Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Above the Law Post on February Bar Changes

A hot topic on the ASP listserv has been the NCBE change in the number of scored questions (175 instead of 190 out of 200) starting with the February MBE. Hat tip to Russell McClain (Maryland) for notice of the Above the Law column: Big Changes Coming.

September 6, 2016 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation | Permalink | Comments (0)

AALS Balance Section's October Topic Call

The AALS Balance Section’s next topic call features Alli Gerkman, Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, speaking about  ETL’s ground-breaking report on the foundations that are necessary for new attorneys.  The report - based on 24k+ respondents from 37 states and over 70 practice areas - shows that new lawyers are successful when they have a broad blend of legal skills, professional competencies, and most importantly, characteristics that comprise the "whole lawyer."  Here are the details of our call.


AALS Balance Section Topic Call

Foundations for Practice: the Whole Lawyer and the Character Quotient Presented by Alli Gerkman, Director, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers


October 6, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time


Call (712) 432-0850, access code 422626#


Foundations for Practice: the Whole Lawyer and the Character Quotient Report


Our speaker Alli Gerkman will provide a brief overview of the report and how the findings were used in the summer session and orientation at Sturm College of Law.  The call will then focus on the participants' comments, reactions, and questions, along the following topics:

  • Is your school in some way implementing the findings of Foundations for Practice into the school learning outcomes or a course/program?
  • What suggestions do you have for a toolkit of resources that Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers is developing to help use the Foundations for Practice in law school curricula/programs?
  • Other comments, reactions, and questions welcome!


September 6, 2016 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Labor Day

Best wishes to all of our colleagues and students as everyone enjoys a holiday from classes. How nice that it comes within a couple of weeks of the beginning of school so everyone can recharge a bit after a fast start-up! Say a fond farewell to summer and embrace the new semester wholeheartedly.

September 5, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Three Positions at Mitchell Hamline

Title: Dean, Academic Excellence

Status: Faculty Position

The Dean of Academic Excellence will work closely with the President and Dean, Associate Deans, Dean of Students, and faculty to provide a vision for and build a premier academic support program that reaches students in all four of its programs. The Dean of Academic Excellence will be responsible for all aspects of the Academic Excellence Program, which currently includes pre-orientation programming, skills workshops, student-led study groups, credit-bearing classes, bar preparation, and individual tutoring. The Dean of Academic Excellence will have primary responsibility for managing the budget of the Academic Excellence program and will inspire and manage a growing staff. He or she will also be responsible for analyzing bar pass data and for evaluating empirically the success of various bar initiatives. The successful applicant will have a strong academic record and be committed to outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service. The applicant will have a demonstrated commitment to inclusive excellence, and a proven ability to work collaborative with students, faculty, and staff to promote the academic achievement of every student.

Qualifications: J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school; record of academic and extracurricular success in law school; minimum of 5 years of teaching or law practice experience; ability to think imaginatively and critically about how to measurably improve law students’ academic development and to design and implement programs to promote that development; ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty and administrators, including students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in law schools; ability to successfully manage competing priorities and meet firm deadlines; ability and initiative to forge partnerships with faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the surrounding legal community; experience with online education; knowledge of and interest in recent changes in legal pedagogy and the legal profession; ability to understand and work with data to effectively evaluate the school’s programming. Prior teaching experience in an academic success or legal writing or prior leadership experience in an academic setting is preferred.

To apply please send cover letter and resume, salary requirements and three professional references by e-mail to; by fax to 651-290-8645; or by mail to Human Resources, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105.

Members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE.

Priority will be given to applications received by September 16, 2016.


Title: Assistant Directors of Academic Excellence

Status: Two (2) Full Time positions

The Assistant Directors of Academic Excellence will be responsible for developing and teaching courses in the Academic Excellence Program that build analytical skills and prepare students to pass the bar examination. These duties may include teaching courses in the on-campus programs and assisting in the development and implementation of online academic excellence programming to reach students in the school’s Hybrid online and other part-time programs. The successful candidate will have a track record of inspiring success with academically at-risk students, proven ability to work collaboratively with others, and a commitment to providing outstanding services in a challenging atmosphere.

