Wednesday | Thursday | Friday |

*Please note, the times listed below are in Eastern Time (ET)

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Welcome: Opening Announcements and Meet the Candidates 

12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Take Note: Using Chapter Notes as a Formative Assessment Tool
Speaker:  Jesse W. Raskin, JD

Many instructors rely on quizzes to assess student learning and to encourage students to read the materials. This makes sense because quizzes are fast, easy, efficient, and can cover a lot of content (Suskie, 2009). While tests and quizzes can be an effective, appropriate tool, they aren't always the right tool given what you want students to be able to do or know having had your course.

This presentation provides instructors with a practical alternative assessment tool: reading notes using teacher-provided templates. The presentation will cover how to use chapter notes to encourage student learning and how to incorporate the notes into classroom discussions. In addition, the presentation will share the results of an anonymous survey wherein students were asked whether quizzes or notes promoted more effective learning and retention.

On leaving the session, attendees will be able to use chapter notes as a formative assessment.

Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide. (2nd Ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Copyright Law Dot Com: What Paralegal Educators Need to Know
Speaker: Dr. Robert N. Diotalevi, JD, Esq, LLM

Copyright law is at the forefront of the cyberspace and live classroom debate. The Internet was once a research project. Also known as the Net or cyberspace, this super highway to the stars offers a variety of useful information as one navigates down its ocean of URLs, browsers, and hyperlinks. With advanced technology comes new legal issues to battle. In this presentation I will explain the present laws regarding copyrights related to educators in cyberspace as well as the classroom. I hope that such will prove to be a resource and guide to those interested in traversing these navigable waters. We will experience interactive learning opportunities through question/answers as well as examples to consider.

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Scholarship and Research
Moderator: Jill E. Martin, JD

This session will highlight the research that our members do to compliment their teaching and service. Members with tenure requirements often must present and publish scholarly or applied research in their field. Come see the variety of scholarship and research done by AAfPE members.

The Amended Statute and Application of the Felony-Murder Rule in Illinois
Speaker: Jason Cieslik, JD

This presentation features an analysis of the recent change of the felony-murder statute in Illinois.

In August of 2019, six teenagers drove to a rural area of Lake County, Illinois, in a stolen vehicle with the intention of committing vehicle burglaries. They drove to a rural home and startled the homeowner. The homeowner retrieved his gun, went out on the porch and observed one of the teens approaching him, with what the homeowner determined to be a weapon. The homeowner fired his gun and killed one of the teens. The remaining five teens were charged with the murder of one of their accomplices under the felony-murder rule.

This incident caused legislators and others to question the equity and fairness of the felony-murder rule in Illinois. Two arguments were made at the time. First, the felony murder rule was too harsh a punishment if there was no intent to kill. And second, as applied to this case, the felony-murder rule should not apply to juveniles in this circumstance.

At the time, Illinois applied the proximate cause theory. The proximate cause theory has been applied in Illinois to felony-murder cases since 1935. Illinois, through the courts and legislative history, has interpreted and intended the proximate cause theory to apply in felony-murder cases for nearly 90 years. Thus, a defendant could be held accountable for any death that occurred during the commission of a forcible felony, if that death was foreseeable, even if the defendant did not directly cause the death.

Illinois enacted (July 1st) a modification to the felony-murder rule – the agency theory. Thus, a defendant could only be charged with felony-murder, if during the commission of a forcible felony, a death could be directly linked to the defendant or his/her accomplice.

It appears that the legislature has attempted to alter the application of felony-murder to an agency theory. However, due to the fact that the modification of the felony-murder statute was part of a massive criminal justice reform bill, there is no recorded debate or committee comments as to how the statute is to be applied. There were at least four different versions of the bill that more closely resembled an agency theory. The final version does not adequately clarify that the statute is to apply the agency theory. In fact, Alabama has an almost identical statute and the courts and legislature have consistently applied the proximate cause theory.

There are several potential problems with the change. First, there is a potential interpretation issue. The legislature did not make clear that an agency theory is to apply. Second, under an agency theory, and based on the facts above, no one would be held accountable for the death of the individual if a death occurred by the one preventing the crime. Third, accountability principles could still apply, even if the statute is interpreted as an agency theory. Rather than adopting the agency theory, the legislature could have, and should have, addressed the way individuals are sentenced by amending the sentencing statute, rather than modifying the application of the felony-murder rule. By addressing how those convicted of felony-murder are sentenced based on the age of the offender, who the victim was, and who directly caused the death, the legislature could have addressed each of the aforementioned concerns without ignoring a lack of accountability for a death set in motion by the defendant(s).

