Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Strength in Numbers

Today is the first day of the 7th Annual Association of Academic Support Educators [AASE] National Conference.  This year well over 200 law school academic support educators are gathering in Seattle, Washington, to share what we have learned about how to help our students succeed in law school and on the bar examination.  For me, it is an enlightening pleasure every year to swap stories and strategies with my brilliant colleagues.

Today's lead-off plenary session, presented by Michael Barry and Zoe Niesel of St. Mary's University School of Law and Isabel F. Peres of Seattle University School of Law, discussed the use of robust data analysis to create predictive models to help identify and calibrate the guidance provided to specific students in preparation for the bar exam.  Several other sessions on the agenda this week address the need to use specific, articulable information throughout the process of providing academic support: from laying out detailed strategic plans to assessing student development to predicting bar passage rates.  Certainly, like any mature field of study in which reliable and reproducible outcomes are valued, academic success recognizes the importance of definition, measurement, recording, and scrutiny.

Part of me feels there is an irony in this, in that the AASE Conference is also an opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most accomplished veterans in the field, people whose spontaneous intuition often appears to be more perceptive and accurate than a detailed mathematical data analysis.  Not only that, there is also a pervasive insistence throughout the Conference on recognizing the ineluctable humanity of each student -- of seeing every one not just as a set of numbers, but as an unpredictable human with immeasurable potential.  The numbers might tell us that student X has a 64% chance of passing the bar, but we might nevertheless work with X as if we sense he really has a 90% chance -- and in doing so, might even help X move from 64% to 90%.

The reality, of course, is that there is no contradiction.  Experienced and gifted professionals are observant; they work with data they may not even be consciously aware of when they assess a student's strengths and weaknesses.  In that context, rigorous scientific analysis can be just as much about confirming the deep knowledge of the veteran as about uncovering previously unsuspected truths.  It can also be about articulating facts and relationships observed by others through long experience in ways that make those facts and truths easier to explain to those new to the field.

Thus, our annual conferences are a double celebration of strength in numbers, recognizing not only the value of sharing the wisdom and lore of our most experienced professionals in a group setting, but also the importance of capturing and confirming this wisdom through data that can back up our intuition, guide our choices, and persuade skeptical students and colleagues.

[Bill MacDonald]

May 21, 2019 in Academic Support Spotlight, Current Affairs, Encouragement & Inspiration, Meetings, Professionalism, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Strength in Numbers

Today is the first day of the 7th Annual Association of Academic Support Educators [AASE] National Conference.  This year well over 200 law school academic support educators are gathering in Seattle, Washington, to share what we have learned about how to help our students succeed in law school and on the bar examination.  For me, it is an enlightening pleasure every year to swap stories and strategies with my brilliant colleagues.

Today's lead-off plenary session, presented by Michael Barry and Zoe Niesel of St. Mary's University School of Law and Isabel F. Peres of Seattle University School of Law, discussed the use of robust data analysis to create predictive models to help identify and calibrate the guidance provided to specific students in preparation for the bar exam.  Several other sessions on the agenda this week address the need to use specific, articulable information throughout the process of providing academic support: from laying out detailed strategic plans to assessing student development to predicting bar passage rates.  Certainly, like any mature field of study in which reliable and reproducible outcomes are valued, academic success recognizes the importance of definition, measurement, recording, and scrutiny.

Part of me feels there is an irony in this, in that the AASE Conference is also an opportunity to work with and learn from some of the most accomplished veterans in the field, people whose spontaneous intuition often appears to be more perceptive and accurate than a detailed mathematical data analysis.  Not only that, there is also a pervasive insistence throughout the Conference on recognizing the ineluctable humanity of each student -- of seeing every one not just as a set of numbers, but as an unpredictable human with immeasurable potential.  The numbers might tell us that student X has a 64% chance of passing the bar, but we might nevertheless work with X as if we sense he really has a 90% chance -- and in doing so, might even help X move from 64% to 90%.

The reality, of course, is that there is no contradiction.  Experienced and gifted professionals are observant; they work with data they may not even be consciously aware of when they assess a student's strengths and weaknesses.  In that context, rigorous scientific analysis can be just as much about confirming the deep knowledge of the veteran as about uncovering previously unsuspected truths.  It can also be about articulating facts and relationships observed by others through long experience in ways that make those facts and truths easier to explain to those new to the field.

Thus, our annual conferences are a double celebration of strength in numbers, recognizing not only the value of sharing the wisdom and lore of our most experienced professionals in a group setting, but also the importance of capturing and confirming this wisdom through data that can back up our intuition, guide our choices, and persuade skeptical students and colleagues.

[Bill MacDonald]

May 21, 2019 in Academic Support Spotlight, Current Affairs, Encouragement & Inspiration, Meetings, Professionalism, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Only Thirteen More Meeting Days 'Til Exam Period!

This time of year sneaks up on us like the holidays in December.  It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming students back for spring semester.  We blink, and then poof!  Final exams are less than three weeks away.  And before they start, we have so much to take care of.  Drafting final exams, for one thing.  But, at the same time, staying on top of our current classes -- in particular, at least in my case, pushing feedback on written assignments out to students so they can make use of it as they prepare for finals.  Plus the approaching end of the semester often means a traffic jam of administrative work, as committees and working groups hasten to complete projects before a big chunk of their members leave for sabbaticals, holidays, or other teaching gigs over the summer.

