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WEEKLY ACADEMIC SUCCESS TIP - Staying Organized

Being organized is essential to being a good attorney.  Law school is a great place to learn better organizational skills.  Here are some tips that can improve your organization:

  • Keep all of your law school study materials in one place in your home rather than scattered in many areas.
    When you have finished with study materials, return them immediately to that designated place.
  • Before you go to bed at night, sort out the materials you need to take to school the next day and put them together.
  • Keep student organization materials in folders or notebooks separate from your course materials.
  • Keep materials for your part-time work in folders or notebooks separate from your course materials.
  • Keep the syllabus, case briefs, class notes, and handouts for a course together in a 3-ring binder.  Designate a separate 3-ring binder for each of your classes.
  • If color helps you organize, use different colored folders or binders for school courses, work, student organizations, etc.
  • Read your syllabus carefully; highlight due dates and transfer them immediately to your calendar.
  • Always date your class notes.
  • Have as many consistent abbreviations as possible to use in your notes and outlines for all classes.  For each new subject, decide on special abbreviations for that class to use in your notes and outlines and stay consistent.
  • If bold, italics, underlining, all capitals and/or font changes help you learn, use them consistently in your outlines.
  • Have a consistent system to indicate material that your professor emphasizes in class.  For example:  insert a star, underline the material, highlight the material in a different color, etc.
  • Have a consistent system to indicate material that you have questions about.  For example:  “Q”, “?”, red asterisk, red ink, etc.
  • If flow charts help you, use a large dry erase board for formulating a flow chart before you finalize it on paper or on your computer.
  • Regularly back-up your computer files on a thumb drive or CD.

Fee Increase for Criminal History Records for KY Bar Application

Please note that the Administrative Office of the Courts recently increased the fee to provide criminal history records from $10.00 to $15.00.  The $15.00 fee must be made payable to the "Kentucky State Treasurer" by check or money order.

KY Bar Application due February 1

Reminder:  If you are planning to sit for the July 2010 Kentucky Bar Exam, your application must be mailed by February 1 (postmark accepted), to avoid a $200 late fee.  Do not forget to have your application and the two authorization and release forms notarized.  Be sure to make a copy of your application before mailing the original. 

August 2009 Flood Collection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the morning of August 4, 2009, record-breaking rains fell in central Louisville and surrounding counties between 7 am and 10 am EDT, with reported hourly rainfall rates as high as 8.83 inches. The Louisville Free Public Library's main branch and the University of Louisville's Belknap and Health Sciences campuses were particularly hard hit by the deluge.

The University of Louisville Libraries recently launched the August 2009 Flood Collection. It's their first community-created collection containing digital videos and selected images, including some taken of the law library, and is devoted to documenting one of the worst floods in Louisville's history.

In an effort to preserve images recorded by community members during and after the flood, an archived community collection documenting the storm and its aftermath was created. In addition to preserving multimedia files donated by community members, the University of Louisville Libraries entered into a partnership with Archive-It to preserve web-based content relating to the flash flood.

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Time Management

Time is a commodity that most law students lament during law school.  However, there are some time management techniques that can really improve your control over your learning and your quality of life.  Here are some suggestions on how to make time your friend instead of your enemy.

  1. You should manage your time on three levels:  monthly, weekly and daily.  Each of these three levels complements the other two so that you work effectively and efficiently rather than haphazardly. 
  2. You can use paper templates to manage your monthly and weekly calendars or you can use Outlook or your own electronic templates.  In addition, you can use a paper “to do” list for daily management.  Monthly and weekly templates are posted on the Academic Success webpage http://www.law.louisville.edu/academics/academic-success.
  3. For weekly time management, here are the steps you should take:
  • You will get more out of your reading if you do not do it on the day before class or the day of class.  Instead, read for a class two days before you have class.  For example, read on Saturday for Monday; on Sunday for Tuesday; on Monday for Wednesday; etc.  This schedule allows you to read more carefully and to reflect on the material while reading; allows you time to review before class; and allows you to have Thursdays and Fridays for outlining, practice questions, time for papers or projects, review of your outlines, etc.
  • Put your commitments in first:  class attendance; structured study group sessions; work hours; study group times; sleep; meals; exercise; student organization meetings; non-law reward time, etc. 
  • Then, fill in your reading/briefing, review before class, review of class notes within 24 hours, outlining, practice questions, project time, review time.  If you overdid it on reward time, you will have to designate additional study time.  
  • For most law students, 40-45 hours per week outside of class throughout the entire semester will mean reviewing near exam time instead of learning it for the first time.  
  • Include some blocks of “flex” time in case an assignment takes longer than usual or you were ill and needed to alter your schedule as a result.  You then have additional times set aside when you can study and will not panic if you are surprised by an assignment or life event in a particular week. 
  • It will take 2-3 weeks to get a weekly schedule that feels comfortable and works consistently.  As you evaluate what worked and did not work each week, alter the schedule to make better use of your “alert” time and your ability to concentrate in blocks.  Include short breaks within longer blocks of studying so that you are able to focus and concentrate. 
  • The rewards for good time management are that your stress goes down, you are better prepared for studying for the bar, and you are better equipped as a new lawyer to manage a client load and work tasks.

