Teaching Fellow Seminar

Teaching Fellow Seminar -- 3 credits: Fall (1) and Spring (2)
Section 1 (Writing Program: Legal Analysis and Writing TAs and Writing Center)
Section 2 (Academic Achievement Program)

The fall semester of this year-long seminar provides training for students who will work as teaching assistants for a Legal Analysis and Writing course or as teaching fellows in the Academic Achievement Program (AAP). The course focuses on collaborative learning and teaching in the law school context. Students in the seminar will study peer teaching techniques and the teaching of legal writing, with particular focus on commenting on student writing and holding individual teaching conferences. Through the study of articles on legal writing pedagogy, composition theory, and collaborative learning, students will learn the theories behind effective feedback techniques; they will put these theories into practice through a number of “practice rounds” before they comment on actual student writing or meet with students in peer learning sessions. Before holding actual conferences or meetings with students, they will read articles, view videos, discuss, and engage in role-play regarding effective conference and teaching techniques.

Students who work as Legal Analysis and Writing teaching assistants in the fall will, in the spring semester, become Writing Center teaching fellows, who will be responsible for staffing the Writing Center, the field placement component of the seminar. For those who are working in the Writing Center, the focus of the spring semester seminar shifts to teaching persuasive writing, teaching scholarly writing, and working in the Writing Center. Fellows will continue to learn to teach through written comments and the writing conference as they expand their proficiency with different forms of writing that such comments and conferences might cover. Each Writing Fellow will be assigned to work with a Written and Oral Advocacy section and should expect to attend a small number of classes, possibly present in class on topics such as citation and research, and to work with students from that section in the Writing Center.

Students who work as Academic Achievement teaching fellows in the fall will continue their work in the spring semester. For this group, the spring semester seminar will focus on working closely with first-year students who seek assistance from the AAP. Students in this section of the seminar will study articles and engage in seminar discussions about working with students on improving academic performance through the development and reinforcement of analytical skills and other skills needed to succeed in law school. Topics will include case reading, class preparation, outlining and synthesizing, and effective exam-taking. AAP teaching fellows put what they are learning in the seminar into practice by working as teaching assistants for the Legal Profession/Reasoning & Rhetoric course that is taught in the spring semester of the first year. This field placement component of the seminar involves leading weekly meetings with small groups of Legal Profession/Reasoning & Rhetoric students, supplemented by office hours with these assigned students.

Students in the Teaching Fellow Seminar will receive one grade at the end of the year, though an advisory grade may be given at the end of the first semester.

Second-year (and third-year evening) Writing Program teaching fellows taking the year-long course will be required to commit to an additional semester of Writing Center staffing during either semester of their final year in law school. Similarly, second-year (and third-year evening) AAP teaching fellows will be required to commit to working with the AAP in the fall semester of their final year of law school. Fellows will not receive credit for this final semester of staffing, but will be paid at teaching assistant rates.

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course