When created correctly, an outline will become your primary, and possibly only, study aid for exams. While law students create outlines in order to have an aid from which to study, it is through the process of creating an outline that you actually learn the law. Because outlining is a process that continues throughout the semester, you need to begin now. Why? If you wait to work on your outlines until the end of the semester, it is unlikely that you will have enough time to complete them prior to exams. Listen to your professors and to your colleagues that received A's and B's last semester - start your outlines early!
Here are some things to keep in mind as you work on your outlines for each course.
- View your outline as your master document for studying. Your notes and briefs go “on the shelf” once you have outlined a section. Your casebook is no longer your focus for completed sections.
- Make sure your outline takes a “top down” approach. The outline should encompass the overview of the course rather than “everything said or read” during the semester. Main essentials include: rules, definitions of elements, hypos of when the rule/element is met and not met, policy, arguments that can be used, and/or reasoning that courts use.
- Cases are usually mere vehicles for information unless they are “big” cases. Cases generally convey the main essentials that you need for your outline and are not the focus.
- Condense before you outline. If you include “everything said or read” in your outline, you will need to condense in stages to get to the main essentials that you actually need for the exam. If you condense before you outline a section, you will save time later.
- Use visuals when possible. If you learn visually, then avoid a thousand words when appropriate and use a diagram, table, flowchart, or other visual presentation for the same information.
- Review your outline regularly. You want to be learning your outline as well as writing it. The world’s best outline will not help you if you do not have time to learn it before the exam.
- Condense your outline to one piece of paper as a checklist. A checklist includes only the topics and sub-topics. Use acronyms tied to funny stories to help you remember the checklist. Write the checklist on scrap paper once the exam begins. For an open-book exam, the checklist should start your outline.
“They might even be better,” says Urbach, who will submit the new statistics in March. “But we still have some really terrific candidates from the May 2009 class who are without adequate employment. These graduates would be employed easily in any other economy.”
The law profession is not immune to tough economic times, she says, and the job of lawyer is by no means “recession proof.” So how has the law school maintained these strong placement numbers in such a challenging job market?
“For one thing, the large law firms have been most affected by the recession,” Urbach says. “They have cut back on hiring. But 53 percent of our graduates get jobs at firms with one to 10 lawyers. These firms have been less affected for the most part.”
Especially as the diversity of its student body has increased, the law school has recognized the need to connect students
with employment opportunities in diverse legal areas, geographic regions and workplace settings. Graduates in 2008 were employed in 14 states and three countries. Practice areas included private practice (58 percent), business and industry (12 percent), government (16 percent), federal judicial clerkships (1 percent), state judicial clerkships (6 percent) public interest (3 percent) and academic institutions (4 percent).
But the tighter job market has forced the school’s career services professionals to change the way they do things. For one, the school has been working harder in untapped Kentucky markets like Frankfort. Fort Knox is another focus as it continues to grow as military base realignments across the country consolidate more soldiers and support personnel to the area.
“It’s not that we have ignored these places in the past,” Urbach says. “We just haven’t made them a priority. Now our counselors are trying to develop a pipeline into these areas for students who want to practice law in Kentucky but are having trouble finding something in Louisville.”
Urbach says graduates also are accepting more part-time jobs and contract work—some working multiple jobs. She says UofL students are resilient and many have accepted positions that are not ideal as a way to maintain and improve skill, but keep them competitive for when the economy picks up.
Also, the law school is looking constantly at ways to create opportunities for legal professionals in emerging areas like green initiatives/technologies, stimulus money and the retirement of baby boomers, Urbach says. In December, she accompanied law school dean Jim Chen to Washington, D.C., to meet with several representatives of federal agencies as well as UofL law graduates working in the D.C. area.
“Again, the idea was to create a pipeline for our students,” Urbach says. “It was a productive trip.”
But Urbach always comes back to the students when discussing the reasons for the law school maintaining its strong placement percentages during tough times. “We have terrific, hard-working students. I like to call them entrepreneurial.
“And they are also well trained. Because we are a small school, our students receive individual attention. In addition to being expert educators, our faculty takes a sincere interest in every student.”
Urbach adds that the law school’s mandatory public service program gives students opportunities to have real-world experiences early in their law school careers.
“This and the character and work ethic of our students makes them excellent candidates in any job market,” she says. “I am really proud of how they have risen to the challenges of these challenging times.”Source: UofL Magazine (Winter 2010, p. 39)
The Conference on Public Libraries and Access to Justice took place Jan. 11-12 in Austin, Texas, and was hosted by the Self-Represented Litigation Network in cooperation with the Legal Services Corp. The Self-Represented Litigation Network is hosted by the National Center for State Courts. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded the conference.
"The conference was a great start toward improving access to justice through libraries," Frazier said. "By bringing together public librarians and members of the legal aid community, the conference opened a door of communication between groups that might not think to work together. This communication will benefit everyone by resulting in us better serving self-represented litigants. The number of individuals acting as their own legal counsel in Kentucky has increased and will continue to grow."
During the conference, the teams learned about a broad range of customer-friendly legal resources available in print and online that have been developed by courts, bar associations, law libraries and legal aid programs that support people who do not have access to legal aid or counsel. Participants learned how to access the resources, assist in getting libraries and legal agencies to share them and take part in enhancing and customizing the resources.
