Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Another Article on the Fisher Case

Another article appeared in The Chronicle for Higher Education on Tuesday regarding this race-conscious admissions case: Second Chronicle Article on Fisher Case.

December 9, 2015 in Diversity Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fisher v University of Texas at Austin Back on the Docket

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this week on this race-conscious admissions case concerning Fisher's denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. See an article from yesterday's Chronicle of Higher Education here: Chronicle Article on Fisher Case.

December 8, 2015 in Current Affairs, Diversity Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Congratulations to Katherine Kelly

We want to congratulate our Contributing Editor, Katherine S. Kelly, on her promotion. Katherine is at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law. She has been promoted to Clinical Associate Professor of Law. Katherine is also the Director of Academic Support at Moritz. Her profile is here: Katherine S. Kelly.

December 7, 2015 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 4, 2015

4th Annual SWCASP Workshop

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 conference 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 of law school. We will also discuss methods to improve diversity attendance and performance.

Similar to previous years, we are bringing in a great slate of presenters. Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz from UALR, Jack Manhire from Texas A&M School of Law, and Steven Foster from Oklahoma City University School of Law are among those presenting during the workshop.

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:
You can also fill out the attached form and email it to Erik Malmberg at (attachment was provided to announcement). 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
10-10:50 – Using Formative Assessment to Help Doctrinal Professors and Improve ASP Programming
11-11:50 – Bridging the Gap Between 2L Year and Bar Preparation
12-12:50 – Lunch
1-1:50 – Reaching Diverse Populations to Improve Attendance at Events
2-2:50 – Creating Programs to Improve Performance of Diverse Students
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


December 4, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dirctor of Academic Success Program/Faculty Position at Concordia

POSITION DESCRIPTION: Full-Time Law Faculty and Director of the Academic Success Program

School of Law [Boise, Idaho Campus]

University Mission: Concordia University is a Christian university preparing leaders for the transformation of society.

University Core Values:
• Servant Leadership
• Rigor
• Lutheran

Unit or Department: School of Law [Boise, Idaho Campus]

Unit/Department Mission: The Concordia University School of Law integrates civic engagement, faith, and learning in the search for truth, social justice and an informed voice of reason.

Position title: Full-Time Law Faculty and Director of the Academic Success Program

Mission of the position (overall goal): Under the direction of the Associate Dean for Academics, the Director of the Academic Success Program will maximize student learning and performance in law school courses and on the bar exam by instructing students on learning techniques, identifying external resources for student academic success, collaborating with other faculty on instruction, and assessing the success of educational programs.

Summary of the position (how the overall goal is reached): The Director of the Academic Success Program will have lead responsibility in instructing students in learning skills and academic success during orientation and in a non-credit course aimed at all first-semester students; teach a course targeted at students who would benefit from support in legal analysis; identify and evaluate external resources to assist students; support students seeking assistance in learning and the faculty in teaching and program assessment. Responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for bar exam passage.

Concordia University School of Law: The School of Law is a branch campus of Concordia University Portland, which is part of the Concordia University System affiliated with the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. Concordia is a Christian University preparing leaders for the transformation of society. Based in Boise, Idaho Concordia University School of Law is only the second law school in the state of Idaho and is located in close proximity to the largest concentration of the state’s law firms, attorneys and legal institutions. We offer students a range of internship, externship, mentorship and community outreach opportunities for an urban real-world experience to back up a curriculum of foundational and core concepts.
Concordia provides a challenging, yet supportive learning environment where spirited intellectual inquiry strengthens our commitment to justice, compassion and moral integrity. Concordia University School of Law emphasizes academic rigor, community engagement and ethical decision-making in a Christian context to prepare our graduates for legal, professional and leadership roles of the local, national and global frontier.

Staff relationships:
Reports to: Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Supervises: None
Hired/appointed by: The Dean of the School of Law

Exempt/non-exempt? Exempt
Salary Level:

