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Restorative Justice: A Better Method for Healing the Harm

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Make the Most Out of the Last Two Weeks of Classes

Congratulations!  You are about to finish another semester in law school.  Here are some tips to make the most of the last two full weeks of classes in preparation for finals:

  • Do not skip classes.  Professors often give information about the exam during the last few classes.  In addition, there is a good chance that there will be questions on the exam specifically on the last week’s material.
  • Attend all review sessions that your professors offer.  Professors provide review sessions to help you do well on the exam.  Whether the session is a professor-led review of the material or based on questions and answers, you can use the session to your advantage.  If you are confused about certain areas, then this is the time to get the material straight.  If you think you understand the material, then this is the time to “test” your depth of understanding.
  • If there are not scheduled review sessions, ask your professors any questions that you have this week.   Once classes are over, many professors work from home or work in their offices during limited hours.  Yes, you could e-mail or telephone the professor regarding your questions; however, there is no substitute for being there face-to-face.
  • Try to have all of your reading and outlining completed by April 20.   You want to allow yourself plenty of time for learning your outlines, memorizing black letter law, and applying the concepts through practice questions. 
  • Evaluate your status in each course.   Determine which topics and sub-topics still need to be learned for each course.  Determine which topics and sub-topics just need to be reviewed.  Determine how many practice questions need to be completed for each topic and sub-topic.  Prioritize your studying tasks.  Be realistic. 
  • Map out your plans for each day for the next two weeks.   A monthly calendar format may help you to see when your exams are, when papers are due, when other projects may be due.  Mark down review sessions being held by professors.  For each day, indicate the course(s) you plan to study, the topics or sub-topics for that course, and the hours of study. 
  • Maximize your study time within your plan.   Decide whether you learn better by studying one course all day or by mixing up two or even three courses in the same day.  Decide when you are most alert and place the most difficult tasks (intense learning and memorization for many students) in those time slots.  Use time slots when you are less alert for tasks that you find easier (review of material already learned, practice questions, and flashcards for many students). 
  • Re-check the exam schedule to make sure that you have written the correct days and times down for all of your exams.   Nothing can be more distressing than to find out that you missed an exam because you were not careful enough in noting the dates and times on your calendar.  If in doubt, find out now.
  • Have a talk with your significant others about the fact that you will be studying for exams and need their understanding.   Have a heart-to-heart with your friends, parents, spouse, children, and any others who need to be cooperative with your efforts.  Schedule needed babysitters now.  

Exam4 Now Availabile for Spring Semester Finals

Exam4 is now available for Spring 2011 final exams.  Students who wish to use their computer for exams -- including those who used Exam4 for mid-terms this semester -- must download and install this version of Exam4 and submit a practice test by 11:59 PM EDT, Monday, April 18, 2011.

To take and submit a practice test:

  1. Download and install the version of Exam4 for your computer's operating system;
  2. Take a PRACTICE EXAM (select from drop-down list of classes), identifying yourself by your UofL user name (e.g., eapres01), NOT with your student ID number, exam number or any other alphanumeric string.
  3. Submit your Practice Exam electronically ON CAMPUS ONLY by 11:59 PM EDT, Monday, April 18, 2011.
Periodically throughout the practice exam period and immediately following the deadline, the IT staff will send confirmations via e-mail of successful practice exam submissions.  If you do not receive at least one confirmation following your submission, you should assume your submission is flawed.

Trademark Team Takes National Championship!

Marilyn Osborn and Whitney True are the 2011 Lefkowitz Trademark National champions!  They received the award for best overall team out of 78 teams after competing at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on March 26th.  They were commended on their presence, poise, and command of the issues.  The team was coached by Jack Wheat, '79, of Stites and Harbison and will be recognized by the International Trademark Association this spring.   Please join the Moot Court Board in congratulating them!

Ms. Osborn also competed at the Trademark Moot Court Competition at Oxford Univeristy, England March 18-20. She was profiled in a feature at UofL Today, "Law students to compete at Oxford University" (March 29, 2011). 

