May, August and December 2010 Graduates
Wednesday, March 31 is the deadline to order graduation apparel for the May 8, 2010 School of Law Convocation. Please keep checking the Docket for other graduation information.
Some of you have been studying for exams all semester by staying on top of your course reading, adding to your outlines each week, and conscientiously learning new material while reviewing past material. This ongoing process is the key to the highest grades because deeper understanding and long-term memory result.
As you study for exams, consider the four kinds of review that you should include in your study plans. If you incorporate all four types, you are more likely to master your courses and garner better grades.
Intense Learning. First, you need to learn intensely each topic. This type of study has deep understanding as its goal. It may take several study sessions to reach this level of learning for a long topic that was covered over multiple class sessions. Intense learning may need to include additional reading in study aids or time asking the professor questions in order to clear up all confusion and master the material. In addition to learning this one part of the course, the student should consider how it relates to the course as a whole.
Fresh Review. Second, you should strive to keep fresh everything in the course. This type of study is focused on reading your outline cover to cover at least once a week. It makes sure that the law student never gets so far away from a topic that it gets "foggy." Students forget 80% of what they learn within two weeks if they do not review regularly. After intensely learning a topic, it would be a shame to forget it. Constant review reinforces long-term memory and provides for quicker recall when the material is needed.
Memory Drills. Third, you should spend time on basic memory drills. This type of study helps a student remember the precise rule, the definition of an element, or the steps of analysis. For most students, these drills will be done with homemade flashcards. Some students will write out rules multiple times. Other students will develop mnemonics. Still others may have visual reminders. The grunt work of memory can be tedious. However, if you do not know the law well, you will not do well on the exam.
Practice Questions. Fourth, you must complete as many practice questions as possible. This step has several advantages. It monitors whether you really understand the law. It tests whether you can apply the law to new fact scenarios. It allows you to practice test-taking strategies. And it monitors whether you need to repeat intense learning on a topic or sub-topic because errors on the questions indicate that it was obviously not learned to the level needed.
Ideally, you should set aside blocks of study time to accomplish each of these reviews every week for every course. The proportion of time for each course will depend on the amount of material covered, the difficulty of the course, and the type of exam.
FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS: ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE CHALLENGE?
Finals are right around the corner! This is a great opportunity to test your knowledge. The Challenge begins at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Room 275. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
The challenge will consist of several objective-type (non-essay) questions covering one subject – either Contracts or Torts. You will be asked to answer as many questions as you can within 30 minutes. The student who answers the most questions correctly will be crowned the Spring Break Challenge Champion.
Prizes sponsored by Lexis and Kaplan PMBR:
- $300 certificate towards the purchase of a Kaplan PMBR Complete Bar Review Course or MBE Combination Course
- 3,200 Lexis Rewards Points
- 1L Finals Survival Kit
On Monday, March 22, 2010, the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law will host the inaugural William Marshall Bullitt Lecture. Lowry Watkins Jr. has honored the memory of his grandfather, William Marshall Bullitt, by establishing a lecture series in his name. Bullitt, a Louisville native, earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton in 1894 and his law degree from the University of Louisville in 1895. Bullitt served as Solicitor General for the United States from 1912-13 and was a senior member of his law firm, Bullitt, Dawson & Tarrant.
The inaugural lecture will feature Kenneth Starr who has served as Solicitor General and as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. One of the country's leading litigators and legal scholars, Mr. Starr currently serves as dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. He was recently named president of Baylor University.
Please join the law school in welcoming Mr. Starr. The lecture will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Allen Courtroom. Seating is limited, so reservations are required. To make a reservation, please contact Becky Wenning at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 502.852.1230.
The Chief Justice in the first round stated that Ashley and Ben were both “excellent,” “in command of their arguments,” “unflappable, and persuasive.” He thought Ben’s presentation exhibited an “enjoyability so rare in legal jurisprudence.” Other judges noted that Ashley had a “nice pace” and “unflappable look.” One judge emphasized that he had heard several Hoffman arguments (in real life) and that Ben’s was “the best presentation” he had heard.
In the second round, judges reported that Adrienne did an “excellent job,” that her “posture and composure” were “fantastic” and that her ability to use “little to no notes” was impressive. The judges noted that Ben had a “good tone,” “responded well to questions,” clearly answering with a “yes” or “no,” exhibited appropriate deference, and made very good transitions.
In the third round, the judges stated that Ashley and Ben exhibited “meticulous preparation and their knowledge of the facts and precedent were remarkable.” Ben gave “very good examples and “was very persuasive.” One judge commented that Ben was “right on top of the game.” Ashley had a good “conversational style,” and a steady, firm, committed presentation. She “stood her ground well.”
Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) is preparing to receive refugees from Haiti through Church World Service within the next few weeks. KRM is seeking monetary contributions and donations of the following items for the furnished apartments where the families will be placed:
- sofas, kitchen tables, and chairs
- pots and pans
- kitchen supplies and silverware
- lamps and lightbulbs
- towels, blankets, and sheets
- bathroom supplies
- warm coats
The KRM donation truck will transport the donated items to their warehouse on Friday, March 19 at 10:00 AM. There's a collection box in the Mosaic lobby. Contact Rachel Carmona if you have additional questions or call Kentucky Refugee Ministries' office at 502-479-9180 Ext. 15 to make a donation, and Ext. 53 to volunteer. You may also drop off donations at the KRM office at 969 B Cherokee Road, Louisville, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Monday through Friday.