Qualifications: JD from an ABA-accredited law school; record of academic and extracurricular success in law school; minimum of 3 years of law practice or other relevant experience; ability to implement programs to promote development of every student; ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty and administrators, including students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in law schools; ability to manage multiple competing priorities and meet firm deadlines successfully. Prior teaching experience in academic support or legal writing and previous experience in providing instruction in an online format preferred.

To apply please send cover letter and resume, salary requirements and three professional references by e-mail to; by fax to (651) 290-8645; or by mail to Human Resources, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, 875 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105.

Members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply. AA/EOE.

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

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Congratulations to Scott Johns

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_Small (002)

Congratulations to Scott Johns! He was a awarded a Top Ten Badge by the Texas State Bar's Texas Bar Today for his August 25th posting Alone . . . or Perhaps . . . Not Quite So Alone as 1L Students?

September 4, 2016 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

New Director of the Critical Skills Program at Nova Southeastern

Sara Berman


Congratulations to Sara Berman on her new position at Nova Southeastern!

Sara Berman has been named the new Director of the Critical Skills Program at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida.  Many of us know Sara as a long time member of the ASP and bar prep community in California, most recently as the Assistant Dean of Academic Support and Bar Support at Whittier Law School in Orange County.  Previously she was at Concord Law School and UWLA, both in Los Angeles.  As a brand new graduate of UCLA she began lecturing on the California bar exam on her own and was an early adopter in online legal education.  In addition to law teaching, Berman has lectured for bar reviews for decades and the author of numerous articles as well as the ABA’s Pass the Bar Exam: A Practical Guide to Achieving Academic and Professional Goals and its companion teacher’s manual.  She is very excited to be moving to the Southeast where she will be closer to where her twins are attending college.  

September 3, 2016 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

"A Brief Social-Belonging Intervention Improves Academic and Health Outcomes of Minority Students" Say Researchers Walton and Cohen

Big hat tip to Professor Rodney Fong at the University of San Francisco School of Law for his alert to this research article!

It's not too late to make a difference…a real difference…a measurable difference…to improve academic performance and health outcomes for minority students, as demonstrated by the published research findings of Dr. Gregory M. Walton and Dr. Geoffrey L. Cohen at Stanford University in their article "A Brief Social-Belonging Intervention Improves Academic and Health Outcomes of Minority Students."

Here's the scoop:

The researchers surmised that a brief intervention in the first week of undergraduate studies - to directly tackle the issue of belonging in college - might make a measurable impact with respect to academic performance and health outcomes for African-American students.  As background, previous research had suggested that a lack of a sense of belonging was particularly detrimental for success in collegiate studies. In its most basic form, the intervention was threefold.

First, the university shared survey results with research participating students, substanting that most college students "had worried about whether they belonged in college during the difficult first year but [they] grew confident in their belonging with time."  

Second, the participating students were encouraged to internalize the survey messages by writing an essay to describe "how their own experiences in college [in the first week] echoed the experiences summarized in the survey."  

Third, the participating students created videos of their written essays for the express purpose of sharing their feelings with future generations of incoming students, so that participating students would not feel like they were stigmatized by the intervention (but rather that they were beneficially involved in making the collegiate world better for future generations of incoming students).  

According to the researchers, surveys in the week following the intervention suggested that participating students sensed that the intervention buttressed their abilities to overcome adversities and enhanced their achievement of a sense of belonging.  And, the impact was long-lasting, even when participating students couldn't recall much at all about the intervention.  

The researches then used the statistical method of multiple regression to control for various other possible influences and to test for the impact of race.  As revealed in the research article, the intervention was particularly beneficial for African-American students in terms of both improvements in GPA and improvements in well-being.  In short, a brief intervention led to demonstrable benefits.

