Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Designing Your Game Plan for a New Semester

Spring semester is a new beginning. You can repeat the strategies that worked. You can modify strategies that need some tweaking. You can implement new strategies to replace bad strategies. Now is your opportunity to make changes where needed!

Here are some things you want to consider:

  • Start a serious study routine now. Too many students waste the first half or two-thirds of the semester before they get down to consistent hard work.
  • Prepare for class with your focus on learning and understanding. Doing time over pages is not learning. Understanding before class has real advantages:
  1. You can follow the discussion better and not wonder what is going on.
  2. You can answer questions better if called on by the professor.
  3. You can take better notes because you know what you already have in class preparation materials (briefs, worksheets, problem sets, etc.).
  4. You can ask questions that you know are relevant and important because you know more about the material.
  • Review before you walk into class to allow yourself to have seen the material twice. If the topic is a continuing one, read the notes from the prior class to gain context.
  • Review your class notes after each class for 15 minutes some time during the same day to reorganize, fill in gaps, add examples, note down questions to ask, and summarize the essential take-away points.
  • Outline each week for each exam course. You will gain insights and context more quickly. You will be outlining while material is still fresh. You will build your master study document easily and be able to start exam review.
  • Distribute your learning throughout the semester. That is, front-load exam study rather than wait to cram. Here are four reasons for doing this:
  1. You will recall, understand, and apply information more easily if you have seen it multiple times during review throughout the semester.
  2. Long-term memory is built over time and allows you to retrieve information later (on the exam, during an advanced course, bar review, or practice).
  3. Cramming equals mere brain dump without any longevity of memory; you will need to relearn everything later.
  4. You will decrease your stress if you spread exam learning over 15 weeks (the usual semester length) rather than a few weeks at the end.
  • Include multiple levels of review in your weekly schedule to front-load exam study:
  1. Prevent forgetting 80% of what you learn within 2 weeks: Read your outline front to back page each week to keep everything fresh.
  2. Intensely review sections of your outline for deep understanding: grapple with the concepts; synthesize those concepts; know how to use them to solve new legal problems.
  3. Apply the material on as many practice questions as possible. Choose questions similar to the exam if you know the type of exam. Practice does make perfect.
  4. Spend time on memory drills to learn the black letter law over time, so it comes to you quickly through repetitive study.
  • Get assistance early and often. Ask your professors questions. Get feedback on practice questions if possible. Read study supplements if needed. Visit with the academic support professional at your school.
  • Adopt a mindset that you can improve! Last semester was last semester. Focus on what you can do this semester.

You have more control over your semester and exams than you realize! You need to use learning and memory to advantage. Take charge of your semester from the beginning rather than dawdling. Go for it! (Amy Jarmon)

January 27, 2016 in Exams - Studying, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Some Tips for Reviewing Exams from the Fall Semester

Now is a good time to contact your professors to review any fall semester exams about which you had concerns. If you received a C+ grade or below in a course, you should definitely consider reviewing the exam.

  • Many of the exam-taking skills for law school translate from one course to later courses even though the course material is very different.
  • An exam review can highlight study strategies that were successful prior to the exam as well as indicate study strategies that need modification or abandonment.
  • An exam review will allow you to track what you did well during the actual exam and want to continue doing on future exams.
  • An exam review will allow you to track what you had problems with during the actual exam and want to improve on for future exams.
  • Exam reviews for several courses may indicate patterns of success or error that you have repeated across exams.
  • Here are two handouts that can assist you in what to look for when you do your exam reviews.The first handout is for fact-pattern essay (also relevant for the most part to short-answer): Download Patterns to Look for and Questions to Ask When Evaluating Fact The second handout is for multiple-choice questions (also relevant for the most part to true-false): Download Patterns to Look for and Questions to Ask When Evaluating Multiple These handouts suggest questions that can help you analyze your exam performance more thoroughly.
  • Professors vary in how they complete exam reviews. Here are some variations that you may encounter: a) The professor may conduct exam reviews for students who email with a request, may have a sign-up sheet on the professor’s office door, or may announce some other mechanism. b)The professor may first schedule appointments with students with the lowest grades, then move to the next level of grades for appointments, and so forth. c)The professor may have the student review the exam individually (and possibly the grading rubric or sample exam answers) before meeting with the professor. d)The professor may instead have the student come for the meeting and review the exam together.
  • Make sure that you take careful notes during your exam review so that you will know what areas you want to continue doing well and what areas you want to improve on for future exams.
  • After your exam reviews, evaluate what you have found out. Look for any patterns across exams and courses. Make a plan for your future exam study and exam-taking.
  • If you are unsure what strategies may help you for your specific problem areas, make an appointment to talk with the academic support professional at your law school.

All students can improve their grades by implementing new study strategies and new test-taking strategies. Take advantage of professor feedback to make informed decisions instead of just randomly trying new strategies. (Amy Jarmon)


January 26, 2016 in Exams - Studying, Exams - Theory, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Inquiries About Signing Up for the ASP Listserv

For those of you who are new professionals in ASP/bar prep at your law schools, signing up for the ASP Listserv is done in the following manner. These instructions were sent to me by Stephen Sowle at Chicago Kent (he runs the listserv) in August 2015. If you run into problems after you have tried to subscribe, I would suggest that you contact him for assistance at (Amy Jarmon)

To sign up for the ASP listserv, follow these steps:
Address email to
No subject
In the body of the message enter: subscribe ASP-L your_first_name your_last_name title school_name
your_first_name is your first name,
your_last_name is your last name
title and school_name are optional


January 17, 2016 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Get Involved with the AALS Section on Academic Support

Are you looking for ways to give back to the profession? Do you want to meet more colleagues? Do you want to have an impact at a national level? Now is the time to sign up for committees for the 2016 - 2017 AALS rotation.

To volunteer to be on a committee, you need to be a faculty member or professional at a AALS member school. Not sure if your law school is a member school? Check the membership list here: AALS Member Schools.

As soon as possible, please email the Section Chair to indicate your interest in participating on a specific committee: Lisa Young (Seattle) at

The following are brief descriptions of the committees:

Awards Committee: The Section on Academic Support has the choice to present an award at the annual meeting to a member of the profession who has made outstanding contributions to ASP. The Committee decides each year whether or not the award process should be undertaken that year. If the Committee plans to present an award, it follows the processes for nomination and selection in the Section's Bylaws. Both the Section's Executive Committee and AALS must concur with the selection for the award to be presented.

Bar Passage Committee: This committee considers a wide range of issues related to bar preparation and the bar exam itself.

Learning Curve Committee: This committee publishes two electronic issues of the Learning Curve each year. The committee determines issue themes (where appropriate), solicits articles, selects articles, acts as editorial staff, and undertakes oversight of the actual publication of the issues.

Nominations Committee: Each year the committee undertakes the nomination process to select a slate of officers/board members to be presented to the membership at the annual meeting. The nominations/selection process is covered by the Section's Bylaws as well as the Section's 2014 Executive Committee Recommendations.

Program Committee: This committee is responsible for deciding the program topic in line with the AALS annual meeting theme, advertising the calls for proposals for program sessions/papers, reading all submitted proposals, selecting the proposals to be included, holding teleconferences with the selected speakers, and handling the program tasks at the annual meeting.

Status Committee: This new committee grew out of a discussion at this year's business meeting. The committee will look at the status issues that ASP/bar prep professionals have within the legal academy. There will likely be contacts with our counterparts in the legal-writing/LWI/ALWD and clinical areas regarding their status history and strategies that they used to address status issues. 

Website Committee: The Section is responsible for the Law School Academic Success Project website that is supported financially by LSAC and is under the AALS umbrella. The website has content for law school professionals interested in ASP and students. Work is needed to update the website: directory information, lessons in a box, other content.

