Saturday, November 6, 2021

Director of Academic Achievement at St. Thomas School of Law

OVERVIEW

The University of St. Thomas invites qualified candidates to apply for a/an Director of Academic Achievement and Bar Success position within the School of Law. 

The University of St. Thomas embraces diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity for all. Our convictions of dignity, diversity and personal attention call us to embody and champion a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.  We welcome applicants of diverse races, ethnicities, geographic origins, gender identities, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religions, work experience, physical and intellectual abilities, and financial means. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. This commitment is consistent with our mission: Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, work skillfully, and act wisely to advance the common good.  A successful candidate will possess a commitment to the ideals of this mission.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY

The University of St. Thomas offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits program, which includes:

  • Up to 100% tuition remission for employees, spouses, and dependents upon eligibility
  • A generous Employer retirement contribution of 9.4% of annual salary upon eligibility
  • Medical, dental, and vision options
  • Employer-paid disability, life, and AD&D benefits

JOB SUMMARY

The Director will further develop and implement St. Thomas Law’s programming to support students’ academic development, to equip all JD graduates for success on the bar exam, and to assist candidates with the bar application process.

The Director will work closely with faculty and staff (particularly the Registrar, the Career and Professional Development Office (CPD), and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) to: develop and present programming for all JD students concerning academic success and bar readiness; provide tailored assistance for at-risk students including advising, coaching, instruction, and referrals to resources; offer bar-related advising and support to individual students on matters such as character and fitness concerns or course selection; teach/oversee law school courses in support of law student academic success and bar passage; and track and analyze relevant data related to bar passage and other academic success metrics. The Director is invited to participate as appropriate in workshops, faculty meetings, and Law School events.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Tailored Support for Individual Students (40%)
    • Coordinate with faculty, the registrar, CPD, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and others to systematically identify at-risk students and develop strategies for providing individualized support from these sources.
    • Deliver advising, assessment, and coaching support to JD students, especially for those near or below thresholds for academic probation, or who present risk factors correlated to lower bar passage rates.
    • Develop and implement individualized Bar Success Plans to address barriers, refer students to appropriate support resources, and assist students to develop core study, legal analysis, and exam-writing skills.
    • Provide strategic advising to individual JD students about bar application, including but not limited to: character and fitness concerns; professional considerations with respect to the location and timing of bar application; and advance planning for the financial and time commitments required for bar success.
    • Conduct direct outreach to recent graduates to promote completion of bar preparation courses and provide assistance addressing barriers interfering with bar preparation.
    • Hold regular office hours for students with questions about the bar exam and application process.
  • Bar-Related Programming (15%)
    • Develop and present programming, both live and online, to inform all JD students, at appropriate times in their law school career, about important bar-related issues such as bar exam elements, knowledge and skills necessary for exam success, character and fitness issues, and strategic considerations around bar application and preparation.
    • Co-direct, with the Director of CPD, the JD Compass Program; hire, train and supervise JD Compass Strategists, assist in the assignment of students to a cohort, and provide content and direction for the individualized and programmatic support the strategists offer to each student taking the bar exam.
    • Develop and present workshops in the months before each bar exam administration date to supplement graduates’ bar study with commercial providers.
    • Advise the faculty and the administration on relevant matters including bar preparation initiatives and state bar examination and admission policies.
    • Establish and maintain relationships with bar examiners in Minnesota and other jurisdictions to propose improvements in the bar application process and the bar exam.
    • Establish and maintain relationships with commercial bar exam providers, manage the providers presence on campus and become familiar with commercial products.
    • Be attentive to best practices and scholarship regarding academic support and bar preparation.
  • Academic Success Programming (15%)
    • Develop and present programming, both live and online, to provide academic success guidance and resources to JD students, especially at the entry point to the first year.
    • Promote strategies to address potential barriers to academic success in diverse populations, including first-generation students, minority groups, and those with identified learning challenges.
  • Teaching (20%)
    • Teach academic support and/or bar prep related courses and possibly oversee others who might be teaching such courses.  Update course materials to reflect bar exam content when necessary, integrate best practices into the curriculum and refine pedagogical approach to maximize learning, retention and application.
  • Data Tracking, Analysis, and Follow-up (10%)
    • Coordinate with the Registrar to maintain bar passage records for institutional reporting and analysis, including annual ABA accreditation-related survey.
    • Analyze JD student data to identify risk factors and review risk factors with students.
    • Coordinate with commercial bar preparation vendors to track graduates’ registration with and progress through commercial bar preparation courses; ensure each student has retained a commercial provider.
    • Coordinate with faculty, administration, and commercial bar preparation to collect and analyze data on graduates’ success on the bar exam and its specific components, to provide a feedback loop to strengths and opportunities for growth in the law school curriculum and preparation for the bar.

QUALIFICATIONS

Minimum Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor Degree from an ABA-accredited law school plus three years of relevant experience

  • Bar membership in a US jurisdiction (may be inactive)

  • Demonstrated effective oral and written communication with both individuals and large groups

  • Interpersonal skills relevant to individualized academic counseling and coaching

  • Knowledge of learning and teaching strategies for law students and other adult learners

  • Experience working with, and demonstrated commitment to supporting, diverse population.
  • Commitment to the School of Law’s mission.

Preferred Qualifications

  • At least three years of experience in law practice
  • Strong academic achievement, particularly in law school
  • Employment in a law school or with a commercial bar preparation vendor, particularly in connection with academic and bar success
  • Higher education teaching experience
  • Advising, counseling, or tutoring experience
  • Experience working with students with disabilities, including non-apparent disabilities
     

HOW TO APPLY

All interested candidates must apply online at https://www.stthomas.edu/jobs/. Follow the instructions to complete an online application which includes creating or updating an applicant profile, uploading a resume, and completing a job specific application.

In light of its commitment to create and maintain a safe learning and working environment, employment with the University of St. Thomas requires consent and successful completion of a background screening and requires COVID-19 vaccination or an approved exemption.


The University of St. Thomas, Minnesota Human Resources Department advertises the official job listing on its website at www.stthomas.edu/jobs.

The University of St. Thomas is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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