Sunday, June 26, 2022
The Legal Writing Prof. Blog advertised a conference some of you may be interested in. The Global Legal Skills Conference Committee is organizing a series of three virtual workshops to help raise awareness about how the war in Ukraine is impacting legal skills education in that country and to provide a platform to discuss ways we can help our Ukrainian colleagues through collaboration and networking.
Each session will be two hours long -- an hour of presentation followed by an hour of discussion in break out rooms.
First Session: WHAT THE GLS COMMUNITY CAN LEARN FROM OUR UKRAINIAN COLLEAGUES AND HOW WE CAN HELP THEM
DATE/TIME: Thursday, June 30, 2022, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. CDT.
Plenary session will feature:
- Artem Shaipov, Legal Advisor/Team Lead for Legal Education Reform, USAID Justice for All Activity in Ukraine
- Serhiy Riznyk, Vice-Rector for Research, Teaching, and International Cooperation at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Ukraine
- Prof. Dmytro Boichuk, Head of the Center for Legal Education Quality Assurance at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv, Ukraine
- Mariia Tsypiashchuk, Board Member of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine, Head of the Pro Bono Legal Clinic of the National University of Ostroh Academy,Ukraine
- Adil Abduramanov, President of the European Law Students’ Association in Ukraine.
Follow-up workshops will take place at the same time on:
- Thursday, July 28, 2022
- Friday, August 26, 2022
Attendance at each online session will be limited to 100 people, but a recording of the plenary presentations will be made available for those who cannot attend.
Saturday, June 25, 2022
The University of Cincinnati College of Law seeks a Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs. Reporting to the Assistant Dean of Academic Success and Bar Programs, the Director will work collaboratively to develop and deliver programming and individual coaching that enables law students to achieve their full potential during law school and on the bar exam. The position will focus primarily on first-year students, but the Director may be asked to help with other aspects of the academic and bar success programming as needed.
- Oversee the College of Law’s Structured Study Group Program. This includes the recruitment, training, and supervision of student employees to lead and deliver the program. The incumbent will engage in an annual review and revision of the program content to ensure responsiveness to student needs.
- Develop and implement a Spring Semester Academic Success Program, required for some 1L students based on their first semester academic performance. This includes individual and group meetings designed to assist students with self-assessment and study/time/technology management skills.
- Provide academic and skills counseling to College of Law students seeking to achieve their academic performance goals. Provide referrals as needed.
- Design and deliver a pre-orientation bridge program for incoming law students that identifies and develops the skills necessary for success in legal study.
- Collaborate with Faculty and Student Affairs staff to develop and deliver academic skills component of 1L Orientation.
- Track the academic performance and satisfactory completion of course and program requirements for students based on JD academic rules.
- Maintain effective communication with students, faculty, and academic personnel within the College and University.
- May provide direct and/or indirect supervision to exempt and non-exempt staff (i.e., hiring/firing, performance evaluations, disciplinary action, approve time off, etc.).
- Perform related duties based on departmental need. This job description can be changed at any time.
A Juris Doctor degree from an ABA accredited law school.
License to practice law, acquired by bar examination, in at least one U.S. jurisdiction.
- Prior academic or bar support teaching experience, or a suitable combination of one to three years of practice experience and adjunct teaching.
- Superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills.
- Commitment to working with a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff.
- Sensitivity to students with varied learning styles, disabilities, and diverse backgrounds.
Physical Requirements/Work Environment
- Office environment/no specific unusual physical or environmental demands.
Compensation and Benefits
UC offers a wide array of complementary and affordable benefit options, to meet the financial, educational, health, and wellness needs of you and your family. Eligibility varies by position and FTE.
- Competitive salary range dependent on the candidate's experience.
- Comprehensive insurance plans including medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage.
- Flexible spending accounts and an award-winning employee wellness program, plus an employee assistance program.
- Financial security via our life and long-term disability insurance, accident and illness insurance, and retirement savings plans.
- Generous paid time off work options including vacation, sick leave, annual holidays, and winter season days in addition to paid parental leave.
- Tuition remission is available for employees and their eligible dependents.
- Enjoy discounts for on and off-campus activities and services.
The University of Cincinnati, as a multi-national and culturally diverse university, is committed to providing an inclusive, equitable and diverse place of learning and employment. As part of a complete job application you will be asked to include a Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion statement.
As a UC employee, and an employee of an Ohio public institution, if hired you will not contribute to the federal Social Security system, other than contributions to Medicare. Instead, UC employees have the option to contribute to a state retirement plan (OPERS, STRS) or an alternative retirement plan (ARP).
Friday, June 24, 2022
Assistant Director of Academic Support at Campbell Law School, Raleigh, North Carolina
Campbell is looking to expand the academic support department. Applications will be accepted until position is filled with priority given to those received by July 5, 2022.