1. Academic Support
• Teach a non-credit course for first-semester students on learning skills.
• Teach a for-credit course for students, primarily in their second-semester, who would benefit from a further chance to develop legal analysis skills.
• Provide at orientation initial instruction and appropriate information on academic support, in coordination with other faculty and Student Affairs.
• Provide advising on academic success to all students.
• Identify and evaluate external resources for academic support.
• Coordinate and collaborate in the development of a program for training faculty advisor based on our curriculum and academic success model. Work with Student Affairs in the assignment of students to a faculty advisor.
• Assist faculty to develop strategies for student academic success, particularly for students in academic difficulty and those for whom English is a second language.
• Coordinate and collaborate in the development of institutional strategies for promoting student learning.
• Assist in assessing the success of academic support activities and serve as a resource for faculty institutional research in courses.
• In collaboration with the faculty and administration, create reports on statistical data regarding students’ academic performance, using entrance data and bar passage results.
2. Bar Exam Support
• Develop and implement strategy for successful first-time and ultimate bar exam passage
• Direct the instruction and curriculum of the bar exam planning course(s)
• Coordinate any bar review course contract(s), establishing/maintaining the relationship, evaluating the product, and tracking/reviewing student performance within the product
• Work with Student Affairs to ensure students interested in sitting for the bar understand the application process, apply, and invest in a bar review course
3. Other Duties
• Work with students with learning or physical disabilities and direct any students that may qualify for reasonable accommodations, according to the ADA, to Student Affairs.
• Engage in other duties as assigned by the Associate Dean of Academics.


 Three to five years of experience working in academic support positions with law students preferred.
 MA in Education or related field or teaching experience preferred.
 JD and bar passage and admission required.
 Excellent communication skills and ability to effectively teach in workshop and individual settings.
 Flexibility to work irregular hours and weekends.
 Excellent computer and technology skills. Prefer experience with data management, Microsoft Excel, and report development.
 Consistently support the University and Law School mission statements.

Critical skills and qualities for this position:

• Training and expertise in student success programming and implementation.
• Strong communication skills.
• Familiarity with bar exam preparation.
• Self-directed, creative, and self-motivated problem solver. Able to take initiative and conceive new ideas that will streamline and make processes more effective for students.
• The ability to work with students in crisis and make well-reasoned determinations of next steps.
• Congenial and supportive work style. Strong interpersonal skills.
• Ability to quickly adapt and gain expertise in university computer systems.
• Effective task and time management abilities. Ability to manage multiple projects while also attending to daily/weekly/monthly and annual tasks.
• Must possess integrity, judgment and positive outlook. Must present with maturity and professionalism.

Physical demands of the position:

____ Repetitive motions sitting at keyboard
_X__ Rising and sitting repeatedly
_X__ Ability to lift, pull, grasp, stoop and reach within an office environment
_X__ Ability to sit for extended periods of time
_X__ Ability to speak and hear

Assessment schedule: Position assessed after the initial 90 days, and then annually.

Attitude and demeanor of all Concordia University employees:
As part of a work environment that highly values Christian education, educational excellence and service to students, all members of the community will:

1. Support the mission of Concordia University.
2. Communicate effectively with warmth, sensitivity, and understanding as s/he deals with administrative colleagues, teachers, students, parents, faculty, college personnel and program associates.
3. Work as a team member in a professional environment.
4. Possess a “service attitude“ (willingness to be flexible to meet the needs of the department).
5. Have a professional physical appearance (appropriate clothing, personal hygiene, etc.).

To Apply: POSITION OPEN UNTIL FILLED. The preferred start date is January 15, 2016. If the position does not fill at that time, the preferred start date is July, 2016. Please submit a resume, letter of interest, teaching philosophy, contact information for three professional references and a Concordia Employment Application Form to: Penny Wilcox, Assistant to the Faculty,


December 3, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Call for Nominations for Officers and Board Members of AALS Section on Academic Support


At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in New York City, the Section on Academic Support will have its business meeting on Saturday, January 9 at 7:00 a.m. (Room TBA). A principal agenda item will be the election for positions on the Executive Committee.

The Nomination Committee is now accepting nominations for positions to be elected at the 2016 meeting. The four elected Board Members serve staggered two-year terms, with two members being elected in odd-numbered years, and two being elected in even-numbered years. The four Board Members, together with the Chairperson, the Chairperson-Elect, the Immediate Past Chair, the Secretary, and the Treasurer, constitute the Executive Committee of the Section. The Executive Committee is the key policy-making body of the Section, and acts on behalf of the section in the interval between annual meetings. Because some vacancies have occurred unexpectedly in the Executive Committee for next year, Lisa Young (Seattle) will continue as Chair and Corie Rosen Felder (University of Colorado) will rotate from Treasurer to Chair-Elect in order to maintain continuity within the Executive Committee.

