Thursday, March 31, 2011

Golden Gate Bar Exam Services Position

Rod Fong has posted the following position information to the ASP listserv:

Golden Gate University School of Law is expanding its Bar Exam Services Program.  It has created a new position of Bar Exam Counselor to work with students in their preparation for state bar examinations, with particular emphasis on the California Bar Examination.


Qualified applicants will have a JD and membership in the State Bar of California; experience in preparing students for the bar exam, at least two years preferred; experienced using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint; and experience grading California bar exam is preferred, but not required.  Attached is the full description of the position with a listing of the essential functions.

Candidates can apply on-line at or by sending a resume and cover letter to me at [email protected].  The deadline is April 15, 2011.


Golden Gate University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The university has a strong commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion, and to maintaining working and learning environments that reinforces these practices. The university welcomes and encourages applications from women, minorities, people of color, persons with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQI community.




March 31, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Position Opening at University of Denver Sturm Law in Academic Achievement/Bar Passage

Scott Johns, Lecturer and Director of Bar Passage, recently posted the following information on the ASP listserv regarding a job opening:

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law is searching for a person to serve in a faculty position as a law-lecturer in the law school's academic achievement program or bar passage program.

Position details and application instructions are available at

In addition, please feel free to visit us at to view short video presentations for an overview of program initiatives including the academic achievement program (currently available for watching) and the bar success program (video available soon).

In the interim, please feel free to directly contact Mary Steefel, Director of Academic Achievement, at 303-871-6405, or Scott Johns, Director of Bar Passage, at 303-871-6763, for more information about the position, the programs, and the law school. Finally, please feel free to forward the announcement to friends and colleagues who might be interested.

March 30, 2011 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Job Openings: 2 jobs in disability services (related to ASP, but not ASP)

Below are two job listings related to ASP, but not in ASP. Disability services are often a part of an ASPer's duties, and these jobs require a working knowledge of the ADA and FERPA.

Assistant Director of Disability Services, Suffolk University

Suffolk University is seeking an Assistant Director of Disability Services. Our office works with approximately 350 undergraduate and graduate students. The position is available immediately. For more information please follow this link.

Coordinator, Student Life/Disability Services for Students, University of Rhode Island

This is a fulltime, permanent position.  Visit our website at to apply and to view complete details for job posting (#6000422).  Applications for electronic submission will end on April 7, 2011, and will require two attachments in PDF format: 1) a cover letter, and 2) CV which includes the names and contact information for three references, one of which should be a previous supervisor.  The University of Rhode Island is an AA/EEOD employer and values diversity.

March 29, 2011 in Disability Matters, Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Job opening: Director of Academic Services, Whittier Law School

                                                        Director of Academic Services

                                                Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, California

Whittier Law School seeks a full-time Director of Academic Services for the 2011-2012 academic year.  This is a twelve-month non-tenure track position with eligibility for long-term contracts.  The Assistant Dean for Bar and Academic Services will provide supervision for the Director.

Qualifications:  A Juris Doctorate from an ABA accredited law school or an advanced degree in educational psychology or theory; at least three years experience in a law school academic support program, in student counseling, or in teaching; knowledge of current developments in the field; excellent written and oral communication skills; and strong administrative and supervisory skills.

Duties and Responsibilities:  Along with the Assistant Dean for Bar and Academic Services, the Director of Academic Services will develop, implement, and manage the law school's academic services program.  The program includes academic skills workshops or courses for first year and upper division students, as well as one-on-one work with students to design individualized programs for academic success.  The Director also will work with at-risk students who need academic support, including students in jeopardy of disqualification and those on academic probation.

To apply:  Please submit an electronic application that contains a cover letter, a resume and contact information for three references, to:

            Jon Baumunk, Assistant Dean for Bar and Academic Services

            Whittier Law School

            3333 Harbor Boulevard

            Costa Mesa, CA  92626

            [email protected]


All inquiries will be kept confidential.  Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Application deadline:  April 1, 2011, or until position is filled.

Whittier Law School is an equal opportunity employer and has a strong commitment to diversity.

