Academics News

Academic Success Tip - Beware of Bad Advice

This week’s tips will focus on bad advice that is often given out by well-intentioned students.  Critique these pieces of advice carefully and consider the alternatives.

Bad Advice:  Save up your absences and use all of them the last two weeks of class so that you can focus on exam studying.

Why this advice is bad advice:

  • Important topics are often covered at the end of classes because the topics are more advanced than some of the material you have had previously.  You will be dependent on another student’s version of the material if you cut classes.
  • Your professors are likely to tie the course together in the last weeks of class.  You will be dependent on another student’s version of the course if you cut classes.
  • Your professors are likely to talk about the exam in more detail during the last weeks of class.  You will be dependent on another student’s version of the exam instructions, tips, and study guidelines if you cut classes.
  • You will go into exams with less personal understanding of the material covered at the end of the semester.  Some professors emphasize material covered at the end of classes very heavily in the exam questions.
  • If you follow this advice, you will also not be reading your cases.  You will only be more behind in understanding the course than you were previously.

Alternatives:

  • Plan your time management for the coming weeks so that you get all of the tasks done that are necessary for success – including going to class prepared.
  • Do not stop reading your cases.  You need to understand the material through the last class.  Become more efficient and effective in your reading.
  • If you do not know how to structure your time for the remainder of the semester to get each task done, visit the Academic Success Office for help.

Academic Success Tip - Exam Preparation (Cont'd)

The calendar no longer supports the idea that exams are a distant event.  There are only seven weeks remaining before the end of classes.  This week's tips focus on exam preparation.

  • Walk away from temptation.  Law school classmates are sometimes the hardest to say “no” to because they are adroit at arguing that not studying is reasonable.  After all, if they can convince someone else to waste time, their own wasting time is not as obvious.
  • Focus on one day at a time.  All you can ask of yourself is your best.  Work as hard as you can each day.  Then, you can go to sleep knowing that you did all you could do that day.

Academic Success Tip - Exam Preparation (Cont'd)

The calendar no longer supports the idea that exams are a distant event.  There are only seven weeks remaining before the end of classes.  This week's tips focus on exam preparation.

  • Keep your eyes focused forward.  Do not look back over your shoulder to bemoan what you wish you had done in August, September, or the beginning of 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. 

The Bar Exam - What You Need to Know!

Mark your calendars for Monday, October 26!  Learn what you can do now to prepare for the upcoming Bar Exam.  This presentation is open to all Brandeis law students, but will be more applicable to upper-division law students.  Presented by T. Leigh Hearn of Kaplan PMBR, this workshop will cover the various components of the bar exam in multiple states, planning, a day in the life of the bar examinee, and strategies for the essay and multiple choice components of the bar exam.  For those upper-division students with class beginning at 12:35 or 12:45, you are invited to stay until you need to leave for class.  The presentation will be in Room 275 from noon to 12:50.  Food will be provided.  

Academic Success Tip - Exam Preparation

The calendar no longer supports the idea that exams are a distant event.  There are only seven weeks remaining before the end of classes.  In light of the seriousness of the time in the semester, this week's tips will focus on exam preparation.

  • Stop fragmenting your efforts and refocus.  If you have been coasting through class until now, stop.  If you have been focusing on extracurricular activities to the exclusion of academics, stop.  If you have been partying instead of studying, stop.  You need to prioritize your efforts for studies now.
  • Take responsibility for wherever you are in your studies.  If you are in good shape, congratulate yourself and plan the next step before you are tempted to rest on your laurels.  If your studying is in shambles, do not blame your present situation on your professors, study partners, family, or whomever comes to mind.  Own it and move forward.
     

Academic Success Tip - Campus Health Services

As a student of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, you may take advantage of the many services offered through the Belknap Campus Health Center.  Campus Health provides confidential, affordable, effective 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/.  The Student Health Center is a 5-minute walk from the law school and is located between the Student Activities Center and the Houchens Building and behind the Floyd Street Parking Garage.

Academic Success Tip - Follow Instructions

Whether you are working on a writing assignment 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?  Whatever the instructions may be, do not overlook them.  You do not want to lose points over careless mistakes.

Stress Resilience Presentation - TODAY

All students are invited to attend the stress resilience presentation this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. with featured guest speaker Karen Newton, MPH, RD, Director of Health Promotion & Education for UofL Campus Health Services.  Learn strategies to balance stress in law school and in law practice.  Come hear about the campus resources available to you as a law student.  For example, did you know that 30-minute head and neck massages are offered to students by appointment on Wednesdays for $6.00?  Treat yourself to this informative presentation.  Snacks provided.  Room 275 at 1:00 p.m.

Academic Success Tip - Dealing with Stress

I’m stressed!  What can I do?  (Attend the Academic Success Workshop TODAY at 1:00 p.m.)

  • Structure your time carefully so that you know what you are going to accomplish each day and each week.  You are less likely to waste time or overwork on tasks if you stick to structured time blocks labeled by task. 
  • Focus on each small task instead of becoming distracted by a multitude of other tasks.  When you study 2-207 for Contracts, do not think about your Torts class.  When you study “piercing the corporate veil” for Business Organizations, do not distract yourself with thinking about depreciation for Basic Income Tax.
  • Condense the volume of information to the important information you will use on the exam.  Keep condensing your outlines to focus on the “big picture” if you tend to bog down in details.
  • Use positive self-talk so that you do not get discouraged.  You have the potential of being your own enemy if you make negative comments to yourself during the remaining 7 weeks.  Congratulate yourself for completing tasks. 
  • Minimize your non-law school commitments.  If you work, cut back your hours.  Avoid taking on additional responsibilities with organizations, community activities, or volunteer services.

New Editions - Examples & Explanations Series

Do you enjoy using the Examples & Explanations series to supplement your learning for a particular course?  If so, be sure to stop by the Academic Success Office (Room 212) to review the most recent editions for many core courses, including Federal Income Tax, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Secured Transactions, Domestic Relations, Decedents' Estates, Business Organizations, Torts, Professional Responsibility, and Criminal Law.  You can check these books out during the semester.