Do you ever feel that you have put in time but do not understand or recall anything that you heard in class or read in your casebook? Do you ever “zone out” during class or study time? One of the most essential study skills is the ability to focus. Here are some general tips that you might want to consider:
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep per night so that your brain cells can be ready to work productively for you
- Take short 5- or 10-minute breaks every 90 minutes of studying
- Take a 30-minute break after you have been studying for 3 or 4 hours
- Take a short 5-minute break if you completely lose your focus and cannot get it back with more active study strategies: asking questions; reciting out loud; talking with someone else about the material
- Find a setting where you can study without interruptions or distractions
- Have all of your supplies and study materials gathered and ready for use before you sit down to study
- Eat a light snack before studying to assuage hunger pangs: an apple; a box of raisins; a handful of nuts; a granola bar
- Use ice water to keep you alert instead of coffee or sodas
Wow! You have already completed four weeks in the fall semester. Congratulations. As you've probably noticed, time passes quickly in law school. Before you know it, finals will be right around the corner. If you've kept up with your study schedule and your study tasks, keep up the good work. It will pay off. If you've put study tasks off repeatedly, you need to re-evaluate your priorities and get back on track for success.
So, what should you be focusing on right now? Here are three suggestions:
- If you haven't already done so, now is a good time to make a list of questions to ask your professors. Plan when you will go see your professors this week to get their assistance. It is easier for a professor to get you on the right path if you ask questions early and often.
- This weekend is the perfect time to get caught up on your outlines if they are still non-existent or barely begun. You should have enough material in most courses to be able to determine both the “big picture” of the sub-topics or topics and how the parts fit into that whole.
- Now is a good time to use a monthly calendar to write down all deadlines for papers, projects, mid-terms, or assignments. Plan over the next month when you will work on specific tasks for those longer-range deadlines.
- "Ethics and Elder Law" by Bernard M. Faller, '01 (p. 1)
- "From the President's Desk: Freedom Sings" by Laurel S. Doheny, '92 (p. 3)
- "Notes from the Wasteland: All I Really Need to Know About Law, I Learned from ABC's Prime-time Schedule" by Jim Chen (p. 6)
- "Avoiding the Weary Time: Expediting Claims with the Use of On the Record Requests" by Gregory T. Schmidt, '03, and Jaime L. Patterson, '08 (p. 11)
Jennifer Siewertsen, 2L, shares her experience as the 2010 Ellen B. Ewing Fellow.
As a first year law student the law seemed like an intangible idea, an abstract thought presented in casebooks and lectures. The cases and the discussions have names and titles, but not faces or stories. For someone propelled into law with a background in social justice and advocacy, this pursuit of a faceless justice left a lot to be desired. I never imagined that in ten short weeks, my purpose and interest in the law would be renewed and redirected towards family law.
As the 2010 Ellen Ewing Fellow I was thrust headfirst into Legal Aid’s Family Law Unit. Working with a small and dedicated group of people, I worked with a variety of complex family and legal issues. I immediately began meeting clients and sifting through cases. What I found wasn’t a question presented or an issue, but individual people struggling to find safety for themselves and their children from domestic abuse. What may have been another day at the office for me was often a life-changing moment in the life of a client.
I spent the summer doing many of the same duties as any other law clerk, researching, writing, and observing in court. However, what I got out of the experience was wholly unique. The opportunity to interact with clients on a personal level and see legal issues through a human lens has given me a renewed sense of purpose for this upcoming school year. Though my time spent with the Legal Aid Society as the Ellen Ewing fellow was brief, the impact of that experience will be life-long.
Ms. Siewertsen is a native of Louisville, Kentucky and a 2008 Graduate of Centre College with a Bachelor’s in Religion as well as Government. She's active on the 2010 National Moot Court Team and the Moot Court Board as well as a candidate for membership in the Journal of Law and Education. She was a runner-up in the 2010 First Year Appellate Advocacy Competition (pictured above).
Jennifer and her classmate, Alex White, will emcee Lawalapalooza on September 30 at Phoenix Hill Tavern.
The School of Law received a thank you note this week from the Masonic Home, one of our locations for community service during the 1L Orientation.
Dama Maynard wrote:
"Thank you so much for coming to Masonic Home of Louisville and assisting our residents with scrapbooking. They really enjoyed spending time with each of you. They treasure moments with our greater community. Good luck to each of you and thanks again."
The International Ombudsman Association is again sponsoring a contest to reward scholarship relevant to Organizational Ombuds. In the second IOA-sponsored writing competition, graduate and law students are invited to submit articles on the issue of how organizational ombudsmen can avoid being deemed as agents for notice.
The author of the winning article will receive a cash prize of $2,500 and an invitation to the IOA Annual Conference in April 2011 in Portland, OR to receive the award. IOA will provide registration, airfare and lodging for the conference. The winning article may also be published in the Journal of IOA. Submissions are due November 19, 2010.
- Second Annual IOA Student Writing Competition
- Journal of the International Ombudsman Association
- The Ombuds Blog