The conference was a unique opportunity for participants to meet with public librarians and legal and court experts to discuss strategies for integrating access to legal information into their programs. This included how to best locate content and tools, talk about the content with library patrons, work with content partners to ensure that needed content is developed, share what they learned statewide and use successful programs to advocate for the importance of public libraries as gateways to government institutions.
"Public libraries are critical access points to government institutions," according to the Self-Represented Litigation Network. "As times get tougher, it becomes more and more important that people have libraries where they can find out how to protect their rights and navigate the complexities of our society."
In addition to the Kentucky team, teams selected to attend the conference were from California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
As head of the State Law Library of Kentucky, Frazier oversees an operation that provides research and reference assistance to the Kentucky Court of Justice and houses the central collection of legal research materials for state government.
Frazier has served as the state law librarian since September 2006. She joined the state law library as its legal counsel in March 2003 and served as the assistant state law librarian from April 2005 until she was named the state law librarian. She practiced law in Louisville for a year and a half before coming to the State Law Library. She earned her juris doctor from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in 2001 and received her master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky in 2007. Frazier earned her bachelor's degree in history from Northern Kentucky University.
We are having a bar night this Friday, Febrary 5th at the Tequila Factory to raise money for Haiti Earthquake Relief
WHAT: Haiti Earthquake Relief Fundraiser at The Tequila Factory
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 5th from 10:30 pm- 4 am
WHERE: Tequila Factory- located at 917 Baxter Avenue, in the same block as Molly Malones and other Baxter Ave/Bardstown Rd. Bars
There is a $5.00 cover, which goes directly to the Haiti Earthquake Relief efforts lead by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund! Also...if you stop by the Tequila Factory for dinner from 8 - 10 PM, 10% of your bill will be donated to the fundraiser!
For information about the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.
Please come join us for a night out on the town, whether you are just finishing block exams, rotations or just want to come out for a fun time that benefits a good cause!
For more information, please contact Meg Stewart.
The Tequila Factory will donate 10% of proceeds from dinner to this cause. Come out to celebrate the end of rotations/tests, or just come hang out while also supporting a great cause!
Mr. Nguyen's project while here is" Harmonization of Law for Economic Development in Vietnam & Impacts for the Vietnam-United States Bilateral Trade Agreement Toward this Process". The project is focused on the major efforts & experiences of Vietnam in harmonizing national laws and regulations for the attainment of its development goals during the 1991-2001 period, the impacts of the UN-Vietnam BRA toward the legislative reform process for 2001-2007, and their indications toward future US-Vietnam trade relations.
Mr. Nguyen is currently the Director of NBC Law Firm in Vietnam. Some of his accomplishments include Recognition of Excellence by Harvard Law School/ITP; Director General of the Legal Department of MOFA; Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, CD & WTO in Geneva; Chief Negotiator on Post-war Issues with the US, and in Land-Sea Boundary Delimitations with Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, China, and Cambodia; and Part-time lecturer in some universities abroad (Australia, UK and the US).
Are you planning to take the MPRE this year? The MPRE will be administered on the following three dates in 2010:
- Saturday, March 6, 2010 (late application receipt deadline 2/11/10)
- Friday, August 6, 2010 (application deadline 6/29/10)
- Saturday, November 6, 2010 (application deadline 9/28/10)
For applications received on or before the regular receipt deadline, the fee for the MPRE is $63. For those who apply after the regular receipt deadline but before the late application receipt deadline, the fee is $126. This fee entitles you to receive a copy of your scores and to have a copy sent to the board of bar examiners of the jurisdiction you indicate on your answer sheet on test day.
Applicants may register for the MPRE online or by mail. The online version of the 2010 MPRE Information Booklet and registration information appears at www.ncbex.org. Paper application packets are available from Ms. Kimberly Ballard, Room 212.
Third year law student Ted Farrell has led the development of Study Kentucky, a consortium of Kentucky universities and colleges whose mission is to recruit international students to study in Kentucky. Prior to entering law school at UofL, Farrell's career at Hanover College allowed him to teach in Belize, France, and French Polynesia; perform research in West Africa and Latin America; and advise international students and faculty from around the world. Farrell plans to practice immigration law.
For more information, read the complete story, "Kentucky colleges, universities unite to recruit international students" or view the webcast.
It's Carnival Time and everybody's going to have fun! Yep. We're having a Mardi Gras party, so mark your calendars now.
On Tuesday, February 16, at 11:40 a.m.-1:00 p.m., and again at 5:00-6:00, in the law school mosaic lobby, Mardi Gras comes to the Brandeis School of Law.
The menu is a Fat Tuesday sort of menu: nachos (tortilla chips, cheese sauce (in crock pots), salsa, and jalapenos) with a faux King Cake.
We'll have a great sound track to play. Lots of Professor Longhair.
OH, and BEADS!
Put on your masks, get out your best purple, green and gold costume, and bring your umbrellas. We'll be doing a line dance to Al "Carnival Time" Johnson. Oh yeah.
So SAVE THE DATE!!!
And if the mention of Prof. Longhair makes you want to party right now, here's his # 1 Mardi Gras song, Big Chief: http://www.mardigrasdigest.com/Media/Radio/Professor Longhair - Big Chief.mp3