Monday, April 1, 2019

Unbiased Perspectives

ASP hiring season is in full swing.  Some schools are adding a new position while others are just adding a new person to a current position.  Schools will start planning the tasks and projects for new hires.  Many plans will focus on immediate needs of bar takers or the upcoming 1L program.  Don’t forget to also plan for observation and feedback from this new outside perspective.

We have all heard stories about outside ASP faculty coming to a law school and basically telling the faculty the same thing the internal ASP director said for years.  The outside perspective grabbed them though.  The same thing happens with students.  Other faculty, students, or bar prep lecturers can say the same thing as the bar prep director, but students have an epiphany talking to someone else.  Outside perspectives have influence.  Nancy did a great job discussing the phenomenon in her post last week.

Schools can utilize the outside expert experience to evaluate our programs.  Outside sources’ unbiased perspective can provide unique insight for program improvement.  Business leaders say a new employee’s view is the most valuable the first 2-4 months.  They aren’t entrenched in the status quo or how programs always run.  They bring in insight from previous experience and tend to ask why we do certain actions.  The insight and questions can help shine light into areas for improvement in our departments.

Many of us have a great opportunity.  When new people arrive in our department, have them provide observations after their first month or two.  Encourage them to evaluate the program and provide their perspective.  The insight could illuminate some of our blind spots.

(Steven Foster)

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