$5,000 Liberty Mutual Prize Call for Scholarly Papers

Boston College Law School announces its annual competition for the Liberty Mutual Prize, awarded for an exceptional article written during the 2009–2010 submission season on the law of property and casualty insurance, its regulation and corporate governance.

Prize: Liberty Mutual Insurance Group created this competition to encourage and recognize legal scholarship in the area of property and casualty insurance law.  The winning entrant will receive $5,000 and an offer of publication from the Boston College Law Review.

Eligibility: Authors should possess a J.D. degree or its overseas equivalent. Papers must concern the law related to property and casualty insurance, its regulation and corporate governance.  The prize is not intended to advance scholarship in areas such as life, health, employment or employee benefits insurance law.

Judging: Each entry will be judged by a panel of professors and attorneys having particular expertise in the insurance law field, including the eventual holder of the Liberty Mutual Professorship at Boston College Law School.  The panel will evaluate submissions on the basis of quality of analysis, originality, thoroughness of research, creativity, and clarity of thought and expression.

Format: Submissions should be no more than 25,000 words in length (the equivalent of 50 law review pages) including text and footnotes, and contain an abstract of roughly 350 words.  The article should conform to the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (18th ed. 2005). Electronic submissions are preferred (in Word or PDF format, by direct email or through a distribution system such as ExpressO), but hard copies by mail are acceptable.  

For electronic submissions (preferred):
LibertyMutualPrize@bc.edu
 
For mailed submissions:
Boston College Law Review
Attn: Liberty Mutual Competition
885 Centre Street
Newton Centre, MA  02459

Deadline: Papers may be submitted throughout the year, but by no later than February 1, 2010. If an outstanding submission meets the foregoing conditions, the judges will announce a winning entry by March 1, 2010.  (This timetable was purposefully chosen in order to allow authors not selected for the prize to submit their articles to other journals during the month of March.)

Presentation: The author of the selected paper will be invited to present it at a special program held at Boston College Law School, at which time a representative of Liberty Mutual will present the prize money.

Inquiries: Contact John Gordon by email or phone at 617-552-8557.

New Books Have Arrived

Registration Advising Session for First Year Students - March 30

All first year students should mark their calendars now, for a registration advising session on Tuesday, March 30.  Attendance is required.  Students may choose one of two sessions:  10:25 - 11:40 a.m. or 1:00- 2:15 p.m.  Part-time students should plan to attend the 10:25 session, and plan on staying for an extra ten minutes so that issues specific to a part-time schedule can be addressed.  Questions?  Check with Dean Bean, Student Life, or Ms Ballard, Academic Success.

LAST DAY TO APPLY FOR A MAY 2010 DEGREE

Thursday, January 28, 2010 is the last day to apply for a May 2010 degree.

ULink, Student Services, under Degree Information - Degree Application

Weekly Academic Success Tip - New Study Techniques

There is always a buzz around the law school when a new semester begins.  Students are enthusiastic about starting new courses, and some students have decided new study strategies are in order.  Here is some information that will help you to be successful in implementing any new strategies:

  • Research shows that it takes 21 days to implement a new habit fully.  Do not expect overnight success with new study techniques.  It will take several weeks before the new technique “feels part of you” and is more natural.  21 days is the normal time needed, so do not give up if you are almost there for full implementation and need more time.
  • Do not expect to change “everything” at once.  If you expect yourself to lose 20 pounds, quit smoking, cut out all caffeine, cut out all sugar, call your parents every Sunday, learn how to salsa dance, find true love, write the great American novel, get straight “A’s” instead of “C’s” …  Well, you get the picture.  You need to make realistic changes in several areas rather than try for the impossible and set yourself up for defeat. 
  • Be very reasoned in your selection of new study techniques.  Ask the following questions:

          a.  Is the new study technique compatible with my learning preferences?
          b.  If not, is the new study technique compatible with solving a concern I have because of my learning preferences?
          c.  Is the new study technique part of “law school mythology” or does it make sense for me?
          d.  Is the new study technique compatible with necessary areas of improvement that my professors have mentioned during evaluations of my exams?
          e.  If the new study technique is touted by other students who use it, do I know if they are “A” or “B” students so that I know it has a record of success?
           f.  Does the new study technique help me learn material throughout the entire semester rather than in the last few weeks?
          g. Does the new study technique boost memory or work against memory?
          h. Will the new study technique work for all courses or is it more specific to a certain subject matter?
           i. Does the new study technique help me to be more efficient and effective in my studying?
           j. Is the new study technique tied to learning or just to avoiding doing the work myself?
          k. Do I know someone who uses the new study technique so that I can discuss the pros and cons before I invest the time?
          l. What do I see as the pluses and pitfalls of implementing this new study technique?

  • Very structured time management helps to curb procrastination.  Working on curbing procrastination helps you have better time management.  It is a “hand in glove” relationship.  If you need help with these two aspects, set up an appointment to work individually with Ms. Kimberly Ballard.
  • If you are unsure about a new study technique even after evaluating it, consider whether it has enough positive potential that you want to try it out for 1 week to decide whether to implement it permanently.