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Weekly Academic Success Tip - Stay Positive

Are you feeling fatigued or discouraged?  Does it seem as though there is no way to get everything done?  Are you stressing out over the time crunch you are in right now?  Take a very deep breath and count to ten.  Then, use some of the pointers below to get things under control. 

  • Get a pep talk from someone.   You can do this!  Talk to whomever you have in your life who will encourage you and help you calm down.  It may be a professor or Academic Fellow.  It may be a spouse or significant other.  It may be a non-law mentor.  It may be a counselor or doctor.  And, if no one comes to mind, schedule a “pep talk” appointment with the Academic Success Office.
  • Be an optimist and not a pessimist.   Optimists are more successful in academics than pessimists.  Look for that silver lining in the cloud.  Go ahead and make yourself feel better!
  • Use visualization for success.   Athletes visualize themselves making the winning basket, breaking the speed record, or throwing the fastest pitch.  You can visualize yourself studying diligently each day, conquering a difficult concept in a course, and confidently taking an exam. 
  • Post inspirational sayings around your apartment.   For some, these will come from favorite authors or famous people.  For some, these will come from scriptures.  For some, these will be found using Google searches for quotes on various topics.
  • Put things into perspective.   As anxious as you may be about law school, it is not a life or world crisis.  Each day there are ordinary people dealing with hunger, poverty, homelessness, illness, natural disasters, or armed conflict.  Law school is nothing by comparison.  So, lighten up and be thankful for the opportunities that you have.
  • Be cooperative and not cut-throat competitive.   Explain a class concept to another law student who is struggling.  Provide class notes to someone who has been sick.  Offer to lend a supplement to someone who cannot afford one.  Praise another student for an excellent presentation in class.  Thank someone for supporting you when you needed help.
  • Take one day at a time.   Consciously decide each day how to use your time and talents.  Do the best you can do and then let it go.  Do not dwell on mistakes or lost time.  Re-evaluate your priorities and keep going.  The best you can do is the best you can do.
  • Set up a support system.   Decide with another law student what each of you needs help on and consciously help each other.  If the other law student needs a phone call in the morning to get moving, then make the phone call.  If you need someone to monitor your wasted time chatting in the student lounge, then ask the other student to confront you when you procrastinate.
  • Cuddle a cat, pet a pooch, or hug a horse.   Animals have a way of calming us.  Some furry friendship can do wonders.  
  • Give yourself some credit.   Remember that you are here because we believed in your abilities when we admitted you.  You were selected when hundreds of others were denied admission.  You still have the same attributes and talents as when you walked in the door on day one of law school.  There are a lot of very bright and competent people here.  And, you are one of them.  You may need to learn some new study strategies, but that is different than not belonging here.

Thursday's Diversity Forum to Discuss Therapeutic Jurisprudence

The Louisville Bar Association and the law school's Diversity Committee proudly present Professor David B. Wexler, one of the country's foremost authorities on Therapeutic Jurisprudence. This perspective regards the law  itself  (rules of law, legal procedures, and roles of legal actors) as a social force that often produces therapeutic or anti-therapeutic consequences. It does not suggest that therapeutic concerns are more important than other consequences or factors, but does suggest that the law's role as a potential therapeutic agent should be recognized and systematically studied.


Professor Wexler serves as director of the International Network on Therapeutic Jurisprudence which is designed to stimulate thought in the area of therapeutic jurisprudence and serves internationally as a clearing house and resource center regarding developments in this field. 

The event is free and open to all and will take place at 11AM on Thursday, April 1. This is the final program of the academic year in the law school's Diversity Forum Series. Professor Wexler will also be interviewed on WFPL's State of Affairs at 1 PM. 

For more information, please contact Robin Harris at 852-6083.  