Positions to be filled: The officer positions which are vacant for the current election include Secretary and Treasurer. Two Board Members will be elected also, and the Board terms will expire January 2018.

The Secretary and Treasurer would be asked to serve as a Chair or Co-Chair of a committee during the position. For continuity purposes, the Secretary and Treasurer positions are recommended for rotation into other officer slots in the coming years. The Secretary rotates to Chair-Elect and then to Chair. The Treasurer rotates to Secretary, then Chair-Elect, and then Chair.

Board Members would be asked to serve as members of at least one committee during their positions.

Who May Be Nominated: Persons nominated must be faculty or professional staff at AALS-member law schools (link to AALS-member-school list: and also be members of the AALS Section on Academic Support. The nominated person does not have to be present at this year’s AALS Annual Meeting, but would be expected to attend AALS in the future.

Who May Submit a Nomination: You may nominate yourself or any other eligible candidate at a AALS member school.

Contents of Nomination: Nominations must be in writing and include:

1)the candidate's name;

2) the candidate's title, institutional affiliation, and business address;

3) the candidate's home/business telephone numbers and e-mail address; and

4) the candidate's professional role at his/her institution and connection with law school academic support.

5)If you nominate someone other than yourself, please indicate whether you have obtained the nominee's permission.

Deadline: Nominations must be received by midnight on Tuesday December 15, 2015.

Where to send Nominations: Send nominations to Amy Jarmon, Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs (Texas Tech) at (email submissions are preferred) or to Dr. Amy L. Jarmon, Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs, Texas Tech University School of Law, 1802 Hartford Avenue, Lubbock, TX 79409-0004.

The process after nominations close: After the nominations close, the Nomination Committee will ask each nominee to express his/her interest in serving on the Executive Committee, will review the nominations, and will recommend a slate of candidates at the business meeting. In addition, under the bylaws, nominations will be taken from the floor during the business meeting.


Section on Academic Support Programs Nomination Committee

Amy Jarmon (Chair), Texas Tech University
Jamie Kleppetsch, John Marshall Law School
Kris Franklin, New York Law School


December 2, 2015 in Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

More Productive Exam Study

Many law students are in their exams. During the exam period, students need to use their time wisely (efficiency) and get the most results from that time (effectiveness). Here are some thoughts to help students be more productive in their work:

• Spend time studying the topics that you need work on. It is human nature to study what we already know/enjoy and to avoid what we do not know/dislike.
• Let your brain do the “heavy lifting” for more intense review or difficult subjects when it is most alert and focused.
• Save the more active tasks like flashcards, practice questions, or discussion with a study partner for times when you need more activity to give your brain a respite from the heavy work.
• Remember that organizing your desk, papers, folders, books, pencils, etc. to study is not the same as studying. Get down to work rather than pretending to work.
• Learn the material before an open-book exam. You will not have time to look everything up. You want to organize the materials you will have available, but learning is more important than 200 tabs.
• At the end of a study day, plan your study for the next day. Make a specific to-do-list of what you need to accomplish during the blocks of time you plan to study. You will waste less time the next day wondering what to do.
• Avoid multitasking. Multitasking is a myth. You cannot answer emails, text, watch TV, or do other tasks that require attention at the same time that you study. Your brain does not work effectively that way. Focus your full attention on your studying.
• If you have coasted too much during the semester and are now realizing you are in trouble, get to work. Do not waste time with “wish I had,” “should have,” and “could have.” At the beginning of next semester, get your act together to avoid a repeat performance.
• Listen to your brain and body. If you cannot regain your focus or become hungry, your brain and body are telling you that they need a break. Get up and walk around. Grab a quick snack. Then go back to work. You will be more productive after a break.
• Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. If you skimp on sleep, your brain will not function well. You absorb more information, retain more information, and are more productive with sufficient sleep. You also recall information, organize more efficiently, and write with more clarity if you are rested when you go into an exam.

By making wise choices about time and results, students can prioritize their work rather than be overwhelmed by exam studying. (Amy Jarmon)


December 1, 2015 in Exams - Studying | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

All of us with the Law School Academic Support Blog wish our readers a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope that you will be surrounded by friends and family for this holiday. Spend a few minutes listing all that you are thankful for this year.

