Using a Long Weekend to Your Advantage: Congratulations! You are beginning your third week of classes. For those of you who are new to law school, things should be getting into a routine now. For those of you who are returning to law school, you probably feel like you never left because it is all so familiar.
You now have a long weekend that you can look forward to. Use this time to improve your future workload as a law student. Three days can be a blessing for law students who have gotten behind in their reading or who are feeling sleep-deprived. This week's tips will provide suggestions for getting the most out of this weekend. Tip 1: If you are still getting settled in to your apartment, try to finish all of those tasks by the end of the weekend. Finish unpacking boxes. Finish organizing your study area. Finish the final decorating touches. Starting Tuesday morning you want to make law school your priority.
Should I rely on an upper-division student's outline or a commercial outline to prepare for exams? NO. Remember that you are not creating an outline to turn in as an assignment or to win any awards. The outline is another tool from which you can study the law. The process of you outlining a course dramatically increases your ability to retain the information and to develop a sense of what information you will need to apply to a set of facts on an exam. In addition, commercial outlines are not always in tune with the material as presented by your professor. Canned outlines may be helpful to fill in any gaps after you have done the work, but they SHOULD NOT take the place of your own outlines.
It Takes Time To Acquire New Skills in Law School: Even if you learn perfectly every bit of information presented to you in your texts and classes, you still may fail to do well in law school. Although knowledge is crucial to success, the goal of legal education is to teach you skills. In other words, what you need to learn is how to apply the knowledge you acquire and how to effectively do so in writing. This point is often overlooked by new law students. Your law school exams will require you to demonstrate your skills in applying your knowledge of the law to new situations. Acquiring new skills requires you to practice those skills over and over and requires a large expenditure of time by you (and does not necessarily come easily or quickly). Keep your focus this semester and allow the time necessary to develop these important skills.
Adapted from Expert Learning for Law Students by Michael Hunter Schwartz.
Student organization officers are urged to contact the IT staff to ensure that those who should have rights to post pages, stories and events on organizations' Web sites have them. News items and events posted on student organization sites are automatically collected each day for inclusion in the Student Organizations News & Events e-mail newsletter.
It is each organization's responsibility to contact the School of Law's IT department regarding Web site access.
Don't Do Your Reading Too Far in Advance: The more you remember from your reading assignment, the more you will get out of class. If you do your reading too long before a class meets, you will remember so little of the material that you will lose the benefits of working ahead. As a general rule, try to complete your reading one to two days before class. This, together with a five-minute pre-class review, will maximize your classroom learning.
The Second Annual Conference on Innovation and Communication Law, hosted this year by the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, came to a successful close on Saturday, August 22. The two-day conference featured over 50 speakers from four different continents around the world and from local law firms, discussing the role intellectual property and communications law play in the dissemination of information. Professors Cross and Smith, the faculty sponsors for the conference, want to thank everyone involved for their hard work which helped make the conference such a success. They would particularly like to thank Becky Wenning and Vickie Tencer for their assistance in planning and coordinating everything from the logistics of bringing in the speakers to arranging the event at the Marriott; and Jim Becker and Joe Leitsch for ensuring that the technology worked smoothly. They would also like to thank the many students involved in the conference as well, including Mike Swansburg, Mari-Elise Gates and Brian Stempian. None of this would have been possible without everyone's hard work. Well done and thank you!
Friday, August 28, Apple will release Mac OS 10.6, popularly known as Snow Leopard; and on October 22, Microsoft is scheduled to release the retail version of Windows 7, which is already available through certain other channels.
Students are advised to NOT upgrade their laptops to either of these new operating systems or to purchase a new computer that comes with one of these operating systems until further notice because of unknown compatibility, or incompatibility, with Exam4.
We have contacted Extegrity to find out whether and when they will release versions of Exam4 compatible with Snow Leopard and Windows 7 and are awaiting their response. For the time being, though, students should assume that it will be some time before Exam4 is available for Snow Leopard and/or Windows 7.
University IT has also notified unit-level IT personnel that for now, ULink, PeopleSoft and Blackboard are not certified for use with Windows 7, specifically because Windows 7 comes bundled with Internet Explorer 8. Consequently, students are also advised to not upgrade to Internet Explorer 8, which is available now as a Windows update.
Tips to Becoming More Efficient and Effective: Time is a precious commodity in law school. Law students are always looking for shortcuts; however, shortcuts are not the answer. Instead, you want to use time more efficiently and effectively. Here are some suggestions:
1. Learn the material as you read it rather than highlight it to learn later. Ask questions while you read. Make margin notes as you read. Brief the case or make additional notes to emphasize the main points and big picture of the topic after you finish reading. If you only do cursory "survival" reading, you will have to re-read for learning later which means double work.
2. Review what you have read before class. By reviewing, you reinforce your learning. You will be able to follow in class better. You will recognize what is important for note taking rather than taking down everything the professor says. You will be able to respond to questions more easily. Your confidence level about the material will increase.
3. Be more efficient and effective in taking class notes. Listen carefully in class. Take down the main points rather than frantically writing or typing verbatim notes. Use consistent symbols and abbreviations in your notes.
4. Review your class notes within 24 hours. Fill in gaps. Organize the notes if needed. Note any questions that you have. If you wait to review your notes until you are outlining, you will have less recall of the material.
5. Regularly review material. We forget 80% of what we learn in 2 weeks if we do not review. Regular review of your outlines will mean less cramming at the end of the semester. You save time ultimately by not re-learning. You gain deeper understanding. You have less stress at exam time.
6. Look for the big picture at the end of each sub-topic and topic. Do not wait until pre-exam studying to pull the course together. Synthesize the cases that you have read on a sub-topic: how are they different and similar. Determine the main points that you need to cull from cases for the sub-topic or topic. Analyze how the sub-topics or topics are inter-related. If visuals help you learn, incorporate a flowchart or table or other graphic into your outline to show the steps of analysis and/or inter-relationships.
7. Ask the professors questions as soon as you can. Do not store up questions like a squirrel storing nuts for winter. The sooner you get your questions answered, the greater your comprehension of current material. New topics often build on understanding of prior topics. Unanswered questions merely lead to more confusion and less learning.