Saturday, September 6, 2014
If you learn through visual methods, consider the following study techniques:
Use easy visual strategies that allow you to see material better:
- Bulleted or numbered lists
- Bold, italics, underlining, all caps, etc.
- Color coding for rules, policies, important case names.
- Indentation to show organizational hierarchy.
- Graphic organizers: timelines, tables, Venn diagrams, spider maps, etc.
Buy a whiteboard so that you can organize material as you think about it and then convert it to hard copy. A large whiteboard can be used at home; a small whiteboard can be kept in your carrel at school.
Check out the variety of visual organizers you could use by visiting these websites:
Turn facts into visual images in your mind (mental motion pictures or photographs) to remember examples of when a rule applies and when it does not or when an element is met and when it is not. The visuals help with issue spotting.
Memorize information through visual images. For negligence: duty is a soldier standing at attention, breach is a tank breaking through a wall, etc.
Use index cards tacked on a bulletin board to arrange information visually to see the inter-relationships. Different colors of index cards can be used to indicate categories or importance.
Purchase one of the software packages that makes it easy to create visuals. One example can be found at http://www.inspiration.com - but many products exist.
If someone else's visual is too complex, deconstruct it. Start with the basics and then build the visual one layer at a time so that you can understand it.
Check out various study aids to see which series with visuals is most helpful to how you see information: Crunch Time, Gilbert's Outlines, Kaplan PMBR Finals.
As a visual learner, determine what strategies work best for you. Although visual learners have some commonalities, each individual has favorite techniques that work for that person but not everyone. (Amy Jarmon)
Friday, September 5, 2014
West Coast Consortium of
Academic Support Professionals
Re-Energizing Academic Success Programs, Personnel, and Research Projects
October 10, 2014
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Seattle University School of Law
Spend a day sharing with and learning from your colleagues! We spend most of our year dedicating ourselves to the needs of our students, our school, and our communities. It is time to take a day to re-energize our programs and ourselves! The West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals invites you to attend a day of professional development focused on this topic in the Emerald City on the campus of Seattle University School of Law.
PART 1 - Scholarship: Are you looking for feedback on a paper in progress? Would you like suggestions on how to strengthen an almost done piece of scholarship? Would you like to present a paper to a group of supportive colleagues and participate in a critique? We will look at best practices in developing scholarship, the steps necessary to finalize and submit papers for publication, and discuss further strengthening the ASP area of scholarship.
PART 2 – Teaching and Service: Would you like to reinvigorate your ASP program? Looking to get a few more ideas for bolstering presentations in the classroom?We will look at innovative teaching methods, new ideas for ASP programming, and discuss how you can best be of service to your students, school, and ASP community. We welcome your ideas if you have specific areas you would like to discuss.
WE NEED YOU! If you would like to present a work in progress during Part 1 or be a presenter for Part 2, please email a summary of your paper or presentation idea along with your contact information and a list of your past presentations to Lisa Young at email@example.com. The summary should be no more than 250 words and must be submitted no later than Monday, September 22, 2014. We welcome proposals, presenters, and participants from across the country, not just from the West Coast!
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Simply stated, the diploma privilege allows a law school graduate, of the given state, to bypass the bar exam en route to the practice of law. Yes, a law graduate would be licensed to practice law without taking the bar exam. This notion sounds enticing for many law students, especially 3Ls as the bar exam looms in their future.
Currently only Wisconsin, and in limited circumstances New Hampshire, provide the diploma privilege to law grads. Graduates from ABA accredited schools in those states are deemed competent to practice law without sitting for and passing a bar examination.
However, Iowa is also now considering the adoption of the diploma privilege. The Iowa State Bar's Blue Ribbon Committee lists the following reasons for abolishing the bar exam in their state:
- The bar exam does not test on Iowa law.
- The bar exam tests only one’s ability to outwit 200 multiple choice and 8 essay questions from a third party testing service.
