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A Community of Scholars

 
Roberto Campos, '2010, Law Library Student Worker
 
A representative collection of the law school faculty's scholarship is proudly displayed in the lobby outside the law library.
 
The most reliable measure of an academic faculty's distinction is its body of scholarship,
produced over the course of its individual members' careers and presented in its entirety. 
 
Scholarly works on law -- especially those published as books, chapters, and journal articles
-- advance every aspect of this school's mission. The works themselves, of course,
advance knowledge about the law and allied disciplines. What is perhaps less readily understood is the connection between our school's teaching and scholarly missions. Preparing works of scholarship, like no other activity, keeps our faculty members at the cutting edge of the law. As a result, the best teachers in this profession as a rule are the best scholars, and the best scholars typically rank among our best teachers.
~Dean Jim Chen
 


 

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Take an Inventory of Your Study Habits

We are half-way through the spring 2011 semester.  At this juncture, it is important that you take a few moments to seriously evaluate your academic situation so you can prepare to end strong.  Some of you will be able to pat yourself on the back knowing that you have done, and will continue to do, everything that is necessary to stay on top of your classes and to understand the material.  For others, this is an opportunity to identify bad habits and to correct those habits.  Ask yourself the following questions to assess your likelihood of success, and use these questions as a guide to make positive changes during the second half of the semester:

  1. Have you kept up with the reading in your classes?  Do you get your reading done in advance, or do you scramble on the day of class to finish your reading?
  2. Have you consistently briefed the cases you read in preparation for class? 
  3. Do you always read and take notes on the introductory material in your casebooks, and the notes that may follow the cases you read?
  4. Do you take good class notes?  Do you listen carefully to the dialog that occurs between your professor and your classmates, or do you find yourself checking your email, or checking your facebook page, or zoning out?  
  5. Do you review your class notes within 24 hours so that you can fill in gaps and organize the material, and note any questions that you might have?
  6. Have you visited each of your professors during office hours at least once this semester to clarify questions you have?
  7. Have you started outlines for each of your courses?  Have you reviewed your outlines regularly throughout the semester?
  8. Have you taken advantage of every opportunity to practice your exam writing and to get feedback to improve your exam writing?  If you are a first-year law student, have you taken the practice exams given in the Structured Study Groups; have you completed the Introductory Problems in your Civil Procedure casebook; have you completed the Principal Problems in your Property casebook?
  9. Have you begun the memorization process – learning the rules and elements, learning the steps of analysis, and drilling regularly throughout the semester?
  10. Have you stayed organized this semester?  Do you keep a binder for each class, subdivided with tabs for your case briefs, class notes, handouts, and your class outline? 

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you are on your way to having a successful semester.  If you answered “no” to many of these questions, you need to refocus and make positive changes during the second half of the semester to increase your likelihood of success.

School of Law Awards and Leadership Recognition Program - Save the Date

The annual School of Law Awards and Leadership Recognition Program is scheduled at the University Club for April 1, 2011, beginning with a reception at 5:00 p.m.  All students are invited.  Students who are recipients of named and commonwealth scholarships; recipients of academic and leadership awards; recipients of the highest grades in law school courses in 2010; members of honor societies, professional skills teams, and law school publications; and leaders in student government organizations will be honored.  Recognized students will receive invitations prior to the event.  Questions?  See Dean Bean.   

Deadline March 1 for Institute for Women's Policy Research Summer Internships and Fellowship

IWPR conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women, promote public dialogue, and strengthen families, communities, and societies. IWPR focuses on issues of poverty and welfare, employment and earnings, work and family issues, health and safety, and women's civic and political participation.

See attachment for description and how to apply.

Shelley Santry: 2011 Woman of Distinction

Shelley Santry

UofL Law Clinic Director
Professor of Law
University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law

Shelley Santry, UofL Law Clinic Director and Assistant Professor of Law has been named a 2011 Woman of Distinction by the Center for Women and Families.

