Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome to Tishia Dunham at Stetson

This summer Jeffrey Minnetti, Director of Academic Success and Associate Professor of Legal Skills, announced on the ASP listserv that Tishia Dunham had joined the Stetson School of Law academic success program as the Director of Bar Preparation Services and an Assistant Professor of Legal Skills.  We would like to welcome Tishia to the ASP community!  Hopefully many of you will get a chance to meet her at LSAC and other regional workshops.  (Amy Jarmon)

Included here is part of Jeffrey's announcement on the listserv:

Prior to joining the Stetson faculty, Professor Dunham practiced law for seven years in the areas of employment law, commercial and business litigation and real property with an emphasis on community associations.  Professor Dunham also served as a bar exam grader for the Florida Board of Bar Examiners for five years before joining Stetson.  Professor Dunham’s experience as a bar exam grader has given her unique insight into the specific skills students must master to pass the Florida Bar Examination.  Professor Dunham has used this insight to help repeat takers pass the bar exam.


September 30, 2010 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bar Passage Counselor Position at Charlotte Law

The School recently received provisional ABA approval and is in the process of seeking full accreditation by 2011.  This position will be particularly attractive to candidates seeking a dynamic, changing environment that encourages cultural and creative growth and fosters the same in a rapidly growing staff, faculty, and student body.

The Bar Passage Counselor reports directly to the Associate Dean of Student Services.  The successful candidate will work with students seeking to assist them with their bar admissions goals.  The Counselor performs other academic support functions essential to promoting students’ success in law school and to the success and growth of the institution. 

The school is a member of The InfiLaw Systema consortium of independent law schools committed to making legal education more responsive to the realities of new career dynamics. Its mission is to establish student-centered, American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools in underserved markets that graduate students with practice-ready skills, and achieve true diversity programs aimed at student academic and career success.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

• Counsel and advise students on bar admissions protocol, bar exam preparation, law school in general and the legal profession;
• Teach a law school course developed to increase students’ likelihood of bar exam success (North Carolina, and to a lesser extent, South Carolina, substantive law);
• Assist in the maintenance of statistical information on students and graduates;
• Prepare and present various Bar Exam related workshops and seminars;
• Further develop current bar exam preparation programming;
• Attend the North Carolina and South Carolina bar exams (where appropriate);
• Participate in bar exam related best practices meetings;
• Assist students in reviewing answers to practice exams;
• Attend meetings as necessary within the law school; and
• Attend seminars and conferences to improve ability to provide appropriate services at the law school.


• Applicant must be a North Carolina or South Carolina licensed attorney.    
• Prior academic support experience (either professional or as part of a graduate or law school program) or teaching experience (i.e., legal writing or comparable teaching experience in writing and analytical skills training) is preferred.
• Must be highly motivated and possess personal initiative and drive.
• Strong oral and written communication skills required due to high level of interaction with students, employers and other professionals
• A strong commitment to CharlotteLaw’s mission pillars of student centeredness, practice ready and serving the underserved.


• Juris Doctor Degree from an approve ABA accredited law school.


Licensed attorney in North Carolina or South Carolina.  (Dual licensure a plus).

Salary is commensurate with experience. CharlotteLaw offers a full benefits package. For more information about Charlotte School of Law, please visit

If helping others and working in a dynamic workplace is what you feel passionate about and you are looking for a new challenge and a chance to put your experience to work in an innovative environment – Charlotte School of Law may be the place for you.

Please send a resume, the names of three references (including addresses and phone numbers) to [email protected]  or via mail to:


Charlotte School of Law

Human Resources
2145 Suttle Avenue
Charlotte, NC, 28208

Charlotte School of Law is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


September 28, 2010 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Director of Student Services Position at Seton Hall

Cara Herrick Foerst, Dean of Students, at Seton Hall Law School recently posted a listserv announcement regarding this job opening.  I include here part of her announcement which includes a link to the job site for Seton Hall.  (Amy Jarmon)

"We are looking for a bright, energetic, warm  person to join our team.  The position requires at minimum a  Masters Degree, but we’d prefer a J.D. with higher education experience.   It is a fun and challenging position.   Attached is a link to the job description.  I am happy to answer questions by email.  All interested folks must apply on-line."

The link provided by Cara is:

September 24, 2010 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Reading cases for more oomph

I have been doing a brisk business in appointments with 1L students who are overwhelmed by how long it is taking them to read/brief cases for class.  In talking with them, it is apparent that some of their difficulties are linked to not understanding why we read cases and how they fit into overall learning and skills development.