When it gets crazy busy like this, it is important to set aside at least a measure of our thought and energy for that portion of our student population that might otherwise get lost in the background noise.  Sure, part of what makes us so busy are the students we've developed relationships with -- those who regularly seek us out because of anxiety or confusion or a habit of pursuing every advantage -- and part of it may be required meetings with students on academic probation.  We'll see those folks without much extra effort on our parts.  But there are other students who could use our help who might not put themselves on our radar screens.  Maybe they are shy; maybe they are overconfident; maybe they are just underestimating how much they have to do to get ready for the approaching finals.  Maybe they feel so busy that they can't make time for us.  

These are often students, not currently in academic difficulty, for whom a little support, guidance, or intervention will have a far more significant positive effect this week than it would have if it were delivered when the student showed up at the threshold to our office, panicking, a few days before finals.  So, even though we are busy, making the effort to identify and check in with these students now makes good cost/benefit sense.

If you have not already done so, consider taking some time over the next few days to:

  • Go through your calendar or appointment records from the fall and early spring and make note of any students who have sought help in the past, but from whom you have not heard for a while.  Send them quick e-mails, asking them how they are doing and inviting them to drop by or make an appointment if they'd like to talk about preparing for the end of the semester.
  • Check in with faculty (especially those teaching 1L courses) to ask if there are any students they have concerns about whom they haven't already referred to you.  At this point, spring midterms are probably all completely graded, and those professors may have information they didn't have at the start of the semester.
  • Remind the students (again, especially 1L students) in class or via social media or your school's information portal how close they are to the end of the semester, how busy your office gets at this time of year, and how wise it is to come to see you sooner rather than later if they have any concerns.

When we are this busy and things are moving towards a close so quickly, reaching out to students in the grey area can demand a bit of mindfulness.  But even one fruitful meeting with a student now might be more effective than a flurry of desperate conferences the week before finals.  That would be time well spent.

[Bill MacDonald]

April 16, 2019 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Exams - Studying, Meetings, Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 7, 2019

AASE Board Nominations - Deadline April 22nd

Hello, AASE Members,

It is that time of year again. As we look forward to the upcoming national conference, we also need to select new members for AASE’s Executive Board.  Please consider nominating someone to serve on the AASE Executive Board.

Please go to the Membership page of the AASE website and follow the Nomination Link which can be found here:  http://www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/membership.html.  You also can go straight to the nomination page here: http://www.associationofacademicsupporteducators.org/boardnomination.html.  To nominate someone, you must be an AASE Member. If you are unsure whether you are an AASE member, please contact us at aasemembership@gmail.com.  You many nominate only one person for each position, but you can nominate the same person for more than one position. Self-nominations are allowed.

Nominations are due by April 22, 2019.  All nominees confirmed by the election committee (Betsy Six, Russell McClain, and Toni Miceli – the members of the Executive Board who are not eligible to run for an office) will be forwarded to the Executive Board by May 1, 2019.  We will then circulate an online ballot.  Voting will be open for one week leading up to the national conference and will close on May 21, 2019, the end of the first day of the national conference.

The AASE Executive Board meets or communicates on matters every month.  Each Executive Board position has regular duties in addition to being assigned to serve as a liaison on committees and other tasks as needed.  Candidates should be willing to fulfill the time commitment required of the office for which they are nominated.

The positions that are open for election are President-Elect (3-year position), Vice President of Diversity (1-year position), Secretary (1-year position), and Treasurer-Elect (2-year position).

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, Betsy, or Toni. 

Thanks,

Russell McClain

President, AASE

April 7, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

AASE Awards Nominations - Deadline April 19th

Dear ASP colleagues,

AASE will once again provide awards to acknowledge excellence in the academic support field at the annual conference.  AASE developed the following recommendations for the Award Committee:

  • AASE should recognize members’ valuable contributions to law school academic support
  • AASE awards should have as an important objective the recognition of early and mid-career ASP professors
  • AASE Awards should be for specific work or in specific categories
  • The goal of AASE awards should be honoring contributions, not covering categories

The 2019 Awards committee, Kris Franklin, Twinette Johnson, and Jamie Kleppetsch (chair), are soliciting nominations for contributions by individuals, or in appropriate circumstances, groups, in any of the following areas:

  1. Specific ideas or innovations—whether disseminated through academic writing, newsletters, conference presentations or over the listserv
  2. Specific services to the profession—e.g., advocacy with the NCBE, etc.
  3. Providing services to students
  4. Promoting diversity in the profession and expanding access to the legal profession
  5. Mentoring and supporting others in ASP

Recognition may be given to more than one individual or group in any of these categories, and no category requires an award in any one year. We fully recognize just how many ASP educators have made heroic contributions to their students and to the profession. For these reasons, the Awards Committee will consider all nominations received, while keeping in mind there must be a reasonable limit for awards in any one year. Anyone in law school academic support may offer nominations, but current AASE Board members and AASE Awards Committee members are ineligible for recognition. Awards recipients must be members of AASE at the time an award is bestowed. 

Please send your nominations to Jamie Kleppetsch by Friday, April 19, 2019JKLEPPET@depaul.edu

Thank you,

AASE Awards Committee 2019

April 7, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

AALS Section on Teaching Methods Conference Call

The AALS Section on Teaching Methods is hosting a teaching discussion forum via conference call on Tuesday, April 23rd, from 1-2:15 pm ET. 

The forum will focus on innovative practices in online/hybrid law courses with a skills component.  The Section hopes to feature those who are doing ground-breaking work in this area, along with people seeking input for their own courses or simply interested in the topic.

During the call, a few presenters will present their ideas and experiences in a short format and then open the call up for discussion with the group.  The format is oral, no slides or papers necessary. 

