Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

New Scholarship:

Lisa M. Blasser, Nine Steps to Law School Success:  A Scientifically Proven Study Process for Success in Law School (Carolina Academic Press, 2021).

From the publisher's description:

Nine Steps to Law School Success is the first scientifically proven study process for success in law school. Synthesized from the study processes of other successful law students, this book provides a straightforward, linear, and chronological study process for students to follow from the beginning of the semester up to their final examination.  Students will learn how to complete each step, how each step leads to a deep understanding of course material, and how each step ultimately leads to success in their courses. Students will also learn how to incorporate Nine Steps into their weekly schedules during the semester.

Foundational ASP Scholarship:

Michael Hunter Schwartz, Teaching Law Students to Be Self-Regulated Learners, 2003 Mich. St. DCL L. Rev. 447 (2003).

From the abstract:

This article articulates a model of self-regulated learning for law students and lawyers, explains why law schools should aspire to teach their students to be self-regulated learners and details a curriculum designed to accomplish that goal.

The first section of the article explains self-regulated learning. Self-regulated learning is a cyclical model of the learning process. In fact, all learners self-regulate, although many new law students are novice self-regulated learners. Self-regulation involves three phases. In the planning phase, learners decide what they want to learn and how they will learn it. Expert self-regulated learners are more likely to strive for mastery, to consciously make strategic choices in deciding how to study, and to consciously plan when and where they will study. In the second phase, expert learners implement their adopted strategies while monitoring whether they are learning and maintaining attention, and they quickly act to rectify confusion or distraction. In the reflection phase, expert learners evaluate their learning process to determine whether it was as effective and efficient as possible, attribute successes to personal competence and effort and failures to specific strategic choice errors, and plan how they will approach similar tasks in the future.

The second section argues that law schools should include self-regulated learning skills among the skills they teach. This section details education studies from within and outside of legal education that show that expert self-regulated learners learn more, learn it better and enjoy the learning process more than their novice peers.

The final section describes a curriculum designed to teach law students to be self-regulated learners. The curriculum, designed to replace law schools' traditional orientation programs, provides concrete ideas for teaching these skills and for reinforcing that instruction in students' first-year courses.

(Louis N. Schulze, Jr., FIU Law)

February 16, 2021 in Books, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 4, 2021

ASP Writer's Block Reminder

Spring Semester ASP Writer's Block Sessions start Friday, February 5th!  As a reminder, these are times to carve out to work independently yet together on the kind of work that nurtures us, yet tends to end up on the bottom of an urgent to-do list. We meet together for two pomodoro work cycles of 25 minutes each, and some recap/mutual support at the end. Folks have used this time to read, research or draft scholarship, make journal entries, read poetry, or complete some mundane tasks in the company of friends. To accommodate our demanding schedules and varying time zones we have been meeting on Fridays at 11 am est/8am pst. For this semester, please mark your calendars for:

  • Friday, February 5th
  • Friday, March 5th
  • Friday, April 9th

February 4, 2021 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

ASP Foundational Scholarship Series:  This series focuses on the seminal ASP/ Bar Exam scholarship that contributed to the development of academic and bar support best practices.  

For the first-ever post in this series, I was stuck between two choices.  So, I chose both:  

1.    Knaplund & Sanders, The Art and Science of Academic Support, 45 J. Legal Educ. 157 (1995). 

This article was one of the earliest and most robust empirical analyses of law school academic support programs.  It helped ASP faculty defend the then-controversial pedagogy of "contextualized academic support" and answer the question "Why should we spend money on an ASP?"

From the introduction:

• Our analysis of seven distinct academic support initiatives at UCLA shows that support can substantially and demonstrably improve both short-term and long-term academic performance, but the effects vary markedly across UCLA's programs.

• The variation in academic effectiveness across UCLA's programs follows distinct patterns that yield definite guidance on the pedagogy of academic support.

• We found some evidence that academic support programs can have valuable benefits apart from their impact on grades.

2.     Russell McClain, Helping Our Students Reach Their Full Potential: The Insidious Consequences of Ignoring Stereotype Threat, 17 Rutgers Race & L. Rev. 1 (2016).

Coupled with Professor McClain's conference presentations on this subject and a related TEDx Talk, this article was the first to analyze the phenomenon of stereotype threat specifically as it pertains to law students.  It serves as a crucial resource for ASP faculty, and all others, to understand their potential in ameliorating the effects of implicit bias in the law school classroom.