- The bar exam does not measure true functional mastery of subject areas or compassion, judgment, and ability to help clients.
- Few remember anything they learned cramming for the bar exam.
Many of us have strong opinions about the bar exam and the many issues and factors surrounding the administration of it. However, do you also feel that the bar exam serves a compelling purpose? Does it help weed out incompetent applicants? Does it assist one in their legal practice? Or, is it merely a hazing ritual that is costly, excruciating, and biased? If the Iowa Supreme Court rules in favor of adopting the diploma privilege, will other states follow suit? Only time will tell.
Lisa Bove Young
Monday, September 1, 2014
Save the Date
New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals
December 8, 2014
Suffolk University Law School
Using Hybrid Learning and Flipped Classroom Principles in Academic Support
Opportunities to Present Scholarly Works in Progress
Registration fee $25.00
Additional details comins soon.
Saturday, August 30, 2014
We just finished our second week of classes. The first-year students are looking a bit shell-shocked. The upper-division students are commenting on how things are already too fast-paced. Everyone is looking forward to the long weekend.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of the weekend:
- Get a good start on next week's class preparation. Try to complete your Tuesday and Wednesday assignments. You will feel less stressed as the week begins again. Then review the material before class (or the night before) so you have seen it twice.
- Outline for each of your courses. Using this weekend to get on top of all course outlines, will put you in an advantageous position. You can then add to your outlines each week and not end up having to find huge blocks of time in future weeks to catch up on outlines.
- Set up your study space as you will use it for the rest of the semester. Have all of your school-related items in the same place to save time by not having to hunt for things.
- If you have not already made note of all deadlines and due dates for courses (paper draft due, midterm exam, court observation assignment, other projects), mark those dates on a monthly calendar so you will not forget anything.
- If you are already sleep-derived, catch up on your sleep and establish a routine sleep schedule beginning Sunday night that will give you 7 - 8 hours of sleep during regular bed and wake up times.
- Plan a few hours for fun: exercise, a BBQ with new friends, a movie, your favorite TV shows.
- If you have boxes to unpack, errands to run, or other personal items to take care of, try to complete them before classes next week. You will have less stress if you are more settled into your living space and routine.
Enjoy this slight respite. Be ready to hit the ground running on Tuesday. (Amy Jarmon)
Friday, August 29, 2014
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be doing posts throughout September and early October.
Here is what I need from you for a spotlight post:
- A small jpeg photo.
- Your full name, title, and law school information.
- 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.
- 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 careers. (Amy Jarmon)
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The summer was a whirlwind. Prepping students for the bar exam means that you are constantly on call and required to be positive and upbeat even when you are not necessarily feeling that way. It is truly exhausting. I learned that while I am generally a positive and energetic person, I too need down time. After the bar was wrapped up and I organized the tornado of papers that took over my office, I took a break and unplugged.
We often read about how media is overtaking our lives and that we should encourage our students and children to unplug and go outside. I am often the one preaching such advice. It was not until I made a conscious choice to unplug and schedule my out of office email reply message that I realized I too have been swallowed by the digital age.
Thus, for most of one week, I did not check email, social media, or my cell phone. It was so liberating…once I got used to it. I learned that I spend a lot of time plugged in, which can be distracting and time consuming. This semester, I encourage everyone to carve out time weekly, or even daily, where you schedule time to unplug. We need to practice what we preach and we need to be more mindful of how we use our time. So, as you are gearing up for the semester and planning your calendar, think about including a block of time where you move away from technology, unplug, and learn something new about yourself.
Lisa Bove Young
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Valparaiso University Law School invites applicants for the position of Academic Success Counselor.
Valparaiso University Law School is located in northwest Indiana and is part of a residential community with excellent public schools and other resources. It is approximately ten miles from Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as well as one hour from downtown Chicago.
The law school is an integral part of Valparaiso University, a Lutheran affiliated institution founded in 1859 and known for its outstanding liberal arts education and professional programs. For more information about Valparaiso University Law School, see http://www.valpo.edu/law.