The Assistant Director supports the Director of Academic Support and Bar Success to train law students for the rigor of law school, the bar exam, and the practice of law with academic workshops, courses, and individual coaching. The Assistant Director will primarily design and implement workshops for students from pre-matriculation through the second year, supervise Teaching Scholars, and provide individual tutoring throughout law school and preparation for the bar exam.
The Assistant Director reports to the Director of Academic Support and Bar Success and collaborates with other law school departments. The Assistant Director is a member of the School of Law staff.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
· Collaborate with the Director of Academic Support and Bar Success to refine, improve, coordinate and direct the program of academic support including the academic support program, and the bar success program.
· Design and implement academic support programming for first-year students, including skills workshops, the teaching scholar’s program, and outreach to at-risk students.
· Collaborates as a member of the law school staff to provide programming and support for the overall goal of improving student success.
· Work with the faculty to integrate academic support programming into first-year classes.
· Coordinate and provide tutoring to students in one-on-one and group settings.
· Develop, coordinate, evaluate, and monitor remediation/study plans and activities for individual students.
· Develop, evaluate, and administer the Teaching Scholars program, including supervising the teaching scholars.
· Coordinate with faculty on student success initiatives, including implementing individual student success plans.
· Coordinate and assist with the Bar Success program.
· Assist the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs with matters related to academic success, character & fitness, and/or Bar success issues.
· Engage in other duties as assigned.
· As requested, assist with training and delegating work to student staff.
· This position demands accuracy, honesty, integrity, and the ability to work within the Christian mission of Campbell University.
· Maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times.
· Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs or Director of Academic Support and Bar Support.
· Juris Doctorate from an ABA-accredited law school is required.
· A minimum of one year of experience is required. Experience should be in the areas of academic advising, academic support, teaching (adjunct instruction accepted), and/or tutoring within an ABA-accredited law school.
· A suitable combination of education and experience may be substituted for minimum requirements.
· Bar preparation experience is a plus.
· Comprehensive knowledge and skills in Microsoft Office Suite required.
· Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.
· Ability to deal effectively with a wide range of people.
· Excellent communication skills.
· Ability to effectively prioritize, coordinate, and manage multiple tasks, projects, and responsibilities.
· Knowledge of FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
· Excellent academic record (transcripts will be submitted with application materials)
· Superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills
· Excellent organizational skills
· Demonstrated proficiency with technology including MS Office Suite, Internet, common software/applications, and the ability to acquire new technology quickly
· Commitment to working with a diverse population of students, faculty and staff
· Sensitivity to students with varied learning styles, disabilities, backgrounds, etc.
· Ability to work under pressure
· Ability to build and maintain a rapport with students
· Skill in presenting information, presentations and delivering instruction
· Ability to collaborate effectively with School of Law faculty and administrators
· Proficiency at project management, planning, and developing goals.
· Excellent written communication and proofreading skills for preparing correspondence, documents and reports, utilizing correct spelling, grammar and punctuation
· Superior verbal and interpersonal communication skills for effectively interacting with individuals at various levels within the organization
· Ability to exercise good judgement in sensitive, complex and/or new situations
· Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times
· Demonstrate tact, a positive attitude, courtesy and discretion in dealing with faculty, staff, and students
· Manage multiple, concurrent projects, and meet strict deadlines
· Work independently as well as function effectively in a team within a diverse group of people
· This position demands accuracy, honesty, integrity and the ability to work within the Christian mission of Campbell University
Monday, June 20, 2022
“Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible—and there is still so much work to do.” — Barack Obama
“Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week or one year. Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term. Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.” — John Lewis, “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change”
Happy Juneteenth. May we all soon celebrate progress that ends the struggle.
Sunday, June 19, 2022
The LSAC is offering a new program to help students transition to law school. The first conference I attended was funded by the LSAC, and I am glad they are still trying to help law students succeed. I don't know much about their new offering, but I encourage everyone to go to their Q&A to hear about it. The information is below.
On Wednesday, June 22, from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, join us for a Q&A about Legal Analysis Boot Camp, a LawHub educational program coming in July. The Legal Analysis Boot Camp is the inaugural offering of Law School Success, a one-year subscription priced at $59 that offers academic skills programming to support students throughout their first year of law school. Specifically, there will be a fall semester academic skills program entitled Law School, What You Really Need to Know, and spring semester programming entitled Becoming an Expert Learner.
This presentation is intended for academic support educators and admission professionals.
During the program, we’ll preview some of the course content and answer questions about the curriculum of Legal Analysis Boot Camp, which is designed to:
- Equip incoming law students with the basic tools of logical reasoning (including IRAC) that they will use in their law school classes
- Walk students through solving a legal analysis problem, from extracting rules of law from cases, to synthesizing those rules, to dissecting a fact pattern, to drafting an exam answer using IRAC
Our presenters — Susannah Pollvogt, LSAC’s senior director of legal education solutions, and Melissa A. Hale, LSAC’s director of learning for legal education — will tell you all about the Legal Analysis Boot Camp curriculum and other Law School Success offerings to come so you can encourage 1L students to participate. A portion of the presentation will be devoted to answering your questions.
