Academics News

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. 

 

 

Academic Success Tip

What if I am on top of my reading, but feel clueless about some of the material?

  • Go through your class notes and try to determine what specific questions you have about the course.
  • Write down your questions and where the reference is in your notes/casebook so that you can find the spot quickly if you need to refer back to it.
  • Read a study aid to gain more understanding about the specific topic.
  • Some learners clear up their confusion by outlining the material.  By “pulling it together” for inclusion in an outline, the material is no longer abstract or confusing.
  • If you still have questions, ask for help from your classmates or your professor. 
  • The more specific you can be about your questions, the easier it will be for someone to help you.
  • Have your class notes/casebook with you when you ask for help so that you can show the person the material that is confusing you.

Academic Success Tip -

What if I am behind on my course outlines?

  • For each course, calculate how many weeks behind you are in the outline. 
  • Start with the course that is most caught up and finish that outline first.  Then work on the next outline that has the fewest weeks to catch up and so forth.
  • If you are equally behind in several outlines, start with the course that you think you can do most quickly. 
  • If you have not started any outlines, decide which outline will be the easiest to do and complete it first.  Next easiest and so forth.
  • Block off time in your schedule to work on each outline over several days rather than expect to find 8 or 10 hours straight for outlining.
  • Set goals for when each outline will be current.  Try to have all outlines completed within 10 days – the earlier the better.
  • You will need to sacrifice weekend “fun” time to get on top of your outlining so that you only have to add new material each week.

Academic Success Tip - Catch Up on Reading

You are in your seventh week of classes now.  This week's tips are based on student questions that have been asked recently.

What is the best way to catch up if I am behind in my reading for one or more courses?

  • Make your priority staying on top of the current readings for class.  You will then be able to follow the class discussions.
  • Fit in back reading as you can in small chunks (1 case or 5 pages at a time). 
  • On the weekend, read first for your Monday and Tuesday classes for the upcoming week.  Then use extra time for catch-up reading.

Trandafir International Business Writing Competition

Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems, a journal of the University of Iowa College of Law, is pleased to announce the 2009-10 Trandafir International Business Writing Competition. The competition is open to all graduate and law students. The winning student will receive a cash prize of $2,000, and the journal will publish the winning submission in an upcoming edition. Submissions should address a contemporary international business or economic issue with a legal nexus.

Submissions must arrive at our office, via e-mail or U.S. mail only, no later than 5:00 PM CST on February 1, 2010.  A panel of journal editors and university professors will select the winning submission by early April 2010.  

Please address all inquiries to: law-trandafir@iowa.uiowa.edu. Submissions can be mailed to Trandafir International Business Writing Competition, University of Iowa College of Law, Boyd Law Building, Room 185, Iowa City, IA 52242.

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

Do not give up hope.  It is not too late to become more efficient and effective this semester.  It is not too late to catch up if you are behind.  Start today to solve the problems.  Moaning and groaning are counter-productive.  If you need help in planning strategies to turn things around, contact the Academic Success Office.

Winner - Academic Success Drawing

Thank you to all first-year law students who completed an evaluation for the Structured Study Group program.  The winner of two tickets to Lawlapalooza on October 1, 2009, at Phoenix Hill Tavern is Joe Lambert.  Tickets for the drawing this week were provided courtesy of Dean Chen.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Monday.