We also welcome your participation in the call (if you would like to listen or discuss, but not present) but do ask that you RSVP via our short online form here.

Also, the section needs presenters who have ideas for, or currently teach, skills courses taught in an online or hybrid format for the April 23rd call.  The format is informal – all we ask is that you submit a short topic proposal in advance to allow us to coordinate and organize the call.  Each topic and discussion usually run about 15 minutes.  You can submit your proposal at the RSVP form mentioned above.  The deadline for proposals is Friday, April 12, 2019.

Thanks!

Dustin Benham & Reichi Lee

 

March 30, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Reminder: Call for Proposals for AALS Section on Academic Support

Call for Proposals
AALS Section on Academic Support
January 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC
"Access to the Legal Profession as a Pillar of Democracy: Bar Exam Cut Scores and the Future of Diversity."

As a community, we are aware that bar passage rates are falling in some jurisdictions, and the ABA recently proposed a change Standard 316 on Bar Passage, which would require schools to achieve 75% bar pass rate within two years of graduation. While this proposal did not pass, the current passage rates still have the potential to severely impact law schools that prioritize a mission of diversifying the legal field by preparing lawyers from underrepresented groups. Moreover, in the profession itself, access to legal education, and the profession, is a pillar of democracy. This program will focus on how to better support students who are at risk of not passing the bar exam.

Topics might include, but are not limited to: student engagement on the bar exam, the impact of the UBE on cut scores, programming to support diverse students in their law school courses, programming to support diverse students while preparing for the bar exam, the role of stereotype threat on the bar exam, and the impact of the changing ABA rules on a diverse student population. Proposals should reflect presentations that will be 25 minutes in length.

Proposals should contain a detailed explanation of both the substance of the presentation and the methods to be employed. Individuals as well as groups are invited to propose topics. The Committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas. Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals must include the following information:
1. A title for your presentation.
2. A brief description of the objectives or outcomes of your presentation.
3. A brief description of how your presentation will support your stated objectives or outcomes.
4. A detailed description of both the substantive content and the techniques to be employed, if any, to engage the audience.
5. Whether you plan to distribute handouts, use PowerPoint, or employ other technology.
6. A list of the conferences at which you have presented within the last three years, such as AALS, AASE, national or regional ASP or writing conferences, or other academic
conferences. (The Committee is interested in this information because we wish to select and showcase seasoned, as well as fresh, talent.)
7. Your school affiliation, title, courses taught, and contact information (please include email address and telephone number).
8. Any other information you think will help the Committee appreciate the value your presentation will provide.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, May 1st at 5pm to Melissa Hale, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, mhale@luc.edu. If you have any questions, please email Melissa Hale.

The Section on Academic Support Program Committee:
Melissa Hale, Chair
Robert Coulthard
Maryann Hermann
Twinette Johnson
Jamie Kleppetsch
Danielle Kocal
Susan Landrum
Courtney Lee
Laura Mott
Zoe Niesel
Goldie Pritchard
Louis Schulze
Joni Wiredu
ASP Section Chair: Jennifer Carr

March 16, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Thank You St. Mary's for Hosting SWCASP

St. Mary's did an excellent job hosting SWCASP and the UBE conference last week.  Zoe Niesel and Mike Barry put together a great slate of presenters and provided awesome Texas food staples.  I wasn't able to make the UBE portion, but I will pass along a synopsis of the SWCASP presentations in case you missed it.

The theme this year was collaboration, and the presenters showcased a range of collaboration ideas.  I personally liked the theme and ideas because I take on more classes, projects, etc. than reasonably possible.  The ideas were great for trying to get others to also use academic support to help students.

Zoe and Mike started the workshop with a discussion of how they integrated ASP with the 1L LRW class.  Instead of having a LRW class and a separate ASP skills class, they combined the two into one class.  They created consistent dialogue and terminology for students.  The collaboration also influenced more of the 1L curriculum.  

Halle Hara described a great way to get different departments discussing student needs.  She created a committee consisting of everyone with individual student interactions.  The committee meets once a month to discuss specific student needs.  I saw 2 big takeaways from this presentation.  The first was the committee created communication channels to provide context to everyone helping students in his/her office.  The second takeaway was how to make referrals more efficient.  I send students to other people throughout campus for financial aid help, discussions with Associate Dean, etc.  However, following up with every other administrator is difficult.  The committee is able to quickly determine if students followed up with the referral.

Jacquelyn Rogers uses outside professionals to help her students more effectively.  She brings in performance coaches to help with attention training and mindsets.  Listening to her, I immediately thought about issues we see in millennial students and how an outside professional could help our students thrive.  I also liked that her mental health professional was setup in a suite type setting with other offices so students could not tell who other students were visiting.

Wendy Scott, Mindy Cyr, Charles Splawn, and Jenny Lane discussed Elon's program for inter-department interaction.  Their bar mentorship program is much better than the mentor programs I tried in the past.  Faculty, alumni, and career services are paired with students to help them throughout bar prep.  Students can send essays or ask general questions throughout the summer.  Faculty hold in-person or call in office hours for specific subjects.  The substance paired with the general checking in seems to generate more participation.  I definitely want to use a few of these ideas to get more individual student interaction with faculty during the summer.

Preyal Shah and Meijken Westenskow demonstrated a great self-assessment exercise.  Their exercise used different colored highlighters for the different sections of an essay answer (pink for rule, blue for conclusion, etc.).  Students would highlight each sentence of both their work and a model answer.  The visual differences help students see where they need to improve.  UNT uses this exercise 1L year and returns to it during the 3L bar prep class to help self-assessment during summer months.