That brings us back to us ASPers!  

With the start of the school year for ASPers, we have a wonderful opportunity to engage in meaningful sharing the great news about social belonging.  But, there's more involved than just sharing the news.  Based on the research findings, to make a real difference for our students, our students must not see themselves - in the words of the Stanford researchers - as just "beneficiaries" of the intervention...but rather as "benefactors" of the intervention.  

In short, our entering students must be empowered with tools to share with future generations what they learned about adversity, belonging, and overcoming…and how to thrive in law school.  

Wow!  What a spectacular opportunity…and a challenge…for all of us! (Scott Johns).

P.S. Here's the abstract to provide you with a precise overview of the research findings:  "A brief intervention aimed at buttressing college freshmen’s sense of social belonging in school was tested in a randomized controlled trial (N = 92), and its academic and health-related consequences over 3 years are reported. The intervention aimed to lessen psychological perceptions of threat on campus by framing social adversity as common and transient. It used subtle attitude-change strategies to lead participants to self-generate the intervention message. The intervention was expected to be particularly beneficial to African-American students (N = 49), a stereotyped and socially marginalized group in academics, and less so to European-American students (N = 43). Consistent with these expectations, over the 3-year observation period the intervention raised African Americans’ grade-point average (GPA) relative to multiple control groups and halved the minority achievement gap. This performance boost was mediated by the effect of the intervention on subjective construal: It prevented students from seeing adversity on campus as an indictment of their belonging. Additionally, the intervention improved African Americans’ self-reported health and well-being and reduced their reported number of doctor visits 3 years postintervention. Senior-year surveys indicated no awareness among participants of the intervention’s impact. The results suggest that social belonging is a psychological lever where targeted intervention can have broad consequences that lessen inequalities in achievement and health."  Gregory M. Walton, et al, Science Magazine, 18 Mar 2011: Vol. 331, Issue 6023, pp. 1447-1451  

September 1, 2016 in Advice, Diversity Issues, Encouragement & Inspiration, Professionalism, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Be Teachable

Last week marked the arrival of all of our first year law students for a week of orientation. There were fun activities, a series of welcomes, some serious academic activities, and a lot of new information to absorb. Our Academic Success Program is involved in various aspects of orientation but I also like to hear what some of my colleagues have to say to the students. One statement by our Associate Dean of Student Engagement caught my attention.  He said to the 1Ls: “Make sure that you are teachable” and then he went on to make his various remarks.  This is great advice that encourages students to be open to the information that is presented and open to learning. Ego often gets in the way of being teachable and so does competition. We do not always recognize our resistance to learning and sometimes that resistance is detrimental. Merriam-Webster defines “teachable” as “able and willing to learn, capable of being taught.”  We should all be willing to learn and in turn be capable of being taught.

I think that being teachable should be paired with being open to constructive criticism and getting comfortable with being vulnerable. Law students typically receive very limited feedback and one exam at the end of the semester determines their performance in individual courses. A legal writing course is usually the course in which students receive more regular feedback because they have regular assignments with hard deadlines. I encourage students to take the feedback that they receive, determine what changes they need to make, and make those changes.  I encourage them not to take constructive criticism as an affront on their intelligence or ability to be a successful law student.  They should look at criticism as an opportunity to learn, develop a skill, and become a better student and lawyer. I know that it is easier said than done.  Even for individuals who are accustom to managing criticism, receiving criticism in law school can be a challenge at first.  It might be helpful for students to put themselves in situations where they have to manage scrutiny or constructive criticism regularly.  Maybe develop public speaking skills, audition for a play, write and have their writing critiqued, or engage in any activity they feel uncomfortable engaging in but that includes an element of critique.  Participating in any of these activities might put students under enough scrutiny and encourage them to determine how to best manage extensive critique.  The added benefit is that hopefully these experiences empower students to seek out feedback and be more receptive of constructive criticism as a law student. (Goldie Pritchard)

