The following plenary sessions will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Plenary sessions are designated by the NALSAP Conference Committee as sessions that all NALSAP Conference participants should attend. They involve a broad range of topics designed to enhance professional knowledge and skills.
National Task Force on Lawyer Wellbeing: Creating a Movement in our Law Schools to Improve Well-Being in the Legal Profession
Terry Harrell, Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program
David Jaffee, American University School of Law
Janet Stearns, University of Miami School of Law
In August, 2017, the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being published The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. The new and comprehensive report is a powerful call to action in response to high incidence of law student and lawyer substance use and mental health concerns. This Task Force report includes some very specific recommendations for law schools as well as the regulators, bar associations and other stakeholders. Our role in addressing substance use and mental health concerns in law schools is more important than ever in preparing our graduates for the practice of law. This panel will provide an overview of the Task Force report and highlight concrete activities and programming for student services professionals, including Mental Health Day, online resources, and other curricular and co-curricular strategies. We will also highlight the resources available from bar association and lawyers assistance professionals in our communities to help us with these critical initiatives.
Planning a Goal Driven Orientation
Mitchell Balin, Georgetown University Law Center
We've all experienced the common pitfalls in planning law school orientation. It’s easy to fall into the traps of doing the same programs year after year, parading out a series of talking heads who share information that’s either out of context before classes start or that the students will quickly forget, giving in to “special interest” offices or faculty who want a platform, spending precious funding on low impact events, failing to use orientation as a key platform to teach and model critical professional competencies, or neglecting the opportunity to make essential first impressions of the school and the profession. The goal of this panel is to share some best practices to apply strategic planning techniques to law school orientation. Using the evolution of the Georgetown Law JD orientation week as a test case, the panelists will share (1) their process for goal identification and prioritization in developing orientation week programming; (2) their current highest priority goals for orientation week, and how those have evolved over 15 years; (3) the programs they have implemented and discarded in recent years to fulfill those goals; (4) best practices for engaging partners across and outside the law school to refine the goals and enhance the programs; (5) ways to align spending priorities and key goals, including strategies to deploy student, staff and alumni resources to deliver programming; and (6) approaches to iteratively evaluate orientation programming based on key metrics. The program will include opportunities for large group Q & A and brainstorming in small groups if time permits.
At the Corner of Privilege and Oppression: Strategies for Advising Students at the Intersection of Multiple Identities
Jino Ray, Howard University School of Law
Troy Riddle, John Marshall Law School
Each of us exists at the intersection of multiple identities. Some identities afford us privileges, while others marginalize. In the context of law school, students arrive with varying levels of understanding and comfort as it relates to their identity. Many often struggle to fully communicate their intersecting identities and articulate how their identities might impact their ability to navigate the demands of law school. As student affairs professionals, how do we advise students who are becoming increasingly more aware of their identities - particularly those who are marginalized as a result of them. This interactive session will examine the challenges of advising students across multiple identities. Participants will consider points of intersection in their own identities and work to pinpoint areas where, as a result of those identities, they may be vulnerable to exhibiting bias in their role as an advisor. From there, participants will grapple with realistic advising scenarios and explore answers to questions such as: Where are the intersections of identity? How would I empower this student through our interactions? What questions would I ask (or NOT ask)? If I feel ill-equipped to assist a student, where or to whom would/should I refer the student?
Where’s Help When You Need it?: Legal Issues in Law School Student Affairs
Kristen Meeks, National Association of College and University Attorneys
James Nussbaum, Indiana University
Larry D. Robertson, Valparaiso University
This session will provide a legal update on several issues of significance to law student affairs professionals and may cover a number of topics such as: ADA requirements, student organizations and risk management, free speech, and Title IX enforcement and compliance. Panelists will be include members of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), James Nussbaum, assistant general counsel for Indiana University and Larry Robertson, Assistant General Counsel and Title IX Coordinator for Valparaiso University. NACUA, the premier organization in the field of higher education law, aims to enhance legal assistance to colleges and universities by educating attorneys and administrators as to the nature of campus legal issues. Panelists will discuss strategies to develop and implement policies, how to work proactively to avoid legal issues, and share ways to cultivate relationships with your campus Office of General Counsel. This session will also provide an opportunity to engage in discussion of case studies and best practices. Kristen Meeks, Assistant Director of Legal Resources for NACUA will moderate this session.