Thursday, August 31, 2006

Good Teaching: The Top Ten Requirements

(This isn't the funny post.  That's the next one down.  :) )

http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/topten.htm.

(njs)

August 31, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

a story with a point

Here's a story with a point to be made about teaching:

THE HUSBAND AND THE FORGOTTEN WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

Ed was really in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was
 really annoyed. She told him "Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 140 in 4 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE."

The next morning Ed got up early and left for work. When his wife
 woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a small box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway. 

Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway and
brought the box back in the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Funeral services for Ed have been scheduled for Friday.

*   *   *   *   

Sometimes, we are Ed's wife and our students are Ed.  Ed did exactly what he was told, but it wasn't what his wife wanted.  Why not?  Well, to start with, she didn't give the big picture--she gave the details.  He put the details together into a package far different from what she had envisioned.

Our students do that all the time.  They try to give us what they think we want, but we reject it (although we don't kill them . . .) because it doesn't fit our picture.

This semester, give your students the big picture as well as the details.  You don't really want to be Ed's wife, and your students REALLY don't want to be Ed.

(njs)

August 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

students' mindset

Every year Beloit College publishes a list that helps describe the mindset of today's college freshmen and explain their world view.  The list for the undergraduate class of 2010 is now available at http://www.beloit.edu/~pubaff/mindset/index.html, if you scroll down past the explanatory information.  At the top of the website you'll also see links to past years' lists, including the one for the college class of 2006, who are the majority of this year's first year law students in the United States.

(spl)

August 30, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

for free minds

If PowerPoint is too linear for you or you have students who like to cluster information, you might find the links below helpful.

http://www.mindjet.com/us/

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

hat tip:  Professor Diane Murley, Southern Illinois University

(spl)

August 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

two job openings in Florida

As Dean of Stetson University College of Law, I am pleased to announce that we seek applicants for two positions in our nationally ranked Legal Research and Writing program for the 2007–2008 academic year:  A Director of Legal Research and Writing, and an Assistant Professor of Legal Skills

The College of Law’s main campus is located in Gulfport, Florida, which is a neighborhood of St. Petersburg.  The campus, a former resort hotel, is simply gorgeous, and is only a few miles from the beach.  We also have a beautiful satellite campus near downtown Tampa, Florida.  The College of Law is part of Stetson University, which is located in DeLand, Florida, which is near Daytona Beach.

The College of Law enrolls just under 1,000 students.  Full-time students may enter in the fall or spring; part-time students enter each fall.  Most students are in the full-time J.D. program and about 220 are in an evening J.D. program, classes for which are held in Gulfport and Tampa.  LRW courses are offered in both locations, and faculty members take turns teaching in the evening program.  We encourage you to visit our website at www.law.stetson.edu for more information about the school.

The first-year writing program consists of two required courses; one is two credits and the other is three credits.  Both courses are graded on a 4.0 scale.  We also offer upper-level drafting and skills courses.  When these two positions are filled, eleven full-time faculty members will teach in the program.  The program is both coordinated and collegial, and professors meet weekly to share ideas.  The professional library staff work closely with the writing faculty, especially in terms of research instruction and problem design.  A legal writing clinic is staffed with talented upper-level students who serve as Teaching Fellows.  Two other great features are an outstanding Information Technology department and a superb Faculty Support Services department.

Stetson’s legal writing faculty are active in the field.  Among other things, they have presented at LWI and ALWD meetings, publish books and articles about legal writing and other topics, regularly attend professional conferences, serve on editorial boards, and serve in leadership roles within the AALS and ABA.  One recently earned an LL.M. in international law, and another is pursing a similar degree; one recently completed an M.S. in Library Science, and one is completing a Ph.D. in educational technology.  Legal writing faculty also hold significant administrative positions, including Director of the Tampa Law Center, Special Assistant to the Dean, and Faculty Advisor for the Client Skills Board.  The Dean, the Associate Dean of Academics, and the Director of Academic Support have taught legal writing full time, as have two other members of the full-time "casebook" faculty.