August 31, 2016 in Advice, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Registration Deadline Extended to September 6th for Texas A&M Writing Scholars Colloquium

Although named the “Texas Academic Support and Legal Writing Scholars Colloquium," this gathering is open to legal writing and academic support faculty/instructors from anywhere to present works-in-progress across all disciplines within the law, doctrinal or pedagogical.  Academic Support and Legal Writing faculty have complicated time commitments in our jobs, so we would like to create a forum to discuss our scholarship in light of our responsibilities that are somewhat different from other faculty members.  The works presented can be in the very early stages to elicit comments for fully developing the project, to more complete articles for honing before publication.  You can also participate without presenting if you like, to discuss your ideas informally with like-minded colleagues during the breaks in the program.

Depending on the response, we will make every effort to create panels that share some common attributes. We would like to be able to distribute drafts, or even outlines of works in progress to the other members of the panel if possible. 

The colloquium will be all day on Friday, September 23, 2016 at the Texas A&M University School of Law in Fort Worth, TX.  There is no fee to participate, but registration is required so that we may plan our panels, plan for lunch and other logistic needs.  

To register for the colloquium, email DeShun Harris at by Tuesday, September 6, 2016. In the email, please include the title of your presentation topic (if you have one), your school name, previous publications/presentations, and your title.  Please also let us know of any food or other accommodations that we can make to enhance your visit.  Additionally, please note whether you will be attending the September 22, 2016 evening reception. Presenters are encouraged to submit a summary or draft paper two weeks prior to the colloquium (September 9) to ensure adequate time for review by panel members.

August 30, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Director of Academic Support and Bar Passage at Washburn

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

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

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

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

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

More on Trigger Warnings

The discussion of trigger warnings has continued in recent issues of The Chronicle of Higher Education because of recent events at the University of Chicago. This past week The Chronicle published a guide to trigger warnings that summarizes what has been going on at colleges and universities on this issue. The link is here: A Brief Guide to the Battle Over Trigger Warnings.

August 30, 2016 in Miscellany, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Study on Cold-Calling Undergraduates - Revisting the Law School Socratic Method

In The Chronicle of Higher Education, a recent article talked about a study that found cold-calling on undergraduate students increased the students' voluntary participation over the semester. The article referenced that like any other skill, students need practice - practice in the skill of class participation. The link to the article is here: Why Cold-Calling on Students Works. (Of course, the article also made a negative reference to the law school use of cold-calling and included a link to the well-known clip from Paperchase in which Kingsfield terrorizes Hart.) 

For a more positive look at law school Socratic Method, see my post here: Turning the Socratic Method into a Positive Experience. (Amy Jarmon)

August 29, 2016 in Stress & Anxiety, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 28, 2016


As an ASP educator, it is very important for me to work with other entities in the law school building and across campus to fully address student needs. For students to operate at an optimal level, many of their non-academic concerns need to be addressed as well. I often collaborate with our Diversity Services Office and our Office of Student Engagement on these matters. Recently, I had a very rich conversation with my colleague Mary Ferguson, Esq., Director of our Diversity Services Office. She asked me:  “What about the gold medal student, what do we do for them?” I was not quite sure what to say and wondered if this was a specific reference to the Olympics that I completely missed or simply an analogy. 

Given the puzzled look on my face, she explained that the “gold medal student” is the student of color who has excelled academically, the star student in every sense of the word whose academic achievement provided easy access to law school. This individual likely participated in every pipeline and support program since they were a child. This student excelled academically with the support services made available to them as a first generation, low income, and/or member of an underrepresented group. Many of these programs identify students early and include tutoring, structured programming, academic advising, activities, and access to employment and experiential learning opportunities. The “gold medal student” was sought out by the various programs but once they get to law school, they encounter new challenges.