Compensating Indigenous Peoples for Cultural Damages: An Emerging Trend
Speaker: Sam Edwards, JD

Indigenous communities are often closely tied to their lands. When those lands are harmed through events such as environmental disasters and forced relocation, the communities suffer in many ways including harms to their culture. These impacts are especially acute in island communities and other communities with unique lands. Although claims for damage to culture have traditionally been denied, there is an emerging body of law that permits recovery for impacts to culture. This type of damage should be compensated, and courts are the proper place to expand this doctrine of recovery for cultural damage. This research examines three jurisdictions which have recognized recovery for cultural damage. First, this paper examines the Marshall Islands Nuclear Claims case. Although this was an extreme case of forced relocation, it helped establish some of the first precedent for cultural damage. The second section shows how the Stolen Generations Litigation in Australia is helping advance recovery for cultural damage. The final section examines a series of cases involving Native American claims both in tribal courts and in federal courts. Furthering this emerging doctrine would help protect the culture of indigenous communities and is consistent with existing theories of compensation. It is essential that courts in common law jurisdictions should continue to expand cultural damage recoveries especially as climate change forces communities from their lands

Development of an Empirically-Tested, Valid and Reliable Exit Assessment for Undergraduate Paralegal Programs 
Speaker: Amy O’Dell, JD

Assessment has become a significant part of program development and maintenance over the last twenty years. From a management perspective, program assessment and its resulting outcomes are being used to make decisions critical to program success such as budgetary funding, staffing levels, and even program continuance. While assessment can and should measure student competence at various points during the curricular sequence, a particularly helpful but often elusive measure is a culminating measure of content knowledge, sometimes known as an exit assessment. Paralegal practitioners have no doubt developed various locally constructed instruments that have served this purpose, but such instruments are not usually effective for broad application nor for conducting research that would be beneficial in understanding student outcomes across programs and between states. This research project is intended to develop an empirically-tested, valid and reliable exit assessment for use by paralegal programs.

1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. ET

Break With Exhibitors

1:45 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. ET

Teaching Legal History Through Women and the Law Curriculum
Speaker: Jennifer Brinkley, JD

Developing a Women and the Law course can be a welcome addition to your program electives. In 2016, I developed a Women and the Law course. Its purpose is to introduce undergraduate students to the historical and contemporary struggles faced by women through the lens of the law. The course spends a lot of time focusing on Ruth Bader Ginsburg's advocacy before the US Supreme Court in the 1970s. Students examine the Equal Protection Clause and how it was ultimately applied to gender. Specific case law is studied to examine how federal and state courts ruled in past cases with a look toward what might come next. Students learn important analytical skills, along with developing skills looking at policy making.

In this session, I will share my syllabus and various assignments that can be modified in your own course. A PowerPoint will be shared that will look at the topics covered in the course. Past student evaluation comments will also be shared within the PowerPoint as evidence of how much students enjoy learning about this topic. If you are looking for an intersectional course, consider attending this session to learn about adding Women and the Law to your program!

2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. ET

Theatre of Law: A Case Study in Innovative Pedagogy Utilizing Theatre Concepts to Examine Court Trials & Legal Techniques
Marissa J. Moran, JD, and Sarah Ann Standing, PhD

One of the most significant ways that the disciplines of law and theatre differ—generating the conditions for each to shed light on the other—is that trial transcripts are precise/unadulterated records of court trials, whereas plays (even plays that utilize trial transcripts) take a point of view on a particular subject matter. In utilizing theatre to examine trial and/or litigation techniques, it can be advantageous for undergraduate students to explore how data always contains the seeds of narrative. Thus, it can be useful for undergraduate students, in particular, paralegal/legal studies students, to examine trials/litigation practices through the lens of storytelling. Utilizing this strategy, undergraduate students will compare and contrast how law in practice differs from stories framed around law and/or portrayed in a legal-setting, as depicted in plays/movies/texts, designed to persuade, convey a point of view, or call attention to a societal issue. Additionally, the presenters will discuss point-of-view, a narrative arc (exposition, climax, denouement), use of voice and diction, gesture, and the ways that all interactions can be “read” not only as performance recognized in theatre, but also “constrained” performance more applicable to law. The presenters will also provide concrete examples of group projects, play presentations, and written assignments crafted for this interdisciplinary course.