Related news: "UofL students win national moot court contest" (Courier-journal.com, March 30, 2011)

B90's Compete in National Softball Tournament

Photo Gallery

The University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law is proud to send its first Law School intramural softball team to the University of Virginia’s Law School Softball Tournament. The team departs for the tournament on Friday morning, April 1. The tournament is hosted every spring by the North Grounds Softball League (NGSL) on UVA’s grounds.  Each year, over 115 softball teams from over 50 different law schools participate. The NGSL donates the majority of its proceeds from the Invitational to a local charity, Children Youth and Family Services of Charlottesville. NGSL also contributes substantial amounts of money to UVA Law's Public Interest Law Association every year. 

The Bottom 90 group was started by Gulam Kuli-Zade, Sean Reed, Danny Schoenbaechler, and Greg Thompson early in their 2L year. "One day we were talking about the ridiculousnessof the arbitrary stress that law school and law students deal with. Our group started originally just on the common ground we all shared of sports. We all played intramurals beginning in our 1L year together, and have remained teammates throughout. That bond has lead to what will be lifelong friendships for over a dozen of us, and our teamwork mentality has helped us get over the ‘hard curve, cut throat, every man for himself’ mentality that most law students seemed to have." The group as a whole has always been more than willing to share outlines, study guides, and has become a study group in and of itself. They are always there for one another whenever one of B90s needs anything, be it help explaining a legal concept, or something outside of law school entirely.

Essentially, the group strives to be like regular people, and less like the typical law student, and they take pride in being down to earth in that regard. "This has helped us through law school in countless ways - just having people that you can relate to, and people that are in the same boat that care about your success as much as you care about their success. There is no selfishness involved." Says Thompson.
 
When questioned about jobs, Thompson responded, "B90 isn't exactly doing a whole lot of on campus interviews. I think we all got summer jobs, and most of us have jobs already lined up simply because we are all down to earth, good, and honest people. The genuine nature of all of our people shines through in so much as a short conversation, so I would chalk up the job market success to a less stressed, less type a, less pushy in networking,attitude." The group has not only beaten UK's law school in basketball, they also recently won the entire U of L intramural championship in basketball, and will be traveling to the NGSL Invitational (National Law School Softball Tournament) in Charlottesville, VA on April 1.

"B90 is a reminder that regardless of your GPA in law school, the average student at Brandeis School of Law is a hardworking, decorated, skilled teammate that you can depend on to always have your back." ~Alex White

"A law school fails anytime a student chooses not to help a classmate, in an effort to achieve a better grade for themselves." ~Danny Schoenbachler

"I think the really special thing about B90 is how it is a group of guys who found eachother and truly exemplify the collegial and collaborative nature the legal profession should strive to have.  All members work very hard toward their goals in the practice of law, and the law school to the best of theirabilities.  This includes going above and beyond just academics. Members of B90 bring a well rounded perspective to the school, as most participate heavily in sports, student organizations, work, community service,and social opportunities." ~Ryan Goode
"Anyone who shares our outlook on law school and life is welcome, even if their grades are in the top ten percent! There is always room for genuinely kind and sincere people who want togo through law school with a support network, good friends, and future allies in the practice of law." ~Sean Reed
"B90 is about aspiring to be a well rounded attorney. Your experiences outside the classroom should dictate the way you approach the law, not just the books you read." ~Fernando Valdizan


This year’s U of L Law School softball team members include: Phil Lawson, Sean Reed, Greg Thompson, Ryan Goode, Zach Springer, Kyle Samons, Tyler Korus, Gulam Kuli-Zade, Danny Schoenbachler, Jared Wilkie, Chris Ballentine, Fernando Valdizan, Ryan Polczynski, Peyton Sands, and Kevin Rich. 

Team sponsors include Louisville Slugger, Papa John’s International, Bob Hook Chevrolet, The Clarkson Group, Shively Sporting Goods, Kroger and Westlaw.   Support was also provided by donors Steve Lyverse (’83), Harry Rothgerber (‘74), Gregory Thompson (’11) Angie McDonald-Hackett, and Wendy Helterbran.  It is not too late to support the team!  

1L Spring Break Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the following students for their exceptional performance on the Spring Break Challenge!