We seek candidates who share the core values of the program, including strong teaching, integration of skills, individualized attention to students, and collegiality.  Stetson is also nationally recognized in the area of advocacy, and legal writing faculty participate actively as coaches for various teams.

Director of Legal Research and Writing

The Director position is a tenure-track position and carries all benefits of a regular tenure-track position at Stetson.  The position would also carry a "professor" title at the appropriate level (Assistant or Associate).  As with all faculty positions, the salary will depend on qualifications and experience, but likely would not be any lower than $85,000 on a nine-month basis.  We would expect to pay the Director commensurate with other Stetson law professors with the same amount of full-time teaching experience.  Professors on tenure-track, for up to four years before tenure, are eligible for summer scholarship grants equal to 2/11ths of their base salary.  After that, we have different grant and scholarship bonus opportunities, and summer teaching opportunities.  We also have a generous travel policy.  Because we are seeking an experienced LRW professional, credit toward tenure and the publication requirement also may be available.  The Director typically will be able to teach one upper-level writing course or one non-LRW course each semester. 

To be competitive, a candidate should have taught legal writing full-time at a law school for at least five years, have a J.D. degree, at least two years’ legal work experience outside of academia, and strong organizational and leadership skills.  Active participation in ALWD or LWI is preferred, as is prior service as a Director, Associate Director, or Assistant Director of another program.  In addition, the following skills and experience will be considered:  prior administrative experience, interpersonal skills, judicial clerkship experience, publications, and experience editing a law journal or serving on a moot court board. 

Assistant Professor of Legal Skills

We also seek an Assistant Professor of Legal Skills.  This position is a contract position, not on the tenure track.  The initial contract is for three years and may be renewed without limitation.  The selected professor will teach Legal Research and Writing in our full-time program, and in the part-time program as part of a rotation.  In addition, we anticipate that the successful candidate would coach an advocacy team and serve on a faculty committee.  For an entry-level professor without prior full-time teaching experience, it is anticipated that the nine-month base salary would be $67,000.  The salary for experienced teachers would be somewhat higher.  Because we run a summer program, the possibility of summer teaching exists (current $5,000 per credit hour).  In addition, legal writing faculty are eligible for scholarship bonuses (currently, up to $15,000 per person, per year, depending on the number of people who seek a bonus; three legal writing professors received bonuses last year).  Legal writing faculty are also encouraged to attend regional and national conferences and to become active within the profession, and these activities are supported financially.

For Additional Information, Or to Apply

For more information about these positions, please contact Professor Stephanie Vaughan, Acting Co-Director of Legal Research and Writing, at vaughan@law.stetson.edu or (727) 562-7892. 

To apply for either or both positions, please send a cover letter and current curriculum vitae to Professors Royal C. Gardner and Janice Kay McClendon, Co-Chairs, Faculty Appointments Committee, Stetson University College of Law, 1401 61st Street South, Gulfport, Florida 33707.  (gardner@law.stetson.edu or jmcclend@law.stetson.edu).  Most initial screening interviews will be conducted during the AALS 2006 Faculty recruitment Conference in Washington, D.C., on November 2-4, 2006.  We urge interested candidates to apply by September 8, 2006, although applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

Disclosure - Director Position

1. The position advertised:

_X_ a. is a tenure-track appointment.

__ b. may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

__ c. may lead to successive presumptively renewable short-term contracts of one to four years that can be terminated only for cause.

__ d. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

__ e. is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

__ f. is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

2. The professor hired:

X_ a. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

__ b. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
    

3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below.