Each year The Center for Women and Families nominates a select group of women whose contributions work in unison to improve opportunity, education and quality of life for women and children in Kentuckiana.

"I am thrilled to be a 2011 Woman of Distinction not only because it isa honor involving my passion, to advocate against domestic violence, butalso because it is given by such an amazing organization as the Centerfor Women and Families. In looking at the list of previous recipients,I am truly honored to be a member of a group of truly awesome women."



Moot Court Information Session

All students are invited to an information session Thursday, Feb. 24, to learn about the Moot Court Board and the opportunity to participate in extramural advocacy and skills competitions.  Brandeis students participate in internal School of Law competitions, in state-wide competitions, in national competitions, and in international competitions.  The Moot Court Board will provide information about how to become a member of the board or a member of one of its extramural advocacy and skills teams.  The session will be at 12:10 p.m. in Room 075.  Questions?  Contact Dean Bean.

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Dealing With Mid-Semester Stressors

This week is the eighth week of classes.  Stress is on the rise.  Some students are choosing negative coping strategies.  Instead, use positive coping strategies like the ones below for your stressors:


Stressor: You are behind in reading for one or more courses.

  • Focus first on current reading assignments so that you are not lost in class.
  • Fit in back reading a few pages or one case at a time until you are caught up again.
  • Avoid becoming dependent on commercial case briefs instead of reading yourself. 

Stressor: You have read everything but are feeling clueless in the course.

  • Determine what you need to do to gain understanding of the material.
  • Some students need to get an overview first before they learn the parts: look at a table of contents, look at the syllabus organization, look at a graphic representation of the topic, read about the topic to get a preview.
  • Some students need to learn the separate parts before they can understand the overview: after each series of cases, focus on the synthesis into the sub-topic; after several sub-topics, focus on the synthesis into the topic; after several topics, focus on the synthesis into the overall course.
  • Consider whether working with a classmate would help you.
  • Consider whether going to the professor with questions would help you.
  • Consider whether reading a carefully chosen supplement would help you.
  • If you are a 1L, consider whether going to your Academic Fellow during office hours would help you.
  • Consider doing all of the above if that is what it takes to sort out the course.

Stressor: You are behind in outlines for your courses.

  • Focus on outlines in the order of easiest to complete (less material covered, more understandable, already have part of it completed) through hardest to complete.
  • Get started.  Waiting until you understand it all or until you have the non-existent free weekend will not help matters.
  • Once an outline is caught up, add to it every week. (The material will still be fresh and will take less time to outline.)

Stressor: You have several deadlines that are very close together.

  • Break down each exam course into the smaller sub-topics that you must study.
  • Break down each paper or project into the smaller tasks for completion.
  • Estimate how long it will take you to complete each small sub-topic or task. 
    Total the full amount of time you will need for each exam or paper or project.  Add 20% to your estimates.
  • Take a calendar and allot tasks to each day so that you finish all tasks before the deadline.

Law School Hosts Successful Region 7 National Trial Competition

This past weekend (February 18-20), the Law School hosted the Region 7 National Trial Competition at the Jefferson County Judicial Center.  Fifteen law schools and thirty teams from Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan participated.  Seventy-one law school students competed.  The following four law students represented the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law:  Paul Chumbley, Brandon Edwards, Courtney Phelps, and Aaron Price. 

 

Thirty-seven Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas served as volunteer judges, including Rodney Acker, the chair of the ACTL's National Trial Competition Committee.   The Commonwealth was represented with Fellows from Paducah, Bowling Green, Henderson, Owensboro, Somerset, Lexington, and Louisville. Judges from Kentucky state and federal courts also participated.

