Student News

Academic Success Tip - Using Graphics in Your Outlines

When you supplement your course outlines this weekend, consider what graphics may work for you to help with the bigger picture, the analysis, and the synthesis of the material; some examples of graphics are:

  • Tables with material in rows and columns
  • Decision trees – flow charts with questions and yes/no choices to work through the analysis
  • Tree diagrams – the main concept is the trunk and the sub-topics (and beyond) branch off
  • Legal diagrams – the main concept starts in the center of the page and lines connect outwards to the sub-topics and beyond
  • Balloon diagrams – similar to the legal diagram using balloons to hold concepts and sub-topics instead of lines alone
  • Mind mapping – use pictures and shapes to brainstorm about the interconnections
  • Venn diagrams to show the overlap between several concepts
  • Time lines for chronological events
  • Columns of material to show connections and progression

Missing Sign-In Sheet

The sign-in sheet from yesterday's program featuring the Kentucky Foundation for Justice is missing.  We think that someone may have inadvertently picked it up when they left.  If you attended the program yesterday, please check to see if you may have it.  If you do, please turn it in to Jina Scinta in Room 180.  Thanks.

Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition


Students, are you interested in financial rewards, oral advocacy, or the desire to represent the law school in national moot court competitions? If you answered yes to any of these, then read carefully!

The annual Pirtle-Washer Competition is an opportunity for law students to compete against one another and showcase their oral argument skills. The competition will be judged by local attorneys and judges. Briefs need not be submitted. 

Aside from the great networking and learning opportunity financial rewards are given for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winners. The 1st place winner will receive $1000, the 2nd place winner will receive $750, and the 3rd and 4th place winners will each receive $500. 

The first round of the competition will take place on October 22, 2011 at the Jefferson County Hall of Justice. The final round is scheduled for October 28, 2011 in the Allen Court Room at the Law School. 

If you are interested in competing in the Pirtle-Washer Competition please sign up outside the Moot Court Board room or contact Eric Johnson at eljohn10@louisville.edu

There will be an informational meeting in room 175 on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at noon

Federal Bar Association Section on Taxation Annual Writing Competition

Students may submit any original paper concerning federal taxation, including papers written in connection with a law school course, seminar, or paid employment.  Submissions must be postmarked by January 6, 2012.  Winning authors receive $2,000 (first place) or $1,000 (second place).  For more details, see attached summary. 

Brandeis "Brief" Break - Tomorrow!

You need a break, and we've got one:  The Brandeis "Brief" break.  Take a few minutes tomorrow to join us for a brief respite.  Put the books down and come to the Cox Faculty Lounge.  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.

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 kristie.wetterer@gmail.com. 

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 ktbenn01@louisville.edu. 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.