November 25, 2015 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Memory Techniques

Students learn in many different ways. Memory work is no exception; students need to choose the techniques that work for them. Here are various memory techniques that can be used:

Examples appealing to verbal learners:

  • Acronyms: Students take the first letters of a series of words to be memorized to make a common word. A non-law example: HOMES (the Great Lakes - Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Eire, and Superior).
  • Nonsense acronyms: The same technique is used, but the letters form a nonsense result. The verbal trick is to turn the result into something meaningful. A non-law example: EGBDF (the musical scale - Every Good Boy Does Fine).
  • Drilling with flashcards by reading them silently over and over.
  • Writing/typing out a rule 15 times.

Examples appealing to verbal and aural learners:

  • Rhymes spoken aloud: The tempo of the rhyme helps to remember the words. Non-law example: 30 days hath September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31 except for February.
  • Sayings spoken aloud: A wise statement to connect ideas. Old law example: Assault and battery go together like ham and eggs.
  • Reading flashcards aloud over and over.
  • Reciting a rule aloud 15 times.

Examples appealing to verbal and visual learners:

  • The peg method: The pegs are the numbers 1 through 10 with rhyming words of the student's choice; the pegs always stay the same. Example: one-bun; two-shoe; three-tree; four-door; etc. Visuals are then added to the pegs to assist in memorizing a list. Law example: learn the 9 U.S. Supreme Court justices; one is a gooey sticky bun with C.J. Roberts stuck in the middle and yelling to get out; two is a polished wingtip shoe with Justice Scalia standing in the middle with his arms crossed ; three is a tree with Justice Ginsburg sitting in its branches; etc.
  • The story-telling method: The items are linked to a story to remember the list. Law example: same task; C.J. Roberts walks out of the law school. Just as he steps into the parking lot, Justice Scalia races up in shiny red sports car. Justice Ginsburg gets splashed with water as the car drives through a rain puddle. Etc.

Examples appealing to visual learners:

  • Method of location: The student chooses a familiar building (parents' house perhaps) and four rooms in that building (living room, dining room, bedroom, kitchen perhaps) and five items in each room (couch, recliner, coffee table, TV, and floor lamp in the living room perhaps). The person walks through the rooms and views the items in exactly the same order each time. Images are connected to the location to remember the items on a list. For long lists, the student walks through the rooms more than once. Law example: for negligence, a soldier is standing at attention on the couch - duty; a tank is ramming through the center of the recliner - breach; etc.
  • Memory palace: Like method of location except the student builds a more elaborate and imaginary palace with many rooms to tie the list locations. Because the palace is imaginary, the student needs to spend ample time getting acquainted with each room to aid memory.
  • Visual organizers: Drawing a spider map, Venn diagram, or other visual organizer to represent the rule/concepts. This method is especially good for remembering concepts with multiple layers.

Often law students forget memory techniques that were successful for them in earlier educational experiences. If a technique worked in middle school, it may also work for law school or may work if modified. (Amy Jarmon)

November 24, 2015 in Learning Styles, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Reader's Question about Thanksgiving Study Time

One of our readers (I won't use the name since the reader may prefer to be anonymous) asked about how to handle out-of-town, non-law-school/non-lawyer visitors who arrive for Thanksgiving despite one's best efforts to explain that visitors are not a plus during this crunch time for study. You are not alone in your problem!

The truth is that people who have not gone to law school have no idea what it is like - no matter how often we try to explain it. Often they assume that law students are exaggerating the study importance because they remember a carefree undergraduate, a graduate student in a degree program that was far less taxing, or a co-worker who was not obligated to study in non-work hours.

If you cannot diplomatically tell them no, then here are some suggestions:

The days before and after Thanksgiving Day:

  • If possible, book them into a nice B&B or hotel rather than have them in your home. But, I assume this may not be possible.
  • Stay firm on a study schedule and tell them you will only be available to visit with them during certain hours (you choose the hours). You need to stick to this schedule no matter the whining or tears. Ignore the guilt.
  • If they are staying with you and willing to leave your home so you can study in peace, arm them with a map and a list of local events/attractions and send them on their way each day. If you can afford it, gift them with tickets to events/the movies/a concert, etc.
  • If you cannot be ruler of your own domain, head for the public library, apartment complex business office, student union building on campus, or coffeehouse each morning and stay there until the time you have agreed to spend with them. Leave them lunch fixings to ease your guilt.
  • Let them go shopping, watch football, and partake of other pastimes without you participating. Remind them that if they want your undivided attention during the hours you set each day, they have to let you study the remaining hours.
  • Get up earlier or stay up later than your guests to spend additional time studying.