 

All four UofL law students competed in three preliminary rounds and presented both the prosecution and defense sides of a criminal case.  Both teams received excellent feedback from the judges.  After Rounds 1 and 2, team members Courtney Phelps and Aaron Price were the number one ranked trial team, having won both preliminary rounds and every judge’s ballot, and having the highest point differential.  During Round 3, Courtney and Aaron were power matched against the second ranked trial team from the University of Akron School of Law.  Courtney and Aaron defeated Akron 3-0 to advance to the semifinals.  Of the eight trial teams that advanced, Courtney and Aaron were again ranked number one based on wins, ballots, and point differential. 

 

In the semifinal round, Courtney and Aaron defeated Chase Law School and earned a spot in the finals.  The competition was exceptionally close in the final round on Sunday afternoon. Courtney and Aaron competed against the University of Kentucky and lost by a narrow margin:  96 to 95; 91 to 90; and 94to 93.  Every judge on the panel commented that as the runner-up team, Courtney and Aaron would have been worthy champions as well.  Congratulations should be extended to Courtney and Aaron for their hard work and extraordinary trial advocacy.

 

Congratulations must also be extended to the 286 volunteers (law students, faculty, staff, court administrators, sheriffs, lawyers, and judges) who made this competition a great success.  Many coaches and judges commented that the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law hosted the best organized regional competition that they can remember.  One of the Fellows wrote:  “From the standpoint of the judges, there was not a single hitch in the proceedings.  Everything happened as it was supposed to, when it wassupposed to.  We didn't want for as much as a bottle of water. . . .  You have set a new standard for efficiency and hospitality.  Congratulations.” 

 

The NTC Committee responsible for planning the competition was composed of the following students and administrators: Kimberly Ballard, Brian Bennett, Roz Cordini, Todd Garland, Phil Lawson, Marilyn Osborn, and Becky Wenning. Brian Bennett had the difficult task of securing volunteers to fill 204 witness positions over the course of the three-day tournament.  Roz Cordini worked to secure donated items for competitors and judges (including engraved Louisville Slugger bats and Maker’s Mark bourbon bottles), and to manage volunteer greeters and floor attendants each day of the competition. Todd Garland was in charge of scoring, and tabulated scores for over 300 judge’s ballots during the course of the weekend.  Phil Lawson served as the judge liaison and assisted the 72 attorneys and judges who volunteered during the competition weekend.  Marilyn Osborn was responsible for securing volunteers for 51 bailiff positions and for overseeing law students on the NTC Committee.  Becky Wenning coordinated all of the catering and logistics at the Judicial Center, planned the competitor’s reception at the Marriott Hotel, and was the primary liaison with the staff at the Judicial Center, including the Chief Court Administrator.  Without their support, this competition would not have been a success.

 

In addition to the Committee’s support, thanks are extended to the following law students who volunteered their time to serve as witnesses and bailiffs, and to work behind the scenes:  Bryan Abell, Jennifer Adams-Emerson, David Ames, Chris Arnold, Waleed Bahouth, Carly Baize, Ben Basil, Jeff Benedict, Matt Birkhoffer, Lani Burt, Daniel Cameron, Michael Cannon, Stephanie Carr, Candise Caylao, Nathan Chittick, Sarah Clay, Megan Cleveland, Jackie Clowers, Sam Constantine, Nicole Crump, Steven Crumbly, Steve Damron, Brittany Deskins, Joe Dunman, Aaron Dyke, Whitney Englert, Jen Ewa, Andrea Fagan, Cynthia Federico, Liam Felsen, Ryan Fenwick, Elisabeth Fitzpatrick, Tyler Fleck, Jacob Ford, Nathan Fort, Brad Hall, Denise Hall, Paige Hamby, Brittany Hampton, Josh Hartsell, Holly Hudelson, Jamie Jackson, Lu Jessee, Brad Johnson, Brandon Johnson, Eric Johnson, Elizabeth Johnson, Megan Keane, Cassie Kennedy, Clay Kennedy, Teresa Kenyon, Nick Laughlin, Pete Lay, Amelia Leonard, Jennie Lynch, Alice Lyon, Luke Markushewski, Courtney McGrew, Jennifer Monarch, Luschka Montijo, Iara Montoro, Ross Neuhauser, Blake Nolan, Victoria O’Grady, Patrick Owens, Sarah Potter, Kaitlyn Potzick, Amanda Prager, Marlow Riedling, Whitney Roth, Dorrie Rush, Jared Sawyer, Will Seidelman, Jen Siewertsen, Julie Simonson, Leah Smith, Thomas Stevens, Tommy Sturgeon, Terrance Sullivan, Barney Sutley, Andrew Swafford, Willis Taylor, Whitney True, Alex White, Jared Wilkie, Kyle Winham, Amanda Warford, and Kristie Wetterer. 

