this ingenuity and personalized ease of use doesn't seem to be helping that much.

The easy-squeezy tech world genie is out of the bottle.  The question is, would law students be better off if educators tried to fight against the current flow of technology, or would that simply wash students away?  (Alex Ruskell) 

November 4, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Greatest Reward

The most rewarding aspect of my work is hearing about the impact I have on the lives of my students. I typically hear from students themselves but it is even more rewarding to hear from those they hold near and dear.  It is an honor when parents and friends know about you before they have even met you.  I cherish these moments dearly when I face challenging days or wonder whether I am truly making an impact.   Around this time in the semester, I am typically juggling individual meetings with students, reaching out to students who were unsuccessful on the bar exam, reviewing midterms, quailing fears about final exams, helping students strategize for the remainder of the semester, serving on committees, and not to mention preparing for and presenting workshops to 1Ls and LL.M. students in addition to answering numerous phone calls and email messages.  I promise you, there is a lot more but I will stop there.  I enjoy all that I do but it can seem a little overwhelming at times.

During those more demanding periods of time, students typically remind me of why I do what I do. Simple things like a visit from a prospective student sent by three former students who saw me as a resource, thank you cards collected over the years, and a visit or phone call from a former student make all the difference.  What really energizes me are the phone calls from students who have passed the bar exam and attained their goal of becoming attorneys.  Sorry again to the individuals I share space with because I typically scream with excitement. How can you not feel good about your students’ accomplishments?  I hope that all those who do this work recognize their value and contributions to the lives of each and every student they engage with.  During challenging periods of time, it is very easy to forget about the hundreds of students you have interacted with over the years.

As a graduate student, one of my advisors suggested that I keep every card, every note and every email I have ever received from a student in a drawer.  She said: “when things get challenging, read some or all correspondence to center yourself and reconnect with who you are and what you do.”  I have found this advice invaluable because sometimes the supporter can use a few words of encouragement.  I hope that we all take the time to remember why we do what we do, our purpose and our strength. (Goldie Pritchard)

November 2, 2016 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration | Permalink | Comments (0)

Resources for ASP'ers

There are several resources that can provide ASP and bar support professionals with assistance. For those of you who are new to ASP, here are some organizations and websites that you want to know about:

Professional organizations and other resources for ASP:

  • Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Academic Support: The upcoming annual meeting will be held January 3-7, 2017 in San Francisco. The annual meeting theme this year is "Why Law Matters." The sessions for our Section are scheduled: business meeting will be at 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. on Friday, January 6th with the program (Why Academic Support Matters) on the same date at 8:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, January 4th programs of interest include: The Section on Student Services program (Why Student Services Matters: Preparing Students for Leadership, Service, and Learning 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and The Section on Teaching Methods program (Teaching Methods - Using Technology to Unlock Engagement and Learning 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. The Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research program (Experiential Learning in Legal Writing Programs) is on Thursday, January 5th at 1:30 - 3:15 p.m. The Section on Balance in Legal Education program (Transformative Learning: Helping Students Discover Motivation, Values and Voice is on Friday, January 6th at 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. There are a number of Arc of Career, diversity, and legal education sessions that might also interest ASP'ers. The annual meeting information can be found at
  • Association for Academic Support Educators (AASE): The upcoming conference will be held May 23 - 25 2017 at Texas A&M in Fort Worth. The AASE website is
  • The ASP Listerv: The listserv membership is available to legal educators who are interested in ASP/bar topics. A recent post giving instructions to join the listserv is here.
  • The Law School Academic Success Project: This website is maintained by the AALS Section on Academic Support and receives ongoing funding from the Law School Admissions Council. The website includes sections for ASP'ers and for students. Student pages are available without registration. To see the additional ASP pages, you need to be employed currently at a law school in ASP/bar-related work and register. After you register on the site, please update the staff information for your law school to reflect current staff. The website is

Websites and listservs for ASP:

  • American Bar Association: The Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar will be of interest. The website for the Section is
  • Institute for Law Teaching and Learning: This consortium of law schools provides resources and conferences focused on best practices for legal education. The website is
  • Law School Admissions Council (LSAC): LSAC has long been a champion of the academic support profession and diversity in the legal profession. For many years, LSAC sponsored workshops and conferences for ASP'ers. The website is
  • National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE): The organization that brings us the non-state portions of the bar exam. The website is



November 2, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Do you know any curmudgeons at your law school?