Cassie Christopher presented her upcoming article titled "Normalizing Struggle."  Her presentation and subsequent paper describes how students should struggle through the learning process and how we can help approach teaching to help students understand struggle is normal.  She referenced an article I will definitely read titled "Unskilled and Unaware of it."  That article describes the challenges and deficiencies of current education, which is now our incoming students.

The next session included a panel moderated by Sara Berman.  Sara asked Jennifer Carr and Staci Rucker questions about how academic support could team with student affairs.  They discussed the need to help students with issues beyond academics.  Working with student affairs, ASPers could focus on academics while still helping with other issues that affect academics.  Student affairs professionals can use their contacts with financial aid and other departments to help with all aspects of students' experience.

The last panel finished the collaboration theme with Marsha Griggs, Goldie Pritchard, Toni Miceli, and Cassie Christopher discussing their victories and mistakes working with faculty, commercial vendors, and students.  It is always good to see that others have similar struggles with different constituencies within the law school.  They had great ideas for getting faculty involved from small efforts of holding office hours during the summer to providing short lectures.  Toni's commercial vendor guidelines are great if you are looking to create new guidelines for vendors on campus.

Just like every year, SWCASP was a blast.  I have a list of ideas to consider for the summer and next year.  If any of the programs sound interesting, definitely contact the presenter.  They are all open to discussing their programs further.  As many of us know, don't reinvent the wheel each year.  Use others successes (and failures) to help your students.

(Steven Foster)

 

 

 

March 11, 2019 in Meetings, Program Evaluation, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 9, 2019

AASE Conference Registration, Tentative Schedule, and Hotel Update

                            

Registration is Now Open for the 2019 Association of Academic Support Educators Conference

Tuesday – Thursday, May 21-23, 2019

Seattle University School of Law

Seattle, Washington

                

Please find attached a tentative schedule for the conference. Some highlights of the conference and hotel information may be found below.

New Academic Success Educator Workshop

The AASE wants to highlight the Newbie Pre-conference that will take place the morning of Tuesday, May 21. This is a great opportunity to meet new ASP members and learn from experts in the field! A mentoring lunch will follow!  

National Conference of Bar Examiners Testing Task Force

The NCBE will hold sessions before and after the conference where you can share your valuable ideas and opinions about the bar examinatiadaon of the future in this interactive discussion. 

Travel Scholarships

AASE will be awarding need-based travel scholarships. More information about how to apply can be found here! 

HOTEL INFORMATION 

The Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown Hotel is located at 1113 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 in the heart of downtown Seattle. The hotel is a 20-minute walk to the Seattle U School of Law and a shuttle will be offered to and from the law school. Reservations can be made by clicking here.

The Silver Cloud Broadway Hotel is located at 1100 Broadway in the trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood. The hotel is directly across the street from Seattle University. The hotel is a short 7-minute walk to the Seattle U School of Law and a shuttle will be offered to and from the law school. Reservations can be made by clicking here.    

For more information about Seattle University School of Law and updates about the conference, please click here.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

Questions? Contact Isabel Freitas Peres

Email: freitasi@seattleu.edu

Phone (206) 398-4323 

 

 Tentative Schedule: Download Tentative Schedule AASE 2019 Conference

Update on hotel:

I contacted the SilverCloud hotel and while the room block is already full for the Monday night (May 20th), they still have some rooms available between May 21st – May 23rd and May 24th. The link has been updated to reflect these dates.

Please have in mind that we have a second hotel (Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown Hotel) and a shuttle will be provided to and from the conference site.

Thank you and if you have any questions, please let me know.

See you in Seattle!

Isabel Freitas Peres
Director of Bar Studies

Adjunct Professor of Law
Academic Resource Center & Bar Studies
(206) 398-4323
freitasi@seattleu.edu | law.seattleu.edu

                                                                                                              

 

March 9, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Beyond Your Imagination

As the school comes out of the dark and chill of winter -- not that that's happening all that quickly here in Buffalo -- and over the next couple of months, before we reach the crescendo of crunch time going into final exams, our students find themselves presented with a plethora of networking opportunities.  There are dinners and events hosted by student organizations to bring current students and alumni together.  There are panel discussions featuring practitioners in different fields.  There are alumni and alumni groups inviting the students to come meet potential mentors or even employers.

I believe that networking is not just good for career advancement.  It can also enhance one's academic experience.  At any given event, a student might meet someone who inspires them, someone who can help them grasp a particular subject, or someone who helps them envision a path through school and beyond that might otherwise have eluded them.  And I frequently tell my students, "The law is a social profession."  So I encourage all my students -- and especially my 1L students -- to participate in these events, even if they don't see what they might get out of it.  Sometimes what grows out of a new acquaintance is entirely unpredictable.  And if students are still a little dubious or hesitant, I have a story to tell them.

In the 1920s and ’30s, Arthur Murray became the most famous dance instructor in history, first through his mail-order business –- he invented a system of teaching dance by means of footprint diagrams, an idea that was sparked by a conversation he had had with perennial populist presidential candidate and anti-evolutionist Scopes Monkey Trial counsel William Jennings Bryan, of all people –- and then through the “Arthur Murray Dance Studio”, a chain that still exists today. Through the 1950s, Murray and his wife hosted a TV show, The Arthur Murray Party, which consisted in part of dance competitions between celebrity guests.

One such competition pitted the smoldering Latin actor Ricardo Montalban against the well-known ventriloquist Paul Winchell. Montalban was a star in his native Mexico and had had some success in Hollywood, though nothing like the fame he would achieve some two decades later as Captain Kirk's enemy Khan Noonian Singh in the Star Trek franchise and the mysterious Mr. Rourke on the series Fantasy Island.

