Sunday, March 3, 2024

ASP Faculty Scholarships from AccessLex/AASE

AccessLex and AASE are pleased to announce that we will be awarding five ASP Faculty Scholarship Grants again this year. These grants of up to $5000 are money in your pocket to help you write a law review article. The grants are designed to support fledgling scholars and help our discipline develop a robust body of literature.

The application is reasonably short, and will ask you the following questions (along with some basic administrative stuff):

  • Title of your proposed article
  • Abstract or summary of the article: What will your article explain, and what will your unique argument/assertion/thesis be? Recommended length: 250-500 words
  • How will your proposed project engage with the existing scholarship in this area? Recommended length: 100-250 words
  • How will receipt of this grant advance your professional development or status? Recommended length: 100-250 words
  • Have you published law review articles or other publications before? If so, please provide the citation(s)
  • Do you receive support for research and writing at your institution in the form of research assistants, funding, reduced course load, or other forms of support? If yes, please explain

Applications are due April 22. 

March 3, 2024 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 28, 2023

AASE Must Have Materials

I was extremely grateful to see everyone at AASE.  It was my first conference since 2020, and I had a blast.  I learned so much from the presenters, so if you couldn't make it, I wanted to pass along quick synopsis of presentations to go grab the materials.  Before I make my list, I will apologize to those not on the list.  There were great presentations not on my list that I didn't see (others may blog about those).

 - Bridging the Gap by Tina Benigno, Melissa Hale, and Toni Miceli - They did a great job explaining a few different ways to conduct a pre-matriculation program.  Tina and Toni have a great program.  The information on how they did it is useful.

- 10 Tools for Academic and Bar Success Educators by Erin Crist, Debbie Shapiro, and Dawn Young - I loved this presentation because they reminded me of the different ways to help students learn material.  They demonstrated 10 teaching techniques.  Many people, or at least me, tend to use techniques that work for them.  I know I use one of the techniques on their list nearly every class because I like it.  This made me think of other ways to teach similar concepts but with a different technique to reach different students.  Their handout was really good.

- Measuring Hope by Paula Manning - Watch her SSRN page for an upcoming article about hope.  She argues that many of the concepts we teach (Growth Mindset, Self-Regulated Learning, etc.) have hope as an underlying theme.  She used a specific academic definition of hope and showed how it could impact our students.  

- Consciousness Raising by Marta Baffy - Marta explained how using language learning techniques in law school classes could help our students understand new concepts.  Her exercises were great.

- NCBE Session - This will end up being a full blog post at a later time, but I didn't want to completely ignore it.

- Teaching Like NextGen Happened by Kris Franklin - She discussed a world where everything was awesome, and we taught students how to do lawyering tasks in all classes.  Programs used curriculum maps to support learning outcomes.  She talked about how to conduct classes with those skills, then encouraged participants to write a book to compete with hers.  I will probably just stick with trying to integrate her materials into my class.

- Outsourcing Self-Regulation by Marsha Griggs - Watch her SSRN page for an interesting article that argues the judiciary is outsourcing the regulation process when courts rely so heavily on an outside agency to license attorneys.

- From Mayhem to Magic by Ellen Douglas and Kristin Lasker - They demonstrated a great tool for departments to use to collaborate on projects.  Their powerpoint information will be good if you are looking for better organization and project management.

- MBE Analysis by Scott Johns and Ashley Cetnar - They did an interesting experiment with two different ways to approach MBE questions.  One side of the room only had the call of the question and answer choices, and the other side only had the facts with the call of the question without answer choices.  It seemed both sides did equally well answering the question.  

- Ludic Pedagogy by Bryce Woolley - Bryce discussed Ludic pedagogy (which is similar to games in the classroom), then he demonstrated how he used a branching program to create a choose your own adventure game for a bar exam question.  This would take significant time, but the resource looked engaging.

I could not attend everything, but I loved everything I attended.  When the materials are on the AASE website, I highly suggest going through all of them.  I can't wait until next year (with potentially more potato stress balls).

