Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

Before getting to the scholarship spotlight, I would be remiss if I did not mention yesterday's important event.  The AALS Sections on Academic Support and Legal Writing jointly put on a webinar entitled "Ensuring Equality in Legal Academia: Strategies to Dismantle Caste."  Featuring law deans who taught legal writing and/ or academic support in their careers, each panelist brought helpful insights into the many problematic facets of illegitimate hierarchies in the legal academy.  

This should be mandatory watching for ASP faculty (and all others as well), and the link is embedded above.  Congrats to all for an outstanding session.  

Now, the scholarship spotlight:

1.  James M. Lang (Assumption College, English Department), Should We Stop Grading Class Participation? (Paywall), Chronicle of Higher Education (April 9, 2021).

From the article:

I no longer grade class participation. I seem to be in the minority on that, based on my conversations with other faculty members. But I have come to believe that grading student participation is a poor pedagogical choice, and that a better alternative exists. Here I’ll explain why — and how I cultivate participation in my courses, even without hanging a grade-based incentive over my students’ heads.

2.  David Adam Friedman (Willamette), Do We Need a Bar Exam... for Experienced Lawyers?, 12 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. ___ (2022).

From the abstract:

The fierce determination to require a bar exam during the COVID-19 pandemic left quite an impression on new lawyers entering the profession. State bars and state supreme courts made their position clear: the bar exam provides a screening function necessary to safeguard the public. Many disagreed.

Even a cursory look at attorney discipline reveals that the lawyers who get into disciplinary trouble are not mostly new lawyers. The lawyers who get into trouble tend to be more experienced lawyers, who have not had any formal or objective tests of their ability to function since their original bar exam pass. The only check on their performance is discipline after harm has been done.

(Louis Schulze, FIU Law)


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