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Wyoming Conference of Municipal Courts The Strengths and Challenges of the “Next Generation” Student and Lawyer N. Denise Burke Assistant Dean University.

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Presentation on theme: "Wyoming Conference of Municipal Courts The Strengths and Challenges of the “Next Generation” Student and Lawyer N. Denise Burke Assistant Dean University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wyoming Conference of Municipal Courts The Strengths and Challenges of the “Next Generation” Student and Lawyer N. Denise Burke Assistant Dean University of Wyoming College of Law Wednesday, May 16, 2007

2 Presentation Objective: Develop knowledge and understanding of the skills and challenges presented by today’s law students, new attorneys and anyone born in the “next generation.”

3 In case you’re worried about what’s going to become of the younger generation, it’s going to grow up and start worrying about the younger generation.” -Roger Allen

4 Generational Identifiers: What are their characteristics? What are their expectations? How can you meet their expectations? How can you better communicate with them? Who are they? Note: time frames are not exact so individuals in one generational group may resemble another generation

5 Remember: When You Were Born Affects Who You Are VALUES Early years mold your values. ATTITUDES Values shape your attitude. CHOICES Attitude determines your choices.

6 The Generational Cycle Represent people “moving through time” with a distinct image of themselves Historical events and social perspectives shape subsequent generations Each generation has a set of common beliefs and behaviors Each generation has a common location in history

7 COMMON GENERATIONAL LABELS GI/Veteran 1901 – 1924 Silent/Traditionalist 1925 – 1942 Baby Boomers 1943 - 1964 Generation X 1965 - 1979 Millennials 1980 - Today

8 Quick Quiz #1 How well do you know the generations? Which generation are you?

9 What generation is this? More likely to live in two-income household. May have children at home and caring for elder parents Have the basic feeling of security More likely than others to focus on education Believe hard work and time will ultimately reward you 88.8% of this generation completed high school Baby Boomers

10 What generation is this? This group was born at a time when it was considered natural and appropriate for families to have large numbers of children This generation married early in life This generation are about 95% retired at this point in time This group was during the Great Depression Silent/MatureGeneration

11 What generation is this? This group grew up during the post Watergate era and the energy crisis. These children experienced a higher rate of divorce and nontraditional families Many were latchkey kids who were raised on electronic media (television, Atari 2600s) As parents, they demand accountability Generation X

12 What generation is this? Sheltered; parents very involved Have experienced a positive economy throughout school years Grew up on kid safety rules, lockdown of public schools, national youth safety movement Technological sophistication Entering adulthood later in life Millennial Generation

13 Why this subject is so important? Academic training and programs Impact on the law, law enforcement, and judiciary Civic programs & strategies Communication Customer service Technology Parental Involvement at all levels

14 Demographics of Today’s UW Law Student Age range: 21-64; Median age: 26.4 Gender split: 51% male, 49% female 34 different majors: Accounting to Zoology 38 undergraduate institutions Originate from 17 states, 4 countries >800 applications for admission; incoming class of 75-80 >85% take class notes on laptop computers >90% take final exams on computers

15 Who are the Millennials? Born in or after 1982 Presently 80 million in number (largest group); increased life expectancy Oldest entered college Fall of 2000, entered law school Fall of 2004, graduated law school Spring 2007 3 most popular names: MalesFemales MichaelJennifer JasonJessica ChristopherAshley

16 Events That Made An Impression 9-11 Columbine Oklahoma City Bombing Princess Di’s death O.J. Simpson Trial Rodney King riots

17 Defining Characteristics Conventional Confident “Special” Sheltered Self-Assured Stressed Achieving Team-oriented Racially diverse Extremely close with parents Savvy with technology Less interested in humanities


19 MILLENNIALS ARE SPECIAL Generation of “wanted” children Central to their parents’ sense of purpose Many Boomer parents delayed having children until financially secure Boomer parents – “helicoptor parents”- swoop in to save the day for their special child Gen-X parents – “stealth-fighter parents” You may not see them, but always one text away from changing the child’s choice

20 MILLENNIALS ARE SHELTERED Baby on Board signs were created for this generation Their well being has dominated legislation (child restraints, home products, movie/video ratings, campus security) Boomer parents tend to be over- protective; GenX parents want accountability


22 MILLENNIALS ARE CONFIDENT Raised by parents believing in the importance of self-esteem Optimistic yet practical Hopeful of the future Enjoy strong connections with their parents; delaying entering the “adult workforce”

23 MILLENNIALS ARE TEAM- ORIENTED They are used to being organized in teams They have spent much of their time working and learning in groups They have established tight peer bonds They are inclusive: less concerned with sexual orientation, socio-economic status, racial/ethnic boundaries

24 MILLENNIALS ARE ACHIEVING They are very much into setting and meeting goals They have the benefit of best-educated parents They are the smartest ever with rising proficiency in math, science and standardized tests; some experts challenge their depth of knowledge They are subject to mandatory testing

25 MILLENNIALS ARE PRESSURED They are pushed to study hard They are pushed to succeed They are pushed to attend college They are pushed to choose careers that “pay off” nicely They want to get the grade regardless of the knowledge acquired Parents want them to have perfect set of courses, degrees, skills, & contacts for material advantage.