March 24, 2011 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Job opening: Director of Academic Success, Valparaiso

Director of Academic Success Program

The Valparaiso University School of Law invites applicants for the position of Director of Academic Success Program. This is a non‐faculty full‐time administrative position with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2011 and a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The Director will design, implement, and oversee all aspects of the Law School’s academic success programs, including efforts before matriculation and after graduation, and will work with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to provide academic support to law students. The Director will have primary responsibility for working with law students to help them adjust to the academic demands of law school and to develop skills to reach their full academic potential for performance in law school, on the bar exam, and after graduation. Responsibilities include:

• Design and implement innovative and effective academic support programs

• Coordinate the summer ASP program for new students

• Teach workshops and/or classes for students who need academic support

• Work with students in individual and small group sessions

• Track the academic progress of at‐risk students and students in academic difficulty

• Teach Legal Methods, a required course for first‐year students on academic probation, and Advanced

Legal Studies for third‐year students, a for‐credit bar prep course

• Work with students and graduates planning to take a bar exam to help them design a study and preparation process that will better enable them to be successful on the bar exam

Qualifications for this position:

• J.D. degree from an A.B.A. approved law school; strong law school credentials

• Admitted to a state bar

• One to three years teaching experience (Law experience without teaching experience will generally not be sufficient)

• Ability to work with at‐risk students

• Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills

• It is expected that the successful applicant will demonstrate a commitment to cultural diversity and the ability to work with individuals or groups from diverse backgrounds

The priority deadline for receipt of applications is April 8, 2011. The search will remain open until the position is filled.

Please submit an electronic letter of interest and resume to:

[email protected]

• Please direct all questions to [email protected]

March 23, 2011 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Job opening: Director of Bar Programs at Cal Western

California Western School of Law seeks applicants for the Director of Bar Programs.

The Director of Bar Programs is responsible for staffing and teaching bar preparation programs for second and third year law students, as well as assisting students studying for the California bar examination. To be effective, the Director must stay abreast of developments in the California bar exam; develop and maintain a high level of knowledge about academic support and bar preparation programs; and supervise small group instructors.  The Director also advises the faculty and administration as to all bar preparation matters and makes periodic reports about bar passage.

Requirements:  (1) a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school with a record of academic success; (2) at least two years of law teaching experience, preferably in a bar preparation program; (3) strong skills in course planning, classroom presentation, formative and summative assessment, as well as the ability to counsel and tutor individual students; (4) superior written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills; (5) the ability to think imaginatively and critically about how to measurably improve law student bar performance and to design, implement, and manage programs to promote that development; (6) the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse population of students, faculty, and staff; and (7) good organization, judgment, and flexibility.

A competitive salary commensurate with qualifications is available.  California Western is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity.

The Search Committee is currently accepting applications and will do so until April 15, 2011 the position is filled.  The preferred start date is July 1, 2011Applicants must submit: (1) a cover letter describing their qualifications and salary requirements; and (2) a curriculum vitae to Assistant Dean for Academic Achievement Marilyn Scheininger at [email protected].

Founded in 1924, California Western is a private, independent law school located in downtown San Diego, California.  Please visit our website at

March 22, 2011 in Job Descriptions, Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Learning your teaching style

We write a lot about discovering student's learning and processing styles. But few of us spend a lot of time thinking about our teaching styles. We teach the way we were taught, the way that feels most comfortable to us, or the way we are told to teach by our employer. A handful of people change their teaching style based on what they learn at conferences. As ASPer's, we busy, and few of us have a lot of downtime to think about why we teach the way we teach and reflect on our teaching style.

I am using teaching style in the broadest possible way; all the things you do to prepare to teach and how you teach students. This is unique to every individual. Learning is a complex interplay between teachers, students, and students and peers. We all have preferences. We all need to understand our preferences to do our best to help students learn.

The one-on-one teacher: Whenever I go to a conference, I hear attendees talking that one-on-one is the best method for teaching students. It is assumed, not discussed. I have heard countless times "I could teach them anything, if I just had enough time to teach them one-on-one." No one seems to question the validity of the statement. One-on-one teaching is a teaching style, and one that does not work best for everyone. It is not true that everyone could teach anyone anything if they could just work with them one-on-one. It is a great method if it is your strength, but it is not everyone's strength. I  a lot of former practitioners prefer one-on-one's because it is how they worked with clients. My message to new teachers is that they should think before they assume this is the best way to reach all students. It's not the best way, it is a preference. Just as we would not assume there is a best learning or processing style for students, don't assume one-on-one's are the best teaching method because that is what you hear from colleagues.

The student-group leader-teacher: This is a common way of delivering ASP at many law schools. ASP professionals are expected to teach students to lead groups of students. There are some brilliant ASper's who use this method to great success; Joanne Koren at Miami and Mike Schwartz at Washburn immediately come to mind. However, there is no one master method for teaching student leaders to run student study groups. If you are an intuitive teacher, teaching students to teach students is difficult. Intuitive teachers are ones whose teaching reflects the needs and the makeup of the class. It is a more spontaneous, reactive way to teach, although it requires as much, if not more, preparation. Intuitive teachers master the subject material so that they can change the direction of the class on the fly to reflect how the class is moving that day. If this is your teaching style, it is difficult to translate this method to student leaders. You cannot tell student leaders to master the subject material. Most intuitive teachers have significant classroom experience, and it is rare for a student leader to have the teaching experience to be intuitive with the students they are leading. Intuitive teachers can learn how other teachers teach student leaders, but it is not their preference. And there is nothing wrong with finding that is not the best way to reach students.

