Time is a commodity that most law students lament during law school. However, there are some time management techniques that can really improve your control over your learning and your quality of life. Here are some suggestions on how to make time your friend instead of your enemy.
You should manage your time on three levels: monthly, weekly and daily. Each of these three levels complements the other two so that you work effectively and efficiently rather than haphazardly.
You can use paper templates to manage your monthly and weekly calendars or you can use Outlook or your own electronic templates. In addition, you can use a paper “to do” list for daily management. Weekly templates are posted on the Academic Success webpage http://www.law.louisville.edu/academics/academic-success.
For weekly time management, here are the steps you should take:
- You will get more out of your reading if you do not do it the day before class or the day of class. Instead, read for a class two days before you have class. For example, read on Saturday for Monday; on Sunday for Tuesday; on Monday for Wednesday; etc. This schedule allows you to read more carefully and to reflect on the material while reading; allows you time to review before class; and allows you to have Thursdays and Fridays for outlining, practice questions, time for papers or projects, review of your outlines, etc.
- Put your commitments in first: class attendance; structured study group sessions; work hours; study group times; sleep; meals; exercise; student organization meetings; non-law reward time, etc.
- Then, fill in your reading/briefing, review before class, review of class notes within 24 hours, outlining, practice questions, project time, review time. If you overdid it on reward time, you will have to designate additional study time.
- For most law students, 40-45 hours per week outside of class throughout the entire semester will mean reviewing near exam time instead of learning it for the first time.
- Include some blocks of “flex” time in case an assignment takes longer than usual or you were ill and needed to alter your schedule as a result. You then have additional times set aside when you can study and will not panic if you are surprised by an assignment or life event in a particular week.
- It will take 2-3 weeks to get a weekly schedule that feels comfortable and works consistently. As you evaluate what worked and did not work each week, alter the schedule to make better use of your “alert” time and your ability to concentrate in blocks. Include short breaks within longer blocks of studying so that you are able to focus and concentrate.
- The rewards for good time management are that your stress goes down, you are better prepared for studying for the bar, and you are better equipped as a new lawyer to manage a client load and work tasks.
If you were unable to attend the information session on Wednesday, but are still interested in volunteering for the National Trial Competition as a witness, forms are available outside the Moot Court Board Office (across from the Washer Lounge).
Students planning to volunteer must see Jina Scinta in Office 180 before February 15, to complete any necessary paperwork in order to receive public service credit.
Questions? Please email Brian Bennett. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see below the Law School policy about weather delays and early cancellations of classes:
- If the University has a delayed start, any class that normally ends before 10:25 a.m. should be considered canceled.
- If the University cancels evening classes, any class that normally begins at 4:15 p.m. or later should be considered canceled.
Thank you. Associate Deans Arnold and Bean
Don't forget: Tuesday, 12:15, Room 275
Who: students planning to take the July 2011 or February 2012 Kentucky Bar Exam
Guest speakers from the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners and the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions will talk about the:
- Most common mistakes students make on their bar applications
- What to expect after submitting your bar application
- Statistics for bar passage
- Essay component of the Kentucky Bar Exam – what subjects are covered; how questions are drafted; how answers are graded
- Do's and Don'ts when answering essay questions on the Kentucky Bar Exam
Do not miss this program and your opportunity to ask questions about the KY Bar Exam and/or your KY Bar Exam application.
Pizza will be provided.
There is always a buzz around the law school when a new semester begins. Students are enthusiastic about starting new courses, and some students have decided new study strategies are in order. Here is some information that will help you to be successful in implementing any new strategies:
- Research shows that it takes 21 days to implement a new habit fully. Do not expect overnight success with new study techniques. It will take several weeks before the new technique “feels part of you” and is more natural.
- Do not expect to change “everything” at once. If you expect yourself to lose 20 pounds, quit smoking, cut out all caffeine, cut out all sugar, call your parents every Sunday, learn Spanish, find true love, write the great American novel, get straight “A’s” instead of “C’s” … Well, you get the picture. You need to make realistic changes in several areas rather than try for the impossible and set yourself up for defeat.
- Be very reasoned in your selection of new study techniques. Ask the following questions:
Is the new study technique compatible with my learning preferences?
Is the new study technique part of “law school mythology” or does it make sense for me?
Is the new study technique compatible with necessary areas of improvement that my professors have mentioned during evaluations of my exams?
If the new study technique is touted by other students who use it, do I know if they are “A” or “B” students so that I know it has a record of success?
Does the new study technique help me learn material throughout the entire semester rather than in the last few weeks?
Does the new study technique boost memory or work against memory?
Will the new study technique work for all courses or is it more specific to a certain subject matter?
Does the new study technique help me to be more efficient and effective in my studying?
Is the new study technique tied to learning or just to avoiding doing the work myself?
Do I know someone who uses the new study technique so that I can discuss the pros and cons before I invest the time?
What do I see as the pluses and pitfalls of implementing this new study technique?
- Very structured time management helps to curb procrastination. Working on curbing procrastination helps you have better time management. It is a “hand in glove” relationship. If you need help with these two aspects, work individually with Ms. Kimberly Ballard.
- If you are unsure about a new study technique even after evaluating it, consider whether it has enough positive potential that you want to try it out for one week to decide whether to implement it permanently.
CardMail, UofL's new e-mail service for students, is now available. If you missed yesterday's training and information session, all the information you need is on the law school's Student Computing page under the new CardMail section.
University IT has indicated that May 2011, with no specific date, is the deadline for students to migrate from GroupWise to CardMail. Even students graduating this semester are encouraged to migrate, rather than allow their UofL e-mail accounts to close, as doing so will ensure you still have a University account through the summer.
Students, mark your calendars. To learn more about just a few of the many opportunities your law school offers, plan to attend these information sessions. All are Thursdays at 12:10 p.m., in Room 075. Additional details will be posted, closer to each event. Questions now? Check with Dean Bean, email@example.com.
January 27 Study Abroad
February 10 Law School Sustainability Committee
February 17 Journals at the Law School
February 24 Brandeis Moot Court & Professional Skills Board
March 3 Dual Degree Programs at the Law School
March 24 Louisville Law Clinic and Externships