Sometimes ASP'ers have to convince others regarding programmatic changes, added services, data collection, or other new ways of doing something. Maybe it is an initiative because of the ABA standards or other accrediting group for your law school's main university. Here is a recent article from The Chronicle of Higher Education on managing curmudgeons; although it discusses faculty curmudgeons, the points are more generally applicable: Tips for Managing Curmudgeons.

October 31, 2016 in Miscellany, Professionalism, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

UC Hastings Position

Announcement of a job opening at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. UC Hastings is continuing to expand our academic support programs by hiring a second Academic and Professional Success Lecturer. Under the direction and supervision of the Associate Dean for Academic and Professional Success, the Academic and Professional Success Lecturer will support the Legal Education Opportunity Program and the Academic Support Program, administer bar passage success programming, lead academic workshops, provide 1:1 academic support to individual students, coordinate student led programs, supervise student workers, and teach academic support classes. The position is thus a combination of program administration, direct student tutoring, and classroom teaching. The start date is January 3, 2017, though we recognize that it is difficult for many to move in the middle of an academic year, and are thus flexible as to the start date. For a full description of the position, please see

October 30, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Additional Information on the Concordia Director Position

Some additional information has been provided for the Concordia position that was announced on the Blog on Monday, October 24th (see that post for the description and application instructions). The following information was provided in a ASP listserv announcement:

    Attached is the form providing somewhat standardized information on ASP postings.

    In some respects, it's difficult to make this announcement fit the form. Our five-year contracts are evergreen contracts and automatically renewed for an additional five years. So, unlike the     five-year contracts common for clinical faculty, there's never a point at which they could be non-renewed for no cause, leaving the faculty member without a job.

    Salary and rank depend on experience. For questions, consult with Victoria Haneman, the Chair of the Commitee.

Posting - ASP Job Opportunity

Where appropriate, more than one option may be checked when responding to the below listed questions. Checking all options, for example in regard to salary, in an effort to avoid specifying a legitimate range is discouraged. You may provide additional textual explanations after each item. The completed form must appear within the body of an E-mail posting about a posting, and the completed form must be included within the text of any file attachment.

  1. The position advertised:
  2.  is a tenure-track appointment.

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

  1.  may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years. (Full Time Position)
  2. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.
  3. is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.
  4.  is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment. (One-Year Visitorship only)
  5. is for at will employment.
  1. The professor hired:

 X_a. will be permitted to vote on all matters at faculty meetings.

___b. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings on matters except those pertaining to hiring, tenure, and promotion.

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

      over $120,000

      $110,000 - $119,999

      $100,000 - $109,999

      $90,000 - $99,999

___$80,000 - $89,999 ___$70,000 - $79,999 ___$60,000 - $69,999

      $50,000 - $59,999

      $40, 000-49,999

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

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

  1. The person hired will have the title of:
  1. Associate Dean (including Dean of Students).

 X_b. Director.

  1. Professor (tenure track).


 X_d. Professor (clinical tenure track or its equivalent).

___e. Professor (neither tenure track nor clinical tenure track).

  1.  no title.
  1. Job responsibilities include:

___ a. working with students whose predictors (LSAT and University GPA) suggest they will struggle to excel in law school.

X     b. working with students who performed relatively poorly on their law school examinations or other assessments.

X     c. working with diverse students.

  1. managing orientation.

X     e. teaching ASP-related classes (case briefing, synthesis, analysis, etc.).

X   f.  teaching bar-exam related classes.

X     g. working with students on an individual basis.

___h. teaching other law school courses.

  1. The person hired will be present in the office and work regularly during the summer months (June – August).

X     a. Yes.

__   b. No.


  1. The person hired is required to publish, in some form, in order to maintain

 X_a. Yes.

___b. No.

Note: The Association of Academic Support Educators strongly recommends that this disclosure form accompany all E-mail postings for academic support positions sent to subscribers of the ASP listserv (


October 29, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Real World Tips for Learning to APPLY the Law!

Wow.  I just negotiated a contract…with a vending machine!  

And, perhaps you made a contract today too.  

But sometimes the 1L subjects just seem so far removed from my life experiences that I often found - as a law student - that I was "lost in space in an alien outer world."  

