I bet you're already aware that the Dean enjoys college sports, but did you know he also enjoys skiing? Do you know the names and breeds of his canine clan? Read all about it and more in his "In Person" profile at UofL Today.
President. Provost, vice president, dean, professor, manager, director.
As much as these titles describe and apply to the work that happens at the University of Louisville, they don’t get to the essence of what makes UofL unique — its people.
Once or twice a month, UofL Today profiles people who help to make the university what it is.
Name: Jim Chen
Title: dean and professor of law
At UofL since: Jan. 2, 2007. My first official day on the job took place at the Orange Bowl. I proudly claim to be the first fan in my section to spot the trick play that yielded a touchdown pass from Patrick Carter to Anthony Allen. I defy you to find another law school dean in America who can better explain the triple option or the cover 2.
Hometown: When native Louisvillians ask me where I went to school, I oblige and answer, with my best deadpan, “Clarkston High School, DeKalb County, Ga.” My wife, Heather, does make Louisville seem more like home every day.
First job and what I learned from it: My paternal grandmother lived with my nuclear family when I was in grade school. She liked to sell jewelry. She spoke only Taiwanese; for my services as translator, I got a little spending money. I learned that everyone, deep down, wants to work and to feel a sense of accomplishment. I also learned that talent, patience and hard work all have their rewards.
The thing I like most about what I do: Getting to work closely with lawyers, judges and business professionals. Every legal professional’s journey of a lifetime begins with a thousand days in law school. Being dean gives me an unusually good view of what our graduates make of their careers, and I like what I see.
I am: happiest when I am in motion with lots of open space on all sides. Hiking trails and ski slopes are best. I like the adrenaline rush.
I never: treat myself to anything. The idea of “retail therapy” repulses me. If you see me wearing or carrying something nice and new, chances are that Heather bought it for me and ordered me to donate whatever that nice thing replaced.
Guilty pleasure: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that anyone bored by “Pride and Prejudice” in high school or college was a straight man who had not yet come to appreciate all the mysteries of dating and mating. I have since come to appreciate the virtues of romance novels and chick flicks. What I really need to know in life, I can learn from “Clueless,” “Legally Blonde” and “Sex and the City.”
And when I’m not mining this peculiar corner of popular culture, I draw great pleasure from being the assistant commissioner and official statistician (aka StatBoy) of the Ruth Adams Fantasy Football League.
Favorite books: In no particular order: “All the King’s Men.” The U.S.A. trilogy. “Look Homeward, Angel.” “Giants in the Earth.” “Ethan Frome.” The books that most move me are those about America, having come of age (in the human lifespan connecting the end of the Civil War with the beginning of the Second World War), and those typically dealing with immigrants, their immediate descendants and/or the deep South dealing with the awful responsibility of Time.
Favorite TV show: I generally haven’t the patience to watch anything on television except live sports events. I did follow “Lost” and was disappointed when it ended. Because I’m also a sucker for epics on good and evil involving outer space, I gave “V” a shot last season.
Favorite quote: I love the beauty and the power of this line from Dante’s Divine Comedy (Inferno, canto 2, line 72): “amor mi mosse, che mi fa parlare.” As love has moved me, so have I spoken.
These animals share my world: Heather and I have a blended canine family. She brought her soft-coated wheaten terrier, Finnegan, into the family. I added two pugs, Sophie and Savannah. There is never a dull or quiet moment in our house.
My day begins: I check news and messages that collected overnight. Heather and I talk while eating breakfast and ushering our dogs to and from the yard. I have a knack for starting a complicated topic of conversation just as she is headed out the door. Knowing that I have one shot at redeeming myself and making her happy when she gets home, I make the bed before I leave.
I wish I had more time to: pursue any of the objects of my life as Walter Mitty. To wit: Write the Great American Novel. Know the history of Earth and that of its living things, all the way down. Learn a few dozen foreign languages, and be content to master one or two of those. Crack the code on something deeply quantitative. Physics would be most profound. Finance would be the most materially rewarding. Music would be the most beautiful.
