Student News

Academic Success Tip - Create a Skeletal Outline for Every Course

Regardless of whether you will be taking a traditional law school exam, a take-home exam, an exam in which you are permitted to use your notes, or an exam in which you are permitted to use a one-page "cheat" sheet, you must create, memorize, and be able to write (in one or two minutes) a checklist of all the topics and subtopics covered in the course.  You can use this checklist as a handy guide to see if you have forgotten anything in your outline of an answer to an exam question.  The process of creating your own checklist (or "skeletal" outline) can also serve to gauge your level of understanding of the material.  If you cannot remember the checklist you create for a course, you do not know the material well enough.

Make-up Exams

If you are planning to take a make-up exam, please submit your make-up exam request form to Student Records by 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 21, 2011.

Academic Success Tip - Use Study Groups Judiciously

Use study groups judiciously as you prepare for finals.

  • Do not skimp on your personal review time by joining too many group activities.
  • Schedule group time when you have reviewed the material enough to gain the most from discussions.
  • Alternate who explains concepts or answers questions so everyone has to “work” and get practice.
  • Have individual practice question time as well – your group cannot help you during the exam.
  • If study group sessions become too frustrating, consider gracefully bowing out to study by yourself or with just one other person.

Study Aids During the Thanksgiving Break

If you would like to check out a study aid to use during the Thanksgiving break, please stop by Dean Ballard's office on Monday or Tuesday.  The University will be closed beginning Wednesday, November 23.

There are still study aids available for Civil Procedure, Evidence, Con Law, Criminal Procedure, Contracts, Business Organizations, Decedents' Estates, Domestic Relations, Property, Torts, Tax, and Secured Transactions. 

Registration is Closed Through November 27

The University Registration system through ULINK is closed through November 27.  If you have not already done so, you may register for Spring 2012 classes beginning on November 28.  If you have questions, please email Ms. Barbara Thompson in Student Records. 

Academic Success Tip - Stress Resilience (Cont'd)

It's that time in the semester when stress begins to escalate to new levels of intensity.  However, now is also the time when you need to use your best stress resilience skills.  Stress that is out of control can lead to illness, anxiety, lessened concentration, lack of sleep, and many other problems.  Below are a few more tips on managing your stress for the remainder of the semester.

  • Remember to look at the pieces and not the whole.  Focus on one small task at a time.  List all of the topics that you need to review for each exam course.  List all of the research, writing, and editing tasks that you need to complete for a paper.  Then focus on one small task at a time until that small task is complete.  Cross it off the list and move on to the next small task.  Step by step you can do it all. 
  • Ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed.  Talk to your professors about areas of the course that are confusing you.  Talk to a counselor at the Student Counseling Center.  Talk to a physician if you are having physical problems.  Talk to your family.  If your test anxiety is especially serious or long-standing, make an appointment with the Counseling Center to discuss additional techniques.  852-6585
  • Sleep at least 8 hours a night.  You will be more productive when you study.  You will be able to focus on the essentials.  You will be able to make wiser decisions about your priorities for studying.  You will feel less helpless and hopeless.  You will be less likely to burst into tears or yell at everyone around you.  You will go into exams well-rested and alert. 
  • Add exercise to your schedule if you have let it go.  Exercise is one of the best stress busters you can use.  Try to get a minimum of three 30-minute workouts a week.  Consider where a study break can include an exercise break.  Even walking around the building or the campus can be a boon to your brain cells for memory and your body for sleeping better.

Academic Success Tip - Stress Resilience

It's that time in the semester when stress begins to escalate to new levels of intensity.  However, now is also the time when you need to use your best stress resilience skills.  Stress that is out of control can lead to illness, anxiety, lessened concentration, lack of sleep, and many other problems.  Below are a few tips on managing your stress for the remainder of the semester.

  • Put grades in perspective.  Grades are not equal to who you are as a person.  You have knowledge of the course, talents, character strengths, and other skills that go beyond that one exam.  We have many extraordinarily gifted and successful graduates in law practice and on the bench who will openly state that they graduated in the “great middle” of their class.  For courses with the only grade attached to the final exam, the grade only measures how you performed on that limited set of questions on that day during 3 or 4 hours.
  • All you can ask of yourself is to do the best that you can.  No one can do better than his or her best.  The important thing is to do as well as you can within your intellectual capabilities, talents, and skills.  Our best does not always get us an “A” grade, but it does get us self-respect.    
  • Do not dwell on what you have no control over.  You cannot control the days of your exams in most cases.  You cannot control the questions on your exams.  You cannot control paper deadlines.  You cannot control how a professor grades.  Do not waste time wishing that you had control over these things.  Focus instead on what you can control.
  • Do not dwell on what you did not do earlier in the semester.  You cannot change that you did not study enough during the first part of the semester.  You cannot change that you did not choose the best course load.  You cannot change that you did not find a study partner earlier.  You cannot change that you did not do practice questions earlier. You cannot change that you did not outline earlier.  Regrets get you no further along the path to exam success.  Make a note to change next semester.  But for now, spend time and energy focusing on what you can still control.    
  • Take control of what YOU can control.  You can ask your professors questions about material you do not understand.  You can study with classmates to gain new or broader perspectives on the material.  You can ask a professor to look at an outline to see if you are on the right track.  You can do more practice questions.  You can set up a structured time management schedule for each remaining week to distribute tasks more effectively.  You can use study aids to help you understand material that is still vague.  You can use breaks to increase your focus during intense study periods.  You can use rewards to keep yourself motivated.

Brandeis "BRIEF" Break - TODAY!

The final Brandeis “Brief” Break of the semester is TODAY from 3:40 to 4:10!!  Students, staff, and faculty are invited to the Mosaic Lobby area for a brief break from their computers and their books.  We’ll have an assortment of cookies to choose from, hot coffee, and another special treat for our students!  So please join us after Business Organizations, Trademark Law, Corporate Taxation, Torts, or Civil Procedure, or before Criminal Procedure or Domestic Violence.

New Public Service Opportunity Available

Network Center for Community Change is looking for students to help with a study to determine what happened to homes and homeowners facing foreclosure in 2007. If you help with this study, you will be helping to gather the information they need to describe the full impact of the foreclosure crisis on neighborhoods.  Students will help by driving to affected properties to report on their condition, performing title searches, reviewing court files, doing research on the Property Value Administrator's website, and more.  They will provide any training necessary before the students perform outreach work.

Interested students can go to the referenced study so you can evaluate if this is something you would like to help with. The study is available at:

This project would be good for first year students who weren't able to participate in the week-long projects.  This would also be suitable for students still needing to complete their requirement before the graduation deadline.

To sign up, please contact Jina Scinta at to obtain a Reservation Form.

MCB Congrats!

Congratulations to Congratulations to Brian Esser, Stephanie Loper, and Jonathan Raymon, who have been selected to represent the school in the 2012 National Tax Moot Court Competition! Best of luck to the team as they travel to Florida in February to compete.