They make better decisions about their reading strategies once they realize the significance of reading cases.  Here are some tips that we discuss:

All cases are not equal in importance.  Some cases are read for historical background only - the law will change by the last case on a sub-topic.  Some cases are packed full of important essentials such as rules, policies, jurisdictional differences, important points of reasoning.  Some cases are included for just one smaller essential: a definition or an exception.

Cases need to be read at two levels. What are the important aspects to understand about the individual case itself? This level of reading focuses on the parts within a case and the specifics one needs to understand the case.  How does the case fit into a series of cases, into the sub-topic, and into the topic?  This level of reading focuses on the synthesis of the case into the larger body of law that one is learning. 

Cases are a starting point in the study of law rather than an ending point. Cases show us how judges think about the law.  Cases teach us how to extrapolate the most important aspects from the full opinion.  Cases provide us with "tools" for our toolkit so we can solve new legal problems.  Cases become illustrations in outlines rather than the basis of outlines.  Professors will not ask one to "recite everything you know about Case X" on their exams.

Cases are essential to the practice of law.  Lawyers read and analyze cases every day.  They are constantly searching for precedents that relate to their clients' cases.  Thus, the time spent in law school on reading and briefing is not merely an "ivory tower" exercise.  Students who become skilled at these tasks are making an investment in their future expertise.  Students who use canned briefs or headnotes as substitutes for these tasks ultimately shortchange their professional growth.    

Case reading and case briefing are important legal skills that take time to learn.  The process becomes faster as the law student becomes more expert at analysis.  It also becomes faster once the law student understands why we read cases.  (Amy Jarmon) 

September 20, 2010 in Miscellany, Reading, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Academic Success Opening at Albany Law

Position Opening: Assistant/Associate Professor of Academic Success

Albany Law School seeks applicants to expand its programs for bar examination services and its academic success program for "at risk" students. This is a full-time (12-month) non-tenure track position with the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor of Academic Success and will be eligible for long-term contract status.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The duties of this position are as follows:

To assist J.D. and LL.M students to adjust to the academic demands of law school and to develop the attitudes and skills necessary to reach their full academic potential for performance in law school, on the bar examination, and after graduation.

This includes:

Bar Examination Program Responsibilities:

1. Plan, administer, teach, and coordinate a for-credit bar preparation program both fall and spring semesters. The bar program will include, substantive coverage of core bar subjects, development of skills necessary for essay writing, multiple choice, and multi-state practice tests.

2. Meet with students individually to develop a bar preparation plan.

3. Meet with students individually to provide feedback on practice exams.

4. Prepare students for admission to the bar.

5. Update the Albany Law School Academic Success bar examination web page and other informational resources to provide information to all law students as to the nature of the bar exam, bar exam registration deadlines, logistics, commercial bar courses, character and fitness requirements, bar tested areas and courses, skills tested and finances for bar preparation.

6. Advise students on course selection.

7. Provide individual assistance and counseling through bar preparation period during February and July bar examinations.

8. Analyze bar exam results and provide regular reports concerning results.

9. Provide bar related information to faculty members regarding topics tested and recent bar exam questions in the faculty member’s area of teaching.

10. Serve as point person and coordinator for bar related efforts of the entire law school, including the Dean’s office, faculty, alumni, and students, including the Office of Alumni Affairs’ bar mentoring program.

Academic Success Program Responsibilities:

1. Teach a section of Applied Legal Reasoning, a mandatory first year course for "at risk" students.

2. Provide individual assistance to students on academic probation.

3. Assist the Director of Academic Success with programming for first year academic success including workshops available for all first year students.

4. Other duties as assigned.

This position will report to the Director of Academic Success and work closely with the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and other members of the faculty and staff.

Minimum Qualifications: Qualified candidates will have a J.D. degree from a nationally accredited law school, have membership in a state bar, have strong law school credentials and have 3-5 years experience in practice and/or teaching in an academic setting. Successful candidates will also possess knowledge of legal theory and analysis, have strong organizational, writing, speaking, interpersonal and other skills necessary to succeed in law school and on the bar examination.

Preferred Qualifications: Knowledge of learning theory, teaching experience, counseling and tutoring experience, administrative and/or supervisory experience, previous experience in an academic support program, and proven ability to work with at-risk students.