(Steven Foster)

May 28, 2023 in Professionalism, Publishing, Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Lone Star Regional Writing Conference Proposals

Texas Tech Law and the University of Houston Law Center are hosting the Lone Star Regional Legal Writing Conference in Lubbock, TX on April 14 & 15.
You need not be a Texan to attend!  They are currently accepting presentation proposals, which can be submitted at Any and all legal writing-related proposals are welcome.

February 12, 2023 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 5, 2022

New Journal of Law Teaching and Learning

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning is thrilled to be launching a new scholarly journal.  The Journal of Law Teaching and Learning will publish scholarly articles about pedagogy and will provide authors with rigorous peer review. We hope to publish our first issue in Fall 2023. 

If you have a scholarly article that might fit the needs of The Journal of Law Teaching and Learning, please consider submitting it directly to us via email at [email protected] or through the Scholastica platform. 

June 5, 2022 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

First, a big thank you and congrats to those who planned, attended, and/ or presented at last week's Annual AASE Conference.  To say it was a great event would be an understatement.  

As for the scholarship spotlight, we have a lot of ground to cover.  Please see below.  

1.    Patrick Meyer (UDM), Adding Legal Research to the Bar Exam: What Would The Exercise Look Like, 53 Akron L. Rev. 109 (2019, posted 2022).

Various authors have criticized the current bar exam format and have offered meaningful suggested changes. This article will focus on deficiencies pertaining to a lack of legal research readiness in the practice of law: A recent study found that 45% of a new attorney’s time will be spent researching. The authors of the MacCrate Report found ten practice skills that are “essential for competent representation,” which are universally referred to as Fundamental Lawyering Skills. One of the ten Fundamental Lawyering Skills is legal research. The report states that “if anything, the bar examination discourages” the teaching of lawyering skills in law school. My proposal is to add an interactive legal research exercise to the MPT, meaning that applicants would have to conduct research in one or more databases to answer questions. By making the exercise interactive, other Fundamental Lawyering Skills will be tested, as explained in this article.

2.     Christine A. Corcos (LSU), Legal Uncertainties: COVID-19, Distance Learning, Bar Exams, and the Future of U.S. Legal Education, 8 Canadian J. of Compar. & Contemp. L. 1 (2022).

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the U.S. legal academy and legal profession to make changes to legal education and training very rapidly in order to accommodate the needs of students, graduates, practitioners, clients, and the public. Like most of the public, members of the profession assumed that most, if not all, of the changes would be temporary, and life would return to a pre-pandemic normal.

These assumed temporary changes included a rapid and massive shift to online teaching for legal education, to online administration of the bar exam in some jurisdictions, or the option to offer the diploma privilege in others. Many employers made efforts to accommodate new law graduates and employees who needed to work from home.

As legal educators and the legal profession shift back to ‘normal’, we are now discovering that some of these changes might be rather desirable. Thus, we can begin to look at the last two years as an opportunity to re-evaluate how we teach and learn law and how we might evaluate the competence of those entering the profession in different ways. As we move forward, instead of automatically readopting to the status quo, we can instead examine approaches that would allow us to make headway on solving problems that have been with us for decades.

3.    Christopher Birdsall (Boise State) & Seth Gershenson (American University), The Pro Bono Penalty: Extracurricular Activities and Demographic Disparities in Bar Exam Success, posted to SSRN 19 May 2022.

Demographic disparities in bar exam pass rates are problematic but poorly understood. We investigate a possible explanation: participation in extracurricular activities, which could either distract from bar exam preparation or motivate and prepare students to succeed. Generally, participation in extracurricular activities while in law school does not play a large role in bar exam success. However, there is a significant, arguably causal, penalty associated with one particular activity–pro bono work–most notably in lower-ranked law schools. This penalty is sizable: pro bono work is associated with a 5 percentage point (6%) decrease in the chances of passing the bar exam on the first attempt. This penalty is largest for Black and female students and may explain as much as 20% of the Black-white gap in first-attempt bar pass rates.

