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Academic Success Tip - Beware of Bad Advice (practice questions)

Bad advice:  You can’t do any practice questions until right before the exam because you don’t know enough.  Why this advice is bad advice:

  • Exams are all about applying the concepts and law that you have learned all semester to new fact scenarios or legal problems.
  • You wouldn’t run a 26.2 mile marathon without lots of training and practice.  Why would you go into a law school exam without having worked on several practice questions throughout the semester?
  • A multitude of practice questions are available that test your knowledge on sub-topics and topics and not just entire courses.

Alternatives:

  • Do some practice questions at the end of each sub-topic to test your application skills.  Can you spot the issues and sub-issues?  Can you apply the concepts correctly?  Can you apply the rules and exceptions to the rules?
  • Practice your approach to questions:  how will you analyze the question; how will you marshal the facts; how will you organize your answer; how will you write the answer in the most concise way.
  • Become more adept by starting with one-issue questions, then progressing to two- or three-issue questions, then progressing to more extensive questions.  Once you can organize and answer shorter questions, you can practice your organization for longer questions.
  • Use multiple sources of questions:  questions handed out by the professor; questions in study aids; questions you and your study partners write and swap; questions from prior exams.  
  • Schedule practice question time each week for each course so that you do not forget to practice or put off practice too long.

Bar Exam Panel on Thursday

Upper division students:  This Thursday, please join May 2010 graduates, Jerred Kelly, Justin Capps, Algeria Ford, and Lily Chan, for a panel discussion regarding the bar exam – what to expect; when to begin the application process; bar review options; creating a study schedule; handling stress; preparing financially; and much more.  All panelists are eager to share their experiences with you.  The session will begin at 12:05 p.m., in Room 075.  Pizza will be provided while it lasts.

Academic Success Tip - Beware of Bad Advice (open book exams)

This week’s tips focus on bad advice that is often given out by well-intentioned students.  Critique these pieces of advice carefully and consider the alternatives.
Bad Advice:  You don’t have to study as hard for an open-book exam because you can look up anything that you want.  Why this advice is bad advice:

  • You will have very little time to look up anything during the exam.  Open-book exams are traps for the naïve.
  • If you are only generally familiar with the material, you will not have in-depth knowledge to spot all of the issues and to support your arguments.
  • “Open book” may have a limited definition (Ex. code book but no outlines or notes).  "Open book" may have a limited value-added component (Ex. you may not write in your rule book that is allowed in the exam).

Alternatives:

  • Treat an open-book exam with the same reverence as a closed-book exam.
  • Study the material so well that you “own it” rather than being generally familiar with it.  Then, you will not need to look up much.
  • If it is a code/rule course, you want to have a solid memory for at least a “condensed” version of a code section or rule because you will not have time to look up and read every code section or rule during the exam.
  • If a code/rule book is allowed, make sure you have extensive practice in using that source so you are efficient in its use if you must look something up.
  • Know exactly what the professor will allow you to bring to the exam and any restrictions on writing in books, etc.  Then, plan how to use those resources most efficiently and effectively and only when necessary.
  • Make good and creative use of tabs for code/rule books if allowed by the professor.

Summer 2011 Schedule Options: Your Feedback Is Needed

In order to get the schedule that is most likely to meet the greatest student interest based on the options that are possible for Summer 2011, Associate Dean Arnold would like for any student who is considering taking summer classes (including current 1Ls) to fill out 4 forms, one for each option for the summer schedule, in the attached document and submit it to him (tony.arnold@louisville.edu, Office 213, faculty mailbox) no later than November 1.

Reminder: Town Hall meeting re: class schedules TODAY at 12:05 p.m. in 075

The Law School administration will be present to discuss Spring 2011 registration, Summer 2011 schedule options, and student input into the 2011-12 course schedules.

UofL Law Student Interviewed on MSNBC's 'Hardball'

Nicoloe Kersting, UofL Law 3L, Co-Chair, Lambda Law Caucus


Nicole Kersting, UofL Law 3L, Co-Chair, Lambda Law Caucus

UofL Law student Nicole Kersting, 3L, was among those interviewed on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," Monday, October 18, 2010. "Hardball" commenced its "2010 Senate Tour" of college campuses at the University of Louisville, highlighting the nationally prominent race between Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway (D) and Dr. Rand Paul (R).