Valparaiso University is looking for an Academic Success Counselor. The duties of the position include, but are not limited to, teaching academic study skills to currently enrolled Valparaiso University law students, counseling students on academic and bar exam success skills and attorney licensing requirements, and advising graduates studying for the bar examination.
- Assists in counseling and advising new students, students on academic probation, students "at risk", and any other student seeking to improve academic performance and/or other academic issues including course scheduling, social influences, etc. Assist students in developing individualized learning plans and monitor progress throughout the semester.
- Tracks the academic progress of "at-risk" and academic probation students through detailed note taking.
- Designs lesson plans and present workshops, tutorials, and programs on topics such as analytical skills, learning styles, time management skills, case briefing, note taking, outlining, exam preparation, and exam taking. Evaluate the success of these programs through student evaluations and other means.
- In conjunction with the Directors of Academic Success, directs the Dean's Fellow's program. Recruits, trains, and supervises the Dean's fellows. Evaluates the success of the program through student evaluations and other means.
- Assists students in reviewing answers to practice exams and provides advice regarding exam strategy, including bar exam essays and strategies.
- Assists the Directors in maintaining the Academic Success website.
- Assist in bar exam coaching.
- Perform all other duties assigned by the Directors of Academic Success.
Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity and the ability to work with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds.
Employment at Valparaiso University will require a criminal background check.
To be considered for this position you must upload:
- Cover letter
- List of 3 professional references
- Answer all the application questions
Please address cover letter to:
Deondra Devitt, Assitant Director, Human Resource Generalist, Valparaiso University, School of Law, Valparaiso, IN 46383
- Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
- Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with faculty, staff, law school affiliates and guests
- Ability to use initiative and independent judgment withing established policy and procedural guidelines
- Ability to handle and keep confidential a variety of different student questions and concerns
- J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school with a strong academic record is required
- 1 to 3 years of legal experience is preferred
- At least one (1) year of academic experience in either law school teaching, counseling, or bar exam tutoring is preferred
- Must be a member of a state bar who has successfully completed a bar examination
- Strong academic and professional qualifications, as well as a demonstrated interest in teaching students with diverse backgrounds
Valparaiso, Indiana, United States
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Tutors are important members of the ASP team. Anecdotally, I know that law students often will seek advice from a classmate before they will come to an “official” in administration. This is true for academic coaching as well.
• Tutors have the advantage of being students themselves. Some will have taken the course they are tutoring, from the instructor they are working for. Tutors are in a position to know the professor’s teaching style, their focus and their exam style. They will have a good handle on the workload for that course and, hopefully, will be enthusiastic about the doctrinal subject they are tutoring.
• If possible, work with the tutors at your school and help them become ASPish. Tutors should understand that they can be really effective if they utilize some of the tools Academic Support Professionals use every day.
• First, encourage tutors to think about their students’ learning styles. An online tool for students to use which is easy and quick is the VARK. Once tutors understand that students have different learning styles, ask tutors to use different teaching modes to teach to these styles. PowerPoint and Prezi are good for visual learners. Auditory learners benefit from a clear and organized lecture style. Think pair share exercises are excellent teaching tools which add an active learning component into the session.
• Tutors should not merely give students the “answer.” Tutors should encourage students to be self-regulated learners. Michael Hunter Schwartz’s book, Expert Learning for Law Students is an excellent resource to take students step by step through this process.
• Tutors are in a position to give meaningful feedback to students. It is especially important for first year students to know that the process of law school manageable and could even be enjoyable. Constructive and positive feedback from tutors will help them succeed. (Bonnie Stepleton)
Monday, August 25, 2014
When you start anything new – it is good to get organized. Starting school off right is beneficial – whether you are the teacher or the student. Law students should identify a study spot and equip it with space for casebooks; study aids; and office or school supplies, such as paper, pens, markers, etc. When you use the study space, keep it organized. If everything that you will need has a “spot,” you will be more effective when you use the study space. So, keep the space organized by returning items that you use to their spots as you finish tasks.