Because “gold medal students” were so academically successful, they are grouped with other successful students based on GPA and LSAT. They are not at academic risk so they are not a part of programs tailored to support students characterized as such.  They may also miss out on services and resources available to students of underrepresented groups or simply not avail themselves of these services. “Gold medal students” might only access services available to the student body as a whole, if at all.  These students might need the same guidance, support, and structure the academically at risk students benefit from but don’t receive it because they are not a part of that group. This distinction might impact the students’ ability to excel academically because had they participated in those programs, it may have propelled them to success.  These students might also have difficulty acclimating because they are often one of very few persons of color at their institution.  We often wonder why a “gold medal student” might underperform academically when compared to their peers with similar entry credentials and when all statistical indicators show that they should perform comparably.  The “gold medal student” becomes nothing more than an honorable mention.

This conversation really got me thinking. How do we identify or seek out this student? How do we provide them with the support they need which is different from what the general population needs?  As I thought more, I realized that I have worked with “gold medal students” but it was typically after they had a rough first semester or first year.  They were typically the students who would do what worked for them at their undergraduate institution and not make the adjustments for law school.  They were the students who needed more structure and needed more purposeful interactions which were readily available at their undergraduate institution but they now had to seek out in law school.  Once a good system is in place for these students, they are students who excel academically.  (Goldie Pritchard)

August 28, 2016 in Advice, Diversity Issues, Learning Styles | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Are you a new ASP or bar prep professional at your law school? Did you change law schools/positions?

At the beginning of each academic semester, we like to introduce ASP or bar professionals who are new to their law schools or who have changed locations?  We want to post an academic spotlight about you so that you are introduced to the community of readers if you are new and so readers know your news if you have moved to a different law school.

If you would like for us to post an academic spotlight about you (or a colleague at your school who is too shy to send us something), please send the following information to Amy Jarmon at  I will be doing posts throughout September and early October.

Here is what I need from you for a spotlight post:

  1. A small jpeg photo.
  2. Your full name, title, and law school information.
  3. 100 - 200 words telling us about yourself: when you started your job, what you were doing before your position, your JD school, your legal practice experience/specialties, your interests professionally and personally.
  4. A link to your faculty/staff profile on your law school web pages if one exists.

We look forward to welcoming you to our terrific community of colleagues and updating folks on your career.  (Amy Jarmon)

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Would an Alex by Any Other Name Make A Difference?

There's a new article in the ABA Journal called "Should Students Call Law Professors By Their First Names?"  At the start of every school year, I wonder about this issue.

Generally, most people at the law school, from my colleagues to my students, call me "Alex."  When I first started working in ASP, that's what I thought I should be called.  I thought it made me more approachable and would make students more likely to accept or seek out my help.  Also, it's how I think of myself, and when I was in college, I thought it was really cool that one of my professors went by "Mr." when he could have been "Professor" or "Doctor."  To me, the gesture was egalitarian and punk rock, and it actually made me more receptive to what he had to say.  

However, from time to time, one of my colleagues says I shouldn't go by "Alex" and that I'm being too low key and casual.  As far as I know, my choice to be "Alex" hasn't led to destructive over-familiarity or lack of respect to myself or anyone else.  I could see how it might, but every time I think about being more formal, I get an image of Dr. Evil complaining that he "didn't spend six years in evil medical school to be called 'mister,' thank you," which kind of derails the entire thing.  

There's every possibility I'm wrong in the way I'm thinking about this name thing and whether "Alex" is more comfortable and effective than "Professor" or "Mister" of "Director."  Although I said they could, a lot of students don't use my first name, and I couldn't say I was necessarily comfortable with using first names as a student.  When I was graduating college, my favorite professor told me that I could call him "Kirk" now that I was a graduate.  I couldn't get used to it, so I joked around that I would call him "Snake" (during a hike, we had decided that would be his biker name, if he was a biker).  Twenty-something years later, I still call him "Snake."  As far as I remember, I called only one law professor by his first name, and that was because we spent a lot of time working on a symposium together, and that's what he asked to be called.  For my masters degrees, I called fiction writers and poets by their first names, but that was standard with everyone.  

