Laurie Zimet Honored by AALS for Innovative Teaching Methods

Laurie Zimet was one of the first people to engage with me in an explicit and rigorous way about what it means to be an effective teacher.”

Photo of Laurie Zimet with bookshelves in the background.
Director of Academic Support Laurie Zimet

UC Hastings Law Director of Academic Support Laurie Zimet has been honored by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) for her career-long contributions to the development of law student academic support.

Zimet joined UC Hastings in 1996. As Director of Academic Support, she is a recognized expert in diverse teaching methods and assessment. She has designed institutional assessments and implementation strategies to promote student learning and bar passage.

“When I started teaching at UC Hastings and was still a relatively new classroom professor, Laurie Zimet was one of the first people to engage with me in an explicit and rigorous way about what it means to be an effective teacher,” said Professor and Academic Dean Morris Ratner.

“How do we connect with students? How do we make sure that our students are actually learning? What methods work? Laurie has devoted her professional life to answering these questions, and I feel fortunate to have been able to learn from her and to call her a colleague.”

Zimet developed a Discussion Group Leader program as an element of the 1L curriculum. She helps fresh 1Ls develop academic success skills via 1:1 advising and group sessions. She also teaches the upper division course Torts 2: Law & Process. With a grant from the Institute for Law Teaching & Learning, she helped create videos and accompanying materials on teaching and learning in use at more than 170 law schools.

Academic Support recognizes that students come to law school with different aspirations, backgrounds, and approaches to learning,” Zimet said. “We tailor our teaching to assist students to achieve their potential and delight in their success.”

“Academic support and teaching methods have now become institutionalized parts of legal education. I am honored to receive this award and grateful to UC Hastings for the opportunity to teach ‘outside the box’ within the law school and professionally.” Zimet said. “I remain inspired by my colleagues at Hastings and nationally who focus on pedagogy and the art of teaching to promote student engagement and success.”

Zimet has a long career in academic support. Prior to joining UC Hastings, she directed the Academic Success Program at Santa Clara University School of Law. She also taught law courses at Mills College and served as an advisor for the school’s interdisciplinary law major. After graduating from UC Hastings, Laurie served in private practice in the area of civil litigation, emphasizing third-party liability.

Zimet was a founding member of the Academic Support section of AALS. She will accept the award Jan. 3, 2020, at the AALS annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the variety of academic support program at UC Hastings here.