Get a good calendar. Review your course syllabi to create monthly, weekly, and daily schedules. Note major deadlines and be prepared to work backwards from those deadlines. Mark all deadlines and exam dates on your calendar as they become known to you. For example, your student records office or registrar may have posted your final exam schedule and your Legal Research and Writing Course syllabus likely includes due dates for major writing assignments.
Create a weekly schedule. Begin by penciling in class times and any regular appointments. Next, block in study time for each class. At the outset your weekly schedule should include times to do course reading, times to review reading notes and case briefs before class, and times to review class notes. Review reading notes and case briefs before class and review class notes within twenty-four hours of taking them. Note that recently published studies indicate that taking notes in longhand promotes learning more than typing your notes on a laptop.
Last, but certainly not least, your weekly schedule should include some “down time.” Get weekly exercise; eat well; and enjoy the law school ride!
Saturday, August 23, 2014
August 18, 2014
As the summer wanes and we move into the fall semester, the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth School of Law wishes to invite you to our Second Annual Junior Faculty Scholarship Exchange. This is an opportunity for junior faculty in the New England region to gather together to discuss works in progress, finished papers, research interests, and to network with peers from other institutions. Our hope is to provide a local forum for legal scholars to develop their ideas and scholarship with input and constructive criticism from fellow law teachers. This event is especially aimed at faculty with seven, or fewer, years of law teaching experience.
We are hosting this conference at the UMass Club, located in the heart of Boston’s financial district, on the 33rd floor of 225 Franklin Street. The venue is close to South Station, and the red and orange lines of the MBTA, several parking garages and local hotels. A hot buffet lunch, with morning and afternoon snack services will be provided. For directions, see: http://www.clubcorp.com/Clubs/University-of-Massachusetts-Club/About-the-Club/Directions-Hours.
Please consider joining us for this event by marking your calendar for Friday, October 17th, 2014, from 10 to 4. Seating will be limited. To register for the Junior Faculty Scholarship Exchange, send me an email at email@example.com. Kindly include a short abstract of the work you wish to share with our group. We will confirm your registration for the event. Once we achieve capacity, we will need to decline further registrations . As this event is being underwritten by the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth School of Law there is no registration fee. Attendees will need to assume responsibility for their personal travel or lodging expenses.
Feel free to forward this invitation to a junior faculty member that you believe may be interested. If this is information that you would prefer not to receive, please let us know and we will take you off of our list. If you have any immediate questions or concerns please call us at (509)985-1121, and ask to speak with Emma or me. Thank you.
Spencer E. Clough
Associate Dean/Director of the Law Library
The University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth School of Law
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Directly after the bar exam, winter or summer, I am exhausted. I feel like I have been studying for eight weeks and like I took the bar exam myself- twice. However, I did not study all summer; nor did I take the bar exam this summer (maybe next year). But, I, like many of you, was in overdrive helping all of my students prepare for the most challenging exam of their life.
In reflecting on this summer’s bar review, I realize that I learned so much from my students. I also realize how much they appreciate me and the work that I do. I worked closely with a few groups of students. About one week before the bar exam one of the groups surprised me with a homemade lunch that included flowers and gifts and cookies and cards and gratitude and love. And another group that same week gave me an amazing flower arrangement with notes of gratitude.
Now, we have all received cards and maybe a bottle of wine or chocolates, but these moments were different. These students brought these gifts to me right before the bar exam, not after. They were busy studying, preoccupied with readying their bags for their nights away, and trying to keep their anxiety in check; but, they took the time to thank me in these heartfelt ways.
I cannot express how much these “gifts” moved me. Yes, the lunch was delicious and the flowers were lovely. But, that was not what made my heart sing. It was the sincerity in their gifts. These gifts embodied gratitude and thoughtfulness. I could see their gratitude in their eyes. I will never forget their eyes. I feel blessed to be able to do the work that I do and moments like these make the 24/7 on call, utter exhaustion, and stress of the bar exam all worth it.
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. Kahlil Gibran
Lisa Bove Young
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The Learning Curve is the official publication of the AALS Section on Academic Support. It is published twice yearly, once in the summer and once in the winter. As shared in the summer issue last month (also attached again here), the Editors are considering articles for the upcoming winter issue. We are particularly interested in submissions surrounding the new issue’s themes of incorporating experiential learning into programs and meeting the needs of law students in the "new normal." Are you doing something innovative in your classroom that helps motivate a new generation of law students? Do you have a fresh take on technology or what it means to be "ASPish" in these changing times? Do you have proven exercises and assessment tools from which your colleagues might benefit?
Please send your submission as an attached Word document to LearningCurveASP@gmail.com by no later than October 1, 2014. (Please do not send inquiries to the Gmail account, as it is not regularly monitored.) Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length. If light references are appropriate, please include them in a references list at the end of your manuscript, as opposed to using footnotes. (For examples, please see the attached issue.)
We encourage both new and seasoned ASP (and ASP-friendly) professionals to submit their work. Please ensure that your articles are applicable to our wide readership. Principles that apply broadly — i.e., to all teaching or support program environments — are especially welcome. While we always want to be supportive of your work, we discourage articles that focus on advertising for an individual school’s program.
We wish you all the best as you begin a new academic year, and we look forward to reading your work and learning from you!
--The Learning Curve Editors
Courtney Lee, Pacific McGeorge (Executive Editor)
Lisa Young, Seattle (Associate Editor)
Jeremiah Ho, UMass Dartmouth (Assistant Editor)
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Welcome to law school!
Welcome to law school, we’re glad you’re here! Many of you will be hearing this statement over and over again during the next few weeks, and may have various thoughts as to why so many people keep saying the same thing. Are they truly glad I’m here? Is this some sort of veiled greeting that masks the torture that waits? Will they still be happy to see me if I ask a “dumb” question? All good questions that any cautious soon to be lawyer would ask when entering into foreign territory. Let me hopefully assuage your fears by responding to those questions.
Yes, we are truly glad that you are at your respective law school. When many people are making the choice not to embark on this particular career path, you have decided to follow your passion to serve others and make this society better through the law. We are glad that you will continue to enrich the legal bar with your soon to be acquired legal skills. Does some form of torture await? Well, I wouldn’t call it torture but more of an intensive training program where you are mentally challenged (sometimes physically too) in order to build a sharp, curious and critical thinking mind. It’s somewhat analogous to running a marathon (so I’m told) the preparation is grueling and at times you may want to quit, but when the time comes to actually run the 26 miles you are ready and crossing the finish line will be the best thing in the world. A victory like no other; much like law school graduation or passing the bar exam. Will they still like you if you ask a “dumb” question? Everyone who enters law school as a student does so not having practiced law before, so no question is a dumb question. You are here to learn and professors will be very happy if you ask questions. In fact, one of the ways that your professors get to know you is by your questions and comments. Ask questions in class and in office hours. Let them know that you are paying attention and that you are curious; let them know who you are. Think of your professors as your trainers for the marathon. They are there to give you guidance, knowledge and encouragement as you train. However, they can’t give you what you need if you don’t ask questions and let them know what you need to succeed.
So, welcome to law school, I’m glad you decided to join the profession! I really mean it. (LMV)
Monday, August 18, 2014
Orientation for incoming 1L’s starts today! ASP’ers are prepped to welcome students to law school: introductory lessons are prepared; workshops are scheduled resource rooms are stocked with study aids.
What else can we do? As we prepare to, and work with, students embarking on the new challenges that are integral to law school, why not experience new challenges? The answer: Paint Night, anyone? A perfect activity the week before orientation was to go to the local participatory arts organization and try to create a reproduction of Van Gogh’s Seascape at Saintes-Maries. With brush in hand, mix a palette of colors from only four tubes of paint and try to recreate Van Gogh’s depth and movement – in two hours.
