Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Happy New Year! Can you believe that it is 2018?! Here is a list of upcoming events for your 2018 calendar.
AALS Annual Meeting is happening right now! The Academic Support Business Meeting is Friday, January 5, 2018 from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time in Temecula Room 4, North Tower/Ground Level. This year, the committee will be providing the option of calling (or video chatting) into the Business Meeting via a Zoom Meeting, so that members who are not in attendance can still participate. The instructions for calling into the meeting are below.
Topic: AALS Business Meeting - Academic Support. Time: Jan 5, 2018 7:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada).
- Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/4693069357
- Join from iPhone one-tap: US: +16699006833,,4693069357# or +14086380968,,4693069357#
- Join by telephone: dial +1 669 900 6833 or +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 876 9923. For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.
- Meeting ID: 469 306 9357
The Academic Support Section Program is Saturday, January 6, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon Pacific Time in the Pacific Ballroom Salon 15, North Tower/Ground Level.
Sharing Scholarship & Building Teachers Conference hosted by the Albany Law School. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule and the upcoming conference is not posted anywhere. However, this conference is typically held in February. The focus of this conference is on junior faculty who teach a wide variety of subjects. Click here for last year’s announcement.
6th Annual Southwestern Consortium of Academic Support Professionals Workshop hosted by UNT Dallas College of Law in Dallas, Texas on March 9, 2018. The theme is “Assisting the Modern Law Student: Academic Support in Changing Times.” The save-the-date announcement, including a list of presenters, is available here.
Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Externships 9 Conference hosted by the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens, Georgia from March 9–11, 2018. A full schedule of events is currently available online.
Rocky Mountain Legal Writing Conference hosted by the University of Denver Sturm College Of Law in Denver, Colorado from March 23–24, 2018. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule. This conference is free but advance registration is required.
Southeastern Legal Writing Conference co-hosted by Emory University College of Law and Georgia State University College of Law at Georgia State College of Law in Atlanta, Georgia from April 21–22, 2018. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule.
AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Chicago, Illinois from April 29—May 2, 2018. The schedule is available to view online.
Association of Academic Support Educators (AASE) Conference, hosted by the St. Louis University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri from May 22–24, 2018. Proposals are currently being accepted. The save-the-date announcement and rules for submitting a proposal can be found here.
Empire State Legal Writing Conference. Location and date to be announced. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule.
Law and Society Association’s Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada from June 7–10, 2018. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule.
AALS Workshop for New Law School Teachers in Washington, D.C. from June 7–9, 2018. The schedule for this conference is not yet published, but the primary focus is on helping new law teachers with teaching.
Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Conference hosted by Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington from June 18 – 20, 2018. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule. Presentation proposals are still being accepted through February 1, 2018. For my blogpost review of the 2017 conference, click here.
Legal Writing Institute (LWI) Biennial Conference hosted by the Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 11–14, 2018. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule.
Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) Conference at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida from August 5–11, 2018. A tentative proposal is available online, and, among the various teaching topics, it includes a presentation entitled “Bar Preparation Strategies for Law Professors and Academic Support Programs.” For my blogpost review of the 2017 conference, click here.
Western Regional Legal Writing Conference. The location and date for 2018 have not been announced. To view the 2017 announcement, click here.
Central States Legal Writing Conference. The location and date for 2018 have not been announced. To view the 2017 announcement, click here.
Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) Teaching Conference & LatCrit Junior Faculty Development Workshop hosted by Penn State Law at University Park, Pennsylvania from October 4 – 6, 2018. The conference committee has not yet released the schedule.
October/November Regional Conferences. The following conferences typically occur in October, but specific details are not yet available:
- New England Consortium of Legal Writing Teachers Annual Conference
- Capital Area Legal Writing Conference
- Annual Southern Clinical Conference
- Annual New England Clinical Conference
- Midwest Clinical Legal Education Conference
- West Coast Consortium of Academic Support Professionals
LWI One-Day Workshops in various locations across the country during the first two weeks of December. The details are not yet available, but you can check the LWI webpage here periodically for updates.
Global Legal Skills Conference hosted by Melbourne Law School in Melbourne, Australia from December 10–12, 2018. A tentative schedule is available to view online.
Coming in 2019
Applied Legal Storytelling. The location and date for 2019 have not been announced.
Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) Biennial Conference. The location and date for 2019 have not been announced.
Kudos and Attributions
Professor Cathren Page of Barry University School of Law (with the help of Sue Liemer, Lurene Contento, Terry Pollman, Renee Allen, Sandra Simpson, and Kate Aschenbrenner) complied a non-exhaustive list of conferences that include presentations on teaching, legal writing, and academic support related topics and graciously shared their list with the legal writing listserv. Their listserv posting serves as the basis for this blog post. I added a few events, updated some of the details, and provided hyperlinks to the conference webpages when possible. I owe a big "thank you" to Professor Page and her colleagues. (Kirsha Trychta)
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
I went to the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) conference for the first time. SEALS is different than most (all?) other conferences that I have attended as an academic support professor. Although the conference is not specifically academic support focused, SEALS has a variety of sessions that will interest any ASPer, including legal writing topics, effective teaching strategies, formative assessment techniques, balancing dual administrative and faculty appointments, and the like. Plus, if you also focus on a doctrinal area, SEALS has numerous sessions for that too. (You can view the full 2017 schedule here.)
