Academics News

SPRING 2010 FIRST DAY OF CLASS

January 4, 2010, is the first day of class for the spring 2010 semester.  Please see the attached schedule.

2010 Summer Schedule, Tentative (updated to 12/23/2009)

The 2010 Summer Schedule, Tentative (updated to 12/23/2009) is posted to the Law School website.  The schedule is "tentative," but I do not expect to make changes.

 

8 January 2010 is the last day to "add" a course to your 2010 spring schedule; for some students, the 2010 Summer Schedule is important to your course selection in spring 2010.

 

The faculty is using the holiday break to rest and rejuvinate for the spring semester.  I hope your holiday break is just what you want it to be and that you arrive on 4 January 2010 as rejuvinated as your faculty and ready to begin a new semester.

 

 

GRADES

Grades have been posted and you can check your grades on ULink.  Class rankings will not be ready until February. 

 

 The University will be closed from December 24 until January 4.

 

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY

Academic Success Tip

In just a few hours, most everyone will have completed the fall 2009 semester of law school.  Congratulations!  Enjoy your time off during the holiday break.  Rest your mind and return to law school in the spring with a renewed sense of purpose.  Happy Holidays!

Kentucky Bar Exam Presentation - January 7

If you are a graduating law student and are planning to take the Kentucky Bar Exam in July 2010, do not miss the bar presentation on January 7, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., in Room 275.  (This presentation is during the first week of classes!)  Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel of the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, will be available to answer your questions about the bar application, character and fitness reporting requirements, and the format of the bar exam.  If you plan to work on your bar application during the break, please stop by the Academic Success Office to pick up a handout describing the bar application process.  Be sure to write down any questions or issues you encounter and bring those to the January 7 bar presentation. 

Academic Success Tip - Final Exam Tip of the Semester

Be sure to address all reasonable alternative points of view.  Most students use the I-R-A-C formula when writing the answers to their law school exams.  This formula, which is quite similar to the C-R-E-A-C paradigm, stands for:  state the issue, provide the law, analyze the applicability of the facts to this law, and come to a conclusion.  Because addressing counter arguments is such an important part of legal analysis, the formula might be more accurately written as I-R-A1 (state the argument)-A2 (state any reasonable counterargument)-Conclude, or resolve which argument is better and WHY it is better.  In other words, I-R-A1-A2-C.  So what is a reasonable counterargument?  A counterargument is reasonable if it is based on the facts in the problem or reasonable inferences from those facts.  If you find yourself creating facts, then the counterargument you are creating is unlikely to be a reasonable one. (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)

Academic Success Tip - Exam Tip

Objectivity and indecisiveness are not the same thing.  When students attempt to perform objective legal analysis, they often fall into the trap of being indecisive as opposed to objective.  When performing objective legal analysis, you must still come to a conclusion.  It’s just that your conclusion is the product of carefully considering all reasonable alternatives.  Telling the reader that a problem could be resolved in two ways, but that the final answer will “depend on what the court thinks” is tantamount to telling the reader “this is hard, so you figure it out!” (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)

KY Bar Exam Presentation - January 7

Reminder:  If you are a graduating law student and are planning to take the Kentucky Bar Exam in July 2010, do not miss the bar presentation on January 7, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., in Room 275.  (This presentation is during the first week of classes!)  Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel of the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, will be available to answer your questions about the bar application, character and fitness reporting requirements, and the format of the bar exam.  If you plan to work on your bar application during the break, please stop by the Academic Success Office to pick up a handout describing the bar application process.  Be sure to write down any questions or issues you encounter and bring those to the January 7 bar presentation. 

Academic Success Tip - Exam Tip: Avoid Starting with a Conclusion

Avoid starting your analysis with a conclusion.  Instead, the first sentence of your discussion of each issue should identify the problem in need of resolution.  For example, you might begin your analysis of a torts problem by noting that “John may have battered Fred when he threw a stick over the fence that struck the plaintiff.”  In contrast, avoid writing “John battered Fred when he threw the stick over the fence.”  While beginning with a conclusion may be acceptable when writing a memorandum, keep in mind that these conclusions are usually based on a great deal of thoughtful reflection.  When writing an examination answer, time is of the essence and you may be incorrect regarding your initial belief as to how the problem will come out.  Beginning each problem with an issue statement, as opposed to a conclusion, addresses two related problems.  First, it provides you with the flexibility to look at all sides of a problem before coming up with an answer.  Second, it helps you to remain objective.  When you start with a conclusion, the tendency is to support that conclusion even in the face of strong opposing arguments. (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)

Academic Success Tip - Analyze the Elements

Analyze each element of the relevant causes of action in your examination answer.  For example, an Assault is often defined as the intentional placement of another in apprehension of an imminent battery.  If the fact pattern on your torts exam raises the possibility of “A” assaulting “B”, then you MUST address all the elements of an assault.  Was the defendant’s conduct intentional, was the plaintiff placed in apprehension, and was that apprehension of an imminent battery?  While you must address all of these elements, the depth of your analysis regarding each element will depend on the complexity of the problem.  For example, it might be quite obvious that the defendant was acting intentionally, but the real question is whether the plaintiff’s apprehension was of an imminent battery.  In this instance, your analysis of imminence will likely be longer than your analysis of intent.  Forcing yourself to analyze every element will accomplish two things: (1) it will let the professor know that you understand that every element of a cause of action must be proven; and (2) it will force you to consider whether each element has been satisfied, thus avoiding the mistake of failing to discuss a complex problem that, at least on the surface, seemed quite obvious.  (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)