Create Your Own Case Briefs for Every Case You Read
Case briefing is a formalized way of taking notes on your reading in preparation for class. Creating your own case briefs is important for several reasons: (1) you will be better prepared for class discussion; (2) you will develop the analytical skills that are critical to success on exams; (3) you will crystallize your understanding of the case; (4) you will be able to review a group of related cases easily and efficiently without having to rely on your memory or having to re-read cases; and (5) you can use your briefs and class notes to create your course outlines. Don't make the mistake that many law students make during the fall semester - they brief only sporadically or stop briefing completely because they believe it is too time-consuming. The task of case briefing is worth the added time and effort, and it will actually save you time when it counts - when preparing for exams!
Start Your Day Early and On Time
The work day typically begins between 8:00 and 9:00 AM and so should your study day. A good rule of thumb is to spend three hours studying (outside of class) for every hour of class time. This translates into between 45 and 50 hours per week studying pre-class and post-class (30 to 38 hours if you are in the part-time program). Considering the number of hours you will spend studying, it may not be possible to get everything done in the evening, even if you are a "night owl." Night time studying may have worked in college, in part, because you rarely spent 40 to 50 hours preparing for classes. So, try to start your study day early and work during the daylight hours.
Friday, August 21 is the last day to add a class or change a class to an audit.
TUITION REFUND DATES
Friday, August 21 100% refund
Friday, Sept. 4 50% refund
Friday, Sept. 11 25% refund
Take Control of Your Studying Before Too Much Time Flies By
- Designate one place in your apartment where you will have your law school study center. Organize all of your casebooks, study aids, dictionaries, binders, spiral notebooks, and other study materials in this one spot. When you finish with a binder or casebook or stapler, return it to its place. You will waste less time searching for your law school materials if you have one spot for everything.
- Make a shopping list of what study materials you need and stock your apartment study center now. Buy extra notepads, pens, ink cartridges, printer paper, paper clips, and other materials. By anticipating your needs for the semester, you can avoid multiple or panicked trips to the office supply store later. Also, you may be able to save money by buying bulk quantities instead of separate purchases of the items over time.
- Lay out everything you will need the next day before you go to bed. It is easier to get organized while you can think calmly about the items you need for each class. Grabbing up items as you rush out the door will likely lead to not having everything you need once you arrive at the law school.
- Purchase a large dry erase board for your study center if you think it will help you. Visual learners often benefit greatly from a dry erase board with multiple colors of markers. Create flowcharts, methodologies, IRAC outlines for practice question answers, or other information initially on a dry erase board. You can add, delete, and modify until you are happy with the result. Then, you can copy the final version on to the computer or paper. Some students use the dry erase board for calendaring and listing “to do” items.
- Use monthly and weekly schedules and daily “to do” lists to organize yourself. The monthly schedule can be used for deadlines and assigning daily tasks to meet the deadlines on time. The weekly schedule can be used to design a study schedule that can be repeated most weeks to make certain you are getting all study tasks done each week. “To do” lists can be used to prioritize the most important tasks each day.
The Director of Academic Success is pleased to announce that the following 10 upper-division law students have been chosen to serve as Academic Fellows in the fall:
Kristine Tarra Ragan
The Brandeis Academic Fellows will be responsible for facilitating weekly structured study group sessions in Contracts for all first-year students. The 10 Academic Fellows were selected based on their solid academic records, interpersonal skills, maturity and genuine willingness to assist first-year law students learn effective law school study skills.
If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Thompson in Student Records.
Update: Message from Professor Santry about registration (April 14, 2009)
Spots are still available in the Law Clinic for Fall 2009. If you missed last week's information session about the clinic, you may watch the video here.
Professor Shelley Santry is the new permanent director of the law clinic. She has 16 years legal experience in the Louisville legal community, as an attorney with Legal Aid, and most recently as an assistant county attorney.
The clinic is located downtown at 416 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. Students enrolled in the clinic will work on housing and some limited domestic violence cases referred to the clinic by Legal Aid. Students that participate will be representing these clients as the primary attorney dealing with the matter, and so this is a great opporunity to get some hands on experience with real clients.
The clinic will consist of a weekly classroom meeting, plus clinic office hours.
The clinic class will be limited to eight students, and registration is only allowed by permission of the director, Shelley Santry. You can only take the clinic if you have completed 60 credit hours by the time you enroll in the clinic (i.e., credits to be earned next fall will not count). This is a requirement of the Kentucky Bar.
Here's how you apply:
Submit the following 3 documents to Professor Lars Smith by 5:00 pm, Wednesday, April 15 (his office is Room 286):
- Statement of Intent of why you wish to participate in the clinic (maximum 1 page, single spaced).
- Copy of your resume.
- Copy of your transcript.
Final decisions will be made by the end of the semester. In the meantime, students are advised to make alternative scheduling plans in case their request to enroll in the clinic is not approved.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Housing court cases are heard during the morning, usually between 9 and 10:30 am. Therefore you should not schedule all of your other classes before noon. While we may be able to occasionaly arrange your case load to fit around your schedule to some degree, having extensive morning obligations will not work.
- Students will have the opportunity to work with Prof. Santry on family court emergency protective order hearings on several Mondays during the semester. The hearings are usually scheduled some time between 8:30 and 2:30 on Mondays, so students should be prepared to have a 3 hour block of time available during this period. NOTE: You will only be expected to do this a few times, not every Monday.
- There will be a classroom component which will meet everyweek at the law school.
- You will have to sign up for offices hours which will require you to be present in the clinic offices downtown.
- The first few weeks of school the classroom component will run more than the allotted time in order to teach you about the basics of working on a housing case or EPOs. Once we know everyone's schedule, Professor Santry will work with everyone to arrange the time for this program.
- You will have to sit in on housing court before the semester begins.
Professor Santry will provide more detail about these items as we get closer to the beginning of the semester.
Please contact Professor Lars Smith with any questions you may have. If he cannot answer them, he will pass your question along to Professor Santry.
Most interviews will be held with Professor Levinson and Josh Speirs, one of the returning team members. Lily Chan, the other team member, may also join the interviews. Please be prepared to discuss 1) why you are interested in arbitration, 2) what courses you will be taking Fall semester, and 3) what other obligations you must devote time to.
We will be interviewing through finals. Please sign up for a slot on the sheet posted outside room 285 (Professor Levinson’s office). If the times do not work for you, please contact Professor Levinson to schedule another time to meet.
Participation is, of course, contingent on law school funding decisions.