From the article abstract:

A psychological phenomenon may be a significant cause of academic underachievement by minorities in law school. This phenomenon, called stereotype threat, occurs as a result of the fear of confirming a negative group stereotype....  When subject to this threat — as a consequence of being confronted with environmental or explicit triggers — people do worse in academic settings than they otherwise are capable of doing. In this article, I explore the implications of the research on stereotype threat for law schools and make several recommendations to deal with the threat.

There are natural implications for law school admissions, of course. If a portion of our applicant pool is affected by stereotype threat, then we cannot trust the accuracy of the metrics we typically use in law school admissions, i.e., prior academic performance and LSAT scores of law school applicants. Indeed, those credentials actually may under-evaluate the academic potential of these applicants, who are often minority students. This should cause law schools to reevaluate their admissions policies.

After students are admitted, law school provides fertile ground within which stereotype threat can flourish. This, of course, means that the performance of minorities in law school — in class, on exams, and in other areas — is likely to be diminished, such that many minorities will not perform up to their academic capacity. And, obviously, we would expect this same dynamic to play out on the bar exam.

Law schools can address stereotype threat at each of these levels, and they should do so. This article lays out a framework for understanding and dealing with the threat.

(Louis N. Schulze, Jr., FIU Law).



January 19, 2021 in Diversity Issues, Program Evaluation, Publishing, Reading, Teaching Tips, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

New: Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

Good morning, everyone, and a big thanks to Steven and the ASP Blog crew for inviting me here again.  Every other Tuesday, I will be posting what will be called the "Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight."  In each post, I will highlight a publication from the academic and/ or bar exam support field. 

There will be two categories:  "ASP Foundational Scholarship" and "New Scholarship."  The first category will reintroduce the seminal pieces that developed the generally agreed upon "best practices" in the academic and bar support field.  

The second category of "New Scholarship" is self-explanatory but requires a quick note.  Traditionally, academic and bar support faculty have been reluctant to self-promote their scholarship.  Perhaps arising out of the "ASPish" moniker, this norm demonstrates the humility that sits at the epicenter of who we are as a community.  But, it has also left too much ASP/ Bar scholarship out of the spotlight.  I am hoping that this series can help solve that conundrum.    

Therefore, if you publish some form of scholarship on law school academic/ bar exam support, please send me a link.  I will also promote new scholarship referred or found independently, so if you read a new piece and find it helpful, please let me know.  

The format of the piece is not important.  Books, law review articles, online law review essays, shorter pieces ... all are welcome.  I also welcome suggestions for the ASP Foundational Scholarship category.  If a publication positively contributed to your understanding of our field, such that you think others should be aware of it, please let me know and send a link.  

Later today, I will post the first installment of the ASP Foundational Scholarship series.  No spoilers here, though; you'll have to wait for it.  

(Louis N. Schulze, Jr., FIU Law) 

January 19, 2021 in Books, News, Publishing, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 20, 2020

Last Call for Learning Curve Submissions

The Learning Curve is seeking submissions for our winter edition.  They welcome submissions from ASP veterans and newbies alike!  Submissions are typically 2-4 pages long and can include anything related to (often broad and varied) ASP work.  This might include lesson ideas, strategies, policy discussions, etc.  

Please send your submissions to [email protected] by December 7, 2020.

November 20, 2020 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Cut Scores Impact Racial Diversity of Profession without Protecting Public

The UBE is spreading through the country faster than any legal education reform in recent memory.  A few short years ago, multiple people with information on Oklahoma's decision making thought the UBE would never happen in Texas, and following their lead, Oklahoma would also be one of the last states to adopt it.  Oklahoma disavowed scaling just a few years ago, and then, Texas followed the UBE lemmings.  Once Texas joined the crowd, the Oklahoma Supreme Court created a committee to study adopting the UBE.  One major question for the committee was whether the UBE, through scaling, would impact diversity.  The court also wanted to know if certain cut scores would impact diversity.  At that time, no one had a great answer.  No study looked at both the bar's impact on diversity along with cut score implications.  For Oklahoma, any information was even more irrelevant because Oklahoma was one of only a few states not scaling essay scores to the MBE.  The court proceeded to adopt the UBE without much information on that issue.

At that moment, there was a complete lack of information on critical topics.  Thanks to AccessLex and a team of researchers, we now have a quality study on cut scores' impact on diversity.  AccessLex offers grants for research on legal education issues.  You can read numerous interesting articles on their grant page.  The most recent article on California bar exam cut score is especially interesting.