When I’m not cheering for the Cards, I’m cheering for: the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Falcons and the University of Georgia Bulldogs.
Most Friday nights you’ll find me: at home or on a date with Heather. Really now. If you were married to the most wonderful woman in the world, would you be anywhere else?
If my life were a movie: Heather thinks my movie would be “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” I would like to think that my movie would be “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” or at least “The Gods Must Be Crazy.” Truth be told, though, it’s probably “Mean Girls.”
What else the UofL community should know: I am as old as the Super Bowl. Heather is a century younger than the Kentucky Derby. But the most significant annual event in our household may be the State of the University Address.
Reprinted from UofL Today (March 23, 2011).
Be prepared for course registration and choose the courses that are right for you. Do you want to enroll in an externship or an independent study? Do you need to request to enroll in more than 16 hours as a full-time student or 12 hours as a part-time student? Have you completed a degree checklist recently? Do you want to take non-law graduate level courses?
The Student Life Office will be offering course registration advising office hours for upper division students on March 28, 29, and 30. Stop by or make an appointment in advance to discuss any questions you may have regarding your Summer or Fall 2011 schedule, graduation requirements, externships, pre-registration permission forms, etc. Kathleen Bean, Associate Dean for Student Life, and Kimberly Ballard, Academic Success Director, will be available to provide one-on-one advising, and to answer questions about course selection. To sign-up for a time in advance, add your name to the appointment sheets outside offices 212 and 216.
Monday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 30, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Need help planning your schedule of classes for the summer or fall? Have questions about graduation requirements? Sign up for an advising appointment with Dean Bean or Ms. Ballard on March 28 (between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.), March 29 (between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.), or March 30 (between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.). Sign-up sheets are posted outside offices 212 and 216.
The deadline to order graduation apparel is midnight, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Complete apparel order information is available at www.louisville.edu/commencement. Select caps and gowns from the left menu. Please do not order announcements from the University's web sit.
Please check Graduation 2011 Information on the School of Law's web site for other graduation information and completed the School of Law Convocation Participation form by Monday, April 4. If you have questions, please contact Rita Siegwald or Barbara Thompson.
McKenzie Cantrell initiated the idea and did much of the work, including a full day on a Saturday.
The funds will provide three scholarships for Central Law and Government Magnet students to attend the Summer Law Institute (a joint week-long program sponsored by the Brandeis School of Law, Bellarmine University, and the Louisville Bar Association). It will also support some of the costs for the team of four magnet seniors and two coaches to participate in the third annual Marshall Brennan Civil Liberties Moot Court competition in Philadelphia in early April.
Thanks to the following for their support of this successful fundraiser:
- Dean Chen, who gave permission for the project
- Professor Nicholson, for her generous donation
- Sheldon Haden, Annette Mattingly, and Angela Buckler (WLA members), for their generous contributions
- Becky Wenning and Marilyn Peters in the Law Resource Center for collecting money and sign ups, ordering the supplies, and loaning the Resource Center’s binding machine
- Vickie Tencer, for facilitating the arrangements
- Wendy Helterbran, for facilitating the WLA contributions
- The 1L class, for participating in the fundraiser and having your briefs bound for a worthy cause
- Cyndi Hagenbuch, for loaning a binding machine
- John Friend and Brandi Melvin, for donating their time during the fundraiser
- And primarily again to McKenzie Cantrell, who is a 2L participating in the Street Law program.
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.
Welcome back, 1Ls! Tomorrow is the Second Annual Spring Break Challenge - are you ready? Not only is the Spring Break Challenge a great, great opportunity to test how well you know your Contracts material, but you can win terrific prizes, too - an iPod Touch 8G, 3,200 LexisNexis Reward Points, Visa gift cards, and gift cards to Heine Brothers and Starbucks. Don't miss out.
Section 2 students: You take the 30-minute Challenge on Tuesday, March 22, right after your Torts class, from 11:25 to 11:55, in Room 275.
Section 1 students: You take the 30-minute Challenge on Tuesday, March 22, right after your Contracts class, from 11:45 to 12:15, in Room 175.
Questions? Contact Ms. Ballard.