January 16, 2016 in Professionalism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 15, 2016

AALS Section on Academic Support Executive Committee 2016 - 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended the Section on Academic Support business meeting at a very early 7:00 a.m. on Saturday to vote on the slate of officers/board members. The following is the list of the Executive Committee members for the January 2016 - January 2017 rotation.

    Chair: Lisa Young (Seattle)

    Chair-Elect: Corie Rosen Felder (Colorado)

    Secretary: Danielle Bifulci Kocal (Pace)

    Treasurer: Staci Rucker (Dayton)

    Immediate Past Chair: Amy L. Jarmon (Texas Tech U)

    Board Member (term expires January 2017): Scott Johns (Denver)

    Board Member (term expires January 2017): Jamie Kleppetsch (John Marshall)

    Board Member (term expires January 2018): Twinette Johnson (Southern Illinois)

    Board Member (term expires January 2018): Philip Kaplan (Suffolk)

Congratulations to everyone! Thank you for your service to the profession.


January 15, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Congratulations to the AALS Section on Academic Support Program Committee

Kudos to the Program Committee for a terrific program on Saturday at AALS. If you were unable to attend Raising the Bar, the presentations were excellent. Danielle Bifulci Kocal (Pace U) was the Moderator (and Program Committee Chair). Paula Manning (Western State U), Deborah J. Merritt (Ohio State U), and Kerriann Stout (Pace U) were the speakers. AALS made audio recordings of all of the sessions; these will be made available to member schools. If you need the presenters handouts, you can email Danielle ( for those.

January 14, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Associate Director for Student Affairs Position at Indiana U - Robert H. McKinney School of Law - January 22nd deadline

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law seeks applicants for the Associate Director for Student Affairs. The successful candidate will report to the Assistant Dean for Students Affairs and design, manage, and implement an academic support program including bar support for law students.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILIITES: The Associate Director will develop programs, advise and tutor students with special focus on students facing academic challenges, collaborate with faculty, develop an assessment model to measure the effectiveness of academic support, collect and analyze data, and draft reports concerning program outcomes. In addition, the Associate Director will manage the administrative aspects of the Dean’s Tutorial Society, including educational outreach, academic support initiatives and related programming.

REQUIRED: J.D. from an accredited institution, plus at least one year of post-law school professional experience.

The successful candidate should possess excellent oral, written and interpersonal communication skills; excellent leadership skills; unimpeachable integrity and trustworthiness; mature judgment in handling sensitive and confidential information; must have a keen sensitivity to human relations, with a high degree of empathy and approachability; demonstrated ability to work independently with little supervision; knowledge of legal theory and understanding of academic support best practices, strong law school academic record, proficiency in Microsoft Office applications required. Must have cultural competency in working with a diverse population.

PREFERRED: Three or more years of post-law school experience, especially teaching, advising, and tutoring in higher education or related experience. Bar admission in any state.

Applicants can apply directly online by January 22, 2016 at:


January 13, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reminder: Deadline for AASE Proposals is Friday, January 15th

See the blog post on Monday, January 4th for the details on submitting a proposal.

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

4th Annual SWCASP Workshop Information

4th Annual Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Workshop

ASP Through the Years: Building a Program to Reach Students Throughout Law School at University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law in Little Rock, Arkansas

The Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals will host a one day workshop focused on reaching all our student populations. ASP Departments are expected to help the entire law school population, but most schools don’t have the resources for the support expected. Law Schools still evaluate on first-year retention and bar passage rates, so ASP Departments must reach as many students as possible with limited resources. Building a cohesive program for the first two years of law school is critical. This year’s workshop will include programs to help students succeed through their first two years. We will also discuss methods to improve diversity attendance and performance.

Bowen is located in the heart of Little Rock, Arkansas’ capital city, within a five-minute drive of state and federal courthouses, as well as some of Arkansas’ largest law firms and corporations. Little Rock’s vibrant legal community provides our students and alumni many opportunities for professional engagement and public service. With a metropolitan population of almost 700,000, Little Rock features the best in art and cuisine, right alongside the beauty of the Natural State. This will be a great place to visit in early March.

Registration is open to anyone interested in academic support. There is no registration fee. If you are interested in attending, you can register through google docs here: Registration will be accepted through February 26th.

Hotel Information:

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Presidential, 600 Interstate 30, Little Rock, AR 72202. This hotel is located a couple of blocks from the law school and there is free shuttle to the airport. We negotiated a rate of $99.00 per night for King or Double. Please be advised that this block will release and the price will expire on February 11, 2016. You can book your room by phone by calling (866) 900-7625 and referencing “UALR Law School Group Rate” and the dates of the event.

Tentative Schedule:

March 3rd:
Dinner for anyone arriving early at Next Level Events at Union Station

March 4th:
9-9:50 – Expanding Your Reach by Training and Supervising Upper Division Students to Help 1Ls – Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz from UALR School of Law
10-10:50 – Using Formative Assessment to Help Doctrinal Professors and Improve ASP Programming – Steven Foster from Oklahoma City University School of Law
11-11:50 – Bridging the Gap Between 2L Year and Bar Preparation – panel including Jendayi Saada from La Verne College of Law and Jennifer Carr from UNLV School of Law
12-12:50 – Lunch
1-1:50 – Reaching Diverse Populations to Improve Attendance at Events – Russell McClain from Maryland School of Law
2-2:50 – Creating Programs to Improve Performance of Diverse Students – Jack Manhire from Texas A&M School of Law
2:50-3 – Closing Remarks

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Steven Foster (
Director of Academic Achievement at Oklahoma City University

Erik Malmberg (
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at UALR William H. Bowen School of Law


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

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Assistant Director Position at St. Thomas

POSITION TITLE: Assistant Director of Academic Support

REPORTS TO: Director, Academic Support

DEPARTMENT: Academic Support/Law School

CLASSIFICATION: Professional Staff

DATE: 12/18/15


Under the direction of the Director of the Academic Support Program, performs a variety of professional and counseling tasks. This position has responsibility for assisting in scheduling, monitoring and evaluating comprehensive programs and materials for first year law students and counseling for first year law students.


Duties may include, but are not limited to the following:

• Monitor, evaluate and revise academic support programs conducted by Student Instructors; coordinate meeting times and rooms for academic support programs and events; assist in preparing materials and performs set-up tasks for the programs and events.

• Responsible for communicating information about the nature, schedule, and location of academic support programs and events to relevant groups.

• Assists in counseling students in academic difficulty.

• Develop and implement methods for collecting, tracking, and analyzing data for evaluation of student participation.

• Prepare individual student evaluation profiles for students in academic difficulty.

• Assists in the presentation of active learning workshops to students.

• Assist in recruiting, scheduling interviews, hiring and training of student instructors.

• Oversee the collection, organization, storage and retrieval of student instructor materials.

• Serve on University committees as requested.

• Comply with University and departmental safety rules and regulations.

• Perform related duties as assigned by immediate supervisor.


Incumbent performs routine assignments alone, following established practices. Supervisor will advise incumbent when work is not up to par and take appropriate steps for resolution within established procedures.


Supervises the work of Student Instructors and acts as an alternate supervisor to approve hours of student instructors.


Requires knowledge of office management and supervision, budget preparation and monitoring, and skills necessary to succeed in law school and on the bar exam. Familiarity with statistical analysis is a plus.

Requires the ability to develop, implement, and efficiently organize and carry out administrative policy and procedures in support of law school academic support programs. Counseling skills to assist students in developing academic and non-analytical skills necessary to succeed in law school. Excellent writing and oral communication skills. Proficiency with computers needed including, but not exclusive of programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, TWEN, and statistical programs.

