Author Archives: Charlotte Law Library

Building Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance While Teaching Legal Research

Kristina Niedringhaus of Georgia State University College of Law Library and Carolyn Broering-Jacobs of Cleveland State University, Cleveland Marshall College of Law gave a spirited and honest discussion about the emergence of grit as a best practice in education before a packed hall at the 107th AALL Annual Meeting & Conference. Their presentation, called Building Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance While Teaching Legal Research, synthesized the scientific research behind grit, and encouraged attendees to share their own experiences implementing grit in legal research instruction.

Grit is the display of perseverance and passion in the attainment of long-term goals.  The research of psychologist Angela Duckworth – among West Point cadets, Wharton School of Business graduates, National Spelling Bee champions, and other high-achieving-groups – indicates that, across demographics, grit is more important in determining success than intelligence or standardized test score. According to Ms. Duckworth, grit is measurable.  Presenters Niedringhaus and Broering-Jacobs administered the Duckworth Grit Scale to the attendees, and, as you would expect in a hall of librarians, the Grit Scale confirmed we were quite the gritty bunch.

Aside from quantifiable data, a student’s grittiness reveals itself in other ways.  For instance, an optimistic explanatory style of negative events correlates to having grit.  Also, students whose words and actions espouse a growth mindset show more resolve and determination in the face of failure than those who demonstrate a fixed mindset.  The growth mindset student willingly risks failure and accepts it as part of the hard work necessary to grow her intelligence and talent.  Conversely, the fixed mindset student believes her intelligence and talent cannot be improved, so she sees no point in working hard, least of all if there is the chance of failure.  This dichotomy between the growth mindset and fixed mindset tracks closely along cultural lines: students of Western cultures believe that struggle indicates they are less capable, while those of Eastern cultures believe the opposite, embracing struggle as a positive event.

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There are no scientific studies that indicate grit can be taught.  But, because it is the key to embracing hard work and failure, and learning over the long-term, presenters Niedringhaus and Broering-Jacobs, in the highlight of their discussion, turned it over to the attendees to share anecdotes of teaching grit.  These fell within such categories as staging an interrupting event or a complication in the research strategy, and allowing searches that lead nowhere or to an unclear answer.  But, a couple of anecdotes hit upon truly unique ways of teaching grit.  One professor brought bow ties to class and taught grit by showing students how to tie a bow tie.  Another professor recorded her efforts to answer a research problem devised by her students, capturing her frustration and failures, but also her determination and strategies for success as she worked through the problem.

Presenters Niedringhaus and Broering-Jacobs gave an amazing presentation that left the attendees with practical ways of instilling grit in their classroom instruction.  This made Building Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance While Teaching Legal Research one of the most talked about presentations from the 107th AALL Annual Meeting & Conference.

~ Cory M. Lenz ~

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ALR Student’s Corner: North Carolina Corporation Law and Practice Forms

Practice Forms provide law students and attorneys with practical advice on various procedural aspects of litigation. Form books supply attorneys with the boiler-plate language that is standard for a particular legal form. The attorney can then use this language when drafting a business form and can fill in the specific information related to his client’s company. Many times they give step-by-step instructions and other useful tools that both save the attorney time and aid him in drafting legal documents. The form book, North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms by James Snyder, Jr. (Thompson/West, 2003), does all of these same things for various business entities across the business cycle, from starting up to winding down.

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For the past year, I’ve been interning at a company’s legal department. I love working in the corporate realm and plan to continue to pursue a career in corporate law. Accordingly, I chose North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms because I thought it would be helpful to have a solid understanding of corporate practice forms – not only for my current internship, but also for my future legal career.  This form book is divided into the following three chapters: 1) Business Corporations, 2) Incorporation, and 3) Other Business Entities. The back of the book also contains the following three appendices – Comparison of Forms of Entity – Nontax and Tax Considerations Matrices, Incorporating Your Business in North Carolina, and Nonprofit Corporations. The book begins with a detailed table of contents, and the back pocket contains a cumulative supplement that was issued in December 2011. The supplement contains updates for the first and third chapters of the book.

