Student News

Academic Success Tip - Improve Your Understanding and Recall of Cases

To improve your understanding and recall of the cases you read, consider these tips:  

  • Read your cases at the times of day when you are most alert and productive and save “lighter” study tasks for other times
  • Read the subject that is most difficult (or that you find least interesting) first each day so that you are your most alert and finish it early in the day
  • Create a context for reading the case through a quick survey before you read: what is the topic; what is the sub-topic; what court are you in (federal or state; level of appeal); what are the party categories (buyer and seller of land; buyer and seller of widgets); what is in dispute; what questions has the casebook editor included at the end
  • Divide what you are reading into small “chunks” – paragraphs on facts; paragraphs on procedural history; paragraphs on precedent; paragraphs about policy
  • Ask yourself questions about the chunk as you read to keep yourself interested and to draw out the most important points
  • Write margin notes to distill the chunk to the most important points
  • Re-read only the chunk you are on if you lose focus
  • Prepare a brief after you read the entire case to see if you understand the case AND the bigger picture of this case in relationship to other cases and the topic

SBA T-Shirt Pickup and Bookstore Hours

If you purchased a t-shirt from the SBA during orientation week, it is ready for pickup.  You may pick up your t-shirt this Thursday, September 15 from 11:45am - 1:30pm in the SBA Bookstore (in the basement by Room 075).  The t-shirts will also be available for pickup on Monday, September 19 from 5:00pm - 6:00pm in the SBA Bookstore.  The Bookstore will also be selling other t-shirts, sweatshirts, and padfolios during these times as well.  If you purchased a shirt and are not able to pick it up during these designated times, please email Kristie Wetterer at 

Candidate Interest Meetings for SBA 1L Elections

All 1Ls interested in running for a SBA 1L position must attend one (1) of the Candidate Interest Meetings. The first interest meeting will be held on Monday, September 19th in Room 245 from noon to 12:20 p.m. The second candidate interest meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20th in Room 245 from 12:10 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Candidates may run for Section Representative (one representative will be elected from each section) or Louisville Bar Association Representative. If you would like to run for a position but cannot attend either of the candidate interest meetings and/or have any additional questions, please contact Katie Bennett at 1L elections will be held the week of September 26th in the law school lobby.

Academic Success Tip - Starting a Writing Project

Do you have a writing assignment to complete but can't seem to find the focus to get the project started?  Consider these tips for more focused writing:

  • Make sure you understand the parameters of the assignment before you begin – ask the professor if you are unsure;
  • Brief cases that you will use; make notes on general reference volumes that you have found; consider how you will use each source for the paper or project;
  • Outline your thoughts and the supporting materials before you start writing so that you will be more focused and clear;
  • Divide the paper or project into smaller sections and focus on one piece at a time while you write;
  • Review what you wrote previously for a section before you continue writing that section at a later time;
  • Review other sections that inter-relate before you start to write a new section;
  • Keep a pad handy to write down reminders about thoughts you have on other sections (or other tasks entirely) so that you can re-focus quickly on your task at hand;
  • Edit in stages rather than looking for everything at once: grammar and punctuation; depth of analysis; logic; clarity; writing style.

Seventh Annual Constitutional Environmental Law Writing Competition

Law students are invited to submit papers exploring current issues of constitutional environmental law.  A $2,000 cash prize will be awarded to the student work that best advances the state of scholarship and informs the debate on a current topic of constitutional environmental law.  Entries must be received by April 13, 2012.  For more information on eligibility, submission requirements, criteria, and sample topics, see attached summary.

Brandeis "Brief" Break - This Thursday!

You need a break, and we've got one:  The Brandeis "Brief" Break.  Take a few minutes on Thursday to join us for a brief respite.  Put the books down, come to the Cox Faculty Lounge (second floor, up by the administrative offices).  Grab an ice cream bar and some conversation.  It's scheduled for 3:30 - 4:15 p.m., so come when you get out of class at 3:40 or 4:05, or come before you go to class at 3:50 or 4:15.

Character and Fitness Updates

Just a reminder that all law students are under a continuing obligation to update their character and fitness record.  If anything arises that may be considered in a character and fitness observation--or if there is something in your past that you didn't disclose, but now realize should have been disclosed--please contact Dean Cross at your earliest convenience.  Remember that the state bar can be forgiving ... but only if you are honest and forthcoming about what happened.

February 2012 Bar Exam

The regular application filing deadline for the February 2012 KY Bar Exam is October 1, 2011.  Attached are helpful documents regarding the Kentucky Bar Exam application, as well as information on bar loans and a self-assessment tool for the bar exam.  Please see Dean Ballard (Room 212) if you have questions.  Dean Ballard can also assist you if you are planning to take the bar exam in another state. 

U.S. Army JAG Interviews - Tuesday, October 4th


If you are interested in a career with the U.S. Army JAG and would like to sign up for an interview, please apply through Symplicity.  After you log in, click on OCI and enter Session 3.  NOTE:  The bidding period for Session 3 has been extended to September 18th.  Their website is:

Interviews are currently scheduled for Tuesday, October 4th.  Depending upon how many students sign up, Captain Schlueter may also conduct interviews on Wednesday, October 5th.


Academic Success Tip - Assess Your Performance

As you begin your fifth week of classes, take a moment today to assess your academic performance.  Students do not just randomly do poorly in law classes.  Rather, specific factors correlate with poor performance in law school.  If you identify and address your risk factors now, you can make positive changes to improve your academic performance. 

Check which risk factors, if any, apply to you:

___ I have been late to one or more of my law classes this semester.

___ I have been late to one or more Continuing Orientation Workshops, Structured Study Groups, or Review Sessions.

___ I have missed more than one law school class.

___ I have missed one or more Continuing Orientation Workshops, Structured Study Groups, or Review Sessions.

___ I have not visited any of my professors during their office hours.

___ I have not begun any outlines.

___ I am not preparing case briefs in preparation for class. 

___ I check email or Facebook during class, surf the web, or play games on my computer during class.

___ I do not review my class notes within 24 hours of class to fill in gaps and organize the material.

___ I sometimes read for class on the same day the class meets.

___ I do not follow a study schedule.


All of the factors above can put students at risk of not performing well in classes, although they do not necessarily pose the same level of risk.  These factors reflect common characteristics of students who have performed poorly in the past.  By being aware of the risk factors and acting to minimize their effects, you can increase your likelihood of success.