Source: Community challenge - Coming to the aid of Haiti's refugees (Courier-Journal.com, Feb. 8)
1Ls: TAKE THE SPRING BREAK CHALLENGE on MARCH 23
What do I need to do?
- Enjoy your spring break (March 15 – 21), but reserve some time each day to catch up on your reading; catch up on your outlining; and to review your outlines (especially Torts and Contracts).
- On Tuesday, March 23 (right after your 9:00 a.m. class), go to Room 275.
- The Challenge will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will end at 11:00 a.m.
- All you need to bring is a pen.
- We will flip a coin. If it lands on heads, the Challenge questions will cover Contracts. If it lands on tails, the Challenge questions will cover Torts.
- Each student will receive a handout with the Challenge questions (there will be different handouts for Section One students and Section Two students).
- You will answer as many questions as you can in 30 minutes. There will not be any essay questions. The following is an example of the type of question you may see: "List the three types of warranties you studied in Contracts at the beginning of the semester."
- After 30 minutes, all students will submit their answers for grading.
- The student who answers the most questions correctly will be crowned the Spring Break Challenge Champion and will receive: a $300 Kaplan PMBR certificate towards the purchase of a Complete Bar Review Course or MBE Combination Course; 3,200 Lexis Rewards Points, and a 1L Finals Survival Kit.
- What do you have to lose? NOTHING
If you have any questions, please email Ms. Kimberly Ballard - email@example.com.
TAKE THE CHALLENGE
Tuesday, March 23
The Student Bar Foundation is hosting its 13th annual Charity Auction and Trivia Night on March 24th at the Seelbach Hotel. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be available beginning at 5:30 PM. The trivia starts at 6:30 PM sharp. Please note the change of location.
This event will combine an evening of networking, fundraising and friendly competition among Louisville’s legal minds! Our goal is to raise money and awareness to benefit two very important programs: the Brandeis School of Law Public Service Summer Fellowships and the Law School’s Partnership with the Central High School Law and Government Magnet Program.
Donations of goods and services are still being sought. A list of suggested donations is available at our website. Some of the amazing auctions items that have already been donated include: a $1000 BARBRI certificate, two attendance passes to Dean Blackburn's classes, Mastering Professional Responsibility and Criminal Procedure Textbooks & Supplements, a $15 Molly Malone's gift certificate and much more.
Tickets are available in the Resource Center across from room 275 or by e-mailing either Samantha Thomas-Bush or Jayci Roney. The cost is $15 for students and $40 for everyone else. If any student organizations want to reserve a table for trivia, please contact either Samantha or Jayci. Six to a table for $15 each for a total of $90.
Attorney and adjunct professor, Donald Vish, and his class "Law and Literature" are featured in an article by Peter Smith of The Courier-Journal. The article includes quotes from some of his students as well.
“Everything about this course is about the same thing: What is justice?” instructor Donald Vish tells the students at the Brandeis School of Law.
"They'll never be able to get this course out of their minds (even if) they may not be able to use it in the next few years,” he added after the class. “They know what law and justice look like to lawyers. But I want them to see what it looks like to artists.”
Full Story: U of L course sees law through lens of literature: Local lawyer prime example of the link (Courier-Journal.com, March 7, 2010)
Spring Break is almost here! How can you have an enjoyable break and boost your learning for finals? It is possible – consider the tips below:
- Spend time with family and friends. Make sure that you have some fun time and get some relaxation during Spring Break to re-charge your batteries for the last push through classes and exams.
- Plan ahead for your studying. Plan in advance what tasks you need to accomplish. Plan which days you will do those tasks. Plan what materials you need to take with you so that you do not forget something. For example, if you want to work on practice problems, copy them this week so you do not have to lug a study aid around with you.
- Be realistic about what you can accomplish during Spring Break. You are unlikely to study 15 hours a day every day. Instead of telling yourself that you will accomplish 100 tasks, make a list that you think you actually will accomplish.
- Get on a regular sleep schedule before you return to school. Catch some extra sleep hours to build up your stamina for the last push of the semester. Take some power naps in the afternoons.
- Take the time to play in active ways and not just in mental ways. By exercising, you can release stress and prepare your body for the marathon ahead. Enjoy the movement and healthy competition.
- Exercise your brain cells by doing lots of practice questions for each course. You accomplish several positives - better memory of the black letter law; better understanding of how to apply concepts; faster use of exam taking techniques and strategies; and greater confidence in the nuances of the law.
- Catch up on any back reading that was not completed before the break. Also, it is a good time to read for the first two days after break so that you do not feel behind when you start classes up again.
- Eat healthy foods. You are in training for exams now. The better your nutrition during the break, the better your body and brain will serve you. Keep up the healthy eating once you get back from break so that you will be at the top of your productivity and brain power during the remainder of the semester.
- Keep on track. By planning your studying, you can be more productive. By starting with the hardest task first, you can make your day more pleasant. By breaking tasks into small steps, you can cross them off more quickly for a sense of accomplishment. By focusing on your priorities, you can accomplish more of your study tasks.