I'm sure I'll wonder about this next year.  So far, I've never decided to change.  Part of it is that I believe ASP serves a different purpose and has different strengths and weaknesses than your average law class, but part of it is that I think I'd ultimately be less useful to struggling students if I put in place some sort of formality I didn't feel comfortable with.  In the immortal words of Popeye, "I yam what I yam," and possibly this is a good enough reason to go by "Alex" as any.  (Alex Ruskell)  


August 26, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Alone…or Perhaps…Not Quite So Alone as 1L Students?

Wow...For those of you as 1L students, perhaps you feel like I did when I started law school…alone.

But, here's some great news!  

We are not alone; rather, we are "ALL"-alone!  

You see, at least according to posters made by recent entering law school students,  most of us feel out-of-place, a bit perplexed, unsure of ourselves, wondering how we will perhaps "fit" in, and, most of all, hoping that we can survive law school.

In my case, as a person that turned forty years old in my first year of law school, I was so scared.  Downright frightened…and...intimated.  But, as it turns out (and I didn't realize at the time), most of my entering colleagues (if not all) were feeling just like I did!  

Don't believe me?  

Well, here's a few posters with comments that some of recent entering law students - in the very first week - produced to depict what they were excited about in entering law school…and what they were concerned about in entering law school.  Perhaps you'll find that you share some of the same excitements and concerns.  

And, here's the key…Don't just focus on the negatives but also take time to reflect on the positives that you share with so many (if not all) of your law students.  You see,most of us feel just like you do.  

So, take time to encourage one another and share your own personal excitements and concerns.  It's a bit scary at first, but, in the end, you'll be mighty happy that you did.  And, good luck new 1L students.  We wish you the best!


 i  IMG_1990 IMG_1984
(Scott Johns)

August 25, 2016 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Learning Styles, Professionalism, Stress & Anxiety, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Student-Recommended Resources

Here are some online resources/apps that students have recommended to me:

  • Headspace - learn meditation so that mindfulness can ease your stress (
  • Kahoot! - make your own practice questions (
  • LearnLeo - tutorials for those learning how to read and brief cases (
  • One Note - an organizational tool through your Microsoft package for briefs, notes, and outlines
  • Picjur - legal graphics for concepts (
  • Pomidoro apps - 12 apps that use the pomidoro method to increase focus (
  • Quimbee - legal videos and practice questions (
  • SeRiouS (SRS) - spaced repetition for legal concepts (

What are your favorite resources and apps? Send me an email or leave a comment to let me know. (Amy Jarmon)

August 24, 2016 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ABA Press Release on Premium Memberships for Law Students

American Bar Association
Communications and Media Relations Division

Release:          Immediate

Contact:           Priscilla Totten
Phone:              202-662-1094

American Bar Association introduces premium memberships for law students

CHICAGO, Aug. 23, 2016 — Law students can now upgrade their free American Bar Association membership to Premium Membership to access exclusive benefits and savings.

Premium ABA members save $250 on BARBRI Bar Review; get $25 off West Academic case books and study guides; and receive a free legal ethics course outline from (a $29 value).

“We’re excited to connect law students with the tools they need to succeed in law school, pass the bar and launch their legal careers,” ABA President Linda Klein said. “These benefits help alleviate some of the costs of law school education and joining the profession.”

Premium members are eligible for Law Student Division leadership opportunities and to compete in the Law Student Division’s four annual professional skills competitions. They will also have the opportunity to connect with lawyers and other ABA legal professionals for networking and resume review. Additionally, Premium members receive a free “ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC)” e-book and discounts on the print and annotated hard copies.

Premium Membership is only $25, and offers all of the benefits of Free Membership.

Free Membership includes five ABA Practice Specialty Groups (a $50 value); a three-month subscription to (a $72 value); access to ABA Advantage Member Discounts; and a subscription to the Law Student Division’s “Student Lawyer” magazine.

All law students are eligible for Free Membership and can upgrade to Premium Membership at any time.

