Friday, March 25, 2011
On an unusually cool and windy day in Las Vegas, the Rocky Mountain regional LRW conference started off with a full slate of sessions at 2 pm.
Susan Wawrose, Victoria VanZandt, and Sheila Miller (Dayton) spoke on using focus groups to learn what legal employers think of and want from law students and recent grads. The trio talked about the logistics of putting together focus groups, the well-made investment of having a professional facilitator to lead the groups, the need for Institutional Review Board approval to tape the groups and use their responses, as well as some of the insights they received from the employers (including everything from analytical skills to appropriate office attire).
Next, Wendy Humphrey and DeLeith Gossett (Texas Tech) spoke on teaching "real world" professionalism and accountability to law students. They discussed allocating a percentage of the semester grade for professionalism points (students start with full points and lost them only for behaviors such as lateness, prohibited web surfing, etc.), as well as using analogs of real-life legal documents (scheduling orders, motion for continuance, order to show cause) in the course to help students link the expectation and demonstration of professional behavior with the consequence of not doing it.