Winchell, like Edgar Bergen, had inexplicably found national renown as a ventriloquist on a radio show, and later hosted TV series with his dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. From the 1960s onward, Winchell would be better known for his voiceover work: he gave life to chronic Smurf-hater Gargamel, to the leader of the Scrubbing Bubbles, and, most memorably, to Winnie-the-Pooh's elastically hyperactive friend Tigger. Perhaps his latent inner Tigger gave him an edge in the dance competition, because he defeated Montalban and took home the Buick (which sounds like a euphemism, but the car really was the grand prize).

Talented as he was as a performer, Winchell’s earliest career ambition was to become a doctor; but, when he was a youth, his family could not afford medical school. He retained a lifelong interest in medicine, though, even earning a degree and working in acupuncture in the 1970s. It was therefore quite natural that Winchell should form a connection with Arthur Murray’s son-in-law, a man named Dr. Henry Heimlich, when they met during the taping of the Winchell/Montalban dance-off. Around the time Winchell was going to acupuncture school, Heimlich would be lauded by some (including himself) as the most well-known physician in America, after his article in Emergency Medicine introduced the life-saving technique he termed “the Heimlich maneuver”. But in the 1950s, he was a more-or-less ordinary practicing surgeon, and Winchell was delighted to make his acquaintance.

Over the next several years, Winchell and Heimlich stayed in touch, and Heimlich even invited Winchell to join him several times in the operating room as an observer. It was during one of these operations that Winchell came up with an idea for a functional, implantable mechanical heart, one that could theoretically be used to replace a diseased human heart. He drew up the plans, consulting with Heimlich on the medical details, and in 1956 applied for a patent on the device he had invented. By 1963 he had been granted the first patent in the United States on a fully implantable artificial heart. Eventually, Winchell would contribute this patent to the University of Utah for use in its artificial organ design program — the same program from which Dr. Robert Jarvik produced the first successfully implanted artificial heart. That device, the Jarvik-7, formed the basis of the Syncardia temporary Total Artificial Heart, which has been used in more than 800 patients.

So. Tigger faced the wrath of Khan on the dance floor and, as a result, met The Most Famous Doctor in America, who helped him invent and patent the world’s first bionic heart, contributing at least in a small way, to saving the lives of 800+ people.

Could Winchell have predicted this when he agreed to participate in The Arthur Murray Party, or when he made the acquaintance of strangers like Heimlich backstage?  Of course not.  Nor can our students predict who they will meet, and what they may take away from those meetings, when they put themselves out there among alumni, practitioners, judges, and clients.  And that's the beauty of being open to such experiences.  You literally cannot imagine all the good things that may come of them.

March 5, 2019 in Advice, Encouragement & Inspiration, Meetings, Professionalism | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Recap of AccessLex Regional Workshop

I attended the Houston session of the 2019 AccessLex Institute Regional Workshops for Law School Administrators. The workshop title was "The More You Know: Delivering Student Success." The one-day workshop was very interesting and worth attending.

This workshop topic is being repeated three more times in different locations: March 19 (Boston), March 21 (New York City), March 26 (Chicago). You can find out more about these events at the AccessLex website under the events tab: www.accesslex.org.

The workshop covered a variety of topics - some directly related to academic support and bar while others gave interesting information that provided institutional and higher education context. The workshop was attended by a diverse group of law school administrators from academic affairs, admissions, financial aid, academic support, bar preparation, career services, and more. The speakers from AccessLex Institute were very knowledgeable and well-prepared. There was plenty of time to ask questions and for members of the audience to comment and share.

The first session presented by Keinan Thompson updated us on the political landscape and legislative proposals. It gave a big picture context to our discussions for the remainder of the day. I had not been following the Prosper and Aim proposals at all closely, so this session gave an interesting background on the Congressional hot spots.

Laura McGhee then discussed the diversity pipeline and its impact on legal education. As the coordinator for my law school's pipeline program with a local high school, some of the data in this session was familiar, but the LSAT and merit scholarship information was particularly interesting. Also some of the resources on the AccessLex website may be helpful to readers: Roadmap to Enrolling Diverse Law School Classes; Diversity Pipeline Research Grant information.

The third session led by Tiffane Cochran was on the importance of data (even for non-data persons) was good information on sources. The Technology Tour over the lunch period also provided addition information on websites that could be helpful for data. AccessLex's Analytix is just one of the databases discussed.

Rob Hunter's session on Raising the Bar was a good reminder for those of us in academic support and bar preparation and a good primer on the challenges for others in attendance. Remember that AccessLex is now providing the Raising the Bar newsletter that is a good resource for ASP/bar professionals.

The financial aid session that Lyssa Thaden presented was informative for context regarding our students' financial challenges. Although I had worked in financial aid a number of years ago, the landscape has changed greatly. I benefited from the information about the student loan ins and outs. You may want to visit the website to learn about the Max financial education program and its resources if you are unfamiliar with that extensive information and partnership.

If you have a chance, make sure you check out resources and events from AccessLex. Many of you will remember Sara Berman, our ASP/bar prep colleague for many years, who is now the Director for Programs for Academic and Bar Success at AccessLex. (Amy Jarmon)

 

March 3, 2019 in Bar Exam Issues, Diversity Issues, Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Call for Proposals for 2020 AALS Section on Academic Support

Call for Proposals
AALS Section on Academic Support
January 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC
"Access to the Legal Profession as a Pillar of Democracy: Bar Exam Cut Scores and the Future of Diversity."