Chapter One: Business Corporations is divided into 141 subtopics and their corresponding forms, listed and organized chronologically by the events in a corporation’s life, beginning with an Agreement to Incorporate.  Chapter 2: Incorporation is divided into the categories Business and Nonprofit Corporations and Nonprofit Corporations. Each category is further divided into different subtopics, beginning with incorporation and ending with merger and dissolution. This helps the attorney select the form pertinent to her client’s transaction. Chapter Three: Other Business Entities is divided into the following eight categories: 1) Limited Liability Companies, 2) Limited Partnerships, 3) Limited Liability Partnerships, 4) Registered Limited Liability Limited Partnerships, 5) Professional Corporations, 6) Professional Limited Liability Companies, 7) General Partnerships, and 8) Cooperative Associations. These categories are further divided into 73 different subtopics; an organization, seen throughout the resource, which helps the attorney locate the right form for his client’s business entity and tailor it toward the particular facts of the transaction.

North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms can be found on WestlawNext by drilling down in accordance with the following navigational path: “Browse: All Content” > “Secondary Sources” > “North Carolina” > “Forms” > “North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms.”  It can also be located in the Charlotte School of Law library in the “Reference: Carolinas” section by using the following call number: KFN7613.A65 S69 2003.

To demonstrate how easy it is to search and navigate this form book, let’s conduct a hypothetical search.  Suppose I needed to look for a standard form for the Articles of Dissolution for a Limited Liability Company.  Having drilled down to North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms on WestlawNext, I am ready to search within the resource.  Relevant search strings might be “articles of dissolution limited liability company;” “articles of dissolution” & “limited liability company;” or “articles of dissolution.”  The result page from each search string returns the correct form for the Articles of Dissolution for a Limited Liability Company in North Carolina, specifically § 3:18 Articles of Dissolution.  But, it’s worth noting that the more specific search string – the second one that made use of the connector “&” – returned more top results that were the most relevant. § 3:18 Articles of Dissolution includes such information as the name of the company, date of the filing of the Articles of Organization, reason for dissolution, effective date, and signature of the person filing the form. Having located the right form, I can appropriate much of the boiler-plate language and fill-in only the information specific to my client’s business or transaction.

North Carolina Corporation Law & Practice Forms is an extremely useful resource for corporate attorneys who need to quickly find the correct form to address their business clients’ various transactional needs.

~ Rebecca Reynolds, L’14 ~

 Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.

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Filed under Advanced Legal Research, Books & Stuff, Of Interest to Law Students, Student Postings

Staff Spotlight

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Aithyni Rucker, the CPD’s Diversity Career Opportunity Coordinator, was published in this month’s NALP bulletin.  Her article is entitled The Diversity Professional: Getting Your CSO in the Game Through Creative Programming and Outreach.  She co-authored the article with Jenia Bacote, Assistant Director for Career Communications at Mercer University.

Congratulations, Aithyni, on this accomplishment!

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Charlotte School of Law Welcomes 10 Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Legal Studies Students

The LLM in American Legal Studies program is offered to foreign trained attorneys and is a one-year, 24 credit hour program that provides students with the opportunity to pursue a flexible course of study tailored to their interests, or to complete the coursework required to be eligible to sit for the New York Bar Exam. Both options provide students with significant legal training and a strong understanding of U.S. law.

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For the Fall 2014 class, Charlotte Law welcomed 10 students representing India, Colombia, Peru, Lithuania, Jamaica, Romania, and Germany. Several full and partial tuition scholarship opportunities to qualified applicants will continue to be offered through the LL.M. Ambassador Scholarship program. In order to be eligible for consideration, a prospective student must simply submit his application for the LL.M program. To apply please visit LSAC at www.lsac.org. For these significant scholarship opportunities, highly qualified candidates are chosen who possess the following characteristics:

  • Qualifying first foreign degree in law;
  • High academic achievement;
  • Demonstrated capacity for leadership and teamwork;
  • Superior personal awareness;
  • Ability to contribute to the practice, development and study of law;
  • Commitment to service;
  • Contribution to a globally diverse student population;
  • Ability to master legal studies in English; and
  • Willingness to serve as an LL.M. alumni leader and ambassador for CSL.

We are still accepting applications for our Spring 2015 class beginning in January. There is no application fee for first-time applicants and no fee waiver code is needed when you apply online through the LSAC website.

More information about the one-year, 24-credit LL.M. program and the LL.M. Ambassador Scholarship can be found at www.charlottelaw.edu/llm. No additional application is required to be considered for any of Charlotte School of Law’s LL.M. scholarships, including the LL.M. Ambassador Scholarship.