4.    Edwin S. Fruehwald, A Companion to Torts: Thinking Like A Torts Lawyer, Chapter One, posted to SSRN 27 May 2022. 

The goal of this book is to teach law students to think like torts lawyers. Thinking like a lawyer means solving a problem to produce a legal solution. This process involves using several types of reasoning in combination, including synthesis (synthesizing rules; inductive reasoning), rule-based reasoning (deductive reasoning), analogical reasoning (reasoning by precedent), distinguishing cases (the opposite of reasoning by analogy), policy-based reasoning, and creativity. A torts lawyer uses these reasoning methods to solve torts problems. This book will 2 include a variety of torts exercises on the different types of legal reasoning to achieve the goal of teaching students to think like torts lawyers.

5.    Andrele Brutus St. Val (Pittsburgh), Survey Says—How to Engage Law Students in the Online Learning Environment, 70 J. Legal Educ. __ (2021).  (H/t, TaxProf Blog).

The pandemic experience has made it clear that not everyone loves teaching or learning remotely. Many professors and students alike are eager to return to the classroom. However, our experiences over the last year and a half have also demonstrated the potentials and possibilities of learning online and have caused many professors to recalibrate their approaches to digital learning. While the tools for online learning were available well before March of 2020, many instructors are only now beginning to capitalize on their potential. The author of this article worked in online legal education before the pandemic, utilizing these tools and exploring ways to make the online experience more effective. This article is the result of her research on online legal education prior to the pandemic, which sheds light on future possibilities for online learning in law schools in post-pandemic times.

The discussion explores various engagement strategies used by online legal educators, assesses students’ perceptions of those strategies, and examines these findings against the backdrop of existing learning theories. The article contributes to the scholarly literature on legal education and pedagogy by tying empirical evidence of student learning preferences to educational theory and identifying concrete strategies for increasing law student engagement and enjoyment.

[Louis Schulze, FIU Law]

May 31, 2022 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 22, 2022

CaliCon22 Call for Proposals

CALIcon22 Conference - Save your seat

Visit the CaliCon22 website for more information!

April 22, 2022 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 21, 2022

AccessLex/AASE ASP Faculty Scholarship Grants Deadline

Please apply for the AccessLex/AASE ASP Faculty Scholarship Grants! These are $5,000 grants designed to support novice ASP-ish scholars as they get their publication careers off the ground. In addition to the funds, you'll be matched with mentors to help you through the writing and publishing process.
The application is short, and it's due Monday, April 25. You'll be asked to describe your project in as much detail as you can, e.g. a detailed abstract that makes clear your thesis/contribution. The application portal is here:

April 21, 2022 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 28, 2022

AccessLex/AASE ASP Faculty Scholarship Grants Info Sessions

If you are interested in applying for the AccessLex/AASE scholarship grants, attend one of the below info sessions this week.

March 28, 2022 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 7, 2022

Capital T

Tenure. For the most part, tenure is not even a consideration for Academic Support folks. A vast majority of us are not eligible for tenure-or as one person in a committee meeting once said, we are “untenurable.” Ouch. Taking this in the light most favorable to the colleague, perhaps they meant that under current University rules, there was a not a track for ASP folks to get there-which is true. Where I work, this leaves ASP faculty in a strange place: we could apply for presumptively renewable contracts, but we would essentially have to fulfill the requirements of tenure to get them. So, we can aspire to a form of “tenure light” which is about one-third as filling as real tenure. We were left (almost) alone in this place when legal writing and clinical faculty joined the tenure track. Other than the head of our library, we are the only faculty members who have contracts voted on periodically by the entire faculty. We are the exception now-not the rule. We are invited but also basically encouraged not to attend meetings about appointments (we cannot vote on those). We are (happily) placed on committees and even have positions of leadership on them (quite happily), but we are also always aware that everyone we encounter will be voting on our contract the next time it comes before the faculty. That can be scary sometimes. I am lucky that I feel supported by the administration at my school and that my roles are valued-but sometimes I have to wonder, why not? Why not have tenure for ASP?