Friday, June 17, 2022
Cleveland Marshall College of Law seeks applicants for the position of Director, Bar Exam Preparation. The Director, Bar Exam Preparation is responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing plans and initiatives that support the College of Law’s goal of improving graduates’ bar passage rates and performs other functionally related duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs)
Thursday, June 16, 2022
I'm not sure what else to call it, other than swamp. But, for many bar takers finding themselves behind in their bar prep, at least according to their bar prep companies, it seems like there's always too much to impossibly do. Watch lectures, take notes, read outlines, take quizzes, and finally, at last, practice essay, multiple-choice, and performance test questions. That's a lot, and, if truth be told, there's a lot of swamp to gets us stuck in the muck, so to speak.
For example, take lecture assignments, Or reading outlines, Or taking notes.
Too often, bar takers turn these pre-learning exercises into well swamps, often because we don't feel like we know enough to move onto where the learning really takes place - in the midst of practice bar exam problems. So a 4 hour lecture becomes a 5 to 7 hour lecture because we stop the lecture repeatedly, trying to make sure that we carefully recorded each jot and jingle. Or, we read the outlines, as though they were meant to be read, with nothing soaking in because it's just words that don't produce action. Or, after the lectures, we feel like we need to create gigantic megaton study tools so that we have something to meaningfully say, anything at all, when we finally get to practicing bar exam problems.
But, if we wait until we feel confident enough about the law to practice problems, we will run out of time to actually learn the law because learning takes place in experiences of creative courageous activity. In short, learning is growing and growing only happens when we push ourselves to try and try hard and to fail and to fail often. It's hard on the psyche but learning only happens when, well, we have something to learn. And that only happens when we find out what we don't know and they figure out a way to know that in the future by practicing it again until we get it correct. And, that's a perfect time to dive into the bar review outlines to help you learn, with a specific bar exam problem in mind.
So, as you prepare for your bar exam this summer, face your fears upfront and dive into practicing bar exam problems, lots of problems, courageously and creatively. And, when you miss something, count that as a positive, an opportunity to learn something new. It's hard work but the pay off is big - you'll be licensed as a practicing attorney and, more than that, you will have accomplished something which, for many of us right now, we aren't sure we can do. So, as the slogan goes, just do it, a little bit, step by step, everyday. That's learning in a nutshell. And that's something you can do.. (Scott Johns).
P.S. In the words of a recent successful bar taker, here's tips from one who has just been through the process that you are doing right now and came out the other end as a licensed attorney:
Practice way more than you think! If you are wondering whether you should watch a lecture or do a practice question, do the practice question.
Let go of memorizing everything. It is impossible. Learn what your weak areas are and spend more time with those subjects.
You will feel like you know nothing until approximately the last week of bar prep. Somehow, magically, it does come together. I promise.
Do all the practice tests.
Think really hard about who you want to study with. This is not the time to do something different from how you handled law school.
Come up with a plan and stick to it. Decide how many practice questions you want to do everyday and do it. But if you are starting to burn out, be OK with taking breaks. It's a marathon!
Log your progress. Be intentional about compiling lists of rules I kept missing on MBE questions. This helped me to keep track of weak areas so I could spend more time learning the law in specific subjects.
Spend timing thinking about any testing anxiety you might have. Adding mindfulness meditations to my study plan helped a ton!
Tuesday, June 14, 2022
Occasionally, I focus on articles generally considered to be "must-read" scholarship in the field. Here are two:
1. Elizabeth M. Bloom (Northeastern), Teaching Law Students to Teach Themselves: Using Lessons from Educational Psychology to Shape Self-Regulated Learners, 59 Wayne L. Rev. 311 (2013).
From the abstract:
Amidst current concerns about the value of a legal education, this article seeks to identify ways in which law schools and law professors can take steps to maximize the learning experience for their students. The article focuses on cutting-edge strategies that will help a diverse population of law students become self-regulated learners. Drawing on the work of educational psychologists, it describes ways to help students adapt to the demands of the law school learning experience and then outlines specific strategies for teaching students to regulate their motivational beliefs, their resource management practices, and their approaches to mastering the material. Throughout, the article emphasizes the importance of these skills for success both as law students and as lawyers. Finally, checklists are provided to help law professors build a culture of self-regulated learning in their schools.
2. DeShun Harris (Memphis), Office Hours Are Not Obsolete: Fostering Learning Through One-on-One Student Meetings, 57 Duquesne L. Rev. 43 (2018).
From the abstract:
Office hours, whether it is the traditional notion of an office hour whereby the professor has designated times for students to visit, office hours by appointment, or an open-door policy, are a great learning opportunity for students. In the law school context, the American Bar Association (ABA) requires full-time faculty members to “[be] available for student consultation about those classes” they teach. In addition to office hours, students meet one-on-one with faculty in a variety of ways: mentoring, advocacy coaching, answering substantive questions, legal writing conferences, law review note advising, career/academic support counseling, and for so many other purposes. Indeed, law students reported on the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), that most students have worked with faculty on activities other than coursework.