Albany Law School

Albany Law School is the oldest, independent law school in North America with a 159-year tradition of producing great lawyers. We are located in the capital of New York State, nestled between the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains. The Capital Region, with a population approaching one million, is home to seventeen colleges and universities. Albany is within a three-hour drive of New York City, Boston and Montreal, and is served by excellent highway, air, and rail transportation systems.

Albany Law School offers competitive pay and an excellent benefits package. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates should submit resume, letter of interest and writing sample using the contact information below. Deadline November 15 or until the position is filled. Anticipated start date is July 1, 2011.



September 20, 2010 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gabriela Ryan Joins Southwestern

We want to welcome Gabriela Ryan at Southwestern to the ASP community.

Paul Bateman alerted us through the listserv this summer that Gabriela was joining the academic support staff.  Here is part of the text of his e-mail introducing her:

Gabriela has been appointed Associate Professor of Law and Director of Southwestern's Academic Support and Bar Exam Related Programming.  Gabriela is assuming my former position as Director of Academic Support, as well as taking on responsibilities for bar exam support.

Gabriela comes to Southwestern from the University of Southern California Law School, where she most recently served as Assistant Dean and Dean of Students, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law.  

September 15, 2010 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome Jeremiah Ho to Washburn's ASP Program

Welcome to Jeremiah Ho who has joined ASP at Washburn.

Michael Hunter Schwartz alerted us through the listserv this summer to the arrival of Jeremiah Ho at Washburn University School of Law's program.  A modified version of Michael's listserv announcement is included here:

Jeremiah Ho has joined Washburn's academic success program, Ex-L at Washburn Law, as the inaugural Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (ILTL) Academic Success Fellow.  Jeremiah is not new to academic support (he previously taught in Whittier's academic support program). As an ILTL Fellow, Jeremiah will:

1. Design and implement an expanded version of Washburn's Ex-L bar pass program
2. Assess at least one aspect of Ex-L
3. Author a law review article on the teaching and learning subject of his choice (on which he will receive extensive feedback from one or both of the ILTL co-directors)
4. Co-teach a doctrinal course with one of the ILTL co-directors
5. Receive regular and in-depth feedback on all aspects of his work with Ex-L 
6. Assist with all other aspects of Ex-L
7. Receive training on all aspects of academic success work, including: program design, teaching, program assessment, professional development, and counseling.

The fellowship is designed as a one-year experience, but it may be extended to a second year by mutual agreement of the fellow and Washburn.


September 12, 2010 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Welcome Leslie Eanes to Charlotte School of Law

Please welcome Leslie Eanes to the ASP community. 

Anthea M. des Etages alerted us this summer to Leslie's arrival in ASP work at Charlotte School of Law.  Anthea's listserv post included the following background on Leslie:

Leslie originally hails from Martinsville, Virginia, and more recently from Atlanta, Georgia.  She attended Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law, where she participated in Mercer’s Habeas Project clinic and acted as the Student Writing Editor for the Mercer Law Review before graduating in the top 5% of her class.  Before relocating to Charlotte and joining the CharlotteLaw as our newest Academic Success Counselor, Leslie practiced labor and employment law in Atlanta and volunteered as a guardian ad litem in Fulton County Juvenile Court. 

September 10, 2010 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Please help us with contact information for your school for the upcoming ASP Survey

As was mentioned in an earlier posting on the blog, The Law School Academic Success Project is undertaking a survey of academic support programs/staffing with the assistance of LSAC.  So often we wish we had information about what other law schools are doing in the ASP area.

We need your help in making sure that your law school's correct contact person gets the survey.  Now is your chance to assist in assuring that we have the best data collection possible from all of us about our staffing patterns and program details.

John Mollenkamp posted an announcement on the ASP listserv several weeks ago. I have included his request below.   (Amy Jarmon)


As you may already know, we're trying to develop a Survey of Academic Support Programs in hopes of gathering data about what programming different law schools offer (and what staffing those programs have, among other things). Those familiar with the Legal Writing Survey may be glad to know that our planned survey is MUCH shorter.

But, to have a similar response rate (even for a shorter survey), we're going to need to find out who should answer the survey at each law school....