What would ASP tenure take away from any other person on the faculty? If we can fulfill the requirements, it honestly does not dilute the importance or status of tenure. Certainly, the folks who have tenure should not be arguing that it would reduce our work ethic or load, because after all, they would not want anyone to think tenure has done that for them. It would not reduce our commitment to the Institution because, again, tenure didn’t do that to them, right? So where is the harm? Is the hierarchy--and it is a thin one since we are basically alone in this tier--that important?

What would ASP tenure give a law school? Having ASP faculty who feel valued, appreciated, and secure could bring a myriad of benefits to any law school. First, it tells students that their success is a priority for the school from admission to the school through admission to the bar. Second, our availability to form tighter relationships with students is also instrumental to their success. Students are more engaged when they are seen and heard by faculty members. Finally, tenure would recognize that ASP faculty are scholars and writers. Sure, we have tissues, coloring pages, and candy in our offices, but we write and engage in the same level of scholarly pursuits as anyone with or hoping to get tenure (for example, I am actually writing as we speak). There are many more advantages to tenured ASP faculty--too many to list.

Legal writing and clinical faculty got access to tenure because a wave of schools across the country agreed. It is time to get the national ASP tenure wave started-with a capital T that rhymes with P and that stands for Progress.

(Liz Stillman)

March 7, 2022 in Miscellany, Professionalism, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Learning Curve Submissions

The Learning Curve, the biannual publication of the AALS Section on Academic Support, is currently soliciting articles for the next edition. Please send your submissions by Monday, March 14.

The Learning Curve is a great place to share ideas and begin publishing.  I am sure most ASPers are doing unique and fun activities in classes and building great programs.  Don't assume everyone knows how to do what you are doing.  Share it with us.

I can't wait to read the next edition.

February 20, 2022 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

Recent SSRN posts on academic and bar support:

1. Catherine Martin Christopher,  Modern Diploma Privilege: A Path Rather Than a Gate (SSRN Post, October 5, 2021). 

From the abstract:

This article proposes a modern diploma privilege, a licensure framework that allows state licensure authorities to identify what competencies are expected of first-year attorneys, then partner with law schools to assess those competencies. Freed from the format and timing of a bar exam, schools can assess a broader range of competencies over longer time horizons. This will allow the development of law school curricula aimed at preparing students to assist clients rather than to pass the bar exam. The modern diploma privilege is structured as an ongoing partnership between licensure authorities and schools, which means that changes can be easily made to the list of desired competencies and/or the assessment methods. This in turn allows for a more nimble licensure mechanism that can quickly adapt to changes in the evolving market for legal services.

2.  Katharine Traylor Schaffzin, First-Generation Students in Law School: A Proven Success Model, 70 Arkansas L. Rev. 913 (2018).  

From the abstract:

This article addresses the ever-increasing population of first-generation college students and the academic challenges they face both in undergraduate school and in seeking to matriculate to law school. This demographic has been heavily studied at the undergraduate level, but very little data is available about the challenges and success of first-generation college students in law school. The article describes the best practices for the academic success of first-generation college students as researched and implemented by various colleges and universities. It also summarizes the findings of the only study done on the experiences of first-generation college graduates who matriculated to law school.

This research serves as the backdrop for the description of a unique program with proven success directed toward securing the academic achievement of first-generation college students in law school. The University of Memphis School of Law Tennessee Institute for Pre-Law (TIP) program is decades old and has been recording the successful outcomes of such students. This article analyzes data collected since 2012 on the academic outcomes of first-generation college graduates who participated in TIP to conclude that the program leads to successful results for these students in graduating law school and passing the bar exam. The article details the program itself and explains how a law school can implement the promising methods uncovered at the undergraduate level. It offers TIP to readers as a proven intervention and success model for law schools seeking to ensure the academic success of first-generation college graduates in law school.

Recent book:

Charles Calleros (New Mexico),  Law School Exams 3rd edition, VitalSource (2021).

From the publisher:  

Law School and Exams: Preparing and Writing to Win, Third Edition is the third edition of a popular book whose first edition Bryan Garner reviewed and judged to be “the best on the market.” It combines:

    1. Clear and comprehensive explanations of study and exam techniques
    2. Numerous illustrative samples that are truly instructive
    3. Twenty in-class exercises or take-home assignments on everything from case briefs to essay and multiple-choice exam questions.