As a community, we are aware that bar passage rates are falling in some jurisdictions, and the ABA recently proposed a change Standard 316 on Bar Passage, which would require schools to achieve 75% bar pass rate within two years of graduation. While this proposal did not pass, the current passage rates still have the potential to severely impact law schools that prioritize a mission of diversifying the legal field by preparing lawyers from underrepresented groups. Moreover, in the profession itself, access to legal education, and the profession, is a pillar of democracy. This program will focus on how to better support students who are at risk of not passing the bar exam.

Topics might include, but are not limited to: student engagement on the bar exam, the impact of the UBE on cut scores, programming to support diverse students in their law school courses, programming to support diverse students while preparing for the bar exam, the role of stereotype threat on the bar exam, and the impact of the changing ABA rules on a diverse student population. Proposals should reflect presentations that will be 25 minutes in length.

Proposals should contain a detailed explanation of both the substance of the presentation and the methods to be employed. Individuals as well as groups are invited to propose topics. The Committee would prefer to highlight talent across a spectrum of law schools and disciplines and is especially interested in new and innovative ideas. Please share this call with colleagues—both within and outside of the legal academy and the academic support community.

Proposals must include the following information:
1. A title for your presentation.
2. A brief description of the objectives or outcomes of your presentation.
3. A brief description of how your presentation will support your stated objectives or outcomes.
4. A detailed description of both the substantive content and the techniques to be employed, if any, to engage the audience.
5. Whether you plan to distribute handouts, use PowerPoint, or employ other technology.
6. A list of the conferences at which you have presented within the last three years, such as AALS, AASE, national or regional ASP or writing conferences, or other academic
conferences. (The Committee is interested in this information because we wish to select and showcase seasoned, as well as fresh, talent.)
7. Your school affiliation, title, courses taught, and contact information (please include email address and telephone number).
8. Any other information you think will help the Committee appreciate the value your presentation will provide.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so please send yours as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, May 1st at 5pm to Melissa Hale, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, mhale@luc.edu. If you have any questions, please email Melissa Hale.

The Section on Academic Support Program Committee:
Melissa Hale, Chair
Robert Coulthard
Maryann Hermann
Twinette Johnson
Jamie Kleppetsch
Danielle Kocal
Susan Landrum
Courtney Lee
Laura Mott
Zoe Niesel
Goldie Pritchard
Louis Schulze
Joni Wiredu
ASP Section Chair: Jennifer Carr

February 10, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

NY Academic Support Workshop Announcement

Dear ASP friends,

We are pleased to announce this year’s full-day NY Academic Support Workshop, to be held from 9:30 to 5:00 at New York Law School on Friday, April 12th (with informal socializing afterwards). This will be a gathering of academic support professionals and colleagues working actively to learn from one another.  Warm welcome to Rebecca Flanagan of University of Massachusetts School of Law-Dartmouth who is joining in the organizing efforts of this year’s workshop. 

As is our usual practice, the afternoon sessions of the workshop will have an open agenda and room to include any subject of interest to those in attendance. The morning sessions will be related to a more specific theme: Ideas and Insights to Assist Part-time Law Students. We intend that topic to consider the needs of part-timers at all stages: as they prepare for law school, work their way through the curriculum, and get ready for the bar and practice.

One thing that makes all ASP gatherings exciting has always been our unique emphasis on collaboration — ASP folks DO things together so that we can learn together. NY Workshop participants work with each other to develop or enhance our individual lessons, materials, presentations, or any other part of our professional endeavors. No one who comes is allowed to be a back-bencher. Participants should be prepared to discuss a problem they are having that others may have struggled with as well, a strategy for dealing with a specific challenge, or a method of teaching or counseling that has helped you work with students. Please let us know what you would like do with your fellow workshop participant, and let us know how we will actively engage all attendees in your portion of the agenda. And if you aren’t certain let us know that too; we are happy to help you brainstorm. Discussions/demonstrations or presentations may be short or extended, depending on content and our own timing. We will send out a finalized workshop agenda when we confirm who will attend and what specific topics the participants plan to address. 

RSVP to Kris and Rebecca at addresses below and cc’d above. Since this is not a formal conference there will be no fee to attend. 

We hope to see many of you soon!

Kris Franklin                                          Rebecca Flanagan

Professor of Law                                    Assistant Professor of Law

New York Law School                           UMass Law

February 3, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Registration for Two Conferences at St. Mary's

Dear colleagues,

As I draft this, the weather in San Antonio is SUNNY and 68 DEGREES. 

  1. Now that I have your attention . . .

Please join St. Mary's University School of Law in beautiful San Antonio, Texas, for two conferences focused on academic and bar support!

First, in light of Texas moving to the UBE (in 2021?), on Thursday, March 7, 2019, St. Mary's will host a UBE Transition Boot Camp to discuss issues, strategies, and solutions for those schools (in Texas and elsewhere) facing an upcoming transition to the Uniform Bar Exam.  We have a host of expert presenters to help guide us all!  Specifically, we will discuss the details of the UBE and its grading structure – and how it differs from the tests it replaces.  We also recognize that this transition will cause changes in how we counsel students, the design of academic support programs, and the curriculum of the law school – so we have asked peers who have been through this process for recommendations on preparing our students, faculty, and academic support departments for the transition.  (A tentative schedule is attached; we have flexibility to stay longer if beneficial.)