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Filed under General Charlotte School of Law Information, Student Information

Photo Gallery: Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day at the Charlotte Law Library

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by | October 14, 2014 · 8:00 am

Links We Love Weekly Round-Up — October 13, 2014

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10 Tips for Better Legal Writing

Throughout your career as a lawyer, you’ll be judged professionally on two main things: your interpersonal skills and your writing. Although the requirements of writing assignments will vary depending on your organization, your supervisor and your clients, here are 10 pointers that will improve your work product.

Do You Have What It Takes to be a Rural Lawyer? [podcast]

Many young law grads are being urged to move out of large cities and into rural areas, where there aren’t as many attorneys competing for work. As we reported in the ABA Journal’s October cover story, there are many small communities in rural America that are woefully underserved, and access to justice is a real problem. It would seem a prime idea to hang your shingle in one of these small towns.

Five Clever Ways Companies Are Helping Employees Fight Burnout

For the overworked modern American employee, the policies and perks offered by some of the most generous companies sound like manna from the corporate gods. Onsite climbing walls. Free housekeeping. Chef-catered meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Yet however nice such benefits may be, they can also end up acting as subtle ways to get employees to work more.

10 Best Literary Ted Talks of the Year

Every year on Book Riot we’ve put together a round-up of our favorite literary TED talks. Since our last post, there have been ten that deserve mention, ranging from inspirational stories about sight and connection to really random dog poems from Billy Collins and erotic fantasies from Isabel Allende. Because it’s TED. Zany is bound to happen.

A Good, Dumb Way to Learn from Libraries

Too bad we can’t put to work the delicious usage data gathered by libraries.  Research libraries may not know as much as click-obsessed Amazon does about how people interact with their books. What they do know, however, reflects the behavior of a community of scholars, and it’s unpolluted by commercial imperatives.

The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

If your image of a computer programmer is a young man, there’s a good reason: It’s true. Recently, many big tech companies revealed how few of their female employees worked in programming and technical jobs. Google had some of the highest rates: 17 percent of its technical staff is female.  It wasn’t always this way. Decades ago, it was women who pioneered computer programming — but too often, that’s a part of history that even the smartest people don’t know.

Taking the New LexisAdvance Interface for a Usability Test Drive

After spending some time this year assessing the usability of Westlaw Next and Lexis Advance for users of assistive technology, I had high hopes when Lexis rolled out its new, streamlined interface. I was excited to see what improved usability features would better serve the growing population of legal researchers with disabilities.

19 Magical Bookshops Every Book Lover Must Visit

Snuggle up with a book.

Librarians React to Pew Study on Willingness to Disagree on Social Media

As libraries continue exploring ways to weave online social media into their core service, a Pew study suggests popular Internet gathering spots such as Facebook and Twitter are not effective places for generating meaningful or honest conversation about significant news events. Not only are people not more willing to discuss controversial issues online than they are in person, in fact the reverse is true.

Your Guide to the Gay Marriage Fight

Each state’s legal status on gay marriage, mapped.

ROR – Return on Relationships is how to Measure Social Media

How does your law firm measure return on investment on social media? Likes, comments, followers, traffic or analytics. Big mistake.  Good lawyers get their work from relationships and word of mouth. When measuring return on social media measure with reputation and relationships in mind.

What I Do When I Fail

When I try over and over again, once in awhile I succeed.  So what’s the secret? Well, there isn’t any. You just have to keep trying.  That said, here’s what I’ve found to work.

5 Ridiculous Law Firm Commercials

When looking for a lawyer to represent you, what do you look for?

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CSL Spotlight: Enhancing Learning Outcomes

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CSL is leading the higher education industry in enhancing learning outcomes and raising standards for experiential learning to prepare our students to be practice-ready.

Below is a front page article in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly about the recent change to ABA Standard 303(a) which now requires students to take 6 credits of experiential learning courses, and features interviews with Charlotte School of Law Deans Camille Davidson, Kama Pierce, and Carlos Pauling.

Law schools are sizing up recent changes to American Bar Association accreditation standards

Recent changes to the American Bar Association’s law school accreditation rules should mean minor adjustments for most of North Carolina’s law schools, if first impressions of several school leaders are correct. On Aug. 11 in Boston — after six years of comprehensive review — …

Read more: http://nclawyersweekly.com/2014/09/02/new-rules-for-schools-2/#ixzz3FYWViEot

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Filed under General Charlotte School of Law Information, Of Interest to Law Students