Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, May 28, 2018

My AASE Takeaway Sheet

AASE was awesome again this year.  I want to first say Thank You to Toni and everyone at Saint Louis University School of Law.  They did an excellent job putting on the conference.  AASE’s programming committee put together an exceptional slate of presenters.  Just as previous years, I learned from all of the sessions I attended.  It was a great experience.

I will provide a handful of my small takeaways I want to easily implement next year.  I will need more time to think about the more ambitious projects I learned about.

  1. Shane Dizon provided good illustrations and charts for outlining and legal analysis. I teach all 1Ls and use different exercises to illustrate IRAC.  He presented an inverted pyramid with the broad rule at the top getting more narrow with exceptions at the bottom to help students better organize a linear outline.  His essay boxes for rule and application in his handout makes following IRAC easy.  I always try to introduce different exercises to reach more students, and I think his handout will help.
  1. Goals in Google Calendar. I am always late to new tech features, so forgive me if you already use google goals.  Someone referenced google goals where google will find time in someone’s google calendar to schedule activities to meet the goal you set, ie – exercise, read, etc.  This feature will be great if I switch to google’s calendar.  I can have it fit in research/writing, exercise, and anything other goal I want to set.  I plan to teach more about habits to 1Ls next year, so I will show it to them as well.  Click here for more information.
  1. I believe Alison Nissen and Stephanie Thompson’s presentation about deepening analysis in essay writing is where I picked up the good cooking analogies. Analogies are great tools to help students better understand information.  My problem is the vast majority of my analogies are from sports.  Sports fanatics love how I explain some concepts, but non-sports fans don’t get as much from the discussion.  The PB&J and Cookie explanation from this presentation was great.  The activity forces students to go step-by-step with how to make cookies or a PB&J sandwich.  Students inevitably want to skip numerous steps (ie – go to the pantry, retrieve bread, etc.).  I love the idea of making them give every detail of a task that seems so obvious.  This activity also explains how professors award points very well.
  1. I am a member of my school’s assessment committee, so I enjoyed hearing about SLU’s service based learning outcomes. The way the faculty empowered students to take ownership and serve the community during very difficult situations is outstanding.  I want to look more at their language and figure out how we can empower our students better.
  1. I plan to find the ABC hidden camera show where a bike theft is staged by people of different ethnicities and genders. Bystanders reacted much differently depending on the person stealing the bike.  I think the show can help introduce bias to our students.

I could keep going with all the different ideas I heard about, but I want to focus on only a handful of ideas.  None of those ideas will transform legal education, but every idea I plan to implement has the potential to change an individual student’s legal education.  Every small change to reach one more student is important to that student and all his/her future clients.  Thank you to the presenters for having that impact on my students.

Of course, AASE is outstanding because of all the attendees.  Seeing colleagues from across the country, and interacting with new faces is always fun.  From Russell McClain’s walking shoes and Paula Manning’s precise timing to seeing former Aggie ASP directors now living coast to coast, the people are what make AASE great.  I can’t wait to see everyone again next year.

(Steven Foster)

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