The article Examining the California Cut Score:  An Empirical Analysis of Minimum Competency, Public Protection, Disparate Impact, and National Standards considers the impact of California's cut sore on diversity while also asking whether cut scores really protect the public from incompetent or unethical lawyers.  The analysis is very interesting.  I encourage everyone to ready the study.  We are in a unique period for bar exam reform and UBE expansion.  We should definitely ask whether the bar accomplishes its intended goal of protecting the public, especially if the impact functionally prohibits diversity of the profession.

(Steven Foster)


October 18, 2020 in Bar Exams, Diversity Issues, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 16, 2020

Call for Proposals for Detroit Mercy's Law Review Symposium

2021 Detroit Mercy Law Review Symposium

Pandemic: From Disparity to Equity

Call for Proposals

Deadline: October 31, 2020

The Detroit Mercy Law Review at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law invites proposals for its 105th annual symposium, which will be held March 5, 2021.  This year’s topic is Pandemic: From Disparity to Equity, focusing on disparities arising from the current COVID-19 pandemic and working from those toward an equitable new normal.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the role of law and regulation in light of the pandemic’s disparate impacts across race and class; the impact of pre-pandemic healthcare inequities in underserved communities; effects of the pandemic on education; managing prison release programs during pandemic; housing policy and eviction protections during and after pandemic; legal flexibility and fundamental rights within pandemic “hotspots”; and any other topic related to the law’s response to COVID-19’s effects across race and class.  Quality articles based on presentations made at the Symposium will be published in our annual Symposium edition.

Current plans call for the Symposium to take place entirely online.  In lieu of our usual reimbursement for travel expenses, presenters will be provided a $500 honorarium.

Submission Procedure 

The deadline for proposals has been extended to 5 p.m. EDT October 31, 2020. Proposals should be approximately 250–500 words, double-spaced, and must be submitted by e-mail to Marta Mazur, Symposium Director, at [email protected]. In your e-mail, please indicate whether your proposal is for a presentation only or if you plan to submit an article based on your presentation.

Acceptances will be e-mailed on or before November 2, 2020. Preference for presentation times will be given to those also planning to submit an article for publication. Articles will be due to the Law Review on Friday, March 12, 2021.

October 16, 2020 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Call for Editor of Learning Curve

Each year, The Learning Curve brings on a new member for a three-year term: the first two years as an Associate Editor, and the final year as Executive Editor.  Kevin Sherrill just ended his term, Sarira Sadeghi is stepping into the Executive Editor role this year, and Susan Landrum is in her second year on the publication and will become Executive Editor next year.  They are now seeking a new colleague to join this fantastic publication for a three-year term.

The publication puts out two editions each year, one toward the end of the calendar year and one near the end of the academic year.  Each editor is assigned between two and five articles for each edition.  The time commitment per edition is approximately 10 hours.

They are considering a third, special-edition next spring, but are also sensitive to the time constraints. 

The publication would like to invite anyone interested in joining the team to email Sarira their resume and a short (1-2 paragraphs) statement of interest at [email protected] by Sunday, October 4, 2020.  

September 27, 2020 in Academic Support Spotlight, Professionalism, Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 21, 2020

Summer 2020 Learning Curve is Out

The Summer 2020 issue of The Learning Curve is out.  This issue has great articles about transitioning ASP work to online delivery for the fall semester.  Another great group of colleagues contributed useful advice to use during this difficult time.

You can find the issue in the ASP google group.  Previous issues of the Learning Curve are on the AASE website.

Kevin Sherrill, Executive Editor, also announced they are accepting submissions through November 1st for the next issue.  I encourage everyone to work on a piece for submission.

(Steven Foster)


August 21, 2020 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 27, 2020

AASE Scholarship: A Conversation for ASPers Wanting to Write More

The AASE Scholarship Committee will host a workshop on Friday, July 10 at 2pm Central for a casual conversation about scholarship for ASP-ish faculty. Everyone is welcome, no matter the status of your project—trust me, we run the gamut from “I feel like I want to write something” to “I have polished work product and a publication contract.” We’ll convene and then break out into small groups to brainstorm, motivate, troubleshoot, and generally support you in your scholarly ambitions.

Zoom info is in the google group.

Cassie Christopher, Marsha Griggs, DeShun Harris, Susan Landrum, and Kirsha Trychta put together this great event.