Overall Champion and winner of the iPod Touch - Liam Felsen

Professor Nowka's Section

First place - Liam Felsen

Second place - Brittany Hampton

Third place - Brian Strunk

Professor Giesel's Section

First place - Dana Eberle-Peay

Second place - Yuan Lin

Third place - Caroline Ramsey and Eddie O'Brien

Please stop by my office to pick up your prizes.  Thank you to all the students who participated!  The competition was very close this year.

 

Court of Appeals Hears Amish Case at the Law School

On March 24, Kentucky's Court of Appeals heard Jacob Gingerich v. Commonwealth of Kentucky in the law school's Allen Courtroom. The appeal from district court convictions is for failing to display a slow moving vehicles emblem on horse drawn buggies. The Amish appellants claim KRS 189.820 impermissibly burdens their religious freedoms.

Brian A. Smith, 1L, covered the First District Court trial for The Mayfield Messenger. His photographs were also published in The Courier-Journal.

Related news:
"Amish residents argue against using 'slow moving' sign on buggies" (WHAS11, March 24)

Judicial Nominations: A Judge's Perspective and Reflections

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Stay Positive

Are you feeling fatigued or discouraged?  Does it seem as though there is no way to get everything done?  Are you stressing out over the time crunch you are in right now?  Take a very deep breath and count to ten.  Then, use some of the pointers below to get things under control.

  • Get a pep talk from someone.   You can do this!  Talk to whomever you have in your life who will encourage you and help you calm down.  It may be a professor or Academic Fellow.  It may be a spouse or significant other.  It may be a non-law mentor.  It may be a counselor or doctor.  And, if no one comes to mind, schedule a “pep talk” appointment with the Academic Success Office.
  • Be an optimist and not a pessimist.   Optimists are more successful in academics than pessimists.  Look for that silver lining in the cloud.  Go ahead and make yourself feel better!
  • Use visualization for success.   Athletes visualize themselves making the winning basket, breaking the speed record, or throwing the fastest pitch.  You can visualize yourself studying diligently each day, conquering a difficult concept in a course, and confidently taking an exam. 
  • Post inspirational sayings around your apartment.   
  • Put things into perspective.   As anxious as you may be about law school, it is not a life or world crisis.  Each day there are ordinary people dealing with hunger, poverty, homelessness, illness, natural disasters, or armed conflict.  Law school is nothing by comparison.  So, lighten up and be thankful for the opportunities that you have.
  • Be cooperative and not cut-throat competitive.   Explain a class concept to another law student who is struggling.  Provide class notes to someone who has been sick.  Offer to lend a supplement to someone who cannot afford one.  Praise another student for an excellent presentation in class.  Thank someone for supporting you when you needed help.
  • Take one day at a time.   Consciously decide each day how to use your time and talents.  Do the best you can do and then let it go.  Do not dwell on mistakes or lost time.  Re-evaluate your priorities and keep going.  The best you can do is the best you can do.
  • Set up a support system.   Decide with another law student what each of you needs help on and consciously help each other.  If the other law student needs a phone call in the morning to get moving, then make the phone call.  If you need someone to monitor your wasted time chatting in the student lounge, then ask the other student to confront you when you procrastinate.
  • Cuddle a cat, pet a pooch, or hug a horse.   Animals have a way of calming us.  Some furry friendship can do wonders.
  • Give yourself some credit.   Remember that you are here because we believed in your abilities when we admitted you.  You were selected when hundreds of others were denied admission.  You still have the same attributes and talents as when you walked in the door on day one of law school.  There are a lot of very bright and competent people here.  And, you are one of them.  You may need to learn some new study strategies, but that is different than not belonging here.

Fall 2011 Course Notes Addenda & Revised Fall 2011 Course Schedule & Exam Schedule & Revise Spring 2011 Course Schedule

Addenda to the Fall 2011 course notes, and revised versions of Fall 2011 course schedule, Fall 2011 exam schedule, and Spring 2012 course schedule are posted below and on the Class Schedules Page of the Law School website (under Academics - Resources).  The only major changes are the addition of a second section of Advanced Trial Practice in Spring 2012 (Chris Meinhart; Fridays, 9:00-11:40 a.m.) and the addition of Natalie Kaelin to teach the Fall 2011 evening section of Negotiable Instruments.  Any other changes were minor corrections.  If you have any questions, please contact Dean Arnold, tony.arnold@louisville.edu.