 

 

1L Spring Break Challenge Champion Crowned - Julie Simonson

Please join the faculty, staff, and administration in congratulating the Champion of the inaugural Spring Break Challenge - Julie Simonson.  Ms. Simonson is a first-year student in Section One.  She took the Challenge on March 23, and answered the most Contracts questions correctly under timed conditions.  As Champion, Ms. Simonson will receive a $300 certificate for a Kaplan PMBR Bar Review Course, 3,200 Lexis Rewards points, and a Lexis Finals Survival Kit.  Congratulations are also extended to Lani Burt, runner-up, and third-place finishers Amanda Anderson and Nancy Vinsel.  The Champion, runner-up, and third-place finishers are all from Section One!  Congratulations and excellent work!

OYEZ, OYEZ, OYEZ! The Kentucky Court of Appeals is Now in Session

Honorable Judges Combs, Clayton, Stumbo, Taylor, and VanMeter presiding.  Hosted by the University of Louisville School of Law March 23-24, 2010, in the Allen Courtroom.

The complete docket, along with bios can be found here.

 

 

The law school would like to thank the Kentucky Court of Appeals judges who attended a Q&A session with students on the second day of their appellate proceedings.

As noted by moot court board president Barry Dunn, the Q&A conveniently preceded this weekend's first-year oral advocay competition begins on Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Moot Court Board President Barry Dunn introduces the panel.

 

Appellate judges field questions.

(From left to right, Judge Laurence VanMeter, Judge Jeff Taylor and Judge Janet Stumbo.)

 

Students enjoyed the opportunity to ask Kentucky Court of Appeals Judges about the appellate process.

 

DEADLINE TO ORDER GRADUATION APPAREL

May, August and December 2010 Graduates

Wednesday, March 31 is the deadline to order graduation apparel for the May 8, 2010 School of Law Convocation.  Please keep checking the Docket for other graduation information.

www.louisville.edu/commencement

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Think About Your Review Process in Preparation for Finals

Some of you have been studying for exams all semester by staying on top of your course reading, adding to your outlines each week, and conscientiously learning new material while reviewing past material.  This ongoing process is the key to the highest grades because deeper understanding and long-term memory result.

As you study for exams, consider the four kinds of review that you should include in your study plans.  If you incorporate all four types, you are more likely to master your courses and garner better grades.

Intense Learning.  First, you need to learn intensely each topic.  This type of study has deep understanding as its goal.  It may take several study sessions to reach this level of learning for a long topic that was covered over multiple class sessions.  Intense learning may need to include additional reading in study aids or time asking the professor questions in order to clear up all confusion and master the material.  In addition to learning this one part of the course, the student should consider how it relates to the course as a whole. 

Fresh Review.  Second, you should strive to keep fresh everything in the course.  This type of study is focused on reading your outline cover to cover at least once a week.  It makes sure that the law student never gets so far away from a topic that it gets "foggy."  Students forget 80% of what they learn within two weeks if they do not review regularly.  After intensely learning a topic, it would be a shame to forget it.  Constant review reinforces long-term memory and provides for quicker recall when the material is needed.

Memory Drills.  Third, you should spend time on basic memory drills.  This type of study helps a student remember the precise rule, the definition of an element, or the steps of analysis.  For most students, these drills will be done with homemade flashcards.  Some students will write out rules multiple times.  Other students will develop mnemonics.  Still others may have visual reminders.  The grunt work of memory can be tedious.  However, if you do not know the law well, you will not do well on the exam.

Practice Questions.  Fourth, you must complete as many practice questions as possible.  This step has several advantages.  It monitors whether you really understand the law.  It tests whether you can apply the law to new fact scenarios.  It allows you to practice test-taking strategies.  And it monitors whether you need to repeat intense learning on a topic or sub-topic because errors on the questions indicate that it was obviously not learned to the level needed.

Ideally, you should set aside blocks of study time to accomplish each of these reviews every week for every course.  The proportion of time for each course will depend on the amount of material covered, the difficulty of the course, and the type of exam.

Spring Break Challenge - March 23

FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS:  ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE CHALLENGE?

