Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More on the nature vs. nurture debate regarding IQ.

Here's an interesting Op-Ed piece from the Saturday New York Times reporting on a new book called Intelligence and How to Get It by University of Michigan psychology professor Richard Nisbett in which the good doctor argues that "success depends less on intellectual endowment than on perseverance and drive."

Here's an excerpt from the NYT's piece:

In the mosaic of America, three groups that have been unusually successful are Asian-Americans, Jews and West Indian blacks — and in that there may be some lessons for the rest of us.

. . . . .

These three groups may help debunk the myth of success as a simple product of intrinsic intellect, for they represent three different races and histories. In the debate over nature and nurture, they suggest the importance of improved nurture — which, from a public policy perspective, means a focus on education. Their success may also offer some lessons for you, me, our children — and for the broader effort to chip away at poverty in this country.

Read the rest of the article here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)


June 9, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 8, 2009

A June snapshot of the legal marketplace

Here's a sampling from this week's news about where things stand today.

According to the Department of Labor, 1,300 legal services jobs were lost in May, 14,000 since January 1 and 25,000 in the past year. Is the worst behind us?

The New York Times describes the possible demise of BigLaw.

Law.com is reporting that lateral hiring is hot and heavy at midsize firms as attorneys leave BigLaw for greener pastures.

In-house legal departments are also forsaking large firms in favor of more cost efficient small and midsize firms.  

Drinker Biddle and Reath is using outside resources to supplement the training of new associates:

In conjunction with its recent decision to focus on training of first-year associates for the first six months rather than billing them out to clients, Drinker Biddle teamed up with the Practical Law Co., which is geared toward corporate work. PLC offers attorneys model documents and clauses, how-to guides on certain areas of law, updates on new law and a searchable database of deals and securities findings.

Doug Raymond, head of Drinker Biddle's corporate and securities practice, said in an e-mail the use of PLC's services is one way to bolster its training program with the added benefit of focusing on efficiency.

Above the Law has started an open thread called "Is Anyone Coming to OCI This Year?"

We'll have to wait and see how these circumstances play out in our classrooms in the Fall.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

June 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Students say to panel of teachers: "Enough already with the group assignments!"

The Chronicle of Higher Ed is reporting that a group of undergraduate students who spoke at the Sixth Annual Teaching Professor conference in Wisconsin this past weekend had a message for the world's college instructors:  "no more group assignments—at least not until you figure out how to fairly grade each student’s individual contributions."

It's an age old complaint - some participants don't carry their weight.

'Part of the problem is that faculty members themselves often don’t work well in groups, so they don’t understand the dynamics,'said Ms. Weimer, who is editor of The Teaching Professor, the newsletter for which the conference is named.

In a 2004 paper in The Journal of Student Centered Learning, 'Turning Student Groups Into Effective Teams,' four scholars made suggestions about how to avoid the common pitfalls of group projects.

Among other things, the paper advised that students be asked to rate the 'team citizenship' of each member of their group. Those ratings can in turn be used to help determine each student’s individual grade.

 Read the full article here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

June 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Colorado Judge rules that academic tenure benefits the public

In a case involving a suit by faculty at Denver's Metropolitan State College that challenged a decision by the Board of Trustees to remove certain rights from the faculty handbook, the court stated that "the public interest is advanced more by tenure systems that favor academic freedom over tenure systems that favor flexibility in hiring or firing."  

According to Inside Higher Ed, last week's decision is being hailed by Rachel Levinson, senior counsel for the American Association of University Professors, who called it "fantastic" for both Metro State  faculty and "for professors elsewhere."

'More broadly, what this does is reiterate the value of tenure and the importance of tenure, and that tenure itself can be a public interest,' Levinson said. She noted that the college 'was trying to argue that its flexibility was the sole public interest,' and that a court endorsement of that idea could have been dangerous for many faculty members.

Maybe that guy from Northwestern should read it.

You can read the rest of the story here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

June 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Trends in scholarly publishing

The Chronicle of Higher Ed asked several experts to make predictions and have provided their responses here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

June 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

More Photos from Marco Island

Marco Island Rowe 1 Marco Island Rowe 3 The Legal Writing Institute will hold its 2010 National Conference on Marco Island, Florida.  Proposals are due by June 15, 2009.  The website accepting proposals will be shut down that following day, so no late proposals can be submitted. 

Suzanne Rowe of the University or Oregon has posted some photos from Marco Island, which you can see by clicking here.  The photos her were taken by Suzanne. photos.  You can click on either photo to enlarge it. 

(mew)

June 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

ISBA Legal Writing Seminar

ISBA Jim Covington of the the Illinois State Bar Association will hold a one-day legal writing program in Chicago on Friday, June 12, 2009.  Jim has a longstanding interest in good legal writing and I'm happy to see that he's putting on this program.  I had a chance to see some of his materials last year and thought they were quite good.  Click here for more information.  This would be a great program to recommend to summer associates and law students as well as practicing attorneys who want to improve their writing skills.

(mew)

June 8, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)