SEALS is primarily comprised of three presentation formats: (1) panel presentations, (2) roundtables, and (3) moderated discussion groups. The panels consist of three of four structured job talk-esque presentations followed by a question-and-answer session. While intriguing and thoughtfully presented, the panels are not what makes SEALS a draw for attendees. Meanwhile, the roundtables function similar to a typical “What I Wish I Would Have Known” event during a law school’s orientation week. For example, I attended a roundtable discussion where a dozen new professors were able to chat with current and former law school deans about what a typical dean expects of newer professors.
The most interesting format, however, is the moderated discussion group. The moderator of the discussion group invites roughly 10 different individuals to pitch their projects or ideas, all of which are at varying stages of development. Each pre-selected "discussant" talks for 5-10 minutes and then the other attendees ask questions and provide feedback, in a very low stakes supportive environment. This continues for two or three hours. Most discussion groups encourage discussants to focus on a pre-selected theme, but the conference rules tend to be loosely enforced in a way that encourages innovation and brainstorming. Anyone can attend a discussion session and participate in the responsive comment period, but if you want to guarantee yourself a few spotlight minutes to pitch your idea, then you should get on the discussant list by reaching out to the moderator. I attended several discussion groups and even got to pitch an idea at one session, despite not being on the pre-selected list by simply reaching out to the moderator via email a few days before the event. A pre-selected discussant could not make the conference at the last-minute and I was permitted to use their designated slot. I was told my email strategy (which was suggested to me by a seasoned SEALS participant) is somewhat common at SEALS. Thus, I encourage you to consider the same approach if you find yourself at SEALS without a specific invitation to speak.
Another feature which makes SEALS unique is the family-friendly atmosphere. Likely because SEALS is hosted in a warm-weather, beachy environment, many attendees opt to bring their friends and families. In fact, SEALS actually encourages guests by providing each person with an official conference name tag and invitation to numerous receptions throughout the week.
Lastly, if I were asked to describe SEALS in a word, I would say “relaxed.” Few attendees attend all of the sessions; rather most attendees balance work-and-play very nicely at SEALS. There is no pressure to attend the entire event. The conference is long enough (10 days) that you can pick the few days that interest you most. SEALS planners even send all participants a special link to a Crowd Compass App to encourage everyone to create their own personal conference itinerary. The App allows you to set session reminders, prompts you with presenters’ names, and lets you search for other attendees. All in all, SEALS was a nice break from the more traditional academic conference. (Kirsha Trychta)
Saturday, March 25, 2017
I had the privilege of presenting at the Global Legal Skills XII Conference in Monterrey, Mexico last week. It was a wonderful conference. Presenters and participants came from around the world to discuss issues in international legal education. This conference specifically addressed international L.L.M and exchange student populations as well as teaching, legal research and writing, and technology issues for global legal education. I met legal educators from Australia, Canada, Estonia, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Qatar, United Kingdom to just name a few of the countries represented. Law schools throughout the United States were represented at the conference in large numbers as well.
All of us work with international or L.L.M. students in our ASP and bar preparation work. We are familiar with their adjustments to U.S. legal education, their struggles, and their successes. It was a pleasure to spend a week with others who are dedicated to providing support to these students. The participants at the conference are as friendly and ready to share ideas and materials as our fellow ASP'ers here in the U.S.
Here is a very brief sample of a few ASPish presentation topics:
- Beyond IRAC: Introducing LLM Students to Problem Solving - Lurene Cotento, John Marshall Law School, Chicago
- Teaching Common Law Skills to Civil Law Students - Amrita Bahri, ITAM, Mexico
- Teaching and Diversity: How MBTI Might Assist an Inclusive Approach to Individual Consultations, Chantal Morton, Melbourne Law School, Australia
- Put It To Practice: Role-Play Exercises in the International Graduate Classroom - Kathryn Edwards Piper and Sarah Kelly, St. Johns School of Law
- Facilitating Online, Peer Support Student Study Networks Using a Number of Social Media Solutions - Matthew Homewood, Nottingham Law School, UK
- LLM Orientation Design for Cohort-Building and Academic Success: Two Models - Miki Pike Hamstra and Cathy Beck, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
- Using Film to Teach about Foreign Legal Systems - Lauren Fielder, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
The next Global Legal Skills Conference (XIII) will be held in Melbourne, Australia in December 2018. (Amy Jarmon)