_X_a. $90,000 or more (depending on qualifications) [this is the base for a nine-month contract]

_X_ b. $80,000 to $89,999 (depending on qualifications)

__ c. $70,000 to $79,999 

__ d. $60,000 to $69,999 (depending on qualifications)

__ e. $50,000 to $59,999

__ f. $40,000 to $49,999

__ g. $30,000 to $39,999

__ h. this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000

__ i. this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000

4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be:

_X_ a. 30 or fewer

__ b. 31 - 35

__ c. 36 – 40

__ d. 41 - 45

__ e. 46 - 50

__ f. 51 - 55

__ g. 56 - 60

__ h. more than 60

Disclosure - Assistant Professor of Legal Skills Position

1. The position advertised:

__ a. is a tenure-track appointment.

__ b. may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.

__ c. may lead to successive presumptively renewable short-term contracts of one to four years that can be terminated only for cause.

__ d. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.

__ e. is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.

__ f. is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

OTHER:  Is a three-year contract that may be renewed for successive three-year terms without limit.  A review occurs every three years.


2. The professor hired:

__ a. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

_X_ b. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
    

3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked below. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other professional development funds.)

__a. $90,000 or more

__ b. $80,000 to $89,999

_X_ c. $70,000 to $79,999 (depending on qualifications)  [this is the base for a nine-month contract]

_X_ d. $60,000 to $69,999  (depending on qualifications)

__ e. $50,000 to $59,999

__ f. $40,000 to $49,999

__ g. $30,000 to $39,999

__ h. this is a part-time appointment paying less than $30,000

__ i. this is an adjunct appointment paying less than $10,000

4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be:

__ a. 30 or fewer

__ b. 31 - 35

__ c. 36 – 40

_X_ d. 41 - 45

__ e. 46 - 50

__ f. 51 - 55

__ g. 56 - 60

__ h. more than 60


- Darby Dickerson
Vice President and Dean
Stetson University College of Law

August 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ABA legal research survey

The 2006 ABA Legal Technology Resource Center Survey is just out, with some fascinating statistics.
With over 2500 lawyers responding to this year's survey, representing a broad spectrum of practice styles (solo, small, large, mega) and areas (litigation; estates, wills & trusts; real estate; corporate; commercial; and contracts); with more than half of the respondents having been in practice for 20 or more years, an astounding 93% of respondents report that they do their legal research online.
Forty-two percent tend to start their research projects using "fee-based resources" (I assume this refers to Westlaw, LEXIS), 25% use a "legal-specific search engine" (probably Findlaw or something like it), and 24% use a general search engine (the Googlers!).
Eighty-seven percent --the highest percentage ever recorded in an ABA technology survey--report using free online sources in their research.
Despite that number, 83% report that they also use fee-based resources to conduct their research (and not just for case law or online Shepardizing; use of these databases for treatises and secondary materials has increased from 30% two years ago to 41% in this year's survey).
Of those who use the fee-based resources, over half (53%) report that they use Westlaw; 37% use LEXIS.
How many respondents reported that they regularly use print resources? While the 2003 survey indicated that number at 75%, in the 2006 survey, that number has dropped to 58%.
ABA members can download free PDFs of this report and other technology trend reports at the following link: http://www.abanet.org/tech/ltrc/survstat.html
- Coleen M. Barger
Associate Professor of Law
UALR Bowen School of Law

August 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

job opening in San Diego

THOMAS JEFFERSON SCHOOL OF LAW invites applications for a tenure-track position teaching legal writing and other courses beginning in Fall 2007.  If you know of anyone who might be interested, please forward this announcement.  We will be reviewing resumes early this fall; we will be interviewing candidates at AALS as well as candidates who apply outside that process.


Legal Writing Program and Faculty: Thomas Jefferson’s legal writing program has a strong foundation and a growing reputation.  When the program began in 1993, it was one of the first in the country to be taught primarily by tenured and tenure-track faculty members and to draw extensively on thinking, learning, writing, and teaching methods from other disciplines.  The curriculum incorporates best practices from benchmark legal writing programs, learning and teaching experts, and fields including rhetoric, composition, literature, education, and psychology.  Our faculty includes one of the founders and the current editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and all our faculty have exemplary records in scholarship, teaching, and practice. 

