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Weekly Academic Success Tip - Think About Your Review Process in Preparation for Finals

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.

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

1Ls: Are You Ready to Take the Challenge?

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.

 

Composite Photos - Sign Up Online

Composite Photography sessions are scheduled at the Law School on the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, March 24, 2011, between 5:00 PM and 7:30 PM
  • Friday, March 25, 2011, between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM

Location: BRANDEIS SCHOOL OF LAW - RM 071

The ONLINE SIGN UP FORM is now available.  Please use the link below to select a photography appointment.

http://pip.vantine.com/signup/Louville:Lawsch/2011/40069


Questions?  Please ask Ashley Wiggins.

1Ls: Take the Spring Break Challenge!!

Spring Break is an important time for law students to review and outline, and can be a real boost in preparing for exams and catching up on study tasks.  So 1Ls, be sure you take advantage of this time and take the Spring Break Challenge on March 22! 

Here’s how it will work:

  1. Enjoy your spring break (March 14 – 20), but catch up on your reading; catch up on your outlining; and intensely review your outlines (especially Contracts).
  2. On the Tuesday that you return from Spring Break, take the Challenge!
  3. The Challenge will consist of many objective-type (non-essay) questions covering only one subject – Contracts II.
  4. Your goal is to correctly answer as many questions as you can, in any order, in 30 minutes.
  5. All you need is a pen.
  6. There will be separate Challenges for Section 1 (Nowka) and Section 2 (Giesel) contracts classes.
  7. The student who answers the most questions correctly will be crowned the Spring Break Challenge Champion.
  8. Great prizes will be awarded to the first- through third-place finishers, including an iPod Touch 8G, 3,200 LexisNexis Reward Points, and Restaurant Gift Certificates courtesy of Kaplan PMBR.

Section 2 students:  You take the 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 Challenge on Tuesday, March 22, right after your Contracts class, from 11:45 to 12:15, in Room 175.

Last year's winners were Julie Simonson (champion), Lani Burt, Amanda Anderson, and Nancy Vinsel. 

Attention 1Ls: How to Give an Effective Oral Argument

Please join the BLS Professors and the Moot Court Board in Room 275 on Wednesday, March 9, from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Terry Cushing, the Appellate Chief for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Kentucky, will be presenting on how to properly give an appellate oral argument.  Come prepared with any questions that you might have!

Attention 1Ls: How to Give an Effective Oral Argument

Please join the BLS Professors and the Moot Court Board in Room 275 on Wednesday, March 9, from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.  Terry Cushing, the Appellate Chief for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Kentucky, will be presenting on how to properly give an appellate oral argument.  Come prepared with any questions that you might have!

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Be Smart During Spring Break

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, be sure to 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. 
  • Stop by the Academic Success Office to check out study aids.  A variety of study aids are available for Civil Procedure, Property, Con Law, Criminal Law, Business Organizations, Torts, Contracts, Tax, Trial Practice, Evidence, Decedents, Domestic Relations, Copyright Law, Intellectual Property, Criminal Procedure, Negotiable Instruments, Secured Transactions, and Real Estate Transactions.
  • Take the 1L Spring Break Challenge on March 22!  The Challenge will consist of many objective-type (non-essay) questions covering one subject – Contracts II.  Your goal is to correctly answer as many questions as you can, in any order, in 30 minutes.  All you need is a pen.  There will be separate Challenges for Section 1 and Section 2 contracts classes.  Great prizes will be awarded to the first- through third-place finishers, including an iPod Touch 8G.

Registration and Academic Advising for Summer and Fall 2011, Preliminary Dates and Information

Registration, advising and other dates – mark your calendars now.  More information coming soon: 

March 21:  Students with particular scheduling needs will receive advising letters  before or during the week of March 21.  

March 24:  Information Session on Clinic and Externships, 12:10, Room 075.

March 28:  Advising appointments available for upper-division students.  Times,  locations, and sign-up sheets available by March 23 or before.   

March 29:  Advising appointments available for upper-division students.  Times,  locations, and sign-up sheets available by March 23 or before.

March 30:  Advising appointments available for upper-division students.  Times,  locations, and sign-up sheets available by March 23 or before. 

March 31:  Mandatory 1L Advising session, Room 275, at noon.  All current first  year students must attend.  This program will give the current first year students,  full- and part-time, all necessary registration information. 

April 6:  All registration paperwork is due in the Office of Student Records.  This  includes, but is not limited to, externship and clinic applications, along with  Supreme Court Student Practice applications, if required. 

April 8:  Current part-time evening students and current third year students (those who will graduate summer or fall 2011) will register for summer and fall 2011 classes.  

April 11:  Current second year students (those who will be third year students in  fall 2011), both full- and part-time, will register for summer and fall 2011 classes. 

April 13:  First year students (those who will be second year students in fall 2011) will register for summer and fall 2011 classes.

Sustainability: It's Happening Here!

Physical Plant is in the process of installing automatic light sensors throughout the building, including each classroom. You may have already noticed them in the common areas and the library's restrooms, computer labs, and study rooms. We hope this sheds a little light on the situation. If you have concerns or require additional information, contact Vickie Tencer.



De-Stress: Enjoy a Complimentary Massage

On Thursday, March 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., enjoy a complimentary massage in the Washer Lounge courtesy of Advanced Massage Therapeutics.  Sign-up sheets are posted on the door, and walk-ins are also welcome.  First-year students:  enjoy this treat and give yourself a much-deserved mini-break from writing your briefs!