To join for free or upgrade to Premium Membership, visit

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.


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

Call for Presenters for AALS Section on Balance in Legal Education

The Section on Balance in Legal Education is pleased to announce a Call for Presenters from which at least one additional presenter will be selected for the section’s program to be held during the AALS Annual 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The program is on “Transformative Learning: Helping Students Discover Motivation, Values and Voice.”

Program Summary: “It is no secret that law school can be a transformative experience. In this program, participants will discuss strategies to support the kind of transformation that will poise students to flourish in their post-law school lives. Drawing on psychology, education theory and the growing literature on professional identity development, participants will explore the factors that contribute to student motivation, as well as those that encourage students to discover their own values and begin to develop their own voices as professionals.  Featured speakers from outside as well as inside the legal academy will contribute their ideas and expertise to this lively and engaging program, which will include concrete teaching suggestions and techniques. The format will be interactive to allow for broad discussion and the exchange of experiences and ideas.”

The program is an extended one, and is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 6, 2017.  The section’s Program Committee hopes that the extended format will allow participants to explore the topic individually, yet also accommodate collaborative elements and audience engagement. Social psychologist Dacher Keltner (Professor of Psychology and Co-Director of the Greater Good Science Center, University of California at Berkeley) will speak about awe, compassion, empathy, and power. Other confirmed presenters are Professors Alexi Freeman (University of Denver Sturm College of Law) and Jerry Organ (St. Thomas University School of Law).  Peter Huang (University of Colorado Law School) and Amy Bushaw (Lewis & Clark Law School) will coordinate the planning process and moderate the program.

Form and length of submission: This call seeks one or more presenters to provide concrete teaching suggestions and techniques, as well as to collaborate with the other presenters in developing the structure and content of the overall program. To respond to this call for presenters, please submit a proposal containing a description of your proposed contribution to the program. Proposals should be no longer than one page in length. If you wish to provide examples of written teaching or other materials to supplement your proposal, feel free to do so but please confine the substance of your proposal to the one-page limit. Please include your name, professional affiliation and contact information. We hope to feature presenters with a broad range of backgrounds, perspectives and experience levels, and encourage anyone who is interested in participating to submit a proposal.

Submission method and due date: Proposals should be submitted electronically to Amy Bushaw at  by Friday, September 16, 2016. The selected presenter(s) will be notified by Wednesday, September 28, 2016. Any presenter chosen through this Call for Presenters will be responsible for paying his or her registration fee and hotel and travel expenses.

Submission review:  Presenter(s) will be selected after review by members of the section’s Program Committee. In the event insufficient proposals are received prior to the deadline, the section reserves the right to solicit additional proposals before making final selections.

Inquiries or questions: Please contact the section Chair, Susan Brooks at or either of the Co-Chairs of the section’s Program Committee, Peter Huang at or Amy Bushaw at

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

Submit an abstract if you want to participate in a discussion group panel for AALS

AALS 2017 Annual Meeting

A Call for Participation in Discussion Groups

January 3-7, 2017
San Francisco, CA

Register | E-Brochure

Discussion Groups are a new session format introduced by the Program Committee in 2016 to facilitate scholarly discussion and engagement. Discussion Groups do not feature formal presentations; rather, the objective is to facilitate a lively and engaging real-time discussion. Participants consist of a mix of the invitees identified in the original proposal along with additional individuals selected on the basis of this call for participation. There will be limited audience seating for those not selected in advance.

The selected Discussion Groups for the 2017 Annual Meeting are:

If you would like to participate in one of these Discussion Groups, please submit an abstract using the online submission form here by August 30, 2016. For specific details on the submission requirements for participation in each of the specific Discussion Groups, click the links above.

Program Committee for the 2017 Annual Meeting
D. Benjamin Barros, University of Toledo College of Law
George W. Dent, Jr., Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Rachel F. Moran, University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
Donna M. Nagy, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Chair
Hillary A. Sale, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law



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