While paint night does not present the same pressures as those experienced by entering (and returning) law students, it did afford the opportunity to experience the unfamiliar and to try to complete a task under time constraints. Happy first day of school!
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Saturday, August 16, 2014
As the beginning of another school year approaches, I have been thinking about how a law student's success is so closely tied to the attitudes of the student. Here are some of my thoughts after observing law students through working in ASP and teaching elective courses.
Attitudes for success:
- Confidence in one's ability to adapt and learn is positive. It is a new educational frontier when 1Ls arrive. With flexibility and willingness to learn, most 1Ls will gain the new strategies for legal education success.
- Openness to constructive criticism coupled with hard work will turn around many of the typical 1L errors in critical analysis and writing (whether exam answer or memorandum).
- Willingness to seek help in a proactive way will overcome many obstacles. Students who use resources in a timely manner can ameliorate problems before they become intractable - whether the help is from professors, librarians, academic success professionals, deans, or other resources.
- Respect for others at all levels within the law school community will engender respectful treatment in return. Much of the tension and competitiveness of law school can be lessened when everyone in the environment remains respectful. Faculty, administrators, staff, and students are all integral to that environment being present.
- Kindness improves one's outlook about law school and engenders helpfulness rather than hostility. A student who values collegiality will lend notes to an ill classmate, explain a concept to a struggling student, and share a kind word with a classmate faced with a crisis.
- Passion for a desired professional goal will often provide motivation when the going gets tough. Examples are: I volunteered with abused children and want to represent children in need of protection. I want to be part of helping families immigrating to the U.S. As a former park ranger, I want to practice environmental law.
Attitudes detrimental to success:
- Arrogance about one's superiority in comparison to others skews reality. 1Ls who arrive resting on their laurels and smug about how special they are often figure out the differences in law school too late in the semester to achieve their academic potential.
- Refusal to take responsibility for one's learning and understanding will lead to lower grades. Students who earn grades below their academic potential are often focused on what the professor, writing specialist, academic success professional, or [fill in the blank] should have done for them. They avoid recognizing and correcting the things they chose not to do to help themselves.
- Perfectionism creates unrealistic expectations that lead to exhaustion. Students who desire to be perfect will be overwhelmed by the amount of work. They often have trouble starting or finishing tasks in a timely manner because of their standards.
- Expected mediocrity can result from self-defeating comparisons to other law students. Students who begin to view themselves as not as good as others will often settle for lower grades. Examples are: I guess I am just a C student. Everyone else is so much smarter than I am. I'll never get an A grade.
- Immaturity leads to lack of effort and frivolous time management that result in bad grades. These students overlook that law school is a professional school and stay stuck in undergraduate behaviors. Playing every evening and weekend, drinking oneself into a stupor, and focusing on socializing lead to poor academic decisions.
- Apathy can result when law school has no personal meaning to the student. Examples are: I came to law school because I did not know what else to do. All males in my family have been attorneys for the last five generations - it was expected that I be a lawyer.
Attitudes color students' ability to adapt to law school, to handle the stress, to seek help, and to reach their full academic potential. Positive attitudes need to be nurtured. Negative attitudes need to be addressed to minimize harmful results. Attitudes will affect whether students just survive or thrive. (Amy Jarmon)
Friday, August 15, 2014
I was surprised several years ago when I discovered that many of my law students can only print. They are unable to write in cursive (or longhand as some of us also remember it being called). Some explained that their elementary/middle/high schools had never taught them cursive writing at all. Others stated that they had learned it at some point but had little experience writing in cursive now.