Finals are right around the corner!  This is a great opportunity to test your knowledge.  The Challenge begins at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Room 275.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.

The challenge will consist of several objective-type (non-essay) questions covering one subject – either Contracts or Torts.  You will be asked to answer as many questions as you can within 30 minutes.  The student who answers the most questions correctly will be crowned the Spring Break Challenge Champion.

Prizes sponsored by Lexis and Kaplan PMBR:

  • $300 certificate towards the purchase of a Kaplan PMBR Complete Bar Review Course or MBE Combination Course
  • 3,200 Lexis Rewards Points
  • 1L Finals Survival Kit

Invitation to the William Marshall Bullitt Lecture featuring Ken Starr

On Monday, March 22, 2010, the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law will host the inaugural William Marshall Bullitt Lecture. Lowry Watkins Jr. has honored the memory of his grandfather, William Marshall Bullitt, by establishing a lecture series in his name. Bullitt, a Louisville native, earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton in 1894 and his law degree from the University of Louisville in 1895. Bullitt served as Solicitor General for the United States from 1912-13 and was a senior member of his law firm, Bullitt, Dawson & Tarrant.

The inaugural lecture will feature Kenneth Starr who has served as Solicitor General and as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. One of the country's leading litigators and legal scholars, Mr. Starr currently serves as dean of the Pepperdine University School of Law. He was recently named president of Baylor University.

Please join the law school in welcoming Mr. Starr. The lecture will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the Allen Courtroom. Seating is limited, so reservations are required. To make a reservation, please contact Becky Wenning at becky.wenning@louisville.edu or call 502.852.1230.

Wagner Moot Court Team Results

Ben Basil, Ashley Eade, and Adrienne Henderson did an excellent job representing the school at the Wagner Moot Court Competition last week.  They received consistently positive feedback after each of the three preliminary rounds, and we were surprised that they were not among the approximately 1/3 of teams chosen to advance.

The Chief Justice in the first round stated that Ashley and Ben were both “excellent,” “in command of their arguments,” “unflappable, and persuasive.”  He thought Ben’s presentation exhibited an “enjoyability so rare in legal jurisprudence.”  Other judges noted that Ashley had a “nice pace” and “unflappable look.”  One judge emphasized that he had heard several Hoffman arguments (in real life) and that Ben’s was “the best presentation” he had heard.

In the second round, judges reported that Adrienne did an “excellent job,” that her “posture and composure” were “fantastic” and that her ability to use “little to no notes” was impressive.  The judges noted that Ben had a “good tone,” “responded well to questions,” clearly answering with a “yes” or “no,” exhibited appropriate deference, and made very good transitions.

In the third round, the judges stated that Ashley and Ben exhibited “meticulous preparation and their knowledge of the facts and precedent were remarkable.”  Ben gave “very good examples and “was very persuasive.”  One judge commented that Ben was “right on top of the game.”  Ashley had a good “conversational style,” and a steady, firm, committed presentation.  She “stood her ground well.”

Last Chance to Donate Items to Haitian Refugees

Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) is preparing to receive refugees from Haiti through Church World Service within the next few weeks. KRM is seeking monetary contributions and donations of the following items for the furnished apartments where the families will be placed:

  • sofas, kitchen tables, and chairs
  • pots and pans
  • kitchen supplies and silverware
  • lamps and lightbulbs
  • towels, blankets, and sheets
  • bathroom supplies
  • warm coats

The KRM donation truck will transport the donated items to their warehouse on Friday, March 19 at 10:00 AM. There's a collection box in the Mosaic lobby. Contact Rachel Carmona if you have additional questions or call Kentucky Refugee Ministries' office at 502-479-9180 Ext. 15 to make a donation, and Ext. 53 to volunteer. You may also drop off donations at the KRM office at 969 B Cherokee Road, Louisville, between 9 AM and 4 PM. Monday through Friday.

Source: Community challenge - Coming to the aid of Haiti's refugees (Courier-Journal.com, Feb. 8)