You can help us now, though, by coming forward (by reply e-mail OFF-LIST to [email protected]) and giving your name, school, and e-mail for purposes of getting the survey answered. If you have multiple folks at your school who might be interested in answering the survey, you'll need to collaborate and decide which person will be the contact person and the one to receive the survey (though you can all work on answering it). If we don't know the "right" person, we'll probably ultimately send it to a Dean found via a web search with hopes of it getting forwarded. This is not nearly as good, of course, as getting it directly to the person who knows the answers already.

Thank you for your help in getting the ASP Survey off to a great start. I'm also glad to answer any questions you might have about this project.

John Mollenkamp

Clinical Professor of Law

Director of Academic Support

Cornell Law School

(607) 255-0146

[email protected]

September 9, 2010 in Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Welcome to Christopher Ogolla at Texas Southern University

Chris Ogolla new Bar Prep Thurgood Marshall 

Christopher Ogolla joined the Academic Support Department at Thurgood Marshall School of Law/Texas Southern University as an Instructor in January 2010.  He teaches bar essay exam courses and conducts one-on-one academic support and bar preparation training sessions. 

Prior to joining ASP, Chris was an Associate at the Law Firm of Solomon M. Musyimi in Houston  where he prepared pretrial motions and wrote appellate briefs. He has: a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Nairobi Kenya; a Master of Arts in Anthropology and Master of Public Health in Community Health Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst; a J.D. from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University; and a LL.M. in Health Law from the University of Houston Law Centre.

Please make a point of getting to know Chris when you see him at the next conference or workshop! 


September 9, 2010 in Academic Support Spotlight | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

UC Davis School of Law Director of Academic Success Opening

Director of Academic Success (Director MSP I)

- Working under the indirect supervision of the Senior Assistant Dean for Student Affairs of the School of Law and working cooperatively with the law faculty, the Director will implement, manage, supervise, develop and refine all aspects of the law school's academic support program which helps students develop the academic skills necessary for success in law school, on the bar examination and in the practice of law. The Director accomplishes this through identification, planning, development, implementation and administration of group and individualized programs devoted to increasing academic success, including oversight of a budget to support these efforts. The Director is responsible for staffing, management, and administration of existing and proposed academic support programs. Responsibilities will include identifying at risk students in need of academic support; individual and group counseling on improving academic skills and curing academic deficiencies; conducting academic skills workshops for first year and upper division students; working one-on-one with students to create individualized programs for academic success; training and supervising law student teaching assistants conducting tutorial sessions for first year courses; teaching academic skills to first year and upper division students (including students on academic probation and at risk of academic probation); creation, management and implementation of bar examination preparation programs; and assisting with, refining and developing other academic support-related programs to meet developing needs.  

Application procedures can be found on the Human Resources website:

UC Davis School of Law - 40 Years of Excellence, Leadership and Community

September 8, 2010 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Director of Academic Support Position at Southern Illinois

Faculty Position: Director of the Academic Support Program

Southern Illinois University School of Law

Southern Illinois University School of Law, founded in 1973 to serve the public interest, seeks to fill a full time (9 or 12 months, to be negotiated with the Dean) tenure-track or tenured position in the area of academic support beginning in the 2011-12 academic year.

Title & Rank:

Director of the Academic Support Program — Assistant or Associate Professor of Law.

Minimum Qualifications:

The Juris Doctor degree or its equivalent from a nationally-accredited law school, and an outstanding law school academic record. Factors to be considered in assessing the academic record include: rank in class, selectivity of the J.D. degree (or its equivalent) granting institution, honors received, and other factors relevant to academic performance. To be eligible for appointment at the Associate Professor level, the candidate must have prior law school teaching experience and an established record of scholarship and contributions to the profession. Associate Professor candidates should be able to meet the requirements for tenure on the faculty of the School of Law.

Preferred Qualifications:

An advanced degree in education theory or a related discipline or one or more years of experience in a law school academic support program. Experience in student counseling, academic support, bar exam preparation, legal writing and analysis, or remedial teaching is preferred.

Duties & Responsibilities:

The Director of the Academic Support Program will develop and maintain a first-year program of academic success, including currently-required study groups, a second-year program for at risk students, and a bar preparation program. The Director will also have responsibility for: (a) teaching one classroom course per academic year to be negotiated with the Dean, (b) research and publication involving legal analysis of a high quality; (c) committee and other service work within the law school; and (d) university and public service. The Director’s responsibilities will also include: working with other faculty at developing specialized learning experiences, overseeing upper-class structured study group leaders, offering workshops, counseling students and being familiar with campus referral sources, monitoring student progress through the curriculum, and working with students on an individual basis. The Director’s position is a full time, tenure-track position based on a nine or twelve-month contract.

