Academics News

Academic Success Tip - Do You Have a Strategy for Studying over the Break?

The Thanksgiving holiday is around the corner.  What does that break period mean for you?  This week’s tips will focus on how you can use your time efficiently and effectively for studying during the holiday. 

Be realistic about your holiday plans.  It is common to tell yourself that you will study at least ten times more than you actually can or will do.  Lay out a study plan that will be achievable rather than unrealistic.  Think about your travel mode, your travel time, your family expectations, your priorities for studying, and your need for balance.  Sit down with your calendar now and plan your study strategy.

New Course Number & ID for Genetics & the Law

In Spring 2011, Genetics and the Law, taught by Professor Mark Rothstein, will have a new course number 997-08, and a new course ID 14417.  Please use these new numbers when registering for this course.

Academic Success Tip - Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.   Lack of sleep decreases the ability to study effectively.  When someone is tired, it takes longer to do the same task, concentration is impaired, and memory of material is lessened.  Also, you will need fewer “power” naps if you are getting sufficient sleep at night.

Academic Success Tip - Proofreading (a reminder)

A law paper requires diligent editing to make sure it is as well written and clear as possible. Avoid long, complicated sentences and fancy or superfluous language to help readers understand the covered issues quickly and accurately.  Be sure to reserve time to carefully edit your work product.  Careful proofreading is particularly important in legal writing. Spelling, punctuation, citation, or grammatical errors in a document submitted to the court, opposing counsel, or a client can undermine your credibility as a legal professional. 

Which Courses Do You Want to Take Next Year?

Dean Arnold would very much like to hear from you about which courses you would like to see offered in the 2011-12 academic year.  This is your opportunity to have input into the design of next year's schedule.  (Do not just assume that a particular class will be offered in any particular semester -- instead let your interests be known.)  Email your input and preferences to Dean Arnold at tony.arnold@louisville.edu by November 19.  Your input is highly valued but it needs to be received by 11/19.  Once the schedule is developed, it is very difficult and in some cases just not possible to make changes based on late input.  The reason for the early planning is so that a schedule can be provided to students early so that they can plan accordingly.  Thank you!

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