Mentoring Through the Judicial System
Known as a professor from whom one must earn his or her grade, Coleen Miller Barger, professor of law, has earned top marks. For 20 years she has continued to pass the great and true test of an excellent teacher with flying colors. Her former students credit her for their spectacular successes in the world of law.
Professor Barger sets the bar very high for her law students. From the first day of law school, she requires of them the professionalism of court officials. All assignments must meet the standards set in the Court Rules, or the grade suffers. To ensure this standard, she assesses her students’ papers using lengthy, complex matrices.
Amir A. Fazel, a 2009 alumnus and barrister and solicitor in British Columbia, said the matrices are “probably, the most valuable contributions she makes to her students’ performance,” accompanying them beyond the classroom into the work environment by helping them win the acclaim of judges and confidence of senior partners.
Professor Barger believes in giving her students all they need to succeed. Her interactive lectures and writing assignments transform the driest subjects. She videotapes her lectures and posts her in-class materials online for convenience. She returns graded papers with “pages and pages of suggestions and recommendations on style and quality,” says Fazel. Going the extra mile, Professor Barger continues to support her students throughout their professional careers. They rely on her as a mentor.
“She gives an exhausting amount of attention to each and every student . . . and continues to help me every day, even now,” said Megan C. Gammill, class of 2009 graduate. As a result, her students, like Tasha Elizabeth Semotan, win superb praise from a judge for writing “the best [brief] he had seen in 40 years of practice.”
Professor Barger received her J.D. and B.A. degrees from UALR. She was previously an attorney at Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard.