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Photo Gallery: The Place of Religion in Public Life - A Debate

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Tips for a New Semester

Here are some things to consider at the start of this new semester.  I am happy to help you with any of the areas for which you want to make an appointment.
  • Remember that a grade measured your knowledge and application on one set of questions at one point in time on one day.  If you did very well, congratulations.  But do not slack off because you think you will do that well again without working hard.  If you did not do as well as you wanted, realize that changes in study habits can make a world of difference.  Some people catch on to law school faster than others.
  • Study smarter not harder.  There are many strategies and techniques that can make you more efficient and effective.  Law school success is not only about knowing the law and applying it.  Law school success is also about knowing how to study the law.  Even 2L and 3L students can benefit from new study habits. 
  • Ask for assistance if you are not happy with your grades.  You are not destined to be the “great middle” of your class if you are willing to take control of the situation and seek help.  Make an appointment with the Director of Academic Success.  Ask questions regularly of your professors.  Find a good study partner or study group.  If you are a 1L, sign up for the Structured Study Group program. 
  • Use study aids wisely.  Study aids are supplements to your own work and processing of the material.  Study aids are not shortcuts to avoid your own work.  You must do the struggling with the material to understand it deeply and be able to apply it.  Use study aids to assist in your understanding.
  • Remember that memorization of the law takes time.  You must know your “black letter” law as a foundation.  You must know the main rules, the exceptions to the rules, the variations on the rules, and the exact elements/factors of the rules.  Drill.  Drill.  Drill.
  • Outline every week for every course.  By staying on top of your outlining, you give yourself a master document from which to study for exams.  You need to understand the overview, the relationship among concepts, the methodologies (steps of analysis and tests), and enough detail to flesh all of it out.  By condensing material each week, you begin to master these four levels of knowledge.
  • Review regularly throughout the semester.  Study for exams all semester long.  If you distribute your learning, you will have deeper understanding of the law, retain information better, recall information better, recognize issues more easily, and be able to answer questions more effectively.  You forget 80% of what you learn within two weeks without regular review.  If you wait until the last six weeks to study for exams, you will be re-learning nine weeks of material while you are learning six weeks of material for the first time. 
  • Practice applying the law.  It is essential to know the law, but you MUST be able to apply the law to new fact scenarios.  The more practice questions you do, the better you will be at spotting issues, understanding nuances in the law, and using proper test-taking techniques.
  • Use time management techniques to your advantage.  You can get all of your tasks done every week and still have time to enjoy life!  If you will work with the Director of Academic Success on how to structure your time, you can read/brief, review before class, outline, review for exams, write papers, and complete practice questions each week with time left over.

Library's Basement & Lab Re-Open

The law library's basement and basement lab have finally re-opened after having incurred severe damage during the August 2009 floods.

Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky

PRESS RELEASE

UofL Law Library Enhances Its Digital Collection

January 6, 2010

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville Law Library, in conjunction with University Libraries, has enhanced its digital collection with the addition of 88 plates from H. Levin's Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky (1897).  The illustrations are portraits of lawyers active in Kentucky’s first century of statehood. The persons portrayed include the nationally famous, like U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan and Senator Henry Clay, but the majority of the illustrations are of lawyers whose greatest prominence was in the cities and towns of Kentucky where they practiced their trade.  The Law Library Collection can be accessed at http://digital.library.louisville.edu/collections/law/.

Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky is an important biographical source for information about the Kentucky bench and bar in the 19th century.  The 777-page encyclopedia attempted to capture the geographical breadth of the state’s legal community in 1897 by surveying all of Kentucky’s disparate regions. While most of the work consists of detailed biographies, there are also historical sketches of legal institutions and articles on the bench and bar of Kentucky’s cities, towns and counties.

Good copies of the original 1897 edition are relatively rare.  The Southern Historical Press published a xerographically reproduced edition in 1982 that is available in many libraries, but the reprint edition made little attempt to replicate the 88 high-quality illustrations in any detail. This collection attempts to remedy this by digitizing these illustrations. They derive from an unusually well-preserved copy of the original work found in the rare books collection of the University of Louisville Law Library.  

The Law Library’s digital collection draws on the varied collections of the Law Library of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. The first titles to be made available were the William Littell's Statute Law of Kentucky, which compiles all the legal enactments relating to Kentucky from its beginning as a district of Virginia to 1819, and Report of the Debates and Proceedings of the Convention for the Revision of the Constitution of the State of Kentucky (1849), a rare transcript of the debates of the convention that drafted Kentucky's third constitution.

For more information, contact Virginia M. Smith at (502) 852-2075.

KY BAR PRESENTATION TODAY

All students planning to take the Kentucky Bar Exam in July are strongly encouraged to attend the presentation today at 1:00 in Room 275.  Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel of the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, will discuss the bar application process, character and fitness issues, and the format of the Kentucky Bar Exam.  This program will be recorded for evening division students who are unable to attend. Feel free to bring your lunch.  Snacks will be provided.

Snow Policy

The Law School follows the University’s bad weather policy and announcements.

If the University announces that classes are closed for the day, then the Law School is closed that day.  If the University announces that classes will be delayed (starting at 10:00 am, for example) then Law School classes beginning  before 10:00 am are cancelled and classes that begin at or after 10:00 am will meet at their regular time and for their regular length of time.

The University announces its bad weather decisions at the top of the University homepage, www.louisville.edu,  by direct email and text message to those of have signed up for this service and through local media.

The Law School’s policy is written in paragraph X of the Student Handbook, which is quoted here:

“X.  Bad Weather Schedule
The Law School follows the University’s lead in all weather-related cancellations and delays. 

1)  We will cancel classes up to a certain time and begin with our full class schedule at that point. For instance, if we delay opening until 10:00 a.m., all classes that begin before 10:00 a.m. will be cancelled.  Classes meeting at 10:00 a.m. and later will meet at their regular times and will include the full instruction period.

2)  For purposes of this policy, evening classes will be defined as any classes beginning at or after 4:15 p.m.

3)  Please note that the University will provide official school closing information in the following ways:  A notice at the top of the University home page, www.louisville.edu; e-mails sent to all students and employees on their Groupwise accounts; a recorded message at 852-5555. 
These are the only venues through which we can guarantee accurate information.  They are the first three methods by which we will communicate, although we will continue to announce our decisions through media as well.”

The Law School's Bad Weather Policy

In light of snow being forecast for Thursday, 1/7/2010, we should all be reminded that the Law School follows the University’s bad weather policy and announcements.

 

If the University announces that classes are closed for the day, then the Law School is closed that day.  If the University announces that classes will be delayed (starting at 10:00 am, for example) then Law School classes beginning  before 10:00 am are cancelled and classes that begin at or after 10:00 am will meet at their regular time and for their regular length of time.

 

The University announces its bad weather decisions at the top of the University homepage, www.louisville.edu,  by direct email and text message to those of have signed up for this service and through local media.

 

The Law School’s policy is written in paragraph X of the Student Handbook, which I quote here:

 

“X.  Bad Weather ScheduleThe Law School follows the University’s lead in all weather-related cancellations and delays.   1)  We will cancel classes up to a certain time and begin with our full class schedule at that point. For instance, if we delay opening until 10:00 a.m., all classes that begin before 10:00 a.m. will be cancelled.  Classes meeting at 10:00 a.m. and later will meet at their regular times and will include the full instruction period. 2)  For purposes of this policy, evening classes will be defined as any classes beginning at or after 4:15 p.m. 3)  Please note that the University will provide official school closing information in the following ways:  A notice at the top of the University home page, www.louisville.edu; e-mails sent to all students and employees on their Groupwise accounts; a recorded message at 852-5555. 

These are the only venues through which we can guarantee accurate information.  They are the first three methods by which we will communicate, although we will continue to announce our decisions through media as well.”

 

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Professor Marcosson is Quoted in Time Magazine

Professor Sam Marcosson was quoted in an article in Time magazine, "A Gay-Marriage Lawsuit Dares to Make Its Case" (January 5, 2010). The article was written by Michael A. Lindenberger, a 2006 graduate of the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law.

"The stakes are extremely high," adds law professor Samuel Marcosson of the University of Louisville, author of Original Sin: Clarence Thomas and the Failure of the Constitutional Conservatives. "I think the plaintiffs are (unfortunately) very likely to lose — at least if the case makes it all the way to the Supreme Court — and set a precedent that didn't need to be, and shouldn't have been, set. The case was premature and ill-advised." 

December Bar Briefs

Here are some highlights from the December 2009 issue of the Louisville Bar Association's monthly Bar Briefs publication.

  • Of Time and the Circle by Dean Chen (page 6)
  • Law Students Attend Equal Justice Works Conference (page 7)

A copy is available in the library's reserves.

Kentucky Bar Exam Presentation

All students planning to take the Kentucky Bar Exam in July are strongly encouraged to attend the presentation this Thursday, January 7, from 1:00 to 2:00 in Room 275.  Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel of the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, and Mary Riddell, Deputy Director, will discuss the bar application process, character and fitness issues, and the format of the Kentucky Bar Exam.  This program will be recorded for evening division students who are unable to attend.