June 27, 2020 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 15, 2020

What I've Learned

One year ago this month, I wrote my first post for the ASP blog. And while it seems like only yesterday that I began my quest to bombard readers with my weekly musings, I have decided to step aside to make room for other voices to be heard through this forum. Today will be my last post as a regular contributing editor, and I will use this opportunity to reflect on the wonderful learning and growth experience that the year has brought.

I’ve learned that:

Education and advocacy are not parallel paths, but rather an important intersection at which the most effective teachers are found. I left a high stakes commercial litigation practice for a role in academic support. I naively believed that an effective teacher had to be dispassionate and objective and more focused on pedagogy than on legal advocacy or controversial topics. However, I grew to realize that the very skills that made me an effective lawyer still guided me in the classroom to teach my students and to open their minds to new perspectives. My realization was affirmed when ASP whiz, Kirsha Trychta, reminded us that the courtroom and the law school classroom are not that different.

Anger can have a productive place in legal education and scholarship. I don’t have to conceal or suppress my passion to be effective as a scholar. I am angry on behalf of every summer (or fall) 2020 bar taker. I am bothered by states that are so tethered to tradition that they refuse to consider the obstacles and challenges of preparing for a bar exam during a pandemic. It troubles me to see law schools close the doors to their libraries and study spaces, and yet expect 2020 bar takers to perform without the benefit of quiet study space and access to internet and printing. I am flat out disgusted by the notion of forcing law students to assume the risk of death to take the bar exam. And I waive my finger to shame the states that have abandoned exam repeaters and that waited or are still waiting to announce changes to the exam dates and format after the bar study period has begun. These states have essentially moved the finish line mid-race, and our future lawyers deserve better. But thanks to the vocal efforts of others who have channeled their righteous anger into productive advocacy and scholarship, I’ve seen states like Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Utah, and Washington emerge as progressive bar exam leaders in response to a crisis.

Silence is debilitating. Like so many others, I was taught to make myself smaller, to nod in agreement, and avoid topics that would make others uncomfortable. The untenured should be seen, not heard. I am the person that I am because of my collective experiences. Stifling my stories and my diverse perspective would be a disservice to my calling and to the next generation of lawyers who need to be met with a disheartening dose of racial reality. As soon as I showed the courage to speak up and step out of other people’s comfort zones, I found that I was not alone. My ASP colleagues, like Scott Johns, Louis Schulze, and Beth Kaimowitz and others, were right there speaking out too.

Glass ceilings become sunroofs once you break through them. In the last few years, I have seen more and more of my ASP colleagues earn tenure or assume tenure track roles. And while a job title or classification, will never measure one’s competence or value, our communal pushes for equity are visibly evident. ASP authors continue to make meaningful contributions to scholarship in pedagogy and beyond. Thank you to Renee Allen, Cassie Christopher, DeShun Harris, Raul Ruiz, and the many, many, many others who I can’t name but whose work I’ve read and admired. With varied voices, we are paving the way to enhanced recognition and status in the academy, and with mentorship and writing support we are forming the next wave of formidable ASP bloggers, scholars, textbook authors, and full professors.

(Marsha Griggs)

June 15, 2020 in About This Blog, Academic Support Spotlight, Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exams, Current Affairs, Diversity Issues, Encouragement & Inspiration, News, Publishing, Weblogs, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Call for Papers Related to Online Teaching

The Saint Louis University Law Journal is proud to announce the twenty-second installment of the Journal’s Teaching series, Teaching Law Online.

The Journal created the Teaching series in 2000 as a forum for scholars, judges, and practitioners to discuss key topics and methods of teaching legal subjects.  Since then, the Journal has published a teaching issue annually, such as Teaching Civil Procedure (47:1), Teaching Constitutional Law (49:3), Teaching Federal Courts (53:3), and our forthcoming issue, Teaching Property (64:3). 

Our Teaching Law Online issue, in line with our past issues, will include articles by prominent scholars and practitioners, sharing their thoughts on teaching legal subjects remotely, a topic that is especially relevant in the rapid transition to remote learning that has occurred this semester in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  We hope to represent teachers with all levels of experience teaching legal subjects online, and we welcome submissions on any subject matter within the context of remote and online learning. 