Thanksgiving Day:

  • Let's face it, you need some down time. So I would make Thanksgiving Day the most flexible day to spend with visitors.
  • If you make a reservation at a restaurant for the turkey dinner or pick it up already prepared from a local grocery store/restaurant, you can save heaps of time in preparation and maybe get some extra study time in.
  • While your visitors watch the parade or football or lay comatose on the couch, you may be able to study.

Good luck on juggling non-law visitors. It is not the easiest crowd to deal with when finals are looming ahead. (Amy Jarmon)


November 23, 2015 in Exams - Studying, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Mindfulness Website and App

Stress and anxiety have come up as topics in a number of my recent conversations with students. One of my students mentioned that she has been using an app to help her deal with the tensions caused by the end of classes and upcoming exams. The website/application is called Headspace and can be used on your phone or computer. Headspace provides guided meditation exercises in a 10-day trial you can use before you decide whether to subscribe. The subscription options provide both guided and unguided meditation exercises, focused categories of meditations, and even SOS quick meditation fixes. The link is here: Headspace. (Amy Jarmon)

November 23, 2015 in Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Counselor and Director of Multiple Choice Initiatives Position at Barry

Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law is seeking a candidate to fill a position for Counselor & Director of Multiple Choice Initiatives in our newly formed Comprehensive Legal Academic Success Program (CLASP). The successful candidate will be responsible for oversight of all multiple choice initiatives and programs in our academic support and bar prep programs as well as for providing support to students from matriculation through admission to the bar examination, with the primary goal of enhancing the learning and study skills of students. This is a newly revamped program with great faculty and administrative support!

• JD from an ABA accredited law school, admission to a state bar, and strong academic records
• At least one year experience teaching legal writing/legal methods, or working in academic support and/or counseling law students from diverse backgrounds.
• 3-5 years of related work experience; legal work experience in private practice, non-profit organizations, government, corporate, or judicial clerkship preferred.
• Strong skills in legal analysis and legal writing.
• Experience in program management desirable.
• Ability to create, design, and manage programs aimed at at-risk students and students on academic probation
• Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint
• Must have ability to multi-task, and be detail oriented
• Excellent writing, analytical, speaking, organizational, and interpersonal skills required to work with diverse student body.

To apply:

Supplemental Information:

This position is located at 6441 East Colonial Drive, Orlando FL 32807

Salary commensurate with experience.

Barry University is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment.

November 21, 2015 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Non-Traditional Law Student Experience

In this post, I am defining non-traditional as based on age and the resultant experiences with age. So, I am thinking about the 30 to 70-year-old students. (Yes, 70-year-olds are applying to law school.). Why do I care passionately about the NT law students? Because I was one; I went to law school at 40 after completing a first career. As an NT law student, I loved learning the law - though law school held some definite surprises for me. NT law students have some advantages and some challenges when attending law school.

First, let's consider the advantages that are part of the NT law school venture:

  • Most NT law students are good at time management. They worked 40-hour weeks - many held exempt positions that required even more hours on the job. The rule-of-thumb that the average, full-time law student needs to study 50-55 hours per week outside of class to distribute exam learning all semester long seems less daunting to them.
  • Most NT law students are also good at organization. They organized complex work projects regularly and may have led project teams for their employers. They often had experience working on multiple projects with identical deadlines.
  • Life experiences of the NT students may relate to the material they study in classes: they have leased apartments, bought houses, filed income tax forms, signed employment and other contracts, worked in business organizations, been observers/part of family wills disputes, been observers/part of marital breakups, and so much more. Associating new learning to prior learning and experience is one of the essential links for memory and learning.
  • Experience as problem solvers in a variety of situations helps NT students. They are used to processing the information, facts, rules, dynamics, and much more that go into problem situations. The idea of solving legal problems on exams seems commonsense to them.
  • Typically NT students know for certain that law school is the next step for their lives. For many of them, law school has been a goal that was a long time coming. They have negotiated family, financial, career, and personal logistics to get here. Few of them are in law school because they do not know what else to do.
  • The NT students have a record of success in many other endeavors. They have succeeded in work settings, raising families, and service to their communities. Some have graduate degrees. Most have accolades from another career. Many have held volunteer positions as board members, committee chairs, fundraisers, coaches, or other roles.
  • NT law students are often more assertive in new situations. They are willing to ask questions in class, stop by professors' offices for discussion, make suggestions to improve the law school, volunteer for committees, and more.