 

Thanks are also extended to the following law faculty and staff for participating as witnesses:  Tony Arnold, Linda Barris, Jessica Campbell, Debra Reh, Kathy Urbach, and Becky Wimberg.

 

Other local groups that were involved to serve as witnesses include students fromthe Youth Performing Arts School at Manual High School, Pre-Law Students at Bellarmine University, University of Louisville undergraduate students, and Brandeis School of Law admitted students.  

 

Thank you to all who participated, and congratulations to Courtney Phelps, Paul Chumbley, Brandon Edwards and Aaron Price for representing the Law School so well in this competition.  

2011-12 Schedule: Tuesdays & Thursdays; Conflicting Courses

I have received several student inquiries about why we don't have classes scheduled 12:15 to 2:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and why some core and required classes are scheduled at the same time.

The open time slots on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:15 to 2:15 are there for student organization meetings, mandatory professionalism and bar-admission programs, make-up classes, informational sessions (e.g., 1L registration/advising, moot court, journals, dual degree programs), Partners in Professionalism programming, career services programs, Diversity Forums, guest speakers, major events, faculty meetings, and the like.  If these times weren't set aside without classes, it would be impossible to have all of these important and/or necessary programs without conflicting with students' and professors' obligations to be in class.  Already we are finding it difficulty to schedule major events that don't conflict with one another, even with 2 open slots.  And if we were to try to schedule a set of 1:00 p.m. Tuesday/Thursday classes, the period of 12:15 to 11:50 is too short.  Most law schools have open no-class time periods in their schedules for the same reasons.

Likewise, it is impossible to devise a schedule in which some required or core course sections aren't at the same time as others.  However, there are multiple sections of nearly all required or core courses.  Over the entire 2011-12 year, there are 4 sections of Basic Income Tax, 3 sections of Business Organizations, 3 sections of Decedents Estates, 3 sections of Evidence, 3 sections of Crim Pro I, 2 sections of Con Law I (and also 2 sections of Con Law II), 2 sections of Professional Responsibility, 2 sections of Secured Transactions, 2 sections of Crim Pro II, 2 sections of Conflict of Law, 2 sections of Estate & Gift Tax, 2 sections of Negotiable Instruments, and 1 section of Adminstrative Law.  While the precise numbers of sections offered may not be exactly the same from year to year, you should have a number of different options to take required and core courses over a 2-year period in your 2L and 3L years.  Likewise, there are a lot of different skills, perspective, and writing courses in the schedule, allowing flexibility in how you choose to meet those graduation requirements.

While most of you already know that selecting the courses you will take necessarily involves choices and trade-offs among multiple goals, the point bears repeating as you consider next year's schedule.  No law student in the U.S. is able to put together his or her "dream schedule"; everyone must make scheduling choices, because no schedule can be devised that meets all of the individual goals of a large, diverse set of students.  If you would like to talk over your options with me, Dean Bean, or Ms. Ballard, please make an appointment.  We would be glad to help you to think through your schedule options.

Dean Arnold

Alum Argues Before U.S. Supreme Court

On January 12, 2011, Joshua D. Farley, '06, appeared before the Supreme Court of the United States while  representing the petitioner in Kentucky v. King.