Articles for our Teaching Series are usually between 3000–4000 words (approximately 12–15 double-spaced pages) long, although we regularly publish articles as long as 30 pages and as short as 10 pages.  Because the articles focus on the author’s own thoughts on teaching, only limited reference to outside sources is needed. We anticipate publishing this issue in the spring of 2021, and therefore ask that you submit your article for review via e-mail by August 1, 2020.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Michael McMahon, the Managing Editor of the Teaching Issue at [email protected]

April 3, 2020 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 2, 2019

Let's Write!

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. — Louis L’Amour

Scholarly writing is the professional currency of academia that buys the respect and recognition that is needed to advance. In some career tracts, writing and publication are required. In others, optional writing can be easily pushed to the back burner of an otherwise busy day, week, year . . . career.

It is a challenge, to say the least, to find time to write when you have skills courses to teach that require multiple formative assessments over the span of the semester. On top of a course load with more grading and feedback expectations than other faculty may experience, ASPers typically have endless days with a steady stream of student appointments and walk-ins. But then there’s summer. NB: In ASP world, “summer” can be that eight to 17-day period between the bar exam and new student orientation where we: build our new class preps, learn about changes to the bar and prepare presentations to our faculty and administration re the same, or possibly squeeze in a week to tend to a home project or health condition that we’ve neglected all year.

Great idea, but who has time for it really? Honestly, we don’t have time to write with all the pressing demands on our time; but we can make time to write on topics about which we are passionate and knowledgeable. Joining a writing group, whether through AASE or on your university campus, is a great first step. As a member of a writing group, you will find opportunities to receive supportive guidance and feedback on your writing.

A possible second step is to use your own appointment/calendaring protocol to carve out one hour per day or a 3-hour weekly block for writing and self-expression. ASP writing can also be intimidating to those of us without a doctrinal area of expertise. But it does not have to be. There is no Blue Book rule that says ASPers must write about pedagogy, testing, or learning. We all have general levels of doctrinal expertise or we could not help students to succeed in law school and on the bar exam. It would not be a huge leap to expand on a favorite doctrinal area and research and write on ambiguous rules or inappropriate application of policy.

I’ve never done this before; I’m not sure how to. ASP writing might be most daunting to first-generation lawyers and law professors. It is important to not self-exclude oneself by concluding that you don’t know where to being or to question whether anyone would be interested in what you have to say. If you are not yet ready to submit a journal article, please consider the array of other outlets for your writing including, but certainly not limited to, The Learning Curve (published by the AALS section on Academic Support), Raising the Bar (published by AccessLex), the Law Teaching Blog (hosted by the Institution for Law Teaching and Learning), and your local bar journal newsletters and state bar publications. You can present your work-in-progress at conferences to get ideas to improve your work before submission. Pan this Blog and the ASP listserv for calls.

You do not have to know today what you will write, when you’ll make time to do it, or where you will be published. First things, first. Pick up a pen and notepad or blank journal that you’ve squirreled away in a dresser drawer. Pull out that laptop and create a new folder in your drive called “Writing”. And write. Just write. If you are an outliner, build an outline. If you don’t know where to begin write journal-style entries about a topic that you disagree with or strongly advocate for. Write about something that you’ve been trying to convince your faculty to adopt. Brag about something that your law school does better than everyone else. Write about something entirely non-legal (your kids’ learning process, your journey to patience, struggles with emotional well-being, etc.) and then make analogous parallels into law teaching and the needs of our students. Your first draft writing need not be perfect, polished, or persuasive. It can be deficient, descriptive, and underdeveloped. But it must be written to be improved and shared with the world.

Just. Write.

(©Marsha Griggs)

September 2, 2019 in Advice, Publishing, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 9, 2018

Summer/Fall 2018 Learning Curve and Winter/Spring 2019 Submission Announcement

Dear Colleagues:


The editors of The Learning Curve are pleased to publish Summer/Fall 2018 edition which is [linked below]. In this edition, you will find articles related to the theme of diversity. We hope you will find these authors’ articles as insightful as we did as editors.


We are currently considering articles for the Winter/Spring 2019 issue, and we want to hear from you! We encourage both new and seasoned ASP professionals to submit their work.


We are publishing a general issue so we are considering all ideas related to academic support. If you have a classroom activity you would like to share, individual counseling techniques, advice for the academic support professional, and any other ideas, we want to hear from you!


Please ensure that your articles are applicable to our wide readership. Principles that apply broadly — i.e., to all teaching or support program environments — are especially welcome. While we always want to be supportive of your work, we discourage articles that focus solely on advertising for an individual school’s program.