Responding to recent comments about sexual orientation by Ken Buck, Republican Senate candidate from Colorado, Kersting, of the University of Louisville's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law's Lambda Law Caucus, and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY 3), discussed the emergence of gay rights as an issue during the current campaign season. Chris Matthews' full interview with Congressman Yarmuth and Ms. Kersting is below.

You can also see UofL Law's photo gallery of "Hardball's" visit to UofL.

More

Full Episode at MSNBC

Check out UofL Today for more on Chis Matthews' "Hardball" interviews.

Academic Success Tip - Beware of Bad Advice (outlining)

This week’s tips focus on bad advice that is often given out by well-intentioned students.  Critique these pieces of advice carefully and consider the alternatives.


Bad advice:  When you have someone else’s outline for the course, you don’t have to make your own outline.  Why this advice is bad advice:

  • Having the outline of someone else who did well in a course does not mean that you will do well in the course.  You will only do well if you know the material in-depth and understand it and can apply it.  Having an outline from an anonymous source is even less positive because you do not know if the student who created it did well in the course.
  • An outline matches someone else’s learning styles and may not match how you learn material.  It also does not tell you how to apply the material to new fact scenarios – the very essence of law school exams.
  • Outlines of other students are shortcuts that avoid your having to process the information yourself.  Processing the information through your own outlines increases understanding and retention of material.
  • Outlines from prior years may not include changes in the law, changes in the professor’s approach to a subject, and changes in textbooks.  Unless you are carefully taking notes and outlining, you may miss important changes since the last time the professor taught the course.
  • When each member of a study group outlines one course and then gives her/his outline to the other study group members, the same type of problems can result.  Each study group member will know the course s/he outlined very well.  Each study group member will only have a partial understanding of the other courses.

Alternatives:

  • If you have not already done so, begin NOW to process material and make your own outlines.  Use any outlines you have depended upon up to now only as comparisons.
  • Consider whether you can condense material before you put it in your own outlines so that you will not have to condense your outlines later.
  • Be efficient and effective in making your own outlines: do not include everything – include the important things that give you the bigger picture and inter-relationships.
  • Consider whether flowcharts and other visuals will be helpful for you as a way to condense the material and understand the “big picture” of the course.

Upper Division Advising Office Hours

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 October 25, 26, and 27.  Stop by or make an appointment in advance to discuss any questions you may have regarding your Spring 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 sheet outside the Brandeis Room (112). 

Office Hours:
Monday, October 25, noon to 2:00
Tuesday, October 26, 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 27, 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

Bar Exam Panel

Upper division students:  This Thursday, please join Jerred Kelly, Justin Capps, Algeria Ford, and other May 2010 graduates for a panel discussion regarding the bar exam – what to expect; when to begin the application process; bar review options; creating a study schedule; handling stress; preparing financially; and much more.  All panelists are eager to share their experiences with you.  The session will begin at 12:05 p.m., in Room 075.  Pizza will be provided while it lasts.

Academic Success Tip - Beware of Bad Advice

This week’s tips will focus on bad advice that is often given out by well-intentioned students.  Critique these pieces of advice carefully and consider the alternatives.
Bad Advice:  Save up your absences and use all of them the last two weeks of class so that you can focus on exam studying.
Why this advice is bad advice:

  • Important topics are often covered at the end of classes because the topics are more advanced than some of the material you have had previously.  You will be dependent on another student’s version of the material if you miss classes.
  • Your professors are likely to tie the course together in the last weeks of class.  You will be dependent on another student’s version of the course if you skip classes.
  • Your professors are likely to talk about the exam in more detail during the last weeks of class.  You will be dependent on another student’s version of the exam instructions, tips, and study guidelines.
  • You will go into exams with less personal understanding of the material covered at the end of the semester.  Some professors emphasize material covered at the end of classes very heavily in the exam questions.
  • If you follow this advice, you will also not be reading your cases.  You will only be more behind in understanding the course than you were previously.

Alternatives:

  • Plan your time management for the coming weeks so that you get all of the tasks done that are necessary for success – including going to class prepared.
  • Do not stop reading your cases.  You need to understand the material through the last class.  Become more efficient and effective in your reading.
  • If you do not know how to structure your time for the remainder of the semester to get each task done, visit the Academic Success Office for help.