Academics News

Academic Success Tip - Improve Your Focus

Do you ever feel that you have put in time but do not understand or recall anything that you heard in class or read in your casebook?  Do you ever “zone out” during class or study time?  One of the most essential study skills is the ability to focus.  Here are some general tips that you might want to consider:

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night so that your brain cells can be ready to work productively for you
  • Take short 5- or 10-minute breaks every 90 minutes of studying
  • Take a 30-minute break after you have been studying for 3 or 4 hours
  • Take a short 5-minute break if you completely lose your focus and cannot get it back with more active study strategies: asking questions; reciting out loud; talking with someone else about the material
  • Find a setting where you can study without interruptions or distractions
  • Have all of your supplies and study materials gathered and ready for use before you sit down to study
  • Eat a light snack before studying to assuage hunger pangs: an apple; a box of raisins; a handful of nuts; a granola bar
  • Use ice water to keep you alert instead of coffee or sodas

Academic Success Tip - Four Weeks Down!

Wow!  You have already completed four weeks in the fall semester.  Congratulations.  As you've probably noticed, time passes quickly in law school.  Before you know it, finals will be right around the corner.  If you've kept up with your study schedule and your study tasks, keep up the good work.  It will pay off.  If you've put study tasks off repeatedly, you need to re-evaluate your priorities and get back on track for success.  

So, what should you be focusing on right now?  Here are three suggestions:

  • If you haven't already done so, now is a good time to make a list of questions to ask your professors.  Plan when you will go see your professors this week to get their assistance.  It is easier for a professor to get you on the right path if you ask questions early and often.
  • This weekend is the perfect time to get caught up on your outlines if they are still non-existent or barely begun.  You should have enough material in most courses to be able to determine both the “big picture” of the sub-topics or topics and how the parts fit into that whole.
  • Now is a good time to use a monthly calendar to write down all deadlines for papers, projects, mid-terms, or assignments.  Plan over the next month when you will work on specific tasks for those longer-range deadlines. 

Academic Success Tip - Time Management

Evaluate your time management and study habits for the past three weeks.  Do you need to make improvements?  Are there problems for which you have not yet found a solution?  E-mail Ms. Ballard for an individual appointment so that you can get some assistance in those areas.  kimberly.ballard@louisville.edu

Academic Success Tip - Outlining

Should you rely on an upper-division student's outline or a commercial outline to prepare for exams?  NO.  Remember that you are not creating an outline to turn in as an assignment or to win any awards.  The outline is another tool from which you can study the law.  The process of you outlining a course dramatically increases your ability to retain the information and to develop a sense of what information you will need to apply to a set of facts on an exam.  In addition, commercial outlines are not always in tune with the material as presented by your professor.  Canned outlines may be helpful to fill in any gaps after you have done the work, but they should NEVER take the place of your own outlines.

Academic Success Tip - Improve your Outline

Did you take advantage of the long weekend and begin an outline for one of your courses?  If so, congratulations.  By setting that goal and reaching it, your actions show that you are self-disciplined and committed to doing your best work this semester.  To improve the outline you began, be sure to meet with your professor this week to clear up any discrepancies and to get your questions answered. 

Kentucky Bar Exam

Are you planning to take the Kentucky Bar Exam in February 2011?  The regular filing deadline is October 1, 2010.  For information on completing the application, visit the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions' website at www.kyoba.org.  An application checklist for the February 2011 exam is also attached for your convenience. 

If you are planning to take the July 2011 Kentucky Bar Exam, applications will not be accepted before November 1, 2010.  Applications received more than 90 days before the regular filing deadline will be returned.  A Kentucky Bar Exam presentation with Ms. Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel of the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, will be scheduled in November.  Details will be posted later this month.

Academic Success Tip - Using a Long Weekend to Your Advantage

Catch up on your sleep this long weekend.  Remember to get no less than 7 hours of sleep per night every week.  If your body is sleep deprived from the last three weeks because you have been sleeping less than 7 hours per night, now is the time to re-charge.  Then, make sure you get proper sleep hours for the remainder of the semester.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam

Are you planning to take the MPRE in November?  The regular application receipt deadline is September 28.  For more information, please see the attached information sheet and visit www.ncbex.org.

Academic Success Tip - Using a Long Weekend to Your Advantage

Tackle your most onerous study task as early as possible this weekend.  That way, it won't hang over you during the long weekend and add to your stress.  Also consider tackling your hardest study tasks when you are most alert.  Your brain will absorb material more easily for greater understanding and retention.  Consequently, you will feel better about your study session and lower your stress.

Student Mailboxes

Students:  Please check your mailboxes this week.  If your name is listed incorrectly, or if you do not have a mailbox, contact Marilyn Peters or Becky Wenning in the Law Resource Center - Room 272.  Every student should have a mailbox and should check it regularly.