Class ranks will not be available until mid-February. Ms. Barbara Thompson will post a note in the Daily Docket when class ranks are available, and she will post instructions on how to request your class rank.
Attention Students (especially 1L students): Make sure you have enrolled in all your courses for the spring 2012 semester. For full-time 1L students, you must be enrolled in Introduction to Lawyering Skills, BLS, Criminal Law, Property II, Contracts II, Torts II, and Civil Procedure II.
Many professors communicate with their classes over the winter break via Blackboard to provide information on assignments, etc. If you are not registered for the correct classes, you will miss these important communications. Please finalize your registration as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, December 19.
Beginning in 2012-2013, first year law students will experience an updated curriculum reducing their contact hours from 31 to 29 hours. This change provides students the opportunity to adjust to the challenges of law school and the demands of the legal profession.
Basic Legal Skills
Civil Procedure (starting approximately September 24th)
Basic Legal Skills
Civil Procedure II
Congratulations! You survived final exams. Enjoy this time off and recharge your battery in preparation for the spring semester. And, when you're ready, get a head start on organizing your 2012 calendar by penciling in the following programs and events:
- January 4 - Classes begin
- January 12 - KY Bar Exam Program with Eric Ison and Bonnie Kittinger (12:15 p.m.)
- January 20 - 1st Structured Study Group (11:30 a.m.)
- January 26 - Student Life Info Session: Study Abroad (12:10 p.m.)
- January 26 - Brandeis “Brief” Break (3:40 p.m.)
- January 27 - 2nd Structured Study Group (11:30 a.m.)
- February 3 - 3rd Structured Study Group (11:30 a.m.)
- February 7 - 2L Mandatory Bar Program on Financial Responsibility (12:15)
Check out other upcoming programs on the Law School calendar at http://www.law.louisville.edu/event.
Law students try at times to substitute memorization of the black letter law for actual understanding of their course material. They are then surprised that they receive grades in the "C" range in return for their efforts.
The focus on memorization is a leftover from many undergraduate courses where the professor just wanted students to regurgitate information on a page for an "A" grade. The difference in law school is that students have to go beyond mere memorization. Memorizing the rules, exceptions to rules, methodologies, policy arguments, and so forth is essential to a good grade in law school; but memorization is just the beginning of the learning process rather than the end goal.
Lawyers in essence are problem solvers. They are confronted with client problems that they must solve either by prior knowledge or through research. The easy questions are dealt with fairly quickly. The hard questions are the ones that consume their days and our court system. To problem solve, lawyers must understand the law and how to apply it to legal scenarios.
Law students must also be able to problem solve. On exams, law students are faced with new legal scenarios to analyze. To do so effectively, they need to understand the law that applies to the situation and explain their analysis in detail. Yes, they need to have memorized the law so that they can state it accurately. But without understanding they will be able to apply it only superficially.
Memorization is the start. Understanding is the key. Application is the reward. (Post from Law School Academic Support Blog by Amy Jarmon.)
Negative stress is a problem for some law students all year long, but it tends to be prevalent during the exam period. It helps to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly about stress to deal with it.
There is such a thing as positive stress. This type of stress helps us respond in an emergency, helps us perform well under pressure, encourages us to reach our potential, and gets us moving and being productive in our lives.
When we talk about stress in law school, most people think of the negative stress which is also termed distress in the literature. The symptoms of distress are warning signs to us that something is wrong and we need to deal with the situation. Some of the common distress symptoms are:
- Poor concentration
- Short temper
- Trembling hands
- Churning stomach
- Tight neck and shoulder muscles
- Sore lower back
- Accelerated speech
- Sleep disruption
Distress can lead to decreased productivity when studying, physical illness, fatigue, loss of interest, and decreased satisfaction. If high levels of distress are experienced for prolonged periods, physical and psychological disorders can result including migraine headaches, ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, panic attacks, and more. In addition, a law student's distress can affect their relationships with others.
What are some positive ways you can manage your stress:
- Avoid being a perfectionist. Work towards an excellent result rather than a perfect result. Rarely does a law student get every possible point on an exam question. Rarely does a law student write the perfect paper.
- Break down large projects into smaller tasks so that you are not overwhelmed. Break every topic into subtopics so that you can make progress in smaller time blocks and focus on manageable pieces.
- Avoid people and situations that add to your stress. Steer clear of certain classmates who cause you more stress because of their attitudes, hyperactivity, panic, or competitiveness; end conversations diplomatically and go on your way. Find locations to study that do not add to your stress. If the law school is too stress-laden, go to other academic buildings, a coffeehouse, the university library, or the business center of your apartment complex.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep makes an enormous difference in our being able to manage stressful situations. It gives our body the defenses to fight disease. Getting sick during exams will only cause you to have more stress.
- Practice stress release. Get a massage (FREE MASSAGES TODAY!). Do relaxation exercises. Go for a run or swim.
- Lower your alcohol, sugar, and caffeine intake. All of these ingredients can cause your stress to increase even though you may initially think they are relaxing you or giving you energy.
- Seek help if the stress is interfering with your life. See a doctor or counselor if the stress has become more than what you can manage on your own.
Take action to keep negative stress from getting the best of you. It is far better to do something about it than wish you had later. Adapated from a post on the Law School Academic Support Blog by Amy Jarmon.