To apply:

Applications should be submitted electronically at A completed application will require a letter of application, a resumé, and the contact information for three references. The letter should be addressed to:

Paul McGreal, Chair, Personnel Committee

Southern Illinois University School of Law

Mail Code 6804

1150 Douglas Drive

Carbondale, Illinois 62901

Deadline for application:

October 15, 2010, or until position is filled.

SIUC is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer that strives to enhance its ability to develop a diverse faculty and staff and to increase its potential to serve a diverse student population. All applications are welcomed and encouraged and will receive consideration.

September 8, 2010 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Excellent Research on Studying: Common Wisdom is WRONG

The New York Times has a great article in their Mind section on the latest research on studying. I won't wade into the morass on learning styles (those of you on the LegalEd listserv know this has been going back and forth for a while) but the article does have some wonderful nuggets that are great for our students.

1) Mix up your location. Studying in one place all the time is less helpful than moving to different places. Give your mind a chance to associate the knowledge with multiple cues.

2) Mix up your study plan. It's better to study multiple related concepts than one thing for an extended period of time. Think of it as a warm up (review), the main event (reading, briefing), and cool down (quick test of what you learned.) Or mix up your subject areas when outlining instead of spending countless hours on just one subject. 

3) Testing is one of the best ways to learn something. That's right folks, us ASPer's were on to something when we told you that take practice tests. The harder the test, the more the information "sticks" in your mind. 

4) Cramming may help you finish a test, but don't expect much learning to come out of it. For law students, who are facing a bar exam at the conclusion of law school, this is crucial information. The NYT uses the analogy of a packed suitcase. If you choose a cheap suitcase and throw everything in haphazardly, it may make it to the destination (or maybe not) but don't expect it to last long or to come out looking very good. If you pack carefully, in a quality piece of luggage, not only will the (information) get where you need it to go, you will find it easier to find (information), and you will look much better in the end.

5) Space out your study sessions. This is an extension of # 4.  “The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning,” said Dr. Kornell. “When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.” So sleep on it. Sleep and fun are important components of learning; they give you a chance to forget and consolidate your knowledge.  (RCF)

September 7, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Preparing for excellence

Most law students could improve in their academics.  Usually the deterrent to doing better is one's not preparing to excel.  What do I mean?  I mean that students can set themselves up for success (just as they can set themselves up for failure).  Here are some thoughts on how law students can prepare for excellence:

  • Be the best law student possible.  This means working up to one's full potential rather than settling for less.  Some law students meander from course to course without any attempts at improvement.  All law students should evaluate their study habits each semester to determine what worked well and what needs to be changed.  They should also review exams with their professors to find out what test-taking strategies worked and what test-taking errors they need to correct. 
  • Strive for excellence and not perfection.  Law students may have sought perfection on assignments and tests during undergraduate school because the workload was much lighter and the material less challenging.  High grades were often easier to come by because the level of competition was less.  Perfectionism is a common characteristic among law students.  However, it can actually lead to poor grades and/or a miserable three years.  Perfectionism can lead to overworking on assignments, mismanagement of time, exhaustion from lack of sleep, and frustration at not getting one's prior high grades.  It is better to strive for efficiency and effectiveness which are attainable standards.
  • Compete with oneself rather than others.  The competition among law students can lead to unfortunate characteristics or behaviors.  It is not unusual for competition to go too far and result in either negative behaviors towards others to minimize their worth and achievements (gossip, back-stabbing, rumors, put-downs, cliques) or negative comparisons of one's own abilities (depression, feelings of mediocrity, jealousy, lack of motivation).  By focusing on improving one's own academics, there is always upward mobility possible without unhelplful dynamics or comparisons.
  • Study for depth and understanding.  Law study takes a serious time commitment.  Some students mistakenly think that memorizing the rules is enough for excelling academically.  Other students take shortcuts by using class scripts or course outlines from prior students.  Either of these approaches leads to superficial learning. Memorization is not enough because excellence requires application of the law and in-depth analysis.  Shortcuts depend on another person's processing and understanding rather than one's own understanding.

I would encourage students to prepare for excellence.  I would encourage them to live up to their academic potential rather than assume that "the grading curve" or "the competition" prevent them from improving their grades.  (Amy Jarmon)        

September 3, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)