Please send inquiries or your article submission to [email protected] by no later than December 15, 2019. (Please do not send inquiries to the Gmail account, as it is not regularly monitored.) Attach your submission to your message as a Word file. Please do not send a hard-copy manuscript or paste a manuscript into the body of an email message.


Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate. Please include any references in a references list at the end of your manuscript, not in footnotes. (See articles in this issue for examples.)

We look forward to reading your work and learning from you!


-The Editors


DeShun Harris, Executive Editor

Kevin Sherrill, Associate Editor

Sarira Sadeghi, Assistant Editor

Nancy Reeves, Technology Editor*


*Special thanks to Christina Chong (outgoing Technology Editor) for her contributions to this edition.

  Download Learning Curve Summer Fall 2018

November 9, 2018 in Publishing, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 12, 2018

SWCASP Takeaways

Last week's SWCASP workshop at UNT-Dallas was informative once again.  I want to thank everyone who spent time putting the program together and presenting.  I want to personally thank my colleague Jennifer Warren at OCU for taking the lead organizing the event this year.  She worked diligently to put together the slate of speakers and organize the event.  Preyal Shah did an amazing job at UNT Dallas hosting this year’s event.  Lastly, I want to say thank you to all the speakers for preparing such amazing discussions.  Here is my brief synopsis:

Scrapbooking for 1Ls: A Hands-On Approach to Legal Synthesis

Preyal Shah and Jessica Haseltine, UNT Dallas College of Law

Preyal and Jessica demonstrated an excellent exercise to help visual and kinesthetic learners.  They provide students with different sizes of paper that are different colors.  The sizes and color correspond to a hierarchy for outlining diversity jurisdiction.  The exercise is setup like a puzzle.  Students must take their Civ Pro class notes and fill in the rules and then piece together the hierarchy.  After visualizing the structure and context, they transition students to writing essays about diversity.  The exercise was outstanding.  I can’t adequately describe the visual effect of seeing the rule structure.  If you have struggling visual learners, definitely contact Preyal (or anyone attending) for information.

Emerging Adults

Rebecca Flanagan, University of Massachusetts School of Law

Rebecca was amazing, as always.  She explained the characteristics of our new group of students.  The semi-accurate quote that struck me was “Law School is based on students we used to have not the students we have now.”  I definitely agree our students are different now than they were even when I first started in ASP.  Rebecca explained how adulthood is defined by milestones, which can include getting a mortgage or having a full-time career.  Previous generations of students met many of those milestones, but most of our students meet none of the adult milestones.  Her discussion advocated for changing teaching to provide more context, scaffolding, and basic professional skills.  Watch out for Rebecca’s articles as they are published because they will be a great resource for improving our teaching.

Helicopter Professors

Emily Grant, Washburn University School of Law

Emily’s presentation was based on her law review article about Helicopter Professors.  This is an interesting topic.  I felt convicted after listening to her speak because I am probably (most likely) a helicopter professor.  This is also interesting because the research says helicopter parenting is on the rise, and new parents are also our new generation of law professors.  The idea that parenting styles would then enter the classroom makes sense to me.  Helicopter parenting and teaching may not always be bad, but Emily does a great job of demonstrating some of the problems.  I personally always worry that if I am not clearly structuring everything students should be doing on an hourly basis throughout the summer, then students won’t do what is necessary to succeed on the bar.  My strategy may or may not really help students pass the bar, but it is definitely not helping them become an independently motivated attorney.  I need to buy into her quote “Excessive Guidance that hinders learning.”

For Technical Assistance, Please Press 9

Kirsha Trychta, West Virginia University College of Law

Kirsha is definitely more tech savvy than I am.  She provided resources to make ASP work more efficient and fun.  The highlight for me was definitely how to make a lightboard.  If you make videos for students, the lightboard is a fun way to make it more interactive.  Here is the youtube video explaining lightboards.  She was able to make the lightboard for approximately $2,500.  If you want to build one, contact her about her experience.  I plan to setup a meeting with our IT department as soon as I get back to see if this is possible.  She also talked about making her outlook calendar public so students can see whether she is available.  This decreases the number of students emailing or calling asking when she is available.  They can look at her calendar and email for specific appointments.  The aspect I enjoyed was students can’t see the specific appointments, but they can see when she is busy or available. 

