Academics News

Academic Success Tip - Do You Feel Behind on Your Outlines?

The Law School's mid-term break is on Monday.  This long weekend is the perfect opportunity to get caught up with outlining in each of your courses.  Try these tips:

  • For each course, calculate how many weeks behind you are in the outline. 
  • Start with the course that is most caught up and finish that outline first.  Then work on the next outline that has the fewest weeks to catch up and so forth.
  • If you are equally behind in several outlines, start with the course that you think you can do most quickly. 
  • If you have not started any outlines, decide which outline will be the easiest to do and complete it first.  Next easiest and so forth.
  • Block off time in your schedule to work on each outline over several days, rather than expect to find 8 or 10 hours straight for outlining.
  • Set goals for when each outline will be current.  Try to have all outlines completed within 10 days – the earlier the better.
  • You will need to sacrifice weekend “fun” time to get on top of your outlining so that you only have to add new material each week.

Academic Success Tip - Test Your Knowledge

At this point in the semester, it is always a good idea to begin testing your understanding of the material and your memorization of the material.  You can create your own flashcards, checklists, and games to quiz yourself.  Another great resource is CALI, which offers free lessons and tutorials for law students.  CALI provides over 720 interactive, computer-based lessons in subjects such as Administrative Law, Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Corporations, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Legal Research, PR, Property, Tax, Torts, Wills & Trusts, among others.  You can run lessons directly from the CALI website at www.cali.org/lessons.  Students report that the tutorials are a good supplement to class lectures and useful in testing knowledge of the material. 

Academic Success Tip - Plan Ahead

Plan ahead for the long weekend. Take time this week to identify tasks that you need to complete, and then prioritize those tasks. The more prepared you are to get started, the more you will acomplish during the break.

Distinguished Scholar in Legal Skills and Professionalism to Visit Law School

On Thursday, October 7, Professor Nancy Schultz will give a faculty workshop presentation on teaching legal skills across the curriculum, at noon, in the Cox Lounge.  Professor Schultz will be our Fall 2010 Distinguished Scholar in Legal Skills and Professionalism. 
Professor Schultz is Professor of Law and Director of the Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Program at Chapman University School of Law in California.  She has chaired the ABA's Student Competitions Committee, served as President of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and was the Director of Legal Writing at George Washington University Law School.  She is the author of three major texts and has spoken extensively on legal skills pedagogy throughout the U.S. and internationally.
This particular presentation supports the Law School's efforts to enhance its legal skills curriculum.

Academic Success Tip - Reserve Time for Outlining

Congratulations!  You are beginning your eighth week of law school.  If you have not done so already, reserve time THIS weekend to begin your outlines for each course - do not wait!  We forget 80% of what we learn within two weeks if we do not review; by outlining regularly and reviewing your outline often, you will retain more information and not have to re-learn it.  If you are unsure how to start your outline, consider using the topics and sub-topics in your course syllabus or in the general table of contents in your casebook as a framework.  Remember that you want to focus on the bigger picture of the course and fit the parts into that bigger picture.  If you have already started outlining your courses, keep up the good work and reserve time this weekend to supplement those outlines.

Academic Success Tip - Save Time for Proofreading

Legal writing requires diligent editing and careful proofreading.  For any writing project, be sure to reserve time for these important skills.  Set your paper aside for a few hours or for a day and review it with fresh eyes to omit unnecessary words, to revise for clarity, and to correct spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.   

Academic Success Tip - Campus Health Services

As a law student, you may take advantage of the services offered through the Belknap Campus Health Center.  Campus Health provides confidential, affordable, and student-focused medical, mental, and health education services to all students in the university community.  For example, Campus Health Services provides confidential psychiatric services at no-charge to any student for a variety of mental health issues including:

• New or existing depression or other mood problems
• Panic attacks or other forms of anxiety
• Eating disorders
• Sleep problems
• Difficulty concentrating
• Feeling totally "stressed out" or overwhelmed
• Problems with alcohol or drugs

Other campus health services include counseling, primary care, personal nutrition counseling and self-management support, prescription assistance, and Yoga and Pilates classes.  To learn more about the services you can take advantage of this semester and throughout the school year, visit the Campus Health website at https://louisville.edu/campushealth/. 

Spring 2011 Exam in Prof. Mackey's Legal History Class

Professor Mackey's Legal History class in Spring 2011 (LAW 838, meeting Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:25 to 8:40 p.m.) will have a final exam on Wednesday, May 4, at 6:00 p.m.  This will appear information will also appear in the registration packet.  Please note that Professor Metzmeier's Legal History class in Spring 2011 (LAW 838, meeting Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:00 to 10:15 a.m.) will NOT have a final exam.

Academic Success Tip - Understanding the Reading

What if I am on top of my reading, but feel clueless about some of the material?

  • Go through your class notes and try to determine what specific questions you have about the course.
  • Write down your questions and where the reference is in your notes/casebook so that you can find the spot quickly if you need to refer back to it.
  • Read a study aid to gain more understanding about the specific topic.
  • Some learners clear up their confusion by outlining the material.  By “pulling it together” for inclusion in an outline, the material is no longer abstract or confusing.
  • If you still have questions, ask for help from your classmates or your professor. 
  • The more specific you can be about your questions, the easier it will be for someone to help you.
  • Have your class notes/casebook with you when you ask for help so that you can show the person the material that is confusing you.

Academic Success Tip - Follow Instructions

Whether you are working on a writing assignment (BLS open memo) or getting ready to take an exam, one of the easiest and most important things to remember is to follow your professors' instructions.  Should your paper be single-spaced or double-spaced?  What are the margin requirements?  What font is recommended?  Where are you supposed to write your exam number?  How many copies do you need to submit, and in what format?  Whatever the instructions may be, do not overlook them.  You do not want to lose points over careless mistakes