In evaluating the literature on teaching and learning, a great deal is written about the classroom, but what about the teaching and learning that can, and does, occur during office hours? Given the many instances during which students and faculty interact on a one-on-one basis, the limited literature on office hours in law school should be expanded to ensure we create the best learning from these instances. This article expands the research by discussing the impediments to students’ use of office hours and how to overcome them, discussing the office setting and how to make sure an office setting communicates to students a welcoming environment, exploring how to effectively navigate through an office hour by using the latest research on the office hour, and exploring how to create an environment that is best for learning.
[Louis Schulze, FIU Law]
Monday, June 13, 2022
My Law School course evaluations arrived without warning or fanfare in my inbox Saturday afternoon. The subject line, “spring 2022 course evaluations” popped up on my phone while I was sitting at the optometrist’s office picking out a new pair of glasses that would (ironically) make reading things on my phone easier. I had received my course evals for my undergraduate course a few weeks back and they had come, pre-read by the department chair, with her encouraging words that slowed my heartbeat a bit before diving in. But the law school ones just showed up as an attachment: unannounced, and to be honest, panic inducing. I wasn’t ready. We tell students when the grades will be released, so perhaps a similar warning may be warranted. As it was, I held my breath and clicked.
To be fair, I had thought the semester had gone well (there are always a few students who are unreadable, but they didn’t seem hostile), so I should not have started to sweat when this email appeared. But I was grateful for the air conditioning at the eyeglass shop, nonetheless. Although the literature is a bit all over the place, there seems to be a grudging consensus that, “… student evaluations as currently constructed are strewn with gender and racial biases. Instructor attire and weight has impacts on student evaluations, too. In short, there is a lot of noise in student evaluations that have nothing to do with teaching and everything to do with student biases.” I also think that the anonymous on-line iteration of course evaluations has made students a little more, um, blunt.
I have had evaluations that commented negatively on my snacking (I was pregnant, and it seemed better to eat my baggie of Cheerios rather than puke on students), my sense of humor, and my clothing choices (which honestly felt more like body shaming). It all feels a little middle school-ish to me because this is the documentation of what people might be saying behind your back. I also remember my favorite comment of all time, “Condragulations Professor Stillman, you are a winner.” Using a RuPaul’s Drag race reference made me feel really seen and I treasured it.
Are some evaluations biased or just plain mean? Probably. But discounting them entirely also negates the good ones (luckily far outnumbering the bad, I’m sure). I also need to read them to know if I am connecting with students. I want to be sure that I am respectful of opposing viewpoints (not my strong suit, really). If I don’t care what the students think (about some fundamental things, not my wardrobe per se), then I am not teaching for the right reasons. If the evaluations can legitimately assess my teaching, then this is information I need. If not, they give students power over non-tenured faculty that they do not deserve.
Evaluations are truly a double-edged sword. Make no mistake though, they may still be a weapon.
Sunday, June 12, 2022
Saturday, June 11, 2022
OCU School of Law is conducting a search for an Assistant Director of Academic Achievement to start on August 1. This position will have an opportunity to teach classes, provide voluntary workshops, and work individually with at-risk students. The Department will have 3 ASPs with programming from pre-matriculation to bar passage. The position description and place to apply is copied below.
Posting and Application Portal: https://jobs.silkroad.com/OKCU/StaffCareers/jobs/1270
The Assistant Director supports the Academic Achievement department to train law students for the rigor of law school, the bar exam, and the practice of law with academic workshops, courses, and individual coaching. The Assistant Director will primarily design and implement workshops for students from pre-matriculation through the second year, supervise Academic Fellows, and provide individual tutoring throughout law school and preparation for the bar exam.
The Assistant Director reports to the Director of Academic Achievement and collaborates with the Student Success Team in other law school departments. The Assistant Director is a member of the School of Law staff. Qualified candidates will be eligible for a faculty appointment as an Instructor.
The planning start date for this position is August 1st.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Demonstrate an attitude that reflects the mission and values of the University and School of Law.
- Collaborate with the Director of Academic Achievement to refine, improve, coordinate and direct the program of academic achievement including, but not limited to the summer admissions program, the academic support program, and the bar preparation program.
- Design and implement academic support programming for first-year students, including skills workshops, the academic fellow program, and outreach to at-risk students.
- Collaborates as a member of the Student Success Team to provide programming and support for the overall goal of improving student success.
- Work with the faculty to integrate academic support programming into first-year classes.
- Coordinate and provide tutoring to students in one-on-one and group settings.
- Develop, coordinate, evaluate, and monitor remediation/study plans and activities for individual students.
- Develop, evaluate, and administer the Academic Fellow program, including supervising the academic fellows.
- Coordinate with other departments on student success initiatives, including implementing individual student success plans.
