The Beginning and Newer Law Teachers Committee creates programming aimed at assisting junior faculty members. The programming revolves around the three primary elements of a professor’s job – teaching, scholarship and service –, with the emphasis on teaching and scholarship. The programming takes a serious look at the ways professors can develop as teachers, both in and out of the classroom, focusing not only on pedagogies, but on specific areas of interest, such as teaching through alternative methods, using technology, designing exams and other assessments, teaching professional identity formation, and connecting the classroom to law practice. Programming about scholarship includes a wide range of topics, from developing the processes to create scholarship, to how to find one’s scholarly voice. The Committee also is cognizant of the importance of promoting a collegial and egalitarian working environment, and aims to promote these values through its panels and discussion groups.
- Steve Friedland (Elon U.) (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern) (Vice-chair) email@example.com
- Dustin Benham (Texas Tech)
- Mark Bauer (Stetson)
- Sydney Beckman (Lincoln Memorial U.)
- Kathy Cerminara (Nova Southeastern) (Mentor Committee Liaison)
- Brannon Denning (Samford U.)
- Tessa Dysart (Regent U.)
- Susan Klein (Texas)
- Ronald Krotoszynski (Alabama)
- Susan Kuo (S. Carolina)
- Nancy Levitt (UMKC)
- Melissa Lonegrass (Louisiana State) (New Scholars Committee liaison)
- Benjamin Madison (Regent)
- Colin Marks (St. Marys)
- Scott Norberg (FIU)
- Daniel O’Gorman (Barry)
- Elizabeth Pendo (St. Louis)
- Nancy Soonpaa (Texas Tech U.)
- Maggie Thomas (Louisiana State)
- Connie Wagner (St. Louis U.)
2017 Annual Report
The 2017 Beginning and Newer Law Teachers Committee created a variety of sessions aimed at both new and newer law teachers concerning the core activities of teaching and scholarship. The Committee decided to continue sessions in demand, while also adding several topical sessions. Since scholarship is central to the tool kit of the newer law teacher, a discussion session will be presented by top-notch scholars, titled “Becoming a Productive Scholar.” The coverage of basic matters continues with two teaching sessions, Teaching Fundamentals I and Teaching Fundamentals II. Fundamentals I focuses on designing an effective law school course or seminar. Fundamentals II focuses on classroom teaching, led by outstanding teachers from around the country.
Another session, “the deans panel,” (“What I’d Like to Ask a Dean—An Opportunity for Newer Law Professors to Ask Questions and Get Advice”), has become a salient part of the program and will be offered again. Given the importance of assessment, a discussion group about the methods of formative and summative assessment will be offered. In addition, the Committee will sponsor a new discussion group–workshop that will apply design thinking innovation to legal education.
Finally, the Committee has observed that despite the comprehensive nature of the workshops offered, we omitted an important component of any gathering of law teachers—the opportunity for camaraderie in an informal setting. Thus, the Committee will steward its second annual optional law professor dinner for anyone who desires to meet other professors and make connections.
2016 Annual Report
The Beginning & Newer Law Teacher Committee for the 2016 SEALS Program designed a variety of presentations directed at both new and newer law teachers. These programs likely will be of interest to veteran professors as well. The Committee decided to continue basic sessions in demand, while also creating new and topical complementary panels. Scholarship matters to the newer law teacher so we are again offering a core session presented by top-notch scholars, “Scholarship Nuts and Bolts.” What is known as “the deans panel,” (“What Deans Would Tell Newer Law Professors If They Asked”), has become a part of the core foundation of the program and will be offered again. There will again be a discussion group on methods and means for mentoring students, particularly those who are first generation professionals without role models to guide them. The essential panel on teaching, “Philosophies and Approaches to Law School Teaching,” is being offered again by some terrific and dedicated law teachers. This foundational session is complemented by other teaching-focused panels, including two new and pragmatic sessions, “Teaching Nuggets: Takeaways for and by Law Professors,” and “Ways to Improve Teaching and Learning.” The latter session offers ideas on the new ways to teach beyond traditional boundaries, including flipping the classroom and adopting various forms of advancing technology.
Because of the importance of assessment under the new A.B.A. Standard 302 on learning outcomes, a discussion group about assessment will be offered—“Formative Assessment and Learning Outcomes: Implementing A.B.A. Standards Easily and Effectively.” This session features Bill Adams, the Deputy Consultant of the A.B.A.’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. Brand new for 2016 is a blending of substantive law teaching and legal writing in the panel, “The A.B.A. standards and Meaningful Feedback—What does that Mean.” Another brand new offering concerns the important intersection of law school and identity issues, from professional identity to race, gender, sex orientation and more, “Identity Issues Inside and Outside the Classroom.” Further, since this section was developed to help new and newer law professors transition through the stages of their careers, there will be a new panel discussing all of the issues that arise with changing schools or job description, “Changing Jobs and Changing Roles: Perspectives on the Arc of a Legal Academic Career.” For many teachers who become associate deans, administrative directors or just change schools, there is no real or formal preparation. This panel hopefully will provide a useful source of information. Finally, the Committee observed that despite the comprehensive nature of the workshops offered, we still had left out an important component of any gathering of law teachers—the opportunity for camaraderie in an informal setting. Thus, for the first time, the Committee is stewarding a dinner for anyone who desires to go to dinner with other newer law professors and make connections.