As we all know, our greatest strengths sometimes also cause our challenges. Here are some of the challenges that NT law students may face:

  • NT students may have major family or other responsibilities that compete for their time: time needed for a spouse, childcare, or elder care. Some NT students arrive with continuing obligations for their small businesses, consulting duties, or service in the military reserves. These important obligations require them to manage their time in unique ways. 
  • Sometimes NT students get distracted from the narrow question addressed by an edited case or in a practice question because they realize all the additional issues and complications that occur in real life. A limited fact scenario expands in many directions as they apply prior knowledge that causes them to miss the specific focus at hand.
  • NT students may solve problems too quickly or become wedded to one side's arguments because prior experience led them to right answers or a one-sided perspective of their employer. They need to adjust to the analysis needed for "it depends" scenarios.
  • Some NT students lose confidence when they suddenly feel incompetent. Before law school they were the leaders and understood everything. Now they may feel lost as they wade through cases and deal with the Socratic method. Not knowing the answers to hypotheticals or getting low marks on writing assignments can be discouraging.
  • NT students may feel that they are dinosaurs when dealing with classroom learning and younger classmates who seem quick with new ideas and technology. The hiatus from classroom education can seem daunting to overcome.
  • A few NT students become resistant to change when confronted with new ways to study, think, or write. Their own strategies and techniques have been right and successful before. As a result, they may view professors' formats, perspectives, or other requirements as trivial, or even wrong.

NT law students who approach the law school experience with the attitude of lifelong learners will usually adapt better. Lifelong learners tend to be flexible in implementing new styles of learning while evaluating what of the old remains applicable. If NT law students can focus on the excitement of learning new things while recognizing the likely discomfort of change, they can balance the advantages and challenges of being NT students. (Amy Jarmon)



November 20, 2015 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

LawLifeline Website

With the increase in stress over exams right now for many law students, it is a good time to remind our readers about a website project sponsored by the Jed Foundation and the David Nee Foundation. The website is LawLifeline which contains articles and resources addressing law student stress. The link is: LawLifeline. (Amy Jarmon)

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Are you looking for a one-day workshop to attend in December?

If you want to finish your semester with a budget-friendly trip to a workshop, consider the Legal Writing Institute's 1-day workshops during December. Many of the topics are ASPish in nature. The locations are throughout the U.S., so there is a good chance that there is one near you. The link to the information on dates and locations is here: LWI One-Day Workshops. (Amy Jarmon)

November 18, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Perspective on Multiple Bar Attempts

I was catching up on my reading of posts on other blogs within the Law Professor Blog Network and came across a November 3, 2015 post by Michael Simcovik on Brian Leiter's Law School Reports. Simcovik's post contains a link to Noah Feldman's post on Bloomberg View that cautions against denying applicants admission based on low LSAT test scores and their challenges in passing the bar. Simcovik's post makes a case that even though those who have low LSAT scores on admission to law school may fail to meet the gold standard of first-attempt-bar-exam-passage, they statistically may ultimately pass the bar exam and practice. The post is found here: Failed the Bar Exam? Try Again. (Amy Jarmon)

November 18, 2015 in Bar Exam Issues | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AASE 2016 Call For Proposals

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.

November 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fall Issue of The Law Teacher

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning has published its fall issue of The Law Teacher which can be found here: Fall Issue 2015. For back issues visit the full index for the publication: Index of Issues. If you have not previously read this publication, you will find that it includes great teaching ideas for ASP'ers to use in their classrooms or workshops. (Amy Jarmon)

November 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law School Clinics Come to the Rescue

Although a bit off topic, I thought this article was newsworthy. The Chronicle of Higher Education ran an interesting story yesterday. Although its main focus is on Boston University's Law School joining with MIT to start an Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Law Clinic in response to legal problems that some MIT student innovators ran into, it mentions that other law schools are also involved in such ventures. The link to the story is here: Universities Set Up Legal Clinics to Help Student Innovators. (Amy Jarmon)

November 17, 2015 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Deadline for Early Bird Registration for AALS Annual Meeting is Friday, November 20th

You want to register by the early bird deadline if at all possible to get savings on your registration fee. The link for the AALS annual meeting including the program, registration and hotel information, and more is:

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 and program will be held on the morning of Saturday, January 9th. 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.

We hope you will plan to attend!

November 16, 2015 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)