Requires a Juris Doctor Degree and previous professional or administrative experience in an institution of higher learning or business or law office environment. Prior teaching or counseling experience is helpful. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, faculty, students and the public. Membership in a state bar. Florida State Bar preferred, but not required.

Submit a letter of interest, a detailed resume listing qualifications and experience and a cover letter with a description of their qualifications and experience based on the qualifications listed in the job bulletin.

Salary competitive with those at similarly situated institutions.


January 9, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 8, 2016

Positions at Whittier Law

Whittier Law School is now accepting resumes for the positions of Director of Bar Support and Assistant Director of Bar Support. The Director of Bar Support helps students and graduates prepare for success on the bar exam. The Director reports to the Dean and the Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Support and collaborates closely with other faculty and staff.  The Director develops, implements, and coordinates school-wide initiatives to improve bar passage and teaches mandatory 3L bar support courses. The Director collaborates with commercial bar reviews, works with the alumni association on the school’s alumni mentoring program, tracks at-risk students, develops assessment tools, and prepares bar exam statistics and reports. The Assistant Director reports to the Director of Bar Support and the Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Support. The Assistant Director works closely with the Director and Assistant Dean on all aspects of bar success preparation. Whittier Law School is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes applications from all qualified individuals. These positions are academic staff, non-faculty positions.  Salary and benefits for both positions depend on a candidate's experience and other qualifications. Candidates must be graduates of an ABA law school, must hold a JD degree and possess an excellent academic record and prior work experience.  Candidates must also have passed the California Bar Exam or a bar exam in a UBE jurisdiction.
Please submit resumes and letters of interest describing qualifications for the above positions to the Assistant Dean of Academic and Bar Support

January 8, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Director of Academic Success Position at Drake University Law

Director, Academic Success; Law School - 998251

Link: Drake Law Director Position

Reporting to the Assistant Dean for Academic Services and collaborating with other faculty and staff, the Academic Success Director assists students and graduates as they prepare for the bar exam, both as they progress through law school and after they graduate. Additionally, they will run established academic success programs and initiatives within the law school. In coordination with the Assistant Dean for Academic Services and other relevant faculty and staff the Academic Success Director develops, implements, and coordinates school-wide initiatives to improve bar passage, including a credit-bearing courses, workshops, and individual meetings with students, graduates, and faculty. Additionally, the Director tutors and provides academic counseling for at-risk students.

January 7, 2016 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Podcast from Touro Law Center

Hat tip to Patti Desrochers at Touro for forwarding a link to a podcast featuring Lillian Spiess (Assistant Director of Academic Development) and Stephanie Juliano (Assistant Director of the Writing Center) discussing Study Tips and Tricks for Being Successful During Finals with their Dean, Patricia Salkin. The link is here: Touro Law Podcast on Exam Success.

January 6, 2016 in Exams - Studying | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

See You at AALS in New York City!

AALS is being held in New York City from Wednesday, January 6th through Sunday, January 10th. The co-headquarters hotels are the New York Times Square Hotel and the Hilton Midtown Hotel.

The Section on Academic Support business meeting is scheduled for 7:00 - 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 9th and includes the election of officers/board members and sign-ups for committees. The Section on Academic Support program, Raising the Bar, will also be on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Thursday, January 7th sessions will include those for the Section on Student Services and the Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research. On Friday, January 8th, there will be a session for the Section on Balance in Legal Education. There are a number of other sessions throughout the meeting that will interest ASP/Bar folks.

Hope to see you there!

January 5, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Reminder: Call for Proposals for AASE - Due by January 15th

2016 Annual Conference
May 24 – 26: Long Island City, New York
City University of New York (CUNY) Law School
Call for Proposals


The 2016 Conference of the Association of Academic Support Educators will bring together colleagues interested in legal education and academic support. In this collegial and collaborative environment, colleagues will have a chance to meet, reconnect, and share ideas about pedagogy, scholarship, and professional growth.

The program committee welcomes proposals on any subject relating to legal education and academic support. Please read and conform to the Proposal Requirements (below).