The classroom teacher: Not everyone is cut out to be a traditional classroom teacher. There are some magnificent, awe-inspiring classroom teachers in ASP and doctrinal teaching, such as Rory Badahur at Washburn or Paula Manning at Western State. If you don't prefer classroom teaching, it doesn't mean you aren't a good teacher. It means your preference may be one-on-one or leading student leaders. I find that there is a spectrum, at one end are pure classroom teachers, and at the other, pure one-on-one teachers. Most people are somewhere along that spectrum. The difference is in how the teachers use peer learning. Classroom teachers need to cede control of learning to the students to be successful. This is not something everyone is comfortable doing. You need to build trust between teacher (you) and the students, and trust between peers. This is a skill. It's much easier for student's to feel safe in a one-on-one than it is for a class to feel safe. Safety is critical to learning because students need to push boundaries in order to learn, to move outside of their comfort zone, and to risk being wrong.

Every teacher needs to do some of every type of teaching. However, everyone has preferences in how they work with students. My message to new teachers--there is not a right or wrong preference, no master method that is most successful with students. When a colleague, even a very respected colleague, tells you that they have found a method that works best with students, realize they have found their method that works best based on their teaching preferences. That method may not work best for you. You need to reflect on your skill set and your preferences. The method that is most likely to reach your students is the method that reflects your preferences and strengths.

I have a non-ASP colleague at the undergrad who is one of the most brilliant one-on-one teachers I have ever observed. However, this teacher dislikes classroom teaching, and finds it ineffectual at reaching students. This educator was reflective during the job search, and found a position that consists primarily of one-on-one instruction, with limited classroom time. I am fascinated by one-on-one methods because I greatly prefer classroom teaching, and find a full day of one-on-ones to be draining, and for many students, counter-productive. I find students understand much more from peer learning in a class than in a one-on-one. I find that students are better at translating their misunderstanding of material to each other than to me. My colleague and I both receive great evaluations reflective of our respective teaching preferences. Our student body overlaps, so we know that the evals are not reflecting student preferences (i.e., students who like one-on-ones going to the colleague, students who like classroom teaching to me), but our strengths.

My message to new teachers: reflect on your preferences and your strengths. Your students will learn best when you play to your strengths as a teacher. There is no one master method of reaching students. Just as we respect student learning and processing differences, respect teaching preferences. (RCF)

March 19, 2011 in Advice, Learning Styles, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What to do during spring break? Student edition

This is an update Amy or one of the editors does almost every year. For those new to ASP, spring break is the time when two types of students come to see you: those who want to know what to do during spring break, and those students who are behind yet have plans for spring break.

For those students who want to know what to do over spring break, start by assessing where they are now. Have they started their outlines/course summaries? Have they taken any practice tests or worked on practice questions? Do they have a study plan for the rest of the semester? Start with the obvious; if they aren't where they need to be now, put together a plan to use spring break as a chance to catch up. Be sure to give them time to relax. Spring break should not be so jam-packed with law school work that the student does not get a chance to recharge their batteries. The semester starts to move at warp speed after spring break, and they need to be ready to work when they come back.

For those students who are behind, in denial, or are planning a spring break without law school work, sit down with them and assess what they have done and what they need to do. Many times, these students feel like they have more time to study after the break than they really do. Sometimes, the act of sitting down and looking at what needs to be done is the moment they wake up. For other students, especially students who are struggling but in denial about they amount of work they need to do to be prepared for exams, a sit-down is not enough. One way to reach those students is to ask them how they are planning to study. By asking them questions instead of telling them what they need to do, they don't start on the defensive when they meet with you. Often, these students are certain they have a plan in place that will fix the issues they had in the fall. By asking them how their plan will accomplish their goals they can begin to see that they need to get working. Even if the student plans on heading out to Cancun, Jamaica, or elsewhere, long plane rides are a great opportunity to get some sustained study time in before they relax. Even a little study time is better than no study time.