Legal Writing Curriculum: Thomas Jefferson's legal writing curriculum begins with a four-unit first-semester course integrating legal analysis, legal reasoning, legal research, and legal writing.  All sections of this course are taught by full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty.  In the second semester, a team of both full-time professors and experienced adjunct faculty teach a three-unit persuasive writing and oral advocacy course.  In the second and third years, students complete an upper level writing requirement.  This requirement allows students to develop advanced lawyering skills in a field that is of particular interest.  The requirement may be satisfied by taking a doctrinal seminar course or a professional skills course, by working on a Moot Court brief or law review note, or by completing an independent study project.  In addition, students may further develop their lawyering skills by taking an advanced legal research course or a course designed to improve rhetorical skills such as Law and Literature, Law and Rhetoric, or Appellate Advocacy.

Teaching Opportunities: The successful candidate will teach one or two sections of Legal Writing (usually limited to 25 students) each semester.  Depending on interest, the successful candidate may also oversee Legal Writing II, the first-year, second-semester legal writing course in persuasive legal writing and oral advocacy.  In this role, the successful candidate would train and supervise adjunct faculty teaching Legal Writing II and help to guide future development of the persuasive legal writing curriculum.  The successful candidate also will join with the tenured and tenure-track professors who teach Legal Writing I in sharing planning and administrative tasks for the overall legal writing curriculum.  Professors who teach legal writing usually also teach one or two doctrinal or elective courses each year. 

Scholarship and Service: The position carries the same scholarship requirement as all tenure-track positions at the law school; the scholarship requirement may be satisfied by analytical writing in legal research and writing or in other fields.  All faculty members at the law school are expected to participate in faculty governance and other service activities.

Qualifications:  Applicants should have a distinguished academic record, excellent legal writing skills, significant practice experience, and a record of or potential for significant scholarly achievement.  We are particularly interested in candidates with prior experience teaching and administering legal writing.  Members of minority groups and others whose backgrounds will contribute to the diversity of the faculty are especially encouraged to apply.


The Law School:

Thomas Jefferson School of Law is a fully ABA-accredited, nonprofit, independent law school in San Diego.  Our dynamic, collegial, and diverse faculty is highly prolific, having authored more than two dozen books and 200 law review articles.  More than two thirds of our 34 full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty have joined the school since 1996, and we expect the faculty will continue to grow.  Our student body is nationally based, with the large majority of students coming from outside California.


Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to Anders Kaye, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 2121 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110.  Materials can also be sent by e-mail to anderskaye@tjsl.edu.  The committee will begin reviewing applications early in Fall 2006. 

The position advertised

     _X_   a.   is a tenure-track appointment.
     ___   b.   may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
     ___   c.   may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.
     ___   d.   has an upper limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.
     ___   e.   is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.
     ___   f.    is a part-time appointment or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

2.  The person hired will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.

     _X_   a.   true
     __   b.   not true

3.  The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the
range checked below.  (A base salary does NOT include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other courses, or teaching in summer school; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other professional development funds.)

     _X_   a.   $90,000 or more (depending on qualifications)
     _X_   b.   $80,000 to $89,999 (depending on qualifications)
     _X_   c.   $70,000 to $79,999 (depending on qualifications)
     _X_   d.   $60,000 to $69,999
     ___   e.   $50,000 to $59,999
     ___   f.    $40,000 to $49,999
     ___   g.   $30,000 to $39,999
     ___   h.   this is a part-time appointment
                     paying less than $30,000
     ___   i.    this is an adjunct appointment
                     paying less than $10,000