In catching up on some back The Chronicle of Higher Education articles, I came across an article by Valerie Hotchkiss about the implications of another non-cursive generation and what the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at University of Illinois Urbana - Champaign is doing to combat the loss of cursive: Cursive Is an Endangered Species. (Amy Jarmon)
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Director of Bar Support
SUMMARY PURPOSE OF POSITION: The Director of Bar Success will work with the Director of Academic Success, as well as faculty and staff, including the Director of Graduate Academic Resources and Legal Writing Center, to assist students and graduates as they prepare for the bar exam, both as they progress through Law School and after they graduate. Develops, coordinates, and implements school-wide initiatives to improve bar passage, including joint workshops and courses, and meetings with students, graduates, Academic Success professionals and faculty.
EXAMPLES OF PRIMARY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Implements, evaluates, and enhances existing bar-preparation services.
- Improves and expands existing programs, including: providing a clearinghouse of bar preparation, collaborating with commercial bar preparation companies to assist students with their bar preparation efforts, working with ASP staff to coordinate a mentor program to provide individual mentors to graduates preparing for the bar, tracking at-risk students’ preparation for the bar exam and performance on the exam, and providing resources for repeat bar exam takers.
- Helps individual students and graduates develop and execute customized study plans and strategies for
- passing the bar exam.
- Creates individual student plans of study after one-on-one meetings with all 2L, 3L, and 4L students.
- Individual student and graduate counseling and mentoring.
- Provides advice on course selection.
- Provides general assistance about bar application completion.
- Meets regularly with students and graduates who are preparing for the bar exam and reviews sample bar exam essays. and provides analysis and feedback to help them improve their writing skills.
- Instruction in workshops and for-credit course.
- Coordinates instruction and assessments for or teaches for-credit bar preparation course and provides feedback on student work product.
- Analyzes bar exam results (including statistical analysis) and provides regular reports concerning results.
- Provides bar-related information to faculty members regarding topics tested and recent bar exam questions in the faculty member’s area of teaching and encourages and supports faculty development with respect to the bar exam.
- Develops web page and other communications describing bar support program and services.
- Stays abreast of bar exam developments in Massachusetts and nationally and of developments in the delivery of bar support by law schools.
- Regularly attends and develops relationships at regional and national bar support professionals meetings, with efforts to develop leadership role.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
EXPERIENCE:Previous (one to three years) experience teaching law students.
OTHER: Evening and weekend work will be required. Travel may be required.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES REQUIRED:
- Strong interpersonal, organization, analytical and public speaking skills.
- Ability develop and manage higher educational programs
- Knowledge of academic programs pertaining to law school students.
- Knowledge of educational theories and learning styles/disabilities.
- Knowledge of and ability to perform research and statistical analysis.
- Ability to work independently and be a self-starter, demonstrated initiative.
- Able to relate to students, faculty, University personnel, and external constituents.
- Demonstrated creativity.
- Ability to follow-through.
Masters in Education (or related degree)
Bar support work at a Law School
Proven success in raising bar pass rate at a law school
Experience working with the Massachusetts bar exam
Previous experience directing a bar exam program either in a law school or for a commercial provider
About University of Massachusetts Dartmouth:
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant public university actively engaged in personalized teaching and innovative research, and acting as an intellectual catalyst for regional and global economic, social, and cultural development.
The University of Massachusetts reserves the right to conduct background checks on potential employees.
UMass Dartmouth is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity, Title IX Employer.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Summer is winding down and the fall semester starts in a few weeks, which means it’s time for everyone to offer advice on law school success. Here’s my two cents on how to start the semester off right: understand, organize, analyze. That’s it. Seems simple, right? Of course there is a catch. You will be reading court decisions and reading a case is not like reading fiction or textbooks. It goes beyond understanding the material. A case is just a piece of a much larger puzzle. To put that puzzle together you start with understanding the words within the case but then you must understand the case as a whole and how it fits into the larger organizational scheme. Finally, you must analyze that information under different fact scenarios to predict outcomes and resolve client issues. It won’t be easy at first and you will make mistakes, but the concepts are foundational and it won’t be long before understanding, organizing, and analyzing becomes a part of your internal thinking process.