After practicing law for almost 30 years, I changed careers. I chose teaching social studies because my BA is in history. I am interested in economics and government, as well as law, and teaching has been a lifelong passion. I've taught AP economics and AP government as well as world history and geography. My background includes government, public policy and science, having been an environmental regulatory lawyer and earning a Masters in Public Administration, studying statistics and financ... [more]
Government & Politics
My qualifications for writing come mainly from my career as a practicing attorney. A lawyer basically writes for a living, and success in law practice, as in many other fields, comes from writing clearly, concisely, and simply. I did well as an undergraduate and in law school (third in my class) largely because of my ability to write. As a history major and while earning a degree in public administration I had to write well to perform well. I was not always a good writer. I owe a lot to two undergraduate professors who made it their business to improve their students' writing. I have adopted the same approach to my own teaching, and in my classroom teaching always required a lot of writing. It's one of the most important skills anyone can have, no matter what their profession is. A teacher owes his or her students an opportunity to learn to write well.
My qualifications for teaching the bar exam come mainly from my record as a law student and from the variety of my law practice. I graduated third in my class in law school, which means I prepared effective outlines and knew how to respond to complex legal hypotheticals. In my practice, I practiced environmental law for 27 years. Since environmental law is constantly changing, it is necessary for an environmental lawyer to stay ahead of the curve at all times. Continually mastering new substantive bodies of law is precisely the skill law students need to pass the bar. My practice involved administrative law, property law, government law and environmental torts, as well as substantive environmental law. In addition, I handled litigated matters, in civil environmental enforcement actions and insurance lawsuits, so my practice involved civil procedure. Since a lawyer essentially writes for a living, I feel qualified to assist future lawyers with the MEE. During my practice, I devoted a lot of hours to assisting interns and young lawyers with their research and writing. That's a hard thing to document, but I believe I could find lawyers I have worked with who would corroborate my assertions. Finally, when I decided to become a tutor, I started taking practice exams in contracts, torts, criminal law and constitutional law, and will continue to do so in order to ensure I am fully prepared at all times. For what it's worth, I have been surprised by how much I remember! My practice also involved frequent public speaking on a variety of legal topics and the preparation of class materials for conference attendees. I never farmed that job out to associates as most lawyers of my acquaintance do. I have a work ethic that will not permit me to go into any project less than fully prepared. I should also mention my training and experience as a teacher. I think learning good pedagogical skills will prove to be valuable in all my tutoring, at any level. I was always most effective when working with students individually or in small groups. Having taught AP government, I have certainly kept up with constitutional and government law. Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information.
The TEAS V is very similar to other tests that I prepare students for. The reading and English language/usage sections require skills similar to those tested by the LSAT, SAT and SAT. My background in social studies teaching and as a practicing attorney have prepared me for assisting students with language comprehension and writing, skills that I use every day in social studies teaching and tutoring. The science section of the TEAS is principally a test of critical thinking and analysis skills, requiring students mainly to work with the information given in the question. Again, there are the skills I have acquired in my professional life and which I help students with when preparing for other standardized tests. In addition, I attained a background in basic scientific principles as an environmental attorney and as a student in a leading public and environmental affairs graduate program. Finally, the math section, while requiring a background in basic geometry and algebra concepts, is also principally a test of reasoning skills. I am qualified to tutor in science subjects such as ecology and geology, and I also assist students with SAT and ACT math questions, as well as the math portions of the GED. As a student my courses in environmental science, statistics and economics gave me the background necessary to understand the spatial relationships, geometry, and algebra tested on the TEAS math section. Finally, and most important, my experience as a teacher and as a tutor equips me to help students master the concepts and skills tested by the TEAS.
AS a practicing environmental law attorney for 27 years, I handled white collar crime cases. From having taught government classes, I have extensive knowledge of constitutional law issues in criminal justice, including search and seizure, due process, 8th Amendment and 5th Amendment issues. I have prepared high school curricula on criminal justice.
I practiced law for 27 years before becoming a social studies teacher. I taught government, economics and world history and currently tutor in all those subjects. I also tutor law, political science, and help students prepare for a number of standardized tests, including the SAT, ACT, GED, and others.
The AFOQT includes a great many questions on law, economics, world and US history and government. I am qualified to work in all those subjects. In addition, there are questions about international relations and foreign cultures. I tutor in political science and am qualified in geography. There is some relatively simple math on the exam, such as exchange rates, which are subject in macroeconomics, another subject I teach. I work with students in many different areas on writing and reading comprehension. I have worked with graduate students in law, political science and internation relations. Finally, I have a masters degree in public administration from the #1 public affairs program in the US, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University (based upon the most recent US News and World Report's graduate school rankings).
Besides 27 years of law practice, I earned a Master's of Public Administration Degree. This is essentially a degree in government. I have taught and prepared curricula for AP US Government and Politics, and have extensive knowledge of US Politics from these activities and my law work representing local governments. In law school, one of my specializations was administrative law. I read extensively in politics, government, constitutional law and political philosophy.