News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for July, 2011

Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission Created

The Ohio legislature recently passed HB 188, which creates an independent Constitutional Modernization Commission charged with studying the Ohio Constitution and making recommendations for amendments.  According  to a recent article by Professor Steven H. Steinglass, (Constitutional commission is the way to go, Columbus Dispatch, July 27, 2011)

“…the Ohio Constitution could use a careful and thorough review.  And in an age of extreme partisanship, the launching of this bipartisan approach to constitutional modernization bodes well for the first serious review of the Ohio Constitution in four decades.”

The Commission’s recommendations for amendments to the Constitution  will be made to the General Assembly.  The General Assembly must approve the amendment by 3/5 vote before it will appear on the ballot.

If voters decide to have a  constitutional convention in 2012, the Constitutional Modernization Commission will report to the General Assembly its recommendations for organizing the convention, and will report to the convention its recommendations for constitutional revision.  Professor Steinglass opines that a constitutional convention would not be an effective way to amend the Ohio Constitution.

“A convention is an unpredictable and unfocused method for amending state constitutions. Though appealing to highly motivated but narrowly focused special-interest groups, a convention would operate without expertise and deliberativeness, and, most important, without the broad political support necessary for ultimate success.”

To see the latest news on the Ohio Constitution, as well as to access historic documents and cases, go to the Ohio Constitution -Law and History page, created and maintained by Professor Steinglass and yours truly, Sue Altmeyer.



How is Law School Different from Undergrad?

First years will be told that procrastinating is more difficult to get away with in law school and that more study hours will be required.  The Academic Support Blog feels that first years will better heed these warnings if they understand What makes law school so different for many new law students? Some of the differences include:

  • More active learning is required. Casebooks do not set everything out the way college textbooks do, so more analysis is required.
  • Grades are based on one exam, or for year long courses, one exam and a midterm.  This makes procrastinating and cramming more difficult.
  • Typically there is no right or wrong answer in law, but an “it depends” answer requiring application of the law to a fact pattern.
  • Professors expect  students to learn the basics before they come to class.

If you are a first year and you have questions or need help, contact Daniel Dropko, Manager, Academic Excellence Program, LB 140A,, 216-687-2226.

Photo:  Welcome to Newbie by  I like

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Some Hints for the Last Days of Bar Prep

Some hints from the Academic Support Blog:

  • Mix up your study routine to keep things fresh so you don’t get bored.  Try studying in a different room, or use flashcards or some other different study method.
  • If you feel drained, slow down and take a break now so you don’t burn out before the test.
  • Don’t be alarmed if you have a dip in performance.  “Everyone goes through a period where their progress feels stalled, and they can’t find the focus to keep going. It’s important to realize that a dip in performance on practice questions is okay if they are still studying.”

Faculty- Want an Alternative to TWEN? Learn Blackboard!

CSU’s Center for eLearning is offering the following training sessions for faculty:

Moving from Blackboard CE 8 to Learn 9.1 – August 3rd
The Moving from Blackboard CE 8 to Learn 9.1 workshop is geared toward seasoned online instructors and advanced users of Blackboard CE. This two-hour workshop will walk instructors through the necessary steps to transition your course from CE 8 to the new Learn 9.1 platform.

Blackboard Learn 9.1 Boot Camp – August 24th – 25th
The Blackboard Learn Boot Camp is a two-day workshop introducing instructors to designing your courses for online delivery. This hands-on workshop is trageted for instructors new to online course delivery and/or those interested in learning more about quality course design. Topics will cover best practices for course design as well as the basics of Blackboard Learn.

Visit eLearning’s web page for more information and online registration.

CSU’s Blackboard system automatically creates a course page for every class being taught at CSU, and automatically gives access to all the students registered for the course.  Blackboard has a nice layout and is easy for students to use.

Lexis has a version of Blackboard available too.  Ihad problems with it in the past, but Lexis has made improvements to the system.  One advantage over CSU’s  Blackboard system is that when you upload a document,  Lexis Blackboard can automatically create links to cases and other items on LexisNexis.   (This is also an advantage of TWEN).  Another nice feature of Lexis Blackboard is the plagiarism checker, SafeAssign.