As for ASPer's, use spring break as an opportunity to recharge your batteries as well. (RCF)

March 15, 2011 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Still room for the NY ASP Workshop in April

The following is a recent listserv posting from Kris Franklin about the upcoming ASP Workshop (modified because of format problems - still not perfect):

Dear Friends,

A tentative agenda for this year’s NY Academic Support Workshop, to be held at Brooklyn Law school from 9:30-5 on Friday April 1, as pasted on below.  There may still be room for one or two agenda items, and there’s definitely room for folks to join in the conversation even if not leading a discussion.  If you’d like to come for even part of the day, please email me at

[email protected] or Linda Feldman at [email protected]

.  If I’ve left anyone off who has already rsvp’d, my apologies (just let us know and we’ll make the needed corrections).

Workshop participants, if you have materials to share, please send them to Linda as soon as possible so that we can bind them and make copies available to everyone who is coming.  We’re so looking forward to seeing you all, and to what looks like a comprehensive and exciting event.

Kris Franklin

New York Law School

Current topics for the NY Workshop:

Designing the curriculum through ASP eyes

Pursuing a curriculum that promotes a cycle of learning throughout law school and practice; Twinette Johnson & Joyce Savio Herleth, Saint Louis

Thought experiments in crucially (re)evaluating law school teaching; Mary Lu Bilek, CUNY

Working with student services and faculty committees; Charlotte Taylor & Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus, Touro

ASP courses for credit: adding them and teaching them; roundtable facilitated by Everett Chambers

What teaching business law to undergrads can teach us about curriculum construction; Shane Anthony Dizon, NYU

Improving law students’ reasoning and analysis

Contemporaneous processing in student conferences; Alison Nissen, Rutgers

Formative assessment of essay writing skills; Heddy Muransky, Nova Southeastern

All I need to know I learned playing Apples-to-Apples™; Kris Franklin, NYLS

Pros and cons of a non-graded legal analysis practicum; Robin Boyle, St. John’s

Open agenda

Creating an effective learning environment for students from under-represented communities; Micah Yarbrough, Widener

Is there such a thing as "too much" academic support?; Danielle Bifulci Kocal, PACE

How can upper-level students help to run an ASP program?; Jessica Pollock Simon, U Penn

Closed book/open book exams and bar passage; Angela Baker, Rutgers/Camden

Dancing your way to academic success; Haley Meade & Danielle Friedman, NYLS


March 2, 2011 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PowerPoint for Teaching and Learning

I sat in on an Business Law class yesterday. I sat in the back of the classroom, so I had a nice view of all the open laptops in front of me. I was impressed with how few students were using their laptops inappropriately during class time; I could see only two in a class of over fifty students. Most law professors can only dream of a class with so few students playing games. I was intrigued with how the students were taking notes on their laptops, and I think this method can be of great use in law school classrooms.

The PowerPoints are digitally distributed ahead of time, so students can load the slides on their computer before the start of class. The slides were also projected at the front of the room. The students with computers almost universally had the PowerPoints open, in the "notes page" format. (For those of you unfamiliar with the notes page: in newest version of MS PP, go to the "view" tab at the top of the screen, and on the far left of the format bar, there is a tab for "Normal", "Slide Sorter" and "Notes page". Click on "notes page".) From the notes page format, students could see thePowerPoint on the screen, and take notes underneath. I had never seen students do this before, but it made sense that this was an excellent technique for organizing notes. The notes correspond with the lecture. If a student misses a word during the lecture, they can figure out the context by looking at where they were in the presentation.

The instructor had an interesting method of using PowerPoint as an instructional tool. The slides were used as place keepers for the lecture. Each slide had text outlining a major point, along with some fun visuals, such as a picture of the schoolhouse from Brown v. Board of Education. The PowerPoints did not outline the lecture, just the main point of the topic. Students could not use the PowerPoints as a substitute for class attendance. Therefore, it did not matter if he distributed them before class. I know law school professors fear distributing their PowerPoints because they fear it will create an incentive for students to miss class or play during class. However, what I observed in the class was that the students were MORE tuned in to class lecture. If they lost their place in the lecture, the students did not feel as if they were lost for the rest of the class. They could figure out the context by looking at the slide.

I know that using scaffolds such as PowerPoint help students learn material. I know all the theoretical reasons why PowerPoint is a great tool. This was the first time I saw how student behavior matched the theoretical reasons for using PowerPoint. Most of the research I have read on using scaffolds, such as PowerPoint, to learn in class were based on student's assessment of their own learning, which does not always correspond with appropriate behavior in class. This was my first experience  witnessing the positive change in student classroom behavior when scaffolds are used appropriately. This is definitely a technique I will adopt in my classes in the future. (RCF)


March 1, 2011 in Learning Styles, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)