Meet Amy Soled, who was named Professor of the Year for her Teaching Excellence, at the Newark location, for the 2019-2020 school year.
Talk about the work you do at Rutgers Law School:
I teach legal analysis, writing, and research skills to first-year law students. I also teach an advanced legal writing course called Practice Ready: Family Law, in which students learn how to create the documents that are routinely used in the practice of family law. In all of my classes, I work with students both in the classroom and individually. I try to make my classes engaging and interesting. I do this by giving lots of real-world examples and having the students actively participate in the classroom. I also individually meet with all of my students to review concepts they didn’t understand or to help them organize a complex legal analysis.
I am an advisor for many upper-class students as they work on their journal notes or field placement internships. In terms of journal notes, I like to help students explore a topic and determine what they want to say about it. I then guide them as they organize their thoughts. In terms of internships, I meet with students to determine what their educational objectives are in pursuing a particular internship. I also help students resolve any issues that might arise during their internship.
What do you enjoy about working with students?
I enjoy helping students in their academic, professional, and personal life. I enjoy seeing the growth in my students. My first-year students develop substantially between August and May in terms of confidence and ability to analyze and convey that analysis in clear and concise writing. When I work with former students in my upper-level courses or on their notes, I am amazed at how far they’ve come since their first day of law school. I also enjoy learning about my students, their backgrounds, their journey to law school, and why they want a law degree. I also like to see my students’ interests develop in various areas of the law, and I relish in watching and encouraging them to pursue those interests in various internships or employment opportunities. The best is when I see and hear from students years after they’ve graduated and I see how far they’ve come in the legal profession.
How did you feel about being selected Professor of the Year?
I think being selected as Professor of the Year is a highlight in my career. I teach because I want to make a positive difference for students and ultimately the legal profession. Teaching and establishing relationships are my priorities. Being awarded this title also humbles me, and I aim to continue to strive to be there for students.
What was your journey to Rutgers Law School?
I am a graduate of Rutgers Law School. After law school, I worked as a matrimonial attorney for a large New Jersey firm. After several years, I began teaching legal writing as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law, and I served as an interim director there for a year. While at Seton Hall, someone from Rutgers contacted me to teach legal writing at Rutgers. At the time, I couldn’t teach during the day program, so I offered to teach in the evening program. I did that for two years, and then I began teaching in Rutgers’ day and evening program. It was wonderful to return to Rutgers as a professor, after having been a student here. It was a full circle for me. I’ve been teaching at Rutgers for almost 20 years now.
What do you wish law students knew?
I always try to remind students to enjoy the ride. Law school – like anything – has its ups and downs. Just ride all of the waves, and don’t forget why you are here and what you will achieve.
Why would you tell students to consider coming to Rutgers Law?
I always encourage students to come to Rutgers Law because of the collaborative, warm, and diverse student body and faculty. Rutgers Law offers many opportunities for students.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am married to Jay who is a professor at Rutgers Business School, and I have three children, Derek, Amada, and Heather. Two are in medical school, and one is in law school. My children remind me to keep it “real” for my students. I learn from my children what students need and what does and does not work. In terms of my hobbies, I like hiking, exercising, reading, cooking, and being with my family.