- Teach skills-focused courses as assigned by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Excellent academic record (transcripts will be submitted with application materials)
- Superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills (writing sample will be submitted with application materials)
- Excellent organizational skills
- Demonstrated proficiency with technology including MS Office Suite, Internet, common software/applications, and the ability to acquire new technology quickly
- Commitment to working with a diverse population of students, faculty and staff
- Sensitivity to students with varied learning styles, disabilities, backgrounds, etc.
- Ability to work under pressure
- Ability to build and maintain a rapport with students
- Skill in presenting information, presentations and delivering instruction
- Ability to collaborate effectively with School of Law faculty and administrators
- Proficiency at project management, planning, and developing goals.
- A Juris Doctor degree from an ABA-accredited law school is required.
- A minimum of six months of experience is required. Experience should be in the areas of academic advising, academic support, teaching (adjunct instruction accepted), and/or tutoring within an ABA-accredited law school.
- A suitable combination of education and experience may be substituted for minimum requirements.
Loyola Chicago seeks an Assistant Dean of Bar Success and Academic Support. The posting is copied below. You can click this link to apply.
|Job Title||Assistant Dean, Bar Success and Academic Support|
|Job Category||University Staff|
|Campus||Chicago-Water Tower Campus|
|Department Name||LAW SCHOOL|
|Location Code||SCHOOL OF LAW (02700A)|
|Is this split and/or fully grant funded?||No|
|Duties and Responsibilities||
Key responsibilities include:
• Develop and enhance school-wide bar support initiatives in every semester of the students’ law school education. These initiatives will include programming for all students as well as programming specifically designed for targeted students.
• Implement, coordinate, and evaluate exam skills programs and resources for targeted students, including the first-year Academic Enhancement Program and continuing in each semester through the bar exam.
• Administer the Academic Tutor Program (staffed by second and third year students). This will involve working closely with doctrinal faculty, coordinating with the Director and Associate Director of Writing Programs and Academic Support, and selecting/training/supervising student tutors.
• Develop courses designed to teach skills essential for all components of the bar exam. These courses must include individualized formative assessment. The Director will teach some courses and will coordinate with adjunct faculty and/or bar preparation vendors to develop additional courses.
• Develop workshops and other resources addressing essential information and skills relating to the bar exam. eg: “Bar Exam Orientation,” "Bar Exam Diagnostics for 2Ls, one-on-one meetings, bar exam lunches, work with at-risk students. In addition, this position prepares and offers ongoing bar exam support and academic enhancement programs throughout the summer.
• Collaborate with the Associate Dean for Administration, the Director and Associate Director of Writing Programs and Academic Support, and other faculty members to identify and support at-risk students.
• Work individually with targeted students and other students seeking additional academic support during law school and through the bar exam, including providing counseling, individualized study plans, and preparation plans for the bar exam.
• Develop and provide additional resources for repeat bar exam takers.
Coordinate with MLER to send 10 students to their programming.
Coordinate with “Jump Start” and Admissions to invite students and administer their participation.
Coordinate the Pugh Kaufman Scholars Program with MLER.
• Coordinate communications with the Board of Bar Examiners in various states and with commercial bar exam preparation providers.
• Create and maintain a webpage with information and resources relevant to the bar exam including the bar application process, the structure of the bar exam/subjects tested, and relevant bar exam preparation resources.
• Follow scholarship and developments regarding legal pedagogy and the bar exam. Advise administration regarding any bar developments and assessments.
• Track student performance through data collection and compiles bar exam results in a database. Use statistical analysis of data to assess current programming and to develop and assess new initiatives. Regularly report to the administration on the findings and suggestions for future program development to best meet students’ needs.
|Minimum Education and/or Work Experience||
A J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and be admitted to practice by a state bar. In addition, applicants should have a minimum of 5 years of experience previous teaching experience or equivalent administration experience, and a demonstrated commitment to working with students. Previous experience teaching in bar preparation programs or academic support (or highly comparable environments) is required.
Qualified applicants should have a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and be admitted to practice by a state bar. In addition, applicants should have a minimum of 5 years of experience previous teaching experience or equivalent administration experience, and a demonstrated commitment to working with students. Previous experience teaching in bar preparation programs or academic support (or highly comparable environments) is required.
Qualified applicants should have a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and be admitted to practice by a state bar.
Must have working knowledge of Microsoft apps, Excel, Word, etc.
Sunday, June 5, 2022
The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning is thrilled to be launching a new scholarly journal. The Journal of Law Teaching and Learning will publish scholarly articles about pedagogy and will provide authors with rigorous peer review. We hope to publish our first issue in Fall 2023.
If you have a scholarly article that might fit the needs of The Journal of Law Teaching and Learning, please consider submitting it directly to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Scholastica platform.
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Director of Academic Success Programs
Directs and coordinates the operation and activities of the Law School’s Office of Academic Success Programs (OASP); works closely with students in groups and individually to promote student success; develops and implements OASP policies and procedures; organizes and sets OASP tasks and priorities; and administers the OASP budget. Works under the general supervision of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Works cooperatively with the Associate Dean for Student Life and collaborates with staff/faculty who assist with the Law School’s student success initiatives and the bar preparation program.
About the Department and/or College
Consistently recognized as a Best Value Law School, the National Jurist recently rated Texas Tech Law the Best Value Law School in Texas and 16 nationally (National Jurist, Fall 2021). With a faculty and staff dedicated to student success, an unparalleled record of advocacy competition championships, and alumni who are among the best in their fields, Texas Tech Law provides a legal education that is second to none.
In addition to the value, advocacy, and community provided by Texas Tech Law, we have the benefit of being located in Lubbock, Texas – "The Friendliest City in America." Lubbock has grown from its Wild West roots to a modern cultural crossroads featuring award-winning wineries, museums, and world-class musical and theatrical talent.
This is a full-time, 12-month staff position that serves as the Director for Academic Success Programs. The ideal qualified candidate will begin no later than August 2022.The Director's primary responsibility is to work with law students to help them develop the skills and knowledge needed to reach their top academic performance in law school and when taking the bar exam.
- designing and implementing academic success programs
- delivering and assessing a comprehensive program of academic success for all law students from orientation until taking the bar exam
- working one-on-one with law students on academic probation and self-referred law students to help them develop good habits and effective methods to improve their academic performance
- planning and hosting academic success workshops related to legal analysis, critical reading, exam-taking, time management, etc.
- teaching one or more sections of Introduction to the Study of Law, a required first-year, 1-credit course taught by several faculty/staff; possibly teaching other courses related to academic success
- coordinating the tutoring program with 1L doctrinal professors
- providing academic counseling for students
- participating in activities for academic success professionals through regular participation at conferences
- cooperating with the Associate Dean for Student Life on student success and support
- collaborating with faculty/staff who assist with the Law School’s student success initiatives
- collaborating with faculty/staff who assist with the Law School’s bar preparation program by hosting bar exam and MPRE preparation workshops, especially during the spring semester and during the summer leading up to the bar exam
A J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school. Successful passage of a bar examination. Three years or more progressively responsible experience. Additional education may substitute for experience on a year-for-year basis.
- Proven track record as a collaborative and cooperative team-player
- Additional years of progressively responsible experience
- Demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring
- Experience in academic success programs at a law school (or equivalent experience)
Adherence to robust safety practices and compliance with all applicable health and safety regulations are responsibilities of all TTU employees.
Does this position work in a research laboratory?
Thursday, June 2, 2022
"As it turns out, there's a way to improve student learning that even sullen teenagers won't complain about: Give them financial incentives to study hard:" so says Harvard economist Roland Fryer based on research in about 290 schools with about 36, 000 students. Fryer, R., "How to Make Up the Covid Learning Loss: Paying Students for Attendance, Behavior, and Homework Can Boost Achievement, WSJ (May 31, 2022).
In the article describing the research team's results, the author suggests that the key was targeting inputs (reading assignments, being in class, completing homework) rather than outputs (exam scores or results) because many students don't feel like they can control results but that inputs are within their control. Id. All told, to put such an incentive to work in public schools would cost about $700 per year, which the author suggests (in my words) is small change compared to the roughly $13,000 on average spent per student per year for education.
I'm not so sure that paying students to read, practice, and learn makes sense because it feels like it's devaluing to the learning experience. However, "the research team found that students' achievements remained elevated even after our incentives were removed." Id. And, as the author suggests, we pay people to work so why not pay students to learn?
It's an interesting question. But truth be told, regardless of the daily incentives to learn, the key determinate for success in this large scale experiment was engaged learning on a daily basis. So, I think that the lesson for us in legal education is to incentivize learning to learn - not through cash incentives - but through making the learning experience challenging joyful and productively meaningful. That's hard work but that's our job.
As a suggestion on how to help incentivize learning, try building within your curriculum learning exercises using news events that relate to the subjects that students are studying. So, for example, in a tort class, one might explore possible product liability claims against companies manufacturing pulse oximeters because research indicates that the widespread use of these devices to determine whether one needed critical covid-19 care is racially biased, leading to under diagnosis of significant populations and likely premature deaths. Mosbergen, D., " Pulse Oximeters are Less Accurate Among Black, Hispanic, and Asian Covid Patients, WSJ (May 31, 2022). Oh, and there's another legal issue lurking in this article: "The Food and Drug Administration last year warned of potential pulse oximeter inaccuracies when used on people with dark skin pigmentation, but didn’t change the way it regulates the devices." Id. In other words, are there any constitutional issues against the regulatory authority?In other words, tie what we learn in the books to how we can use it to help others, now.
That's an incentive that I can buy in to. (Scott Johns).
Tuesday, May 31, 2022
I still fondly remember the judge for whom I interned as a 3L. Knowing that bar prep was coming up and sensing my anxiety, he asked me about my plan. I told him that the bar prep company each day would provide lectures, outlines to read, some more outlines to read, and then finish things off with some outlines to read. When I told him that the program started just after Memorial Day and ended the day before the exam, he was astonished. His advice was to save myself all that money, take three weeks off from work, and study from July 4th until the exam. He said that would be plenty.
Of all the advice my judge gave me, this was the one bit I did not take. His guidance was well-intentioned, and I appreciated his attempts to calm me down. But as the Type-A person that I am, I could not rest without feverishly checking off each scheduled study item. His was advice I could not take.
Twenty-something years later, students still receive that advice. They insist: “The partner at my firm said that she took just two weeks off for the exam and did just fine.” The partner professed: “You’re a smart kid. You don’t need to do all that work. Just watch the videos, read the outlines, and you’ll pass.” Happy to internalize this message so as to mentally corroborate the partner’s flattering assessment, students’ confirmation biases drive them to adopt suboptimal learning behaviors.
And then they fail the bar exam.
The practicing lawyers who give this advice sometimes believe that the bar exam world is a static place devoid of change. However, recent substantial reforms severely limit the applicability of their experiences. Below the fold, I describe those changes and how they require more careful advising.
First, a big thank you and congrats to those who planned, attended, and/ or presented at last week's Annual AASE Conference. To say it was a great event would be an understatement.
As for the scholarship spotlight, we have a lot of ground to cover. Please see below.
1. Patrick Meyer (UDM), Adding Legal Research to the Bar Exam: What Would The Exercise Look Like, 53 Akron L. Rev. 109 (2019, posted 2022).
Various authors have criticized the current bar exam format and have offered meaningful suggested changes. This article will focus on deficiencies pertaining to a lack of legal research readiness in the practice of law: A recent study found that 45% of a new attorney’s time will be spent researching. The authors of the MacCrate Report found ten practice skills that are “essential for competent representation,” which are universally referred to as Fundamental Lawyering Skills. One of the ten Fundamental Lawyering Skills is legal research. The report states that “if anything, the bar examination discourages” the teaching of lawyering skills in law school. My proposal is to add an interactive legal research exercise to the MPT, meaning that applicants would have to conduct research in one or more databases to answer questions. By making the exercise interactive, other Fundamental Lawyering Skills will be tested, as explained in this article.
2. Christine A. Corcos (LSU), Legal Uncertainties: COVID-19, Distance Learning, Bar Exams, and the Future of U.S. Legal Education, 8 Canadian J. of Compar. & Contemp. L. 1 (2022).
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the U.S. legal academy and legal profession to make changes to legal education and training very rapidly in order to accommodate the needs of students, graduates, practitioners, clients, and the public. Like most of the public, members of the profession assumed that most, if not all, of the changes would be temporary, and life would return to a pre-pandemic normal.
These assumed temporary changes included a rapid and massive shift to online teaching for legal education, to online administration of the bar exam in some jurisdictions, or the option to offer the diploma privilege in others. Many employers made efforts to accommodate new law graduates and employees who needed to work from home.
As legal educators and the legal profession shift back to ‘normal’, we are now discovering that some of these changes might be rather desirable. Thus, we can begin to look at the last two years as an opportunity to re-evaluate how we teach and learn law and how we might evaluate the competence of those entering the profession in different ways. As we move forward, instead of automatically readopting to the status quo, we can instead examine approaches that would allow us to make headway on solving problems that have been with us for decades.
3. Christopher Birdsall (Boise State) & Seth Gershenson (American University), The Pro Bono Penalty: Extracurricular Activities and Demographic Disparities in Bar Exam Success, posted to SSRN 19 May 2022.
Demographic disparities in bar exam pass rates are problematic but poorly understood. We investigate a possible explanation: participation in extracurricular activities, which could either distract from bar exam preparation or motivate and prepare students to succeed. Generally, participation in extracurricular activities while in law school does not play a large role in bar exam success. However, there is a significant, arguably causal, penalty associated with one particular activitypro bono workmost notably in lower-ranked law schools. This penalty is sizable: pro bono work is associated with a 5 percentage point (6%) decrease in the chances of passing the bar exam on the first attempt. This penalty is largest for Black and female students and may explain as much as 20% of the Black-white gap in first-attempt bar pass rates.
4. Edwin S. Fruehwald, A Companion to Torts: Thinking Like A Torts Lawyer, Chapter One, posted to SSRN 27 May 2022.
The goal of this book is to teach law students to think like torts lawyers. Thinking like a lawyer means solving a problem to produce a legal solution. This process involves using several types of reasoning in combination, including synthesis (synthesizing rules; inductive reasoning), rule-based reasoning (deductive reasoning), analogical reasoning (reasoning by precedent), distinguishing cases (the opposite of reasoning by analogy), policy-based reasoning, and creativity. A torts lawyer uses these reasoning methods to solve torts problems. This book will 2 include a variety of torts exercises on the different types of legal reasoning to achieve the goal of teaching students to think like torts lawyers.