4.  The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research & writing professor will be:

     ___   a.   30 or fewer
     _X_   b.   31 - 35
     _X_   c.   36 - 40
     _X_   d.   41 - 45
     _X_   e.   46 - 50
     _X_   f.    51 - 55
     _X_   g.   56 - 60
     _X_   h.   more than 60
The number of students taught will vary.  During a semester in which the professor teaches two sections of the first-semester required legal writing course, the professor will have 20 - 25 students in each section, for a total of 50 students.  In other semesters, the professor might teach a required doctrinal course and a seminar, two upperlevel electives, or some other combination of courses.
 
hat tip:  Professor Linda L. Berger, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
(spl)

August 29, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 28, 2006

punctuation template

Here's a handy template:

independent clause.  independent clause.  (A period separates two independent clauses.)

independent clause; independent clause.  (A semi-colon connects two related independent clauses.)

independent clause, coordinating conjunction independent clause.  (A comma plus coordinating conjunction--for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so--connects two related independent clauses.)

independent clause:  anything.  (A colon connects AND separates an independent clause that sets up material from whatever follows.)

(njs) (on my own personal quest to improve the country's punctuation skills since 1989 . .. )

August 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

job opening in New Mexico

LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING INSTRUCTOR


The University of New Mexico School of Law seeks applications and nominations for a full-time non-tenure track faculty position to begin in August 2007.  The Lecturer III will teach in the Law School’s Legal Research and Writing Program.  Minimum requirements are a J.D. degree and two years of full-time law practice experience. Desirable qualifications include demonstrated research and writing ability, experience teaching legal writing in a law school, demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other faculty members, demonstrated ability to diagnose writing problems, and demonstrated ability to work with students from diverse backgrounds.  Salary:  Commensurate with qualifications.  Term:  Year to year.

To apply, send a signed letter of interest that addresses your qualifications, a resume, names, addresses and phone numbers of three references, and a practice related writing sample to:

Professor Barbara Blumenfeld

Chair, Search Committee

UNM School of Law

MSC11 6070

1 University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001

For best consideration, please submit applications by September 30, 2006.  Recruitment will continue until opening is filled.  The University of New Mexico is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and Educator.



The position advertised:
__ a. is a tenure-track appointment.
__ b. may lead to successive long-term contracts of five or more years.
_X_ c. may lead only to successive short-term contracts of one to four years.
__ d. has an upper-limit on the number of years a teacher may be appointed.
__ e. is part of a fellowship program for one or two years.
__ f. is a part-time appointment, or a year-to-year adjunct appointment.

2. The professor hired:
_X_ a. will be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
__ b. will not be permitted to vote in faculty meetings.
Additional information about the extent of the professor’s voting rights: Except on matters of tenure and promotion

3. The school anticipates paying an annual academic year base salary in the range checked
below. (A base salary does not include stipends for coaching moot court teams, teaching other
courses, or teaching in summer school; nor does a base salary include conference travel or other
professional development funds.)
__ a. $90,000 or more
__ b. $80,000 to $89,999
__ c. $70,000 to $79,999
__ d. $60,000 to $69,999
_X_ e. $50,000 to $59,999
__ f. $40,000 to $49,999
__ g. $30,000 to $39,999
__ h. this is a part-time appointment
paying less than $30,000
__ i. this is an adjunct appointment
paying less than $10,000

4. The number of students enrolled in each semester of the courses taught by the legal research
& writing professor will be:
__ a. 30 or fewer
__ b. 31 - 35
__ c. 36 - 40
_X_ d. 41 - 45
__ e. 46 - 50
__ f. 51 - 55
__ g. 56 - 60
__ h. more than 60

hat tip:  Prof. Barbara Blumenfeld, University of New Mexico

(spl)

August 28, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

the dangers of spellcheckers

Supima is a trademark used on materials made of 100% American Pima Cotton.

Our local paper just had a lovely article on the trend of wearing pajamas outside the house as leisure wear, including an entire paragraph touting the silky feel of garments made with "subpoena cotton."

[insert your own punch line here]

(njs)

August 27, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)