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Regional Meetings

5:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. ET

Virtual Happy Hour
Sponsored by National Society for Legal Technology

Thursday, October 7, 2021

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. ET

Vendor Demo
Sponsored by National Society for Legal Technology
peaker: Douglas Lusk

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET

Opening Announcements, Leveraging Technology in ABA Reporting and Site Visits and Understanding the Revisions to Guideline G-302.J - Alternative Delivery Formats
Speakers: Robyn Ice, JD, MFA; Cynthia Traina Donnes; Lisa Diem, JD; and Joyce Becker, JD

Presenters will share best practices on how to leverage technology to collect, manage, track, and share data related to ABA reporting and institutional and programmatic reporting. The presentation will cover practical technology applications for data collection as part of external assessment of graduates and employers, graduate tracking, professional development, student engagement in online courses, and the most effective methods for sharing of site visit materials with site visit teams.

The presentation will also include an overview of Guideline G-302.J on alternative delivery formats, how it has been revised since 2018 and what that means for ABA approved programs.

12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET

Committee Meetings

1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. ET

Licensed Legal Professionals
Speakers: Toni Marsh, JD, and Carl Morrison, ACP, CAS, RP, PP-SC, AACP

States across the country have implemented or are exploring licensed legal professional programs to increase access to justice. The programs vary widely across the jurisdictions but the common element among them is the requirement of a paralegal education as a baseline. This trend will affect every paralegal in some way. This presentation will provide a broad survey of the various programs and examine their effect on access to justice.

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. ET

Origins of the Common Law: The Development and Implementation of Curriculum for a Paralegal Program Study Abroad Course
Speaker: Kenneth Goldsmith, MPA, JD, DBA

This presentation will cover the design, development, and implementation of curriculum that includes a study abroad component. The goal of the presentation is to show program directors the efficacy of using the Origins of the Common Law as the topic for course development and how historical and present day London provides the perfect backdrop for the study abroad component of the course.

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. ET

The Use of Focus Groups for Assessments – A How-To Guide
Speaker: Marisa Campbell, JD

Focus Groups can be a great way to assess your program as a whole -- or to ensure that your classes remain relevant and current. This presentation will take you step-by-step in how to create a focus group for a specific course, how to successfully implement that focus group, how to analyze the results, and how to identify and execute changes. This presentation will show that a carefully implemented focus group can provide relevant feedback for the specific class you are assessing that will provide feedback for other classes as well. The focus group can be your best -- and most efficient -- tool for understanding the changing needs of the legal community and how to be certain that your students are meeting those needs.

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

2:30 p.m. 3:30 p.m. ET

Listserv Live

Join fellow paralegal educators for "Listserv Live", an opportunity for free-flowing discussion and resource-sharing on hot topics from the AAfPE listserv!

Choose from three breakouts: Civil Litigation, Intro to Paralegal Studies, or Legal Research & Writing.

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

Break with Exhibitors 

4:00 p.m. 
4:45 p.m. ET

Ready to Work – Integrating Employability Qualities in the Paralegal Curriculum
Speaker: Erin M. Engels, JD

The focus on work ready skills has never been greater. Do a quick google search about the criticisms of higher education and the top stories center around the lack of job skills. States have pushed public institutions to focus more on job skills to prepare students for the work force. In the paralegal education environment, we are familiar with the emphasis on employability qualities. AAfPE core competencies and the ABA guidelines all require paralegal programs to focus on preparing students for the workplace. This session will discuss how to identify and integrate employability qualities into our courses. We will also discuss how to verify students have these qualities before graduation and how to document the qualities for employers.

During the session, attendees will identify employability qualities for their paralegal programs and think through how to measure and document student attainment of these qualities.

4:00 p.m. 
– 4:45 p.m. ET

The Use of Humor in Teaching Case Reading & Briefing
Speakers: Thomas Parker, JD, and Lynnette Noblitt, JD

Legal educators often struggle to support students learning how to read and brief case law and statutes. While undergraduates have significant experience reading textbooks and other materials designed to support learning, they frequently have far less experience reading primary or professional sources. This presentation will focus on how to promote meta-cognition during the reading process so that students can better learn and understand legal concepts directly from legal cases, statutes, and other primary and professional sources. The presentation will specifically focus on the use of humor to support the social and personal aspects of reading meta-cognition to improve student learning. Time will be provided for participants to share teaching experiences and materials that they have successfully incorporated in their courses.

4:00 p.m. 
– 4:45 p.m. ET

Managing Return to Work/Class in the Time of COVID-19
Speakers: William D. Goren, JD, LLM, and Robin Shea

The COVID-19 pandemic has not ended. Faculty, staff, and students are now returning to campuses around the country. This session will discuss just what are the legal concerns that arise as everybody come back for in person instruction.

4:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Stretch Break

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET

AAfPE Business Meeting


Friday, October 8, 2021

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET

DISCO for Schools Program Walkthrough
Vendor Demo Sponsored by DISCO
Speakers: Caroline Hall and Greg Russell 

Although digitization and technological modernization are rapidly changing the practice of law, the education of future legal professionals largely excludes the practical work with the ediscovery technologies they will use every day in litigation support roles. DISCO for Schools was developed to help innovative educators prepare students to embrace technology that will be critical in their careers. This presentation will discuss how DISCO for Schools empowers educators to arm their students with knowledge of cutting-edge technology and best practice workflows, and enable them to earn technology certifications that differentiate them in the job market and give them a rapid path to career success. Participants will receive a preview of the technology, sample database, student exercises, training resources, and certification programs.

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET

Break With Exhibitors

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET

Research Certifications, Software Certifications, and Professional Certificates…Oh My!
Speakers: June Hunter and Douglas Lusk, JD

An exploration into the various (and affordable) certifications available in the legal industry. We will explore the various options and how to integrate completion of those certifications into your classroom curriculum. This will include detailed instruction on how to implement the software and curriculum to provide a hands-on experience for instructors AND students.

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET

You Oughta’ Be in Pictures: Issues Surrounding Cameras In Virtual Classrooms
Page Beetem, JD, and Julie Shadoan, Esq

In virtual classrooms, cameras replace the “students in seats” experience. They facilitate faculty to student and student to student interaction. They create community. They prepare students for what is becoming a new reality in the practice of law. But, they also have the potential to create security and privacy concerns. Join us to explore the legal and communication issues related to cameras on or off in the virtual classroom. Come ready to actively share your institution’s best practices and ideas.

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. ET


Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Topics in Legal Studies Curriculum
Speakers: Jody L. Cooper, JD; Norma J. Kropp, ACP, SBWCP; Bill Bedker, JD; and Chevon Bowen, BS, MS

Three seasoned legal studies/paralegal faculty and a Madison College DEI Fellow will share how they worked together to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes in legal studies/paralegal courses. DEI learning outcomes include representation, socio-historical understanding, and intercultural and job skills. The presenters will walk through the process of curriculum mapping, creating inclusive language for syllabi and course templates, modifying existing practical assignments to enhance the infusion of DEI topics, and creating intentional plans to fill gaps in curriculum related to DEI topics needed for life and work as legal professionals.

Examples of curriculum mapping, inclusive language for syllabi, and practical assignments will be shared to get you started with or enhance your own DEI curriculum initiatives.

1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. ET

Keynote Speaker

2:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. ET

Teaching Competition and Announcement of AAfPE Election Results
Sponsored by Cengage

Contestants (in order)
Chris Simcox    
Buck County Community College
Introduction to Legal Analysis: The Case of Sammy 

Doug Lusk
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Technology Assisted Review 

Laken Albrink
Morehead State University
Applying Statutes

3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. ET

Break With Exhibitors 

4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET

Stretch Break

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. ET

Student Success and Civic Participation- Leveraging Community Engaged Learning for Paralegal Students
Speaker: Huma Zia, JD

I. Community Engaged Learning
A. Define
B. Not same as an Internship/Practicum

II. Developing a Curriculum

III. Reaching Community Members

IV. Potential Action Steps

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. ET

The Paralegal of the Future: Why Business Intelligence & Professional Development Matter
Speakers: Kristine Custodio Suero, ACP, and Kelli Radnothy

This course will explore innovative ways that program directors and instructors can enhance existing law practice management courses and develop curriculum to build business intelligence skills for paralegal professional development. The expectations for workforce readiness for both in-house and traditional law firm employers of new graduates is tantamount to career and programmatic success.

The post-COVID modern day law office and in-house legal departments demand agility and a broad skill set including:
-Profitability (meeting client expectations, building value in billing, etc.)
-Crisis management
-Succession planning
-Risk mitigation/management (Compliance, Human Resources, etc.)
-Communications (Client management, Collaborative, Negotiations, etc.)
-Personal Branding (Confidence)

With the rise in limited license legal practitioner pathways, expanding curriculum to include education focused on intra- and entrepreneurial knowledge provides unique opportunities for paralegal training programs to enhance program and graduate success.


5:20 p.m. – 5:35 p.m. ET

Closing Announcements