Here are some things to consider at the start of this new semester. I am happy to help you with any of the areas for which you want to make an appointment.
- Remember that a grade measured your knowledge and application on one set of questions at one point in time on one day. If you did well, congratulations. But do not slack off because you think you will do that well again without working hard. If you did not do as well as you wanted, realize that changes in study habits can make a world of difference. Some people catch on to law school faster than others.
- Study smarter not harder. There are many strategies and techniques that can make you more efficient and effective. Law school success is not only about knowing the law and applying it. Law school success is also about knowing how to study the law. Even 2L and 3L students can benefit from new study habits.
- Ask for assistance if you are not happy with your grades. Make an appointment with Dean Ballard to strategize regarding your study routine. Ask questions regularly of your professors. Find a good study partner or study group. If you are a 1L, participate in the Structured Study Group program.
- Use study aids wisely. Study aids are supplements to your own work and processing of the material. Study aids are not shortcuts to avoid your own work. You must do the struggling with the material to understand it deeply and be able to apply it. Use study aids to assist in your understanding.
- Remember that memorization of the law takes time. You must know your “black letter” law as a foundation. You must know the main rules, the exceptions to the rules, the variations on the rules, and the exact elements/factors of the rules. Drill. Drill. Drill.
- Outline every week for every course. By staying on top of your outlining, you give yourself a master document from which to study for exams. You need to understand the overview, the relationship among concepts, the methodologies (steps of analysis and tests), and enough detail to flesh all of it out. By condensing material each week, you begin to master these four levels of knowledge.
- Review regularly throughout the semester. Study for exams all semester long. If you distribute your learning, you will have deeper understanding of the law, retain information better, recall information better, recognize issues more easily, and be able to answer questions more effectively. You forget 80% of what you learn within two weeks without regular review. If you wait until the last six weeks to study for exams, you will be re-learning nine weeks of material while you are learning six weeks of material for the first time.
- Practice applying the law. It is essential to know the law, but you MUST be able to apply the law to new fact scenarios. The more practice questions you do, the better you will be at spotting issues, understanding nuances in the law, and using proper test-taking techniques.
- Use time management techniques to your advantage. You can get all of your tasks done every week and still have time to enjoy life! If you work with Dean Ballard on how to structure your time, you can read/brief, review before and after class, outline, write papers, and complete practice questions each week with time left over.
Descriptions of each fellowship are also located on the bulletin board outside of Room 180 and in the Office of Professional Development Library, Room 186.
Applications are available in the Office of Professional Development Library behind the door in envelopes labeling each application. Applications are also available in Room 180 and online on the Professional Development page of the law school website.
The deadline for each fellowship is Thursday, February 9, 2012. Please be sure to read the qualifications for each fellowship carefully and take note of the additional documents requested. If you have any questions, please see Ms. Scinta.
The National Trial team is in need of witnesses to help with practices immediately after the break. This is a great opportunity for 1Ls and 2Ls interested in trying out next year to get acquainted with the team, and a great way to learn more about Mock Trial while supporting the team. There is minimal time commitment. The dates needed are listed below.
Jan. 18: 7:00pm
Jan. 22: 1:00pm
Jan. 25: 7:00pm
Jan. 29: 1:00pm
Feb. 1: 7:00pm
Feb. 5: 1:00pm
Feb. 8: 7:00pm
The team needs four witnesses each practice, so we need your help. Please contact Carly Harvey at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to be a witness or have any questions.
The Oldfather Law Firm has an immediate need for a second-year law clerk to work 15-20 hours a week on an upcoming trial. Work will be full-time during the summer.
Qualifications include having a 3.0 or above GPA.
If interested, submit a cover letter and resume by NOON on January 12th to: email@example.com Address for cover letter is: Oldfather Law Firm, 1330 S. Third Street, Louisville, KY 40208.
Student information will be forwarded to firm and selections will be made by January 13th. Interviews will take place at the law school on Tuesday, January 17th.
The regular filing deadline to sit for the July 2012 KY Bar Exam is February 1. Before you mail your application, be sure to attend the KY Bar Exam program on Thursday, January 12, at 12:15 p.m.
Guest speakers, Eric Ison, Chair of the Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners, and Bonnie Kittinger, Director and General Counsel of the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions, will discuss the following important information:
- Most common mistakes students make on their bar applications;
- Most common student questions the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions receives
- Statistics for bar passage;
- How to prepare for the essay component of the Kentucky Bar Exam – what subjects are covered; how questions are drafted; how the bar examiners grade answers; and
- The Do's and Don'ts when answering essay questions on the Kentucky Bar Exam.
Both speakers will also be available to answer specific questions you may have about the application or the exam. The program will begin at 12:15, in Room 275. Lunch will be provided.
Now that the Spring semester has just begun, the Office of Professional Development wants to remind everyone to be sure to check out the Events calendar on the bulletin board next to the elevators. There have been some changes and additions recently.
Also, remember that public service fellowship applications will be available on Monday, January 9. Location of the applications and information will be in the Daily Docket on Monday.
Thomas T. Johnson, Jr., '49, a Louisville native and graduate of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, passed away on December 28, 2011 in Los Angeles.
Johnson is best known for his ruling, issued in 1981, that the Holocaust was "a fact and not reasonably subject to dispute," in a case brought by an Auschwitz survivor against a Holocaust-denying group.
Johnson was born on Feb. 26, 1923 in Louisville, Ky. and earned degrees in engineering and law (1949) from the University of Louisville before going to work for the U.S. Justice Department.
For more information, read his Los Angeles Times obituary.
Photo courtesy of the Johnson family