Comprehensive and self-contained, the Third Edition is suitable for use as the textbook for a sophisticated Prelaw course, 1L Orientation, or a 1L Academic Success course. Alternatively, incoming freshmen can work through it independently over the summer to be optimally prepared for law school in the fall.

(Louis Schulze, FIU Law)

January 25, 2022 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exams, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 8, 2022


Happy New Year!

I know that we are still basking in the (blue light) glow of the ASP sessions of the AALS annual meeting, but I wanted to make sure that I mentioned a few of the highlights (ones that I saw-I probably missed some important things since the AALS session schedule is like a Cheesecake Factory menu).

First, my amazing colleague at Suffolk University Law School, Sarah Schendel, was honored with the Trailblazer Award at the annual meeting of our section on January 4th. This was a richly deserved recognition of her scholarship and contributions to ASP! Also, we welcomed new leadership to our executive board and thanked our past leaders for their amazing work.

The Academic Support and Technology, Law and Legal Education Joint Program (Co-Sponsored by Pre-Law Education and Admission to Law School) panels on “Leveraging Technology to Increase Student Engagement in Online Courses” and “Who Should Own the Course Content Created for Online Delivery?” on January7th were informative and timely--considering that many schools will likely reopen remotely this spring (we are going remote for the first two weeks). Charles Calleros wonderfully explained the best practices to establish and maintain student engagement. I loved the idea of creating a more flipped experience with DIY videos paired with short quizzes that Martha Ertman discussed. Our own Louis Schulze’s methods of using the Zoom chat to empower students to be experts was incredibly interesting. The other methods he outlined to keep students engaged were really helpful as I organize classes for the upcoming semester.  Jane Grise’s discussion of how screens effect our reading and attention was something I will be absolutely be more cognizant of in planning my two weeks (hopefully!) of remote classes -she also presented us with an opportunity to get up and dance (well, she said to stretch, but it was a Friday and all).

The next panel on the ownership of created materials used in online delivery was eye-opening (and full of twists and turns). While the work-for-hire doctrine might make our scholarly writings and course materials (absent contractual provisions to the contrary), the property of the schools we work for since we are employees, the panelists (and some great questions from the crowd) have left me wondering who has rights to our created ASP study techniques and skills materials since these are mainly expressions of ideas and whether writing is actually within the scope of my employment. I will be looking at my employee handbook more carefully to determine our institutional intellectual property policies. I took three pages of notes on the applicable intellectual property law during this panel-and later this weekend, I’ll be sure to put them in outline form (little ASP humor).

All in all, I was reminded, yet again, of how amazing the ASP community is-we are intelligent, prolific, and generous.

(Liz Stillman)

January 8, 2022 in Meetings, Publishing, Teaching Tips, Web/Tech, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 1, 2021

ASP Exciting Works in Progress

This weekend, I attended the Central States Law Schools Association Scholarship Conference and ASP was well-represented. each speaker gave a talk highlighting their current works and sought feedback from the audience of faculty members. Here is just a sampling of the ASP presentations:

Cassie Christopher, Texas Tech School of Law
A Modern Diploma Privilege: A Path Rather Than a Gate

Michele Cooley, IU McKinney School of Law
But I’m Paying for This!: Student Consumerism and Its Impact on
Academic and Bar Support

Danielle Kocal, Pace Law School
A Professor's Guide to Teaching Gen Z

Blake Klinkner, Washburn School of Law
Is Discovery Becoming More Proportional? A Quantitative Assessment of
Discovery Orders Following the 2015 Proportionality Amendment to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26

Leila Lawlor, Georgia State College of Law
Comparative Analysis of Graduation and Retention Rates

Chris Payne-Tsoupros
Curricular Tracking as a Denial of the “Free Appropriate Public Education”
Guaranteed to Students with Disabilities under the IDEA

I was delighted to see so many ASPers presenting Works in Progress, and I cannot wait to read and cite your published works! 

