Academics News

Academic Success Tip - Stay Positive and Protect Your Time

Keep your eyes focused forward.  Do not look back over your shoulder to bemoan what you wish you had done in August, September, or October.  You cannot control the past, but you can control the future.  Learn to say “no” diplomatically.  Family and friends, especially if they are not in law school, do not understand how important studying is for exams.  After all, in the past you just crammed for a week or two to get A grades.  Explain to them why it is so different now and ask for their understanding. 

Summer 2011 Schedule Selected

Based on student feedback, the attached summer schedule has been selected.  This was Option 1 among the 4 options provided, and had the greatest student support among those who completed and submitted the feedback forms.  While all schedules are always "tentative," this will be the Summer 2011 schedule unless circumstances change or unusual situations arise.  You may want to consider this schedule when selecting Spring 2011 classes.  However, students are reminded that a course normally has to have an enrollment of at least 5 students to avoid cancellation.  If you have any questions, please contact Dean Arnold, tony.arnold@louisville.edu.

 

Deadline to Submit Registration Forms

Pre-registration forms (including special permission for priority registration) for ALL students must be returned to the Student Records Office by 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 3.

Be sure to read all registration instructions before registering for classes.  If you have questions, please contact Barbara Thompson in Student Records.

 

Academic Success Tip - Tackle Test Anxiety

Tackle any test anxiety that you have now.  There are a number of strategies for test anxiety.  The sooner you implement them, the better.

  • The deeper your understanding of the material, the more likely that you will remember it during an exam.  Study to understand and not just to remember.
  • The more “avenues” that you create to retrieve information from long-term memory, the more likely that you will remember it during the exam.  For example:  read your outline; create a graphic; drill with flashcards; create hypos to illustrate; do practice questions; discuss with friends; etc.
  • Do as many practice questions as possible.  You will be more confident in your approach to the type of exam questions and more confident that you can apply the material to new facts.
  • Begin doing relaxation exercises now.  For simple relaxation techniques, visit   https://louisville.edu/counseling/prismold/mediation-topics/relax.html/.  
  • Try the progressive relaxation exercise at http://hws.edu/studentlife/counseling_relax.aspx.  This exercise will direct you to systematically relax your major muscle groups.  The recording is approximately 9 minutes long.
  • Get extra sleep during the last week of classes and exams.  You are more likely to remain calm during exams and remember material if you are rested.
  • If your test anxiety is especially serious or long-standing, make an appointment with the Counseling Center to discuss additional techniques.  852-6585

Events on the Oval Affecting Law School Classes and Operations

In the past month, the University administration has scheduled three events on the Oval that have disrupted the Law School’s program of legal education by affecting access to the building and parking and, in one case, requiring the relocation of Law School classes to another building on campus and the closing of the Law Library during regular hours.  Each event has also taken scarce administrative, staff, and faculty time away from educational functions to work on informing the Law School community of these events and planning and implementing adaptive responses.

 

We know that many of you are frustrated by these circumstances, particularly when there has been very little advanced notice.  We too are frustrated.  In every instance, the Law School was given no choice in the matter.  The decisions were made unilaterally by the University administration.  The University administration has endeavored to assist the Law School to minimize or adapt to these disruptions, but we are aware that disruption has nonetheless occurred.  We are concerned that academically disruptive events on the Oval may become normal.  We are aware that these events serve value for the University and its mission, but that there are concerns that they could increasingly undermine the education for which students are paying tuition and our capacity to meet ABA-mandated classroom hours.

From:  Tony Arnold, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Faculty Development; Kathy Bean, Associate Dean for Student Life: David Ensign, Director of the Law Library; and Vickie Tencer, Business Manager

Academic Success Tip - Review Your Outlines

Review; review; and then review.  You want the course information to be as comfortable as a baggy pair of sweats when you walk into the exam.  If you do not consistently review material throughout the remainder of the semester, you will walk into your exams with information that feels like a stiff new suit instead.  Deep understanding and quick retrieval from memory pay off because of the time constraints of exams.  You can recognize the nuances in answer choices or fact patterns better, and you will not waste time trying to remember the material.  If you get in the habit of reviewing your outlines each week, you will have a better understanding of the material and will be better prepared for the intense course review before finals.

Academic Success Tip - Get Caught Up on Your Outlines

The time of the semester is here when you have no choice but to start thinking about exams.  There are only three weeks of classes left.  You need to have a plan for exam studying or you will have too much to learn and not enough time in which to learn it.  Get caught up on your outlines quickly.  Your outlines will be your master documents for studying.  If you wait too long to get them up-to-date, you will not have enough time to review the material for deep understanding.  If you have the world’s best outline and do not study it thoroughly, you will not perform as well as you could on exams.  Your goal this weekend should be to catch up on your outlines and then outline every week.

Academic Success Tip - Find Time for Exam Prep

Tip #4:  Allow time for three types of outline review.   Making the world’s greatest outline is counter-productive if there is no time to learn and review it.  One type of review is intense studying to learn the material in your outline initially (several topics or sub-topics each study period).  The second type of review is regular reading through the outline from cover to cover to reinforce material that you have already learned and anticipate material that you will learn (at least once a week).  The third type of review is additional careful studying of areas that still confuse you or are hard to remember (as often as needed to “conquer” the topic).

Academic Success Tip - Find Time for Exam Prep

Tip #3:  Become aware of when you lose focus.  Determine why you are losing concentration.  Then, determine whether you can correct the situation.  Do you need to make your reading more active by asking questions as you read?  Do you need to move to a quieter place?  Do you need to write a reminder note so that you stop worrying about forgetting something?  Are you hungry and need a quick snack?    If you cannot re-capture your focus, then take a short break and come back once you are refreshed.

November 1 deadline for input on Summer 2011 schedule options

November 1 is the deadline to provide your preferences among the 4 schedule options for Summer 2011 (via email to tony.arnold@louisville.edu, in Dean Arnold's mailbox, or to Dean Arnold or Ms. Siegwald in person).  This is for anyone who thinks that he or she might take a course this coming summer.  A choice will be made and publicized by November 4.  Thank you very much.