Law Success after Year One: Using a Mandatory Skills Curriculum to Tackle Bar Passage Rates

Zoe Niesel and Mike Barry, St. Mary’s University School of Law

Zoe and Mike built a comprehensive ASP program focusing on law school success, bar exam passage, and practice ready skills.  First, I would applaud St. Mary’s for committing the resources to allow Zoe and Mike the ability to build such an extensive program.  They have classes virtually every semester of law school with over 10 faculty and staff in their program.  I loved their 2nd semester 1L course focused on professionalism and practice ready skills.  They teach client interviewing and business communications among other skills.  Students are grouped in law firms and must interview a simulated client played by a drama school student.  Students then meet with a volunteer local attorney to present a strategy for the simulated client.  I think students interacting with senior attorneys helps build professional skills students will need in the summer after first year.  The contextual learning will also deepen student learning.


Great job by all the presenters.  If you are interested in slides, Jennifer Warren from OCU will have all the slides.

(Steven Foster)

March 12, 2018 in Meetings, Publishing, Teaching Tips, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Academic Support & Bar Exam papers on SSRN in 2017

A quick check of SSRN reveals that eight new articles were posted in 2017 containing "academic support" or "bar exam" in their title, abstract, or keyword directory.  Here is the list, in alphabetical order by first author:

The High Cost of Lowering the Bar.  Number of pages: 16. Posted: 01 Jun 2017, Last Revised: 13 Oct 2017.  Robert Anderson IV and Derek T. Muller.  Pepperdine University School of Law and Pepperdine University - School of Law.

Giving Students a Seat at the Table: Using Team-Based Learning to 'Teach' Criminal Law.  Number of pages: 5. Posted: 20 Dec 2017. Shawn Marie Boyne.  Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Using a Case-Progression Approach to Mapping Learning Outcomes and Developing Assessments.  Number of pages: 56. Posted: 21 Apr 2017.  Jeanette Buttrey, Laura Dannebohm, Vickie Eggers, Joni Larson, Mable Martin-Scott and Kimberly E. O’Leary.  Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Indiana Tech - Law School, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Indiana Institute of Technology - Indiana Tech Law School, Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School and Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

The Perfect Practice Exam: The Skill of Legal Analysis.  Carolina Academic Press (2017); ISBN: 978-1-63284-320-3. Number of pages: 44.  Posted: 08 Aug 2017.  Christina Shu Jien Chong.  University of San Francisco School of Law

'They're Digging in the Wrong Place:' How Learning Outcomes Can Improve Bar Exams and Ensure Practice Ready Attorneys.  Number of pages: 46. Posted: 19 Sep 2017, Last Revised: 02 Oct 2017.  Debra Moss Curtis.  Nova Southeastern University - Shepard Broad College of Law. 

The Case for a Uniform Cut Score.  Number of pages: 14. Posted: 01 Aug 2017, Last Revised: 15 Aug 2017.  Joan W. Howarth.  William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV; Michigan State University College of Law.

Exam-Writing Instruction in a Classroom Near You: Why it Should Be Done and How to Do it.  Number of pages: 49. Posted: 24 Feb 2017.  Joan Malmud Rocklin.  University of Oregon.

Mismatch and Bar Passage: A School-Specific Analysis.  UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-40. Number of pages: 16.  Posted: 17 Oct 2017.  Richard H. Sander and Robert Steinbuch. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - School of Law and University of Arkansas at Little Rock - William H. Bowen School of Law.

In addition to these academic support and bar exam-focused articles, 250 papers containing “legal education” as a keyword were also posted last year. The most downloaded legal education article, by far, was “A Revealed-Preferences Ranking of Law Schools” by Christopher J. Ryan Jr. (Vanderbilt) and Brian L. Frye (Kentucky).  For one blogger’s list of the best legal education articles from 2017, click here.  (Kirsha Trychta)

January 9, 2018 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Best Legal Education Articles of 2017

Our Law Professor Blog Network counterpart, Scott Fruehwald, at TaxProf Blog posted his list of the best legal education articles from 2017.  As you'll see in the blogpost re-printed in its entirety below, several academic support professors made the list this year.  Kudos to the ASP community!  (Kirsha Trychta)

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"Weekly Legal Education Roundup: The Best Legal Education Articles of 2017" by Scott Fruehwald

Because the week between Christmas and New Years is typically slow for legal education news, I am going to discuss the best legal education articles from 2017.  Several articles in the past year showed the effectiveness of new approaches to legal education.  There have also been several excellent articles this year on professional identity development.  Finally, measuring outcomes was an important area of research in 2017.