(Marsha Griggs)

October 1, 2021 in Academic Support Spotlight, Bar Exams, Guest Column, Meetings, News, Publishing, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 25, 2021

WCCASP Call for Proposals

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September 25, 2021 in Professionalism, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

A plethora of recent scholarship to report:

1.  B. Templin (Thomas Jefferson), Integrating Spaced Repetition and Required Metacognitive Self-Assessment in a Contracts Course (2021).

From the abstract:

This article provides an example for doctrinal law professors to integrate metacognitive exercises into their courses in order to increase student retention and understanding of the material as well as improve exam test-taking skills. Teaching metacognition is traditionally the domain of law school ASP departments. However, when ASP methods are supplemented with required exercises in a doctrinal course, student performance can improve measurably.

2.  S. George (Suffolk Law), The Law Student's Guide to Doing Well and Being Well (Carolina Academic Press, 2021). 

From the abstract:

The ABA and most state bar associations have identified a wellness crisis in the legal profession, and called for educating students on how to better cope with the challenges of law school and practice. At the same time, students must learn how to maximize their brain health so that they perform well in law school and on behalf of their clients in practice. The same way musicians would tune their instruments, or chefs would sharpen their knives, law students must sharpen their minds. This book aims to help students “do well” in their ability to learn, and “be well” in the process, by exploring the deep connection between brain health and wellness.

3.  A. Soled (Rutgers) & B. Hoffman (Rutgers), Building Bridges: How Law Schools Can Better Prepare Students from Historically Underserved Communities to Excel in Law School, 69 J. Legal Educ. 268 (2020).

From the introduction:

This article discusses the needs of law students whose circumstances—including but not limited to economic status, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or educational background—disadvantage them in relation to their classmates whose privileged environment better prepared them for law school. This article first discusses factors that affect academic performance at law school. Second, it illustrates prelaw school and law school programs that target the needs of students from historically underserved communities. Finally, this article proposes ways law school faculty and administration can help these students succeed in law school and in their careers.

4.  K. Testy (Washington), Advancing an Evidence-Based Approach to Improving Legal Education, 69 J. Legal Educ. 561 (2020). 

From the article:

Student-centeredness should not be a remarkable idea for legal education.
Yet, some educators resist student-centeredness on the grounds that such an
approach sounds too much like “the customer is always king.” Under this
line of thought, faculty members instead see their role as the expert with the
duty of deciding what the student needs. As one of my faculty colleagues once
explained to me, “Dean, you pay me to mold them, not to listen to them.”

In my experience, however, students usually do know what they need; we
can learn a great deal by listening

(Louis Schulze, FIU Law)

September 7, 2021 in Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Diversity Issues, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 18, 2021

ASP Writers' Block Monday

The next session of the ASP Writers' Block is Monday July 19th at 11am est.  Kris Franklin sent the zoom link to the google group.

Keep up the great work writing and advocating for our students.

July 18, 2021 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 27, 2021

ASP Writers' Block Tomorrow

ASP Writers’ Block 2nd session of the summer is Monday, June 28th.  

As a reminder: we work independently in one another’s company for 2 pomodoro cycles (25 minutes each), then briefly share what we are working on and solicit any feedback needed from our colleagues. Thus meetings usually last for about an hour and 20 minutes, though everyone is welcome to join in whatever portion they can attend.

Next two dates are:  July 19, August 2.

Zoom link information in the google group.

June 27, 2021 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 11, 2021

ASP Writer's Block Starts Again Monday!

By popular demand, the ASP Writers’ Blocks will return Monday, June 14th at 11 am est/8 pst.

As a reminder: we work independently in one another’s company for 2 pomodoro cycles (25 minutes each), then briefly share what we are working on and solicit any feedback needed from our colleagues. Thus meetings usually last for about an hour and 20 minutes, though everyone is welcome to join in whatever portion they can attend.

We will regather about every 2 weeks for the next few months, and decide later whether to continue through August.

Upcoming dates will be: June 28, July 19, August 2.

The zoom link is in the google group.


