Academics News

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 Sadaf Aulakh.  Tickets for the drawing this week were provided courtesy of Dean Chen.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Friday.  

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

Use a reward system to keep your motivation up.  Decide small rewards for yourself for completion of small tasks.  Small rewards might be: a bubble bath; one ½-hour television show; one computer game; popcorn; a walk with the dog; a play break with your child.  Decide large rewards for yourself for completion of large tasks: a night at the movies; dinner with friends at a nice restaurant; two hours reading a novel; a new outfit. When you have a reward to look forward to, you are more likely to stay motivated in completing your work.

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 Brooke McCord.  Tickets for the drawing this week were provided courtesy of Dean Chen.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Thursday.  

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

Determine your current areas of confusion and get help now.  Concepts often build on one another – if you wait too long, you will be hopelessly lost.  Review your briefs and class notes and determine what questions you have at this time.  Talk with classmates who understand the material.  Ask professors questions.  Use a study aid to clarify a topic.

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

Do not waste valuable study time between classes.  Take a hard look at how you use the ½-hour, 1-hour, and 2-hour chunks of time during your day when you are not in class.  If you spend all of that time chatting with friends or running errands or deciding what to do next, you will automatically make your evening more stressful because you have accomplished nothing during the day on your reading or other projects.

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 a 1 GB Flash Drive is Ross Jordan.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Wednesday.

Academic Success Tip - Handling Pressure

It is amazing that we are beginning the sixth week of the semester!  Some of your professors may have started to speed up in class and cover more pages.  You may be working on your first graded writing assignment for BLS, preparing for a practice exam, studying for a mid-term, or all of the above.  What can you do to re-group after these first five weeks if you are feeling pressured by the workload or are worrying that you are already behind in your studying?  This week's tips will provide suggestions on how to handle pressure.   

  • Do not stop reading for classes because you have other projects or assignments due soon.  Carve out time for the projects around your reading for classes.  If you focus on papers or projects and ignore class reading, you will then be confused in class and behind in your reading.  If you do not know how to find time for both reading and other tasks, make an appointment with the Director of Academic Success for help with time management.

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 Ellen Berg.  Please claim your prize from the Academic Success Office, Room 212, by Tuesday.  

Academic Success Tip - Reserve Time for Outlining

Congratulations!  You have just completed your fifth week of law school.  If you have not done so already, reserve time THIS weekend to begin your outlines for each course - do not wait!  We forget 80% of what we learn within two weeks if we do not review; by outlining regularly and reviewing your outline often, you will retain more information and not have to re-learn it.  If you are unsure how to start your outline, consider using the topics and sub-topics in your course syllabus or in the general table of contents in your casebook as a framework.  Remember that you want to focus on the bigger picture of the course and fit the parts into that bigger picture; avoid a case-based outline.  If you have already started outlining your courses, keep up the good work and reserve time this weekend to supplement those outlines.

Academic Success Tip - Using Graphics in Your Outlines

When you supplement your course outlines this week, consider what graphics may work for you to help with the bigger picture, the analysis, and the synthesis of the material; some examples of graphics are:

  • Tables with material in rows and columns
  • Decision trees – flow charts with questions and yes/no choices to work through the analysis
  • Tree diagrams – the main concept is the trunk and the sub-topics (and beyond) branch off
  • Legal diagrams – the main concept starts in the center of the page and lines connect outwards to the sub-topics and beyond
  • Balloon diagrams – similar to the legal diagram using balloons to hold concepts and sub-topics instead of lines alone
  • Mind mapping – use pictures and shapes to brainstorm about the interconnections
  • Venn diagrams to show the overlap between several concepts
  • Time lines for chronological events
  • Columns of material to show connections and progression