Perhaps you feel that way too.  If so, here's some practical tips to help make sense of the cases, statutes, and hypotheticals that are the grist of the first year law school curriculum:

  •  Contracts/UCC Sales & the Vending Machines:  As a starter, try to see if you entered into any common law or UCC contracts today.  Perhaps you took the bus or train to law school.  If so, you had some sort of common law contractual arrangement.  Have you ever received a gift card?  If so, congratulations…you are a third party beneficiary.  Have you tried to make a purchase from a vending machine for a candy bar to get you through the afternoon?  Then, you negotiated a UCC contract for the sale of a good.  I wonder whether you or the vending machine made the offer?  In other words, you might already be a contracts maestro in the midst of your real life daily experiences.
  • Torts in the Bumps & Bruises of Everyday Life:  I just committed one the other day.  Blinded by my cell phone (as I walked with my head bent downward with my gaze gripped by the screen), I stumbled right into another person in the hallway.  I wonder…battery, assault, negligence?  
  • Property Law Practicalities:  Wow.  Did you perhaps come across someone that has a fee simple absolute?  Maybe the law school building that you are sitting in today?  Or, did you see any easements in gross?  Perhaps a highway bill board or, take a glance out a window, even a power line?  And then, there is one of my favorites.  I'm almost there.  For nearly 18 years, I've been crossing the grass just outside the law school building in order to get myself as quickly as possible to the corner store.  That's right.  I'm a torts trespasser (at least hypothetically).  I've been in the daily process of committing an intentional tort. But, after 18 years, I'll become something else…an adverse possessor…perhaps of a prescriptive easement?  In fact, here's an article about a former Boulder judge that made an adverse possession claim against a neighbor:  And, then, there's another of my favorites:  A newspaper article in the Denver Post that - are your ready for this - commented as follows:  "Opponents of private transfer fees say they violate a common-law principle in place for centuries called touch and concern. Under that principle, a payee placing a covenant must provide a benefit or have a present connection to a property (emphasis added)." and concern  Wow, I wish I had read that article as a law student.
  • Criminal Law Reminders…Most Everywhere:  If your law school has a parking lot, then it probably has parking lot signs.  Lots of them.  Everywhere (and mostly with fine print details).  I wonder…is that a strict liability crime or is there a mental state required to establish a parking violation?  And, what is the volitional act that one must do to commit a parking violation?  And, are there any defenses, such as when I am late to class?  My favorites…all the warning signs when I ride the bus.

As you can see, the world of the casebook might also be the world of our lives.  

So, in between all of that casebook reading, class preparation time, note taking, and outlining, take a peek…at the world around you.  

You might just catch someone in a tort or two!  

(Scott Johns).

October 27, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Herculean ASPer?

A herculean ASPer is an academic support professional who is perceived to have extraordinary powers which allow her/him to overcome every difficult task pertaining to a law student’s academic and bar success. These powers often exceed normal human power and capability; they are superhuman.  This is my fictional description that I believe describes the perception of many academic support professionals and sometimes even how these professionals perceive themselves if they took the time to reflect.

Academic support professionals are problem solvers who are willing to put in the time and effort to help guide students as they navigate their law school learning and bar exam preparation processes. This means that we are simultaneously juggling interactions with several different students, with several different needs, and at a variety of points in their individual progression.  We help students manage emotions and address non-academic needs.  We are creative individuals who are flexible enough to adapt to individual student progression and process. Doing this type of work is what gets us up in the morning and keeps us going.

While we might appear or perceive ourselves as superhuman and herculean in nature, I have found that at various points in the semester and the academic year responsibilities require more careful attention to time management. This can be difficult for someone who generally has difficulty saying “no”, values helping, and is solution oriented (speaking only for myself).  Whenever I find myself in such a predicament, I have to remind myself of what I advise students concerning managing their time and balancing responsibilities, particularly at demanding stages of the semester.  Here are the three things I try to keep in mind:

  1. Learn to say “no.” Only take on commitments you know you have time for and you truly care about. Although there are so many tantalizing opportunities, you still need to be effective in what you are doing and deliver a respectable product or service. This is the hardest thing to do. Be real with yourself and choose quality over quantity.
  2. Turn essential tasks into habits. Everything you want to accomplish each day results from repeated actions and developed routines. Start small with a manageable task and work from there. If you are required to produce regular written documents, then you may need to establish a set time and write regularly for that period of time. This means weekly or daily writing with time limits for completion.
  3. Personal fulfillment should be the goal. Enjoy and evaluate whatever you are doing. We can get so busy making sure we get everything done that we do not stop and smell the roses or appreciate what we do. You Only Live Once (YOLO). You do not get back the hours and minutes that have passed so do not experience regrets. Be open to opportunity and embrace your passions.

All the best as we work on ourselves to better help others work on themselves! (Goldie Pritchard)

October 26, 2016 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Federal Court Backs Harvard in Law School Plagiarism Challenge

Inside Higher Ed included a short entry with a link to the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit opinion in the case here.

October 25, 2016 in Miscellany, Professionalism | Permalink | Comments (0)