January 1, 2018 in Publishing, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Making an ASP Brochure

If you're not responsible for grading exams, then you may find yourself with a few "free" days in December.  If that's the case, then this might be a good time to create or revamp a brochure outlining your law school's academic support programs and services.  The brochure can not only serve as a handout for students, but also remind your faculty colleagues of available resources.  (See Amy Jarmon's 2007 blog post "Working with Faculty Colleagues.") 

To get a jumpstart on the task, you are invited to use my school's brochure as a template: Download Academic Support Trifold Brochure Template.  Although we used publishing software to create the original brochure, I've provided a Microsoft Word version here for ease of use.  Of course, you'll need to swap out your school's particular program information, but I suspect that the big picture layout can remain the same for most schools.  Your school's public relations or technology department may also be able to lend a helping hand with logos, branding, and formatting.  (Kirsha Trychta)

December 5, 2017 in Miscellany, Publishing, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Call for Articles for the Winter Issue of The Learning Curve

For our upcoming Winter issue, we are particularly interested in submissions surrounding the issue’s themes of academic advising, counseling, and troubleshooting performance issues our students' experience. Are you doing something innovative outside of the classroom that helps motivate a new generation of law students? Do you have classroom exercises that promote the positive effects of supportive peer groups? Do you use technology to facilitate difficult conversations with students who are performing at a level they find acceptable?

Please ensure that your articles are applicable to our wide readership. Principles that apply broadly — i.e., to all teaching or support program environments — are especially welcome. While we always want to be supportive of your work, we discourage articles that focus solely on advertising for an individual school’s program.

Please send your article submission to [email protected] by no later than December 1, 2017. (Please do not send inquiries to the Gmail account, as it is not regularly monitored.) Attach your submission to your message as a Word file. Please do not send a hard-copy manuscript or paste a manuscript into the body of an email message.

Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate. Please include any references in a references list at the end of your manuscript, not in footnotes. (See articles in this issue for examples.)

We look forward to reading your work and learning from you!


The Editors

Chelsea Baldwin, Executive Editor

DeShun Harris, Associate Editor

Christina Chong, Technology Editor

October 14, 2017 in Publishing, Writing | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Learning Curve: Call for Proposals

Dear Friends & Colleagues:

On behalf of the editorial staff of The Learning Curve (Chelsea Baldwin, DeShun Harris, and Christina Chong), I'm pleased to announce this additional call for submissions for our upcoming Summer 2017 issue.  The Learning Curve is a newsletter reporting on issues and ideas for the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Academic Support and the general law school academic & bar support community.

The deadline for this call is July 1, 2017.   We are expecting to publish another general topic/theme issue. 

As the final exam season has just begun to pass us, I'm sure this moment can give us pause on what innovative teaching methods, techniques, and/or experiences we might have come across this year.  So if you have an idea, a lesson, or a perspective on ASP or bar teaching to share, please consider submitting to The Learning Curve.  As examples of the types of articles we publish, I have attached this past Winter's edition.  Articles should be 500 to 2,000 words in length, with light references, if appropriate, and attached as a Word file.  Please send your inquiries and submissions to [email protected].  

Lastly, as our editorial terms have three-year expiration dates, the time has come for me to step down from The Learning Curve.  It has been my pleasure to have served as the Executive Editor of the The Learning Curve in this past academic year, and to have served on the editorial board for the last three academic years.   I hope that the articles we've published on ASP and bar support have continued to push law teaching forward and have served collectively as a supportive voice for our endeavors in the academy.   I'd like to thank those wonderful authors who have published with us during those years, and the terrific colleagues who have worked with me on the board during that time.  I hand off the Executive Editorship to Chelsea Baldwin, who will invariably keep that torch lit.   Thank you all very, very much.

All the best,


Jeremiah A. Ho | 何嘉霖 | 助理教授


Assistant Professor of Law

University of Massachusetts School of Law

333 Faunce Corner Road

North Dartmouth, MA 02747

508.985.1156 • [email protected]


  • Co-Editor, Human Rights at Home Blog: http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/human_rights/
  • Executive Editor, The Learning Curve (AALS Section on Academic Support Newsletter)
  • Contributing Faculty, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning (ILTL)
  • 2014 Recipient, "50 Under 50" Law Professors of Color (awarded by Lawyers of Color, Washington D.C.)
  • View my TEDx-style talk at LegalED: https://vimeo.com/106427691

May 23, 2017 in Publishing | Permalink | Comments (0)