Happy New Year!

11178388835_b7d56ea6c9_nHappy New Year! Hard to believe we’re one year away from The Future, as depicted in the Back to the Future movies, isn’t it?  It’s even harder to believe sometimes that most current law students weren’t alive when the first movie came out…

As always, we here at CALI(R)  are very excited about the future and some of the things we have in store for you in 2014.

For Law Students:

Especially if you are a 1L, law school grades can be a bit of a shock.  But remember, if you are disappointed by your grades, it doesn’t mean that you are stupid or even that you didn’t understand the material.  It just means that you are surrounded by other high achieving people and have been graded on a curve.

However, it can’t hurt to brush up on your study skills and test taking techniques.  (Especially now you have a clean slate and new courses!)  We have a free book available called “Law School Materials for Success” by Dean Barbara Glesner Fines of UMKC Law School.  It covers these topics and more.  Plus, she has recorded podcasts to go along with ever chapter.

I also encourage you to try CALI Lessons as a study aid.  CALI Lessons are interactive tutorials that can show you what subjects you haven’t quite grokked yet. We have them listed by subject, in topic breakdowns and by casebook.  You can also search for them in the CALI(R) website search box.  And remember: unless your faculty member has set up a LessonLink, no one but you can see your scores or how often you’ve taken a lesson but you.

Finally, we don’t have just “casebooks” on our eLangdell(R) Press site.  We also publish Federal Rules Supplements in conjunction with the Legal Information Institute.  Before shelling out money for a print version, you may want to check ours out for free.

For Faculty:

We have a wide range of tools for you to use or recommend to your students.

Assuming you didn’t skip the above section for students, you saw the mention of Dean Fines’ “Materials for Law School Success” as well as information about CALI Lessons.  Both of these are ideal to recommend to students who are less than thrilled with their performance in the previous semester.  They are also great to recommend to your current students so they don’t have that experience in this semester.  The “Faculty View” feature on each lesson’s page will allow you to view an entire lesson on one webpage (instead of flipping dozens of lesson pages) and even print it out for offline review.

It’s never too late to use CALI Lessons for formative assessment in your classes.  Our LessonLink feature allows you to view your student performance on CALI Lessons, down to each student’s answer on every question.  Full instructions appear on the link above, but it’s really as easy as pressing a button to set it up.

Finally, we will be holding our annual Conference for Law School Computing(R) June 19-21 at Harvard Law School.  Don’t let the title fool you – we have presentations on all aspects of legal education and you do not have to be a programmer or technologist to understand what is being discussed.  A call for presentations and registration information will be available shortly.  If you’re not able to make the trip to Cambridge, we will also have educational opportunities for our members throughout the semester.  Stay tuned for those!

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/danmoyle/ CC-BY

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