June 11, 2021 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 21, 2021

Learning Curve Seeking Submissions

The Learning Curve is soliciting articles for the Spring/Summer 2021 edition.  Please send your submissions by June 1 to [email protected]

This is a great opportunity to publish.  You are also helping our community continue to improve.  

If you have any questions, you can email the editors at the above address.

 (Steven Foster)

May 21, 2021 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

Our scholarly cup runneth over again this week.  So much so that I need to have three posts and not just one.  The first includes law review articles written by those currently in the ASP/ Bar field.  The second will include books written by those currently in the ASP/ Bar field.  The last will note articles of interest to those in the ASP/ bar field.

1.    Beth A. Brennan, Explicit Instruction in Legal Education: Boon or Spoon? __ Memphis L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021).  

From the abstract:

While legal education unquestionably hones students’ critical thinking skills, it also privileges students who are faster readers and have prior background knowledge or larger working memories. According to the prevailing mythology of law school pedagogy, students learn by struggling to find their way out of chaos. Only then is their learning deep enough to permit them to engage in critical thinking and legal reasoning.

Learning theory and research suggest this type of “inquiry” learning is not an effective way to introduce novice learners to a subject. Lacking basic substantive and procedural knowledge, students’ struggles are often unproductive and dispiriting.

Initial explicit instruction early in a student’s learning more predictably creates stable, accurate knowledge. Because higher-order thinking depends on having some knowledge, ensuring students have a strong foundation of substantive and procedural knowledge increases the likelihood that they will develop critical thinking skills.

However, legal education uniformly dismisses anything that looks like “spoon-feeding.” If the academy is going to incorporate learning theory into its pedagogy, it must understand and articulate the differences between spoon-feeding and explicit instruction.

This Article examines explicit instruction as a pedagogical tool for legal educators. Part I examines cognitive psychological theories of thinking and learning to understand the differences between spoon-feeding and explicit instruction and explain why initial explicit instruction is useful. Part II delves into the cognitive differences between novices and experts that support initial explicit instruction. Part III examines experts’ cognitive barriers to effective teaching. Part IV provides examples of how explicit instruction can be used in the law school classroom.

The Article concludes that the time is ripe for the academy to bring explicit instruction out of the shadows, and to incorporate initial explicit instruction into legal education.

2.    Steven Foster, Does the Multistate Bar Exam Validly Measure Attorney Competence?, 82 Ohio St. Law J. Online 31 (2021).

From the abstract:

2020 brought many challenges, which included administering the bar exam. States jumped through numerous obstacles to continue administering the current form of the exam. However, the current bar exam has never been proven to be a valid measure of attorney competence. This article offers evidence the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), is invalid. The exam, in other words, does not measure the knowledge and skills that lawyers use in practice. On the contrary, it is an artificial barrier to practice—one that harms the public by failing to screen for the knowledge and skills that clients need from their attorneys.

3.    Kris Franklin & Paula Manning, Make it Work! Teaching Law Students to Get Great Supervision (Even When Supervisors Aren't That Great), NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3797175 (forthcoming 2021).

From the abstract:

In an ideal world every single meeting between law students and professors, or between beginning lawyers and their supervisors, should leave supervisors impressed by their charges and junior lawyers/students with a clear sense of direction for their work. We do not live in that ideal world.

This Article seeks to improve those supervisory meetings, and to do so from the perspective of the ones under supervision. We posit there is a genuine art to getting the best supervision possible, and that doing so can be both learned and taught. We first unpack some of the disconnects and hidden assumptions that can hinder effective supervisory meetings. We observe that participants in supervisory meetings may have very different expectations about the roles of the participants. We further explore the relational aspects of supervision and note that a shared sense of responsibility for supervision promotes more effective supervisory interactions. Next, the Article turns to considering what law professors can do to prepare law students to get the most out of feedback from their supervisors. We conclude that teaching law students to adjust their attributions toward growth, to set clear and achievable goals, and to be thoughtfully self-reflective, will maximize their learning in any academic and professional supervision.

(Louis Schulze, FIU Law)

April 28, 2021 in Books, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)