5. Andrele Brutus St. Val (Pittsburgh), Survey Says—How to Engage Law Students in the Online Learning Environment, 70 J. Legal Educ. __ (2021). (H/t, TaxProf Blog).
The pandemic experience has made it clear that not everyone loves teaching or learning remotely. Many professors and students alike are eager to return to the classroom. However, our experiences over the last year and a half have also demonstrated the potentials and possibilities of learning online and have caused many professors to recalibrate their approaches to digital learning. While the tools for online learning were available well before March of 2020, many instructors are only now beginning to capitalize on their potential. The author of this article worked in online legal education before the pandemic, utilizing these tools and exploring ways to make the online experience more effective. This article is the result of her research on online legal education prior to the pandemic, which sheds light on future possibilities for online learning in law schools in post-pandemic times.
The discussion explores various engagement strategies used by online legal educators, assesses students’ perceptions of those strategies, and examines these findings against the backdrop of existing learning theories. The article contributes to the scholarly literature on legal education and pedagogy by tying empirical evidence of student learning preferences to educational theory and identifying concrete strategies for increasing law student engagement and enjoyment.
[Louis Schulze, FIU Law]
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Did you know that the collective noun for a group of magicians is an “illusion?” I believe that Academic Support Professionals are the magicians of law school academics, not because we engage in sorcery, but because we do so much hard work behind the scenes that it seems like things just happen.
Last week, I was lucky to be able to share the tricks of the trade (with the best community of colleagues ever!) at the 9th Annual AASE Conference at the lovely St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas and on Zoom! I already knew that ASP folks are the hardest-working, kindest, and most generous people. I was also aware that we are supreme innovators. In short, the brain power in the sessions at our conference could have provided enough energy for the entire state of Texas. And it would have been a clean, renewable source of power!
It was amazing to be in the company of people who truly understand the work—and the flip side of doing so much important work often without having job security or recognition. I know that I am extremely fortunate that my law school is supportive and offers long-term contracts with options for more security, as well as funding for scholarship and conferences. Yet, academic support and bar prep are often seen as—oh wait, actually, we are often not seen at all…
At a faculty meeting last week, after what I consider a big win that added a DEI course graduation requirement, we moved on to an agenda item that tangentially dealt with tenure policy. During this discussion, a tenured, doctrinal faculty member referred to people who had our (ASP and other non-tenure track) faculty status as “faculty with a small f.” As in, essentially, lower case “f” faculty should very clearly not be allowed to vote on tenure policy changes. Yes, I had a big F reaction to that. That was more than just rain on my parade, it was a full-on blizzard: cold and windy. Following my glorious moment in the sun, I was returned to my cubby crumpled and dirty like a kindergartener’s lunchbox after recess.
It is moments like this that make a national conference of all the law school thaumaturges even more imperative for the survival of our profession. We need to work together to collectively ask that the curtain be pulled back so that our doctrinal colleagues can see the work that is often going on out of their sight. There is no magic in what we do, just a lot of hard work that should be transparently visible.
A huge thank you to Afton Cavanaugh and the team at St. Mary’s for solving the huge logistical puzzle that this hybrid conference must have presented!! It was glorious and I am truly enriched by the endless magnificence of this community. I am already looking forward to next year’s 10th annual AASE conference at Santa Clara Law.
And finally, did you know that the collective noun for a group of doctrinal professors is known as a “pomposity?”
 Texas is huge! I knew it was big before, but I really had not understood it until I was there.
 A presumptively renewable contract-but not tenure.
 I was the leader on this effort, and I am crazy excited that it really happened!
 Silently-but I am originally from the Bronx. I’ll just leave it at that.
 Those who don’t already know-there are always going to be allies in every school!!
 May 23-25, 2023-save the dates!
Friday, May 20, 2022
The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University seeks applicants for the position of Associate Director of Bar Programs. This position presents an opportunity to become a member of a vibrant and supportive law school community that embraces innovation and advancement. The posting is located here.
The Associate Director will report to the Director of Academic Success and will assist in designing and implementing the bar preparation aspects of Pace’s well-established Academic Success Program.
Create and implement programs for bar exam success, including workshops, classes, peer support programs, and individual counseling.
Teach classes for third-year students preparing for the bar exam.
Work in the summer and winter Supplemental Bar Skills Program, including teaching and grading written work.
Oversee and train alumni mentors who work in the post-graduation bar exam mentorship program.
Provide administrative support to the department and the Director, including student tracking and data analysis assessing the efficacy of bar programming.
Implement new services relevant to enhancing our students’ performance on the bar exam. Work closely with JD and LL.M students, and law faculty.
Perform other such duties as assigned from time to time.
J.D. degree, law firm, or similar experience.
Excellent writing and speaking skills.
Membership in at least one bar, a strong academic record, and a desire to work closely with students and faculty.
Prior academic support experience, teaching experience (e.g., legal writing), membership on law review or moot court, and counseling skills are preferred.