Then, on Friday, March 8, 2019, St. Mary's is proud to host the 7th Annual SWCASP Conference – focused on innovative ideas that allow academic support departments to collaborate with others to achieve results.  The conference will kick off on Thursday evening with a welcome dinner sponsored by Barbri.  As in past years, we have a great slate of presenters for the conference to discuss all aspects of collaboration and coordination.  (A tentative schedule is attached.)

To register for either or both conferences, please use this form: https://goo.gl/forms/9ijj3f04c94GLVdj2.

For both conferences, we have reserved a block of rooms (at a very good rate!) at the historic Menger Hotel, right next to the Alamo at 204 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, TX, 78205.  Please use this link to reserve your room:  https://reservations.mengerhotel.com/75799?groupID=2473620.  Hotel information is also located in the Registration Form link.  Please note that the hotel block closes on February 15.

Come enjoy our beautiful weather, excellent Mexican food*, and lots of ASP comradery.  We look forward to seeing you here!

Please reach out to Zoe Niesel or me with any questions, and all the best,

Mike Barry 
Assistant Dean and Practitioner in Residence

St. Mary’s University School of Law

February 2, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Don't Forget the February 15 Deadline for ILTL Proposals

CALL FOR PRESENTATION PROPOSALS

 Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Summer Conference

“Teaching Today’s Law Students”

June 3-5, 2019

Washburn University School of Law

Topeka, Kansas

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning invites proposals for conference workshops addressing the many ways that law professors and administrators are reaching today’s law students.   With the ever-changing and heterogeneous nature of law students, this topic has taken on increased urgency for professors thinking about effective teaching strategies. 

The conference theme is intentionally broad and is designed to encompass a wide variety of topics – neuroscientific approaches to effective teaching; generational research about current law students; effective use of technology in the classroom; teaching first-generation college students; classroom behavior in the current political climate; academic approaches to less prepared students; fostering qualities such as growth mindset, resilience, and emotional intelligence in students; or techniques for providing effective formative feedback to students.

Accordingly, the Institute invites proposals for 60-minute workshops consistent with a broad interpretation of the conference theme. Each workshop should include materials that participants can use during the workshop and when they return to their campuses.  Presenters should model effective teaching methods by actively engaging the workshop participants.  The Institute Co-Directors are glad to work with anyone who would like advice on designing their presentations to be interactive.

To be considered for the conference, proposals should be one page (maximum), single-spaced, and include the following information:

  • The title of the workshop;
  • The name, address, telephone number, and email address of the presenter(s); and
  • A summary of the contents of the workshop, including its goals and methods; and
  • A description of the techniques the presenter will use to engage workshop participants and make the workshop interactive.

The proposal deadline is February 15, 2019.  Submit proposals via email to Professor Emily Grant, Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, at emily.grant@washburn.edu.

 

January 27, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

NCBE and LSAC Conference on Best Practices

Best Practices in High-Stakes Testing: What Legal Educators Need to Know

February 7-8, 2019

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa

Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico

 

Dear Colleague,

LSAC and NCBE invite all law school faculty, researchers, and staff to a conference focused on innovative ways to measure student success. We will discuss a range of measurement topics including: bar preparation, job and skills analyses, test development, standard setting, validity and reliability, and outcomes assessments.

Here are a few of the benefits of participating in this conference:

·         You will gain better insight into assessment principles and how to evaluate high-stakes tests.

·         Share your ideas and opinions about the bar exam of the future in an interactive discussion led by the NCBE Testing Task Force’s independent research consultant.

·         You will have the opportunity to let the makers of the LSAT know what additional standardized measures you would like LSAC to provide to support admissions and your educational mission.

·         You will get an inside look at changes that are on the horizon for the LSAT, including digitization and remote proctoring.

Speakers include Judith Gundersen (President, NCBE), Gage Kingsbury (Psychometric Consulting), James Wollack (Professor in Quantitative Methods at University of Wisconsin), and other experts.

We are pleased to be able to subsidize one person from each LSAC-member school. The subsidy covers registration, airfare, and lodging. There is a moderate registration fee for others who would like to attend.

Join us and be part of the innovation! Visit LSAC.org for more details and to register.

 

January 19, 2019 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Join Us at AALS in January!

Colleagues,

I hope many of you are able to attend AALS this year.  I write to highlight what the Section on Academic Support has planned for this year’s annual conference.

AALS Section on Academic Support Workshop.  We have partnered with the Section on Empirical Research to consider, “Circling the Square:  Fresh Partnerships to Understand Student Learning and Bar Performance through Empirical Studies.”  Our workshop will be held from 1:30 to 4:30 on Thursday, January 3.  This three-hour workshop includes two plenary panels that will feature empirical research on bar examination performance and related issues, followed by eleven concurrent break-out sessions through which participants can explore in greater depth topics covered in the plenary sessions and works in progress on academic support and related issues.  I have attached a summary of our workshop, which includes the names of all panelists/presenters. (More info here:  Download AALSworkshop.FIN092718updated.)

2019 AALS Section on Academic Support Award Presentation.  I am proud to announce that David Nadvorney, Director of Academic Support Programs at the City University of New York School of Law, has been selected to receive the 2019 AALS Section on Academic Support Award.  Please join us to honor David and his outstanding contributions to the academic support community immediately following our workshop at 4:30 on Thursday, January 3, in the Jefferson Ballroom, Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel. 

Section Business Meeting.  Our business meeting will be held at 7:00 am on Friday, January 4.  This is not only an opportunity to meet and greet new and old colleagues, it is also a time to learn how to get more involved in our Section.  If you are unable to join us in person, please feel free to call into the meeting at 302-202-1118.  The conference code is 285361. 