Please craft your proposal carefully. The program committee will look for proposals that describe the presentation and its goals in detail. Our assumption is that a clear and detailed proposal today will lead to a stronger presentation. An example of a proposal is available below.

Presentation Topics

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

Presentation Format

Presentations may be in any form the presenter finds effective. Although the committee does seek to accommodate all presenters with their selection for presentation format and timing, the committee may occasionally ask presenters to change the format or timing of a presentation to fit the needs of a comprehensive and diverse program.
Please indicate your target audience in your proposal. For example: newbies, bar prep, large schools, etc.

The following is a description of the different types of presentations:

Interactive Workshops

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

Examples include: pair and share, break-out group discussions, use of demonstrative aids that involve the audience, or other audience participation. Note that providing handouts, although very beneficial for attendees, does not on its own make the presentation interactive.

If you submit a proposal with more than one presenter for your session, your proposal should include the name, e-mail address, and school for each presenter. In determining how many presenters to include in your proposal, please make sure that each person will have sufficient time to fully discuss his or her topic. Because most presentations will last only 45 minutes, we recommend no more than 2 to 3 presenters.

Lesson in a Box

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

Moderated Group Discussion

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

Short Format Presentations

A 15-minute presentation that can be presented in a format similar to the interactive workshop that includes audience participation such as pair and share, break-out group discussions, use of demonstrative aids that involve the audience, or other audience participation. These are opportunities for new ideas or emerging professionals to present ideas that have not been presented on before.

Brochure Summary

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


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

Time Slots

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

Submission Deadline

Proposals must be submitted to no later than January 15, 2016. Late submissions will not be accepted.


All individuals submitting a proposal will be notified about the status of their proposal on or before February 15, 2016.
Multiple Proposals and the “One-Presentation Rule”

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

No Marketing

Although the committee welcomes proposals on any topic of interest to academic support faculty, a proposal will not be accepted if it appears to be a means to market a textbook or other for-pay product. AASE does not accept proposals from any commercial vendors. Any commercial vendor interested in promoting their materials may do so as a sponsor of the conference. Please email to request information on becoming a sponsor.


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

Proposal for AASE 2014 Annual Summer Conference

Title: Building Positive Classroom Environments

Presenter Contact Information: Cai Leonard, Law School, 2 Main Street, Springfield, ST 98765. T: 112- 356-7890
Type of Session: Interactive Workshop
Audience: Newbies & moderate experience level; all school sizes

Goals of the session. By the end of this workshop participants will:

• Be able to explain the value of positive interpersonal environments in helping students learn;
• Be able to identify methods for building positive interpersonal classroom environments; and
• Be able to engage their own students in exercises that help build positive classroom environments.

Background. Creating a positive learning environment is one of the components critical to successful learning (e.g. Bransford et. al, How People Learn 25; Goleman, Social Intelligence 268-76; Hess & Friedland, Techniques for Teaching Law 326-27). Emotional intelligence and neuroscience studies show that we learn better when we are challenged, supported, respected, and engaged. Too much stress impedes learning; lack of challenge does the same. This workshop focuses on how to create a positive learning environment for law students.
Workshop methodology. Participants will be actively involved in different techniques that affect classroom dynamics. Participants will engage in:
 Writing
 Discussing ideas in pairs
 Looking at visuals
 Listening & reflecting
 Discussing ideas with the whole group
 Practicing with a small group

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

Participants will be given an overview of how positive and negative interpersonal dynamics and environments affect student learning. They will then discuss things they have noticed within their classes and ways to improve classroom dynamics. Depending on participants’ teaching areas, participants may engage in small group discussions about questions relating to doctrinal areas, upper level vs. first year courses, skills courses, or clinical courses.
Throughout the workshop, I will share my own experiences and give examples of what I have found effective in my classes, others’ classes, and I will answer participants’ questions.
Materials. Outline of the workshop, scenarios regarding different kinds of classroom environments, questions for participants to respond to, specific techniques professors can use to create positive environments, and short list of resources.
Technology Required: Access to PowerPoint would be very helpful, although the session could be modified to be done without it.
Brochure Summary: We have all witnessed our students struggle in their classes due to too much stress. This workshop focuses on how to create a positive learning environment for law students. Through group discussion and partner work, participants will learn how to build positive interpersonal classroom environments.

