Academics News

Academic Success Tip - Taking Effective Notes In Class

Avoid simply rewriting information about the cases that is already contained in your case briefs.  Instead, correct or add to your briefs so that they accurately reflect what your professor and classmates are saying about the case.  If you use this technique, you will be more engaged in the class discussion.  The continuing orientation workshop this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in Room 275 will provide more tips on how to take effective class notes.

New Skills Requirement for Graduation: Updated Information

*As of August 17, 2010

All first year students entering the School of Law in the fall semester of 2009 or thereafter must receive at least one (1) credit hour of  an upper division professional skills class or experience.  Fall 2010 courses that satisfy the skills requirement are marked “SK” in the “Notes” column of the Class Schedule and a separate schedule of qualifying skills courses is included in the course registration packet.

SK courses on the Fall 2010 Schedule are:  
•    Accounting and Finance for Lawyers  - canceled
•    Externship:- Criminal Justice I (Prosecution)
•    Externship:- Legal Aid
•    Externship:- Tax ( IRS)
•    Externship:-Immigration
•    Externship:-KY Innocent Project - canceled
•    Externship:-Technology Transfer 
•    Labor Law
•    Law Clinic I
•    Negotiations
•    SEM. Arbitration Practice & Procedure
•    SEM. Drafting
•    Trial Practice (two classes)

Accounting and Finance for Lawyers, Prof. Blackburn, has recently been added to the schedule.    You may register for this course online, but if you have had more than three credit hours of accounting since high school, you must contact Professor Blackburn before registering.

The Spring 2011 class schedule will be posted soon and skills courses will be identified on the schedule.   

SK courses tentatively scheduled for Spring 2011 are:
•    Advanced Legal Research
•    Comparative Constitutional Law
•    Estate Planning
•    Externship:  Crim. Justice-Defense
•    Externship:  Crim. Justice-Prosecution
•    Externship:  Immigration
•    Externship:  Legal Aid II
•    Externship:  Tax
•    Externship:  Technology Transfer
•    Land Use and Planning Law
•    Law Clinic I
•    Mortgage Foreclosure Law
•    SEM:-Written Advocacy
•    SEM:- Drafting
•    SEM:- Problems in Corporation Law
•    Trial Practice  (two classes)

The Skills Requirement, as adopted by the faculty, is not yet included in the Student Handbook.  It is copied here: 

“RESOLVED FURTHER that the following new paragraph (paragraph II (M)) is added as a graduation requirement to the Student Handbook. 

II (M).  Upper Division Skills Experience
All students must complete a substantial skills experience after completing 22 hours or more of course work.

1. The skills requirement may be fulfilled by successful completion of a course, seminar, clinic, extramural advocacy competition or externship designated as a “skills” experience by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Work done in satisfaction of the Public Service graduation requirement may not satisfy the Skills requirement.

2. Courses, seminars, extramural advocacy competitions and externships designated as “skills experiences” shall be those which provide substantial instruction in professional lawyering skills.  Such skills may include trial and appellate advocacy, dispute resolution, counseling, interviewing, negotiating, problem solving, factual investigation, organization and management of legal work, drafting, or other professional lawyering skills.

3. A student may not satisfy the skills requirement during the same course or seminar in which she satisfies the upper division writing requirement or the Perspective requirement.  If the satisfaction of the skills requirement involves the production of written work product, that written work product must not be submitted for credit in any other course or seminar or in satisfaction of any other requirement of the School of Law.

4. To satisfy the skills requirement, the course, seminar, externship or clinic shall contain the equivalent of at least one (1) credit hour of skills training and the student's performance of those skills must be assessed by the instructor or supervisor as part of the experience.  Assessment will include substantial, documented feedback to the student regarding the quality of her performance and opportunity, as appropriate, to improve her skills performance in the course of the experience. 

5. The faculty member supervising the fulfillment of the skills requirement shall submit to the Student Records Office at the end of each semester the names of the persons who have fulfilled the skills requirement and the grades earned by each student. A student shall not satisfy the skills requirement in a graded course unless the student earns a grade of "C" or higher in the course, or in a pass/fail course unless the student receives a grade of “pass.”  The Student Records Office shall note the fulfillment of the skills requirement on each student's academic record.”

Academic Success Tip - Create Your Own Case Briefs for Every Case You Read

Case briefing is a formalized way of taking notes on your reading in preparation for class.  Creating your own case briefs is important for several reasons:  (1) you will be better prepared for class discussion; (2) you will develop the analytical skills that are critical to success on exams; (3) you will crystallize your understanding of the case; (4) you will be able to review a group of related cases easily and efficiently without having to rely on your memory or having to re-read cases; and (5) you can use your briefs and class notes to create your course outlines.   Do not make the mistake that many law students make during the fall semester - they brief only sporadically or stop briefing completely because they believe it is too time-consuming.  The task of case briefing is worth the added time and effort, and it will actually save you time when it counts - when preparing for exams!

December 2010 Graduates - Deadline to Apply for a Degree

Wednesday, September 15, 2010, is the deadline to apply for a December 2010 degree.

Be sure to do a degree check to make sure that you have all your requirements for graduation.  If you have questions, please contact Barbara Thompson.

August 20: Last Day to Add a Class or Change to Audit

Friday, August 20, is the last day to add a class or change to an audit.  Please refer to the School of Law's academic calendar for other dates.

Academic Success Tip - Start Your Day Early and On Time

The work day typically begins between 8:00 and 9:00 AM and so should your study day.  A good rule of thumb is to spend three hours studying (outside of class) for every hour of class time.  This translates into between 45 and 50 hours per week studying pre-class and post-class (30 to 38 hours if you are in the part-time program).  Considering the number of hours you will spend studying, it may not be possible to get everything done in the evening, even if you are a "night owl."  Night time studying may have worked in college, in part, because you rarely spent 40 to 50 hours preparing for classes.  So, try to start your study day early and work during the daylight hours.

Congratulations to Twelve Upper-Division Law Students Selected to be Academic Fellows

The Director of Academic Success is pleased to announce that the following 12 upper-division law students have been chosen to serve as Academic Fellows in the fall:


Amanda Anderson
Sarah Clay
Elisabeth Fitzpatrick
John Friend
Vince Kline
Mookie Lewis
Greg Mayes
Brittany McKenna
Sarah Potter
Thom Stevens
Amanda Warford
Ryan Wood
 

Brandeis Academic Fellows are responsible for facilitating weekly structured study group sessions in Contracts for all first-year students.  The 12 Academic Fellows were selected based on their solid academic records, interpersonal skills, maturity, and genuine willingness to assist first-year law students learn effective law school study skills.

Academic Success Tip - Take Control of Your Studying Before Too Much Time Flies By

  • Designate one place in your apartment where you will have your law school study center.  Organize all of your casebooks, study aids, dictionaries, binders, notebooks, and other study materials in this one spot.  When you finish with a binder or casebook or stapler, return it to its place.  You will waste less time searching for your law school materials if you have one spot for everything.
  • Make a shopping list of what study materials you need and stock your apartment study center now.  Buy extra notepads, pens, ink cartridges, printer paper, paper clips, and other materials.  By anticipating your needs for the semester, you can avoid multiple or panicked trips to the office supply store later.  Also, you may be able to save money by buying bulk quantities instead of separate purchases of the items over time. 
  • Lay out everything you will need the next day before you go to bed.  It is easier to get organized while you can think calmly about the items you need for each class.  Grabbing up items as you rush out the door will likely lead to not having everything you need once you arrive at school.
  • Purchase a large dry erase board for your study center if you think it will help you.  Visual learners often benefit greatly from a dry erase board with multiple colors of markers.  Create flowcharts, IRAC outlines for practice question answers, or other information initially on a dry erase board.  You can add, delete, and modify until you are happy with the result.  Then, you can copy the final version on to the computer or paper.  Some students use the dry erase board for calendaring and listing “to do” items. 
  • Use monthly and weekly schedules and daily “to do” lists to organize yourself.  The monthly schedule can be used for deadlines and assigning daily tasks to meet the deadlines on time.  The weekly schedule can be used to design a study schedule that can be repeated most weeks to make certain you are getting all study tasks done each week.   “To do” lists can be used to prioritize the most important tasks each day.

Seminar on Advanced Issues in Labor and Employment Law (Levinson)

Seminar on Advanced Issues in Labor and Employment Law.   Professor Levinson will teach a seminar on “Advanced Issues in Labor and Employment Law” this spring if there is sufficient interest among students.  The prerequisite is either Employment Law or Labor Law, or under special circumstances, by permission of the instructor .  If you are interested, please contact Professor Levinson at a.levinson@louisville.edu or 502-852-0794.

Course Description

This course covers advanced issues in labor and employment law that are of interest to the enrolled students, who are welcome to suggest topics.  The course may deal with 1) issues of democracy and self-governance in the workplace, 2)  workplace privacy issues, 3)  the role of international law in resolving employment and labor disputes, 4) the intersection between labor and employment laws, 5) the rise of alternative dispute resolution, 6) alternative visions for a more meaningful system to resolve labor and employment disputes, 7) the intersection between labor and employment and environmental issues, 8) regulation of workplace bullying, 9) envisioning the rights of the disabled as civil rights, 10) issues of transgendered people in the workplace, 11) lifestyle discrimination 12) accommodating work family balance in the workplace, 13) employment issues raised by downsizing or bankruptcy, 14) the significance of certain rules of professional responsibility in an employment practice, or 15) assessing recently passed federal or state employment legislation and pending legislation.

In addition to learning about doctrinal and practical labor and employment law issues, the seminar addresses the process of writing and publishing a seminar paper.  Each student will write a seminar paper on an advanced labor or employment law issue.  The paper may satisfy writing the requirement.

Seminar on Advanced Issues in Labor and Employment Law (Levinson)

Seminar on Advanced Issues in Labor and Employment Law.   Professor Levinson will teach a seminar on “Advanced Issues in Labor and Employment Law” this spring if there is sufficient interest among students.  The prerequisite is either Employment Law or Labor Law, or by permission of the instructor under special circumstances.  If you are interested, please contact Professor Levinson at a.levinson@louisville.edu or 502-852-0794.

Course Description

This course covers advanced issues in labor and employment law that are of interest to the enrolled students, who are welcome to suggest topics.  The course may deal with 1) issues of democracy and self-governance in the workplace, 2)  workplace privacy issues, 3)  the role of international law in resolving employment and labor disputes, 4) the intersection between labor and employment laws, 5) the rise of alternative dispute resolution, 6) alternative visions for a more meaningful system to resolve labor and employment disputes, 7) the intersection between labor and employment and environmental issues, 8) regulation of workplace bullying, 9) envisioning the rights of the disabled as civil rights, 10) issues of transgendered people in the workplace, 11) lifestyle discrimination 12) accommodating work family balance in the workplace, 13) employment issues raised by downsizing or bankruptcy, 14) the significance of certain rules of professional responsibility in an employment practice, or 15) assessing recently passed federal or state employment legislation and pending legislation.

In addition to learning about doctrinal and practical labor and employment law issues, the seminar addresses the process of writing and publishing a seminar paper.  Each student will write a seminar paper on an advanced labor or employment law issue.  The paper may satisfy writing the requirement.