Student News

Exam Tip - Analyze the Elements

Analyze each element of the relevant causes of action in your exam answer.  While you must address all the elements, the depth of your analysis regarding each element will depend on the complexity of the problem.  For example, with respect to an assualt, it might be quite obvious that the defendant was acting intentionally, but the real question is whether the plaintiff’s apprehension was of an imminent battery.  In this instance, your analysis of imminence will likely be longer than your analysis of intent.  Forcing yourself to analyze every element will accomplish two things: (1) it will let the professor know that you understand that every element of a cause of action must be proven; and (2) it will force you to consider whether each element has been satisfied, thus avoiding the mistake of failing to discuss a complex problem that, at least on the surface, seemed quite obvious.  (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)

Want to learn a new language--and thereby develop your own legal niche--for free?



The Dept. of Education offers Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship grants to professional students (YOU!). FLAS Fellowships offer students the chance to learn one year's worth of a language (generally--though not exclusively--those spoken outside of western Europe) in an eight-week intensive summer immersion setting at one of many universities in the United States. All expenses are paid: tuition, room, and board. You could apply to go back the next summer for another intensive course, or alternatively pursue an advanced-level Critical Language Scholarship, Graduate Boren Fellowship or Fulbright grant to the country in which the language is spoken. Note that based upon our contacts to sponsoring universities, FLAS Fellowships are often not highly competitive, compared with other national awards, such as the summer Critical Language Scholarships.


Don't delay! First, students should pick a language (almost any imaginable) that they might be interested in learning. Second, they should call [past FLAS winner and Brandeis Law alum] Jeff Benedict at the U of L Office of National and International Scholarship Opportunities at 852-1515 between the hours of 11:00 and 5:00 pm or email him at for an appointment. The applications for individual FLAS programs are not particularly difficult, but the process of navigating the bureaucracy regarding which universities offer intensive summer FLAS programs each year is highly unwieldy. Jeff will help students there, as well as with giving a general sense of what’s expected with the applications and essays. Note that Jeff will be out of the office and away from email contact from Dec. 16th through Jan. 16th. Deadlines for the FLAS applications vary between mid-January and March, so students should contact Jeff before Dec. 16th.

Public Service Opportunity: Ky. Department of Public Advocacy - LaGrange Needs Student for Immigration Project

The Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in LaGrange is looking for a student to help with a project that will be used department-wide.  It is required that the student must have taken Immigration Law.  The student will work on a table detailing the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for Kentucky statutes. The project includes research on immigration and federal case law interpreting Kentucky statutes (under attorney supervision). The student will help with formatting, cite checking, and entry of immigration analysis into the table.

 If you are interested and you have taken Immigration Law, please e-mail Jina Scinta at  The first student will be signed up for the project. 

Are You Still Reading the Docket?

Congratulations to Janet Lewis, the 1L Daily Docket winner.  To claim your prize, a $10 Burger King gift card, stop by Dean Ballard's office by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 1.

Exam Tip - Do Not Just List the Facts

Listing facts is not the same thing as discussing them.  True legal analysis occurs when you explain to a reader why a fact (or facts) leads to a legal conclusion.  Consider the following examples. 

Example 1 - John told the plaintiff, “I will hit you if you come around here again.”  Therefore, the battery was not imminent.
Example 2 – John told the plaintiff, “I will hit you if you come around here again.” Generally, words alone cannot satisfy the imminence element of an assault.  More specifically, these words merely inform the listener that he might be “hit” at some point in the future.  The words “if you come around here again” placed a condition on the plaintiff being struck, which means that the plaintiff might never be struck by John.  The fact that John might never strike the plaintiff means that the battery cannot be imminent.

If you were not sure, example 2 is the better answer!  This is a somewhat obvious example to illustrate the point.  The pattern in the second example – note a fact (or facts) and then explain why you have brought it to the reader’s attention – consistently appears in well done legal analysis.

Government Honors & Internship Handbook - Reapply for NLRB Summer Internship

If you applied for a Summer Internship with the National Labor Relations Board, Division of Enforcement Litigation, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Branch between 9/30/11 and 11/3/, your application may have been lost due to a computer malfunction.  The office would like to give you an opportunity to reapply.  If you wish to do so, please submit your application materials as soon as possible to Ms. Burdick (see Government Honors Handbook entry below) and include a note in your email that you believe your application was affected by the computer malfunction. 



Ruth Burdick, Esq.

Supervisory Attorney

National Labor Relations Board

1099 14th Street, NW,

Suite 8100Washington, DC 20570-0001

Submit by Email ONLY:    

Counseling Appointments Available

Students, if you are interested in meeting with me during finals or the week of December 12th, please check with me or send me an e-mail at:

Since I don’t know what times you are scheduled to take a final, I did not list specific times.

Get your resume and cover letter reviewed so that you don't have to worry when applying for jobs in the Spring.

I can meet for appointments Monday-Friday from 10:30 – 3:30.

Federal Summer 2012 Intern Litigation Program in Tennessee

The Eastern District of Tennessee is seeking first- and second-year students to apply for positions in the 2012 summer Federal Student Intern Litigation Program.  These are unpaid positions.  If you are interested, see the attached brochure for details.  The deadline for applying is Friday, January 13th.

County Attorney's Office Seeking First- and Second-Year Students

The Jefferson County Attorney's Office is seeking 1L or 2L law students to conduct legal research in both Criminal and Civil areas of the office.

Responsibilities include:  preparing pleadings, jury instructions, discovery and various other legal memoranda and court documents as requested by prosecutors and civil attorneys in the County Attorney's Office; responding to various requests for legal research; file documents with the courts; perform other tasks as needed to assist attorneys; deliver interdepartmental mail and assist in hand-deliveries; maintain law library.

Salary and benefits include:

$10.50/hr. first 6 months probationary period

$11.00/hr after probation is successfully completed

$12.00/hr after one year of service

Partial tuition assistance

Vacation, sick, personal time and holiday pay based upon work schedule

Submit resume by December 16th to:  Debbie Hamm, H.R. Specialist, Hall of Justice, 600 W. Jefferson St., Suite 2086, Louisville, KY  40202 or e-mail:

Website is:

Exam Tip - Use the Facts

You cannot perform legal analysis without discussing the facts.  There are few absolutes in law school, but including the facts in your answer to essay questions is one of them.  Remember, most law school essay questions are written in the form of a lengthy fact pattern or story.  The facts within these stories create the issues that you must discuss.  Almost every fact in these stories must be reproduced and discussed in your examination answer.  While it is true that your professors will know the facts in the problem, they do not know whether you understand which facts are relevant to resolving each issue.  Including the facts in your answer does not guarantee success on your law school exams, but excluding the facts guarantees that you will perform below your capabilities.

To ensure that the facts are making their way into your essay answers, place a line through each fact as you use it.  Do not cross the fact out so that it becomes illegible, however, because a single fact may be relevant to more than one issue.  After you finish your essay answer, look back at the fact pattern.  If there are facts left over, one of three things has occurred: (1) the facts are truly irrelevant and do not need to be discussed (unlikely!); (2) the facts are relevant to an issue or issues that you have already discussed; or (3) the facts are relevant to an issue that you have not addressed at all.

(Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)