National Conference of Bar Examiners Focus Groups.  This is just a reminder about the research underway by the NCBE’s Testing Task Force to consider what changes may be needed in Bar examination and licensure practices going forward. The Task Force’s affiliated researchers have arranged to hold six focus groups on January 3 and January 4, during the AALS Annual meeting this year.  If you have not already done so, I encourage you learn more about the study here and sign up for one of the focus groups here

Should you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me.  I hope to see many of you in New Orleans!

Wishing all of you a peaceful break,

Staci P. Rucker

Chair, AALS Section on Academic Support

December 21, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 7, 2018

Free AccessLex Regional Workshops for Law School Administrators

In case you did not receive an email from AccessLex regarding their upcoming regional workshops, I have included the text below. I hope to see some of you at the Houston workshop! (Amy Jarmon)

The More You Know: Delivering Student Success
 
At AccessLex Institute, professional development means not only focusing on the most current issues and challenges of the job, but also – and more importantly – on the people facing those challenges every day. You.
 
Professional development is personal development, and this new series of free, one-day trainings created especially for law school administrators is dedicated to broadening your knowledge within and outside your current role. With locations around the country, you’ll get a full day of high-impact sessions to help you stay up-to-date on the most important topics related to law student success while reaffirming your stake and passion for helping students achieve it.

 

2019 Dates and Locations

 

Los Angeles, CA: January 29
Houston, TX: January 31
Orlando, FL: February 5
Washington, DC: February 14

Raleigh, NC: March 1
Boston, MA: March 19
New York, NY: March 21
Chicago, IL: March 26

These sessions are geared for cross-departmental conversation to promote personal and organizational success, so administrators from all student-focused areas are encouraged to attend. The workshops – and lunch – are complimentary. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.
 
The professional development you want and need is coming to you in 2019. Happy New Year from AccessLex!

 

Review the agenda and register today!

 

 
 
 

AccessLex Institute is a nonprofit organization committed to helping talented, purpose-driven students find their path from aspiring lawyer to fulfilled professional. In partnership with our nearly 200 member law schools, improving access and positively influencing legal education have been at the heart of our mission since 1983.

December 7, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for Proposals for ILTL June Conference

CALL FOR PRESENTATION PROPOSALS 

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning Summer Conference

“Teaching Today’s Law Students”

June 3-5, 2019

Washburn University School of Law

Topeka, Kansas 

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning invites proposals for conference workshops addressing the many ways that law professors and administrators are reaching today’s law students.   With the ever-changing and heterogeneous nature of law students, this topic has taken on increased urgency for professors thinking about effective teaching strategies. 

The conference theme is intentionally broad and is designed to encompass a wide variety of topics – neuroscientific approaches to effective teaching; generational research about current law students; effective use of technology in the classroom; teaching first-generation college students; classroom behavior in the current political climate; academic approaches to less prepared students; fostering qualities such as growth mindset, resilience, and emotional intelligence in students; or techniques for providing effective formative feedback to students.

Accordingly, the Institute invites proposals for 60-minute workshops consistent with a broad interpretation of the conference theme. Each workshop should include materials that participants can use during the workshop and when they return to their campuses.  Presenters should model effective teaching methods by actively engaging the workshop participants.  The Institute Co-Directors are glad to work with anyone who would like advice on designing their presentations to be interactive.

To be considered for the conference, proposals should be one page (maximum), single-spaced, and include the following information:

  • The title of the workshop;
  • The name, address, telephone number, and email address of the presenter(s); and
  • A summary of the contents of the workshop, including its goals and methods; and
  • A description of the techniques the presenter will use to engage workshop participants and make the workshop interactive.

The proposal deadline is February 15, 2019.  Submit proposals via email to Professor Emily Grant, Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, at emily.grant@washburn.edu.

 

December 7, 2018 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, November 25, 2018

NCBE Invitation for AALS Registrants to Participate in Focus Groups

Invitation from NCBE

The National Conference of Bar Examiners requests your assistance with a significant research study regarding the bar examination. NCBE has created a Testing Task Force to oversee a comprehensive, future-focused research study of the bar examination, and we want and need to tap the insights of legal academics. We would like to invite you to participate in one of six focus group sessions held at the AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans on January 3 and 4, 2019.

The Task Force is approaching its study with no preconceived notions and is considering the content, format, timing, and delivery methods for the bar exam to ensure it keeps pace with a changing legal profession. For more information about the study, please read the overview of our research plan at www.testingtaskforce.org/research/.

As a legal educator, you are a vital part of the legal licensure process, and gathering input from you and other stakeholders is an essential component of the study. We hope you are as eager to share your ideas and opinions about the bar exam of the future as we are to hear them! The focus group sessions will be facilitated by one of the Testing Task Force’s independent research consulting firms, ACS Ventures LLC. The number of participants will be capped at 12-15 people per 90-minute session to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to provide their input, so you are encouraged to register early to reserve your spot in a session.

To sign up for a focus group session at the AALS Annual Meeting, complete this online registration form. You’ll receive a confirmation with logistical details and additional information about the session by email.

NCBE and its Testing Task Force are committed to creating additional opportunities for focus groups and web-based interactions to gain insights from legal academics, law students, and other stakeholders in the next six months. Subscribe at the Testing Task Force’s website to receive updates about the study and to be notified about other opportunities to participate.

Thank you for all you do to help prepare law students to become lawyers. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Testing Task Force at taskforce@ncbex.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

November 25, 2018 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams, Meetings, Miscellany | Permalink | Comments (0)