How are you doing? Most of you have exams beginning this week. Some of you are balancing exam study with papers/projects. Here are some ways to make the remaining days of the semester more productive:
- Each day make a detailed “to do” list. A detailed “to do” list will help because (1) you will not forget tasks; (2) you will be more efficient and effective with your time; and (3) you will be more realistic about what you can accomplish during the day. Include all the tasks that you need to complete broken down in small steps. Schedule next to the task the time period when you will complete it. Include non-school items with times as well.
- Take short breaks throughout your studying to let your brain “file away” material that you are working on immediately prior to the break. Confine short breaks to 10 – 15 minutes.
- Take longer breaks after 3 or 4 hours of intense studying. Depending on the course or task, you may have to adjust your study stretches before a longer break is needed. If possible, go for a walk to defuse stress during your long breaks.
- Take at least an hour break for a meal during study periods that are not up against an exam session. Sitting down and relaxing over a healthy meal will aid your studying more than standing up at the counter wolfing down a microwave dinner.
- The night before a morning exam or the morning before an afternoon exam, restrict your studying to light review. Read your outline through a few times or complete a few practice questions. Avoid cramming up to the exam because you will increase your stress level and get minimal retention of the material.
- After an exam, take a 2 - 4 hour break if at all possible. Your brain will be worn out. A relaxed break will allow you to go back to studying later with a refreshed mind and more positive outlook.
- If you get sick or have a personal crisis, contact Associate Dean Bean to discuss your options. If you are too ill to focus or too upset to think, you do not do yourself any favors by taking the exam.
- Put a paper draft aside for a full day if possible before you re-read it. You are less likely to miss errors in logic or to miss style, punctuation, or grammar problems. A fresh pair of eyes on a paper is invaluable to a better finished product.
- Choose your study locations wisely. Avoid distractions such as television, computer games, and chatty studiers. Avoid places that will increase your anxiety level.
- Avoid talking about the exam afterwards. You gain nothing by rehashing the exam questions. You cannot change anything. You will become more stressed if you think you missed an issue (and the other person may be wrong). You will waste valuable energy that you need for studying.
- Get plenty of sleep. Staying up late to cram is non-productive. You are very likely to go into the exam less alert, more stressed, and more confused about material.
Are you feeling stressed? Do you need a break from studying?
Enjoy a complimentary chair massage from Advanced Massage Therapeutics on Wednesday, April 21, or on Monday, April 26. Massages will be offered from noon to 6:00 in the Washer Lounge. You may sign up for an appointment time. Walk-ins are also accepted!
The following students, identified by user name, submitted a valid Exam4 practice test for Spring 2010 on or before the 6:00 PM EDT deadline, Friday, April 16th. These students will also receive a confirmation e-mail. If your user name does not appear below and/or you do not receive the confirmation e-mail, you may not use Exam4 to take any final exam this semester.
If you believe you did timely submit a valid practice test, and your user name does not appear below, contact Jim Becker at firstname.lastname@example.org IMMEDIATELY.
The American Constitution Society is inviting members, supporters and others interested in the Constitution to enter the first ACS short video contest. The competition encourages submissions of original short films highlighting the importance of the federal judiciary, the need for independent judges, and the necessity of ensuring a fair and efficient judicial nomination process.
First prize is $1,500 and free registration to the 2010 ACS National Convention in Washington, D.C. on June 17 - 19. The second-place entrant will receive a $250 prize and free Convention registration.
The contest is intended to promote creative thinking about the importance of judges and the role courts play in shaping the laws that shape American lives. Entries should be consistent with the ACS Mission Statement and the themes of Keeping Faith with the Constitution, the book published last year by ACS, and available for free download, as well as other criteria.
"With this video contest, ACS is encouraging people to think creatively about the judiciary's critical role, and the importance of nominating and confirming jurists who embrace the fundamental values that our Constitution expresses: individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law," said Caroline Fredrickson, executive director of ACS.
The Moot Court Board is pleased to announce that selection of a team for the fall 2010 Health Law Moot Court Competition will take place during May and June. At this time, we are soliciting names of students who may be interested in the Competition.
The problem for the Competition could involve any aspect of health law and/or procedural issues that may arise during litigation involving health law issues. The problem generally arrives in early August, and the due date for the brief ordinarily is in late September or early October. The Competition will be held November 5-6, 2010, at Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale Illinois.
If you may be interested in being a team member and want to receive more detailed information about the Competition and the application/selection process, please send an email message to Marlow Riedling (email@example.com) by Friday April 30th, including your name and an email address that you will be checking regularly throughout May. We look forward to hearing from you.
The Moot Court Board would like to congratulate the following individuals who were selected as members for the forthcoming year:
On Tuesday, April 13, your exam number was mailed to your louisville.edu e-mail address. If you did not receive your exam number, please contact Barbara Thompson in Student Records.
Please do not delete your exam number until you review your spring 2010 exams.
This is a reminder that the deadline for submitting an Exam4 practice test for Spring 2010 is Friday, April 16, 2010 at 6:00 PM EDT. Never, ever, ever use one's student ID number with Exam4 -- not for a practice test, and not for a real exam. For practice tests, only use one's user name (e.g., ldbran01). For real exams, use the exam number given to you each semester by Student Records.
The following was published in the Daily Docket last week, but is repeated below for your convenience:
Hardware and operating system requirements, and download and installation instructions, are posted at www.law.louisville.edu/it/exam-software-download. Students are also urged to review the policy governing exams taken on computer.
Exam4 is available for Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard) and 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and Windows XP and Vista and now Windows 7.
Any student who wishes to use his/her computer for final exams this semester must download and install the finals version of Exam4 AND properly take and submit a practice test by 6:00 PM EST, Friday, April 16, 2010. A properly taken and submitted practice test identifies the student by his/her UofL user name (e.g., ldbran01) -- not by one's student ID number, or any other combination of letters or numerals. To submit a practice test electronically, one must be on campus and connected to the University's wireless network. The University's firewall prevents off-campus submission.
Any student who wishes to use his/her computer for final exams this semester and cannot comply with the practice test requirement by the deadline must contact the Associate Dean for Student Life before the deadline if he/she wishes to petition for an extension of the practice test deadline or exemption from the practice test requirement.
VERY IMPORTANT: Any student who takes any exam on computer who: 1. has not properly taken and submitted a practice test, or 2. has not brought a working USB flash drive to any exam, will be refused technical assistance by the IT staff, including, but not limited to, submitting a completed exam.
After the practice test deadline has passed, the IT staff will send an e-mail confirmation to each student who has properly and timely submitted a practice test. In the meantime, you may check whether your practice test was received at www.law.louisville.edu/it/exam-tracker. Any practice test listed on the Exam Tracker is presumptively o.k.
You cannot perform legal analysis without discussing the facts. 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, your professors do not know whether you understand which facts are relevant to resolving each issue.
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; (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.
Caution: 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.