27 MILLENIALS ARE CONVENTIONAL They identify with their parents’ values They feel close to their parents They are “rule followers” (if we give them clear rules they can understand) They accept authority “Whatever” – passive approach to dissent

28 OTHER CHARACTERISTICS Technology and Multitasking are a way of life: cell phone, instant message, I-pod tunes, and computer research all while doing homework. Trial and error is the key learning strategy (Nintendo logic) They are used to bits and bytes, flash and color They are racially and ethnically diverse They want their parents involved (really involved) There is zero tolerance for delays

29 The Millennial Student Exposure and/or experimentation with “grown up” activity Exposure to vast information but less in- depth understanding Different patterns of social connection and intimacy Increasingly high levels of stress and anxiety Technology proficiency Part-time employment Ambitious but unrealistic expectations Aware of campus and community rules, regulations and political correctness. However, see it as a challenge to find a way around the rule.

30 Growing Up “Messages” Be smart – you are special (Nickelodeon, Baby Gap, Sports Illustrated for Kids) Leave no one behind (taught to be inclusive and tolerant of other religions and sexual orientations) Connect 24/7 (learned to be interdependent- on family, friends, and teachers) Achieve now! (right college, right preschool) Serve your community – think of the greater good but not necessarily politically active


32 Who are Posh, Scary, Ginger, Baby and Sporty? SPICE GIRLS Who got “Jiggy wit it?” WILL SMITH In what sport does Tony Hawk compete? SKATE BOARDING What is your MIQ?


34 Can you speak Millennial? Flashy or Glitzy Bling Hot Rod Ride or Hooptie Sneakers Shox Hunk/Stud/Babe Hottie Girlfriend/Boyfriend Boo Cool/Awesome Sweeeeet! Thongs Flip Flop

35 The Greatest Influence PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

36 Millennial Parent Characteristics Idealist Passionate Protective Involved Concerned Intelligent Demanding Prioritize education Want structure,supervision, and feedback Knowledgeable about college experience Sense of entitlement high cost of attendance regard for student as children, not adults Basic concerns are priority Expect to be involved from admission to graduation (to infinity and beyond…)

37 Parental Affect Reflect parent values Trust their parents Programmed Decisions are made for them Aim to please authority figures Celebrated

38 Ways to Equip Yourself for Millennials 1. Be aware of generational differences and influences. Know your generation’s strengths and weaknesses as well as those of the other generations. 2. Become more computer savvy. 3. Seek their technical expertise. 4. Acknowledge the value and limitations of multi- tasking. 5. Set reasonable timelines and stick with them. Things do not have to be immediate in spite of their demanding such. 6. Acknowledge differing communication styles.

39 INTERNET USAGE Informational vs. Transactional Our usage vs. Millennials’ usage: -we use internet for info they use it for recreation, “connectivity” and transactions Legal research and writing -interesting issues re plagiarism, attribution, and credibility of sources

40 ONLINE HABITS AND BEHAVIOR The younger the student, the more internet and computer savvy 82% are online daily Multitasking is routine. Facebook, MySpace and social networks are common place.

41 Millennials Information Preferences Information must be individually tailored Immediacy and convenience are top priorities Portability of information is critical (web portals) Content must be dynamically generated ‘Lag Time’ is a foreign concept Web Surfing is passé

42 WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH THIS INFORMATION? Know your clients, personnel - trend watching; polls Determine your solution If you have a web site is it up to date? - mobility, uniqueness, interactivity

43 1 - Mobility Mobile Web Sites Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) Palm Pocket PC Smart phones

44 2 - Uniqueness Look no further than your own browser…they want at least the appearance of interpersonal communication Content delivery must be relevant, custom tailored, personally welcoming Websites should anticipate the questions not wait for the inquiry.

45 3 - Interactivity Interactive communication and letters Interactive calculators and estimators Interactive forms and electronic signatures Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) forms are not interactive, but may be first step. Remember: Millennials value communication and time above all else.

46 3 – Interactivity (cont’d) Engage with technology – teach with content Extend your customer service model (FAQs, email, phone, instant messaging) Do you have a process for handling incoming e-mail? How can current system be improved by incorporating their value system?

47 Educational Issues Diversity of needs, experiences and backgrounds Expectation that education is holistic and complete, not just fact-based Increased high school drop-out and failure rates Poor class participation Typically under-prepared for class Need specific direction and guidance

48 “ The number one thing to realize with the Millennials is that as a whole they reflect much more parental perfectionism than any generation in living memory. Colleges and universities should know that they are not just getting a kid, but they are also getting a parent.” William Strauss Author, Millennials Rising

49 Why? Violent Crime is down 60%-70% Student crimes shrank from 3.4 million to 1.4 million from 1992-2004, while teen population grew by 5.4 million Teen pregnancy is down nationwide Teen smoking decreased by 40% in 1995-2005 Engaged in community service Tolerant - everyone is part of community See themselves as successful Overall attitude of build up not tear down; bullying not allowed or tolerated

50 Contrary to popular belief…. “They will recast the image of youth from downbeat and alienated to upbeat and engaged.” “The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there’s only one other choice.” -Doug Larson

51 References and Resources Motivating the “What’s in it if for Me?” Workforce (Cam Marston) Millennials Rising: The Next Generation (Neil Howe & William Strauss) Millennial Child: Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century (Eugene Schwartz) “Parents: Relax” Time Magazine, April 9, 2007, (John Cloud)



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