January 4, 2016 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays

Happy holidays to all of our readers! The Blog will be silent until after the new year begins. We hope that you have time off to relax, laugh, eat too much, and enjoy your friends and family. Best wishes for 2016!

December 23, 2015 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Last Minute Gift Idea for Law Students and Faculty

Hat tip to Paul Caron, our Law Professors Blog leader, for the ideal holiday gift suggestion. Read his blog post on Tax Prof Blog here: Last Minute Christmas Gift Idea for Faculty and Students.

December 22, 2015 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Report from the New England Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Conference December 7, 2015

Kudos to the Executive Board of NECASP for putting together a terrific slate of presentations for its December 2015 conference.  The morning sessions focused on “Innovative Strategies to Prepare our Changing Students for the Bar Exam”:

First, Camesha Little presented on Texas A & M Law School’s holistic bar exam program.  The program objectives include managing anxiety, maintaining study schedules, and identifying outside issues.  The program brings in folks from outside the ASP program, including alumni, faculty, the legal writing center, campus administration, and community partners. 

Next, Leah Plunkett presented on the University of New Hampshire Law School’s relatively new use of a required preliminary bar exam to assess students' substantive knowledge of selected first year courses in connection with bar readiness.  The presentation focused on how UNH is exploring the role and value of the preliminary Bar Exam.  Though required, students’ scores on the preliminary bar exam are neither made part of their transcripts nor factored into their GPA’s.   

In the last morning session, Sabrina DeFabritiis of Suffolk University School of Law presented on her pre-graduation course designed to prepare students before they prepare for the bar exam

The afternoon sessions provided a series of varied an informative presentations:

Elizabeth Bloom of New England Law School presented on designing courses that propel student learning outcomes to make learning happen.  Professor Bloom’s presentation was very timely in light of the ABA’s shift in focus from teaching to learning and from curriculum to outcomes. 

Chelsea Baldwin, of the Appalachian School of Law presented on her current work aimed at creating a framework for interacting with students and arriving at solutions to problems. Professor Baldwin’s presentation was entitled:  TREATS Affects Performance – Six Categories of Intervention for At-Risk Law Students

Antonette Barilla of Elon University School of Law, presented on “Promoting Self-Awareness in Legal Education.” Her presentation drew on the work of Michael Hunter Schwartz, Barry Zimmerman, Jason Palmer, and others.  She focused on common attributes of the millennials who inhabit our classrooms and strategies that can promote self-awareness and learning in the classroom.

James McGrath, of Texas A & M Law School spoke on “Integrating Effective Cognitive Learning Techniques into First Year Doctrinal Topics – Torts.” Professor McGrath drew on works such as Making it Stick, Peter Brown, et. al., and How We Learn, Benedict Carey.  Professor McGrath discussed his implementation of “spaced practice” in his Torts syllabus to promote long-term learning.

(Myra G. Orlen)

December 21, 2015 in Bar Exam Preparation, Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Meditation, Chair Yoga, and Contemplation Time at AALS

In case you missed the recent email from the AALS Section on Balance in Legal Education, there are special activities planned for the NYC annual meeting. These activities are a great idea, and kudos to the Balance Section for implementing this series. Below is the information provided by Nathalie Martin in that email:

Hello balance members!

I am excited to announce that we have a total of six meditation teachers offering their services during the group activities planned for our contemplative space at AALS. Thanks so much to all those teachers. There is also a little yoga.

The AALS brochure will tell you where the space is, and hopefully many or most of you can swing by for one of these groups sessions. The room is available for quiet individual contemplation at all other times.

The group times and classes are as follows:

Thursday Jan 7
8:00-8:30 am, Guided mindfulness meditation: Richard Rueben
9:00-10:00 am, Chair yoga: Nathalie Martin
12:00-1:00 pm, Chair yoga: Nathalie Martin
2:30 to 3:00pm, Guided mindfulness meditation: Shari Motro
5:00-5:30 pm, Guided mindfulness meditation: Rebecca Simon

Friday Jan 8
8:00-8:30 am, Guided mindfulness meditation: Charity Scott
9:00-10:00 am, Chair yoga: Nathalie Martin
12:00-1:00 pm, Chair yoga: Nathalie Martin
2:30-3:00 pm, Guided mindfulness meditation: Shari Motro
5:00-5:30 pm, Guided mindfulness meditation: Valena Beety

Saturday Jan 9
8:00-8:30 am, Guided mindfulness meditation: Charity Scott
2:30-3:00 pm, Guided mindfulness meditation: Rhonda Magee
5:00-5:30 pm, Guided mindfulness meditation: TBA

Thanks so much to all who can come and participate with us.

Nathalie Martin

December 19, 2015 in Meetings, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Associate Director of Bar Preparation Position at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

JOB TITLE: Associate Director of Bar Preparation
DEPARTMENT: Academic Success & Bar Preparation
RPORTS TO: Director of Bar Preparation
POSITION STATUS: Full-time, Exempt

GENERAL SUMMARY: Reporting to the Director of Bar Preparation the Associate Director of Bar Preparation (“Associate Director”) is responsible for helping coordinate and supervise academic success and bar support programs for students at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, with an emphasis on bar preparation. The Associate Director will provide assistance with and will monitor learning outcomes, academic performance, academic support activities to all grade levels, and will participate in all other student retention activities. The successful candidate will also help support law school students and graduates as they prepare for their bar examinations, including by teaching Academic Success and bar-related courses and by coordinating post-graduation bar support programming.

• Work collaboratively with faculty, the Director of Bar Preparation, the Assistant Dean of Academic Success & Bar Preparation, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to assess and address the current needs for programming and support.
• Participate in the presentation of academic success program activities beginning with the new student orientation program.
• Work collaboratively to tailor current programming and curriculum to meet the needs of students participating in the Intensive Curriculum.
• Provide administrative, research and design support to the Assistant Dean of Academic Success & Bar Preparation and the Director of Bar Preparation.
• Provide administrative support to the Academic Success & Bar Preparation Program.
• Work collaboratively to provide support to bar candidates.
• Provide support and academic advice and counseling to recent graduates.
• Collaborate to design, develop, and implement the Continuing Bar Program and the Commercial Bar Support Program.
• Work with the Director of Bar Preparation and others in the department in the design of a comprehensive workshop series on topics related to the bar exam.
• Help to track and report information regarding bar passage and programming assessments.
• Enforce campus policies regarding commercial bar preparation access to Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
• Participate in committees as assigned by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
• Represent the law school at and participate in outside conferences and other events organized for and/or by bar preparation or academic support professionals.
• Teach courses that provide academic support and skill development as well as bar preparation-focused courses as needed.

• Required: J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school and a proven record of academic achievement during law school.
• Required: Admission to a state bar in the United States, preferably California.

• Minimum of 3 years of experience practicing law or delivering writing or other instruction in an academic institution or law firm.
• Experience with academic support and bar preparation.
• Experience with curriculum design, including an understanding of educational learning theory, best practices in teaching pedagogy, and individual learning styles.
• Prior academic tutoring or experience in an academic success program.
• Familiarity with online technology.

• Able to sit or stand, type, read or write for extended periods of time.
• Able to handle high level of stress in a useful, constructive manner.
• Able to lift/carry materials and publications up to 20 pounds.
• Able to perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation.

• 40 or more hours per week, Monday through Friday, as well as on weekends and in evenings, as needed.


December 18, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)