Academics News

ACADEMIC SUCCESS TIP

Wow!  You have already completed three weeks in the fall semester.  What should you be focusing on right now?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Now is a good time to make a list of questions to ask your professors.  Plan when you will go to 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 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

Note Taking (a reminder):  Law students have widely varying styles of note taking.  Some write furiously, recording every word the professor and fellow classmates utter; others take a few cryptic notes and call it a day.  The problem with both extremes is that they fail to encourage you to take an active role in learning.  If you record every word, you are not identifying or concentrating on what is important.  To take the best notes, you should take an active role in sorting through and summarizing what is said in class. 

First Annual IOA Student Writing Competition

The International Ombudsman Association has announced that it is sponsoring an annual writing contest for students in law school or graduate programs in dispute resolution. In the inaugural IOA Student Writing Competition, law students are invited to submit articles arguing for a statutory privilege for organizational ombudsmen. The author of the winning article will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and an invitation to the IOA Annual Conference in April 2010 in New Orleans to receive the award. IOA will provide registration, airfare and lodging for the conference. The winning article may also be published in the Journal of IOA.

Submissions are due November 15, 2009.

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.

LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR A DECEMBER 2009 DEGREE

Monday, September 14 - deadline to apply for a December 2009 degree.

ULink  -  Student Services  -  Degree Application

ACADEMIC SUCCESS TIP

Using a Long Weekend to Your Advantage:  Begin the process of outlining.  Research shows that you will understand and remember material better if you do your own work to learn a course.  The process of outlining requires you to wrestle with the topics and sub-topics so that you really know them instead of knowing them generally.  Making your own outlines helps you to have long-term retention of the material rather than merely short-term regurgitation of material for an exam. Use this weekend as your starting point for outlining.  For great tips on outlining, review the article Creating a Course Outline posted at http://www.law.louisville.edu/academics/academic-success.  You are also invited to attend an outlining workshop next Thursday, September 10, in Room 275.

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 two 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.

ACADEMIC SUCCESS TIP

Using a Long Weekend to Your Advantage:  Create a structured study schedule and stick to it!   If you have been “flying by the seat of your pants” on your time management, now is the time to create a schedule and stick to it for the remainder of the semester.  If you follow a study schedule, you will be able to complete your reading and briefing one or two days before class (without rushing through the material), rather than the day of class.   You will also ensure that you are devoting enough time to other study tasks, including reviewing your class notes, outlining, meeting with your study group, working on papers and projects, and completing practice questions.  Perhaps the best part about following a study schedule is that you can have guilt-free time off because you have finished all of your study tasks for the week.  And, your family members, significant others, and friends will know when you will be free.  To create your own study schedule, use the blank time management schedule posted on the Academic Success webpage at http://www.law.louisville.edu/academics/academic-success.  If you need any assistance in completing your schedule, stop by the Academic Success Office (Room 212).

ACADEMIC SUCCESS TIP

Using a Long Weekend to Your Advantage:  Congratulations!  You are beginning your third week of classes.  For those of you who are new to law school, things should be getting into a routine now.  For those of you who are returning to law school, you probably feel like you never left because it is all so familiar.

You now have a long weekend that you can look forward to.  Use this time to improve your future workload as a law student.  Three days can be a blessing for law students who have gotten behind in their reading or who are feeling sleep-deprived.  This week's tips will provide suggestions for getting the most out of this weekend.  Tip 1:  If you are still getting settled in to your apartment, try to finish all of those tasks by the end of the weekend.  Finish unpacking boxes.  Finish organizing your study area.  Finish the final decorating touches.  Starting Tuesday morning you want to make law school your priority.

ACADEMIC SUCCESS TIP

Should I 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 NOT take the place of your own outlines.