The United States Constitution is not only the basic law of the United States. It has also inspired politicians, philosophers, and ordinary people around the world. Scholars have devoted intense attention to the Constitution, its interpretation by the Supreme Court of the United States, and its impact on the American people.
Constitutional law forms an important part of the Law School's curriculum and research agenda. University of Louisville faculty members have devoted considerable attention to the Constitution, its interpretation, and its social meaning. Lawyers with diverse practices and specializations share a background in constitutional law, which in turn unites the practicing bar in a common civil culture based on the Constitution and its role in American history and politics.
The Law School therefore takes great pride in presenting an annual commemoration of Constitution Day on behalf of the entire University of Louisville. This year's program consists of a collection of videos that provide commentary on recent developments in the Supreme Court of the United States and in lower federal courts. Jim Chen, Samuel Marcosson, Luke Milligan, Laura Rothstein and Joseph Tomain review a significant year of developments in American constitutional law.
- Luke M. Milligan, Introduction
- Jim Chen, McDonald v. City of Chicago: The States and the 2nd Amendment
- Samuel A. Marcosson, The California Same-Sex Marriage Case
- Luke M. Milligan, City of Ontario v. Quon
- Laura Rothstein, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez
- Joseph A. Tomain, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
- Archived Constitution Day programs at UofL Law
- The McConnell Center's celebration of Constitution Day 2010
- An original copy of the Constitution
- U.S.Government Printing Office: Annotated Constitution of the United States
- The Constitution in a single-page HTML format
- Library of Congress American Memory: Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789
- National Constitution Center: Constitutional Timeline
- Bill of Rights Institute: Bill of Rights in the News
- Constitutional law photo gallery
- Constitutional Curiosities: A 21-Question Scavenger Hunt
- Constitutional Law Haiku
Legal notice: This page is composed in compliance with section 111 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004, Pub. L. No. 108-447, § 111, 118 Stat. 2809, 3344-45 (2004), more colloquially known as the "Constitution Day" statute. See also Notice of Implementation of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 of Each Year, 70 Fed. Reg. 29,727 (May 24, 2005).
Section 111 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act states in relevant part: "Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution." Section 111 further requires that Constitution Day be commemorated on September 17, in honor of the day in 1787 on which the Constitution was signed. In a year in which September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, Constitution Day may be commemorated during the preceding or following week.
The Kentucky Intrastate Mock Trial Competition is an annual event between Chase Law School, UK College of Law, and Brandeis School of Law. Each school hosts the competition every third year, and this year it's our turn. With winning comes bragging rights for the next year, but participation provides so much more. Mock Trial involves preparing openings, closings, directs, crosses - in other words, it's an actual trial (not like the 1L oral arguments). This is one of the few opportunities you will have as a student to really practice and integrate the skills necessary to conduct a trial. Not only will your participation in this competition give you an edge over your competition in today*s competitive job market, you will receive academic credit AND you will learn the Rules of Evidence backwards and forwards. We invite all 2Ls and 3Ls interested in building vital skills to participate.
1) Dates for the competition: Nov. 13th & 14th (the weekend after the MPRE);
2) Students must either be enrolled in or have already taken evidence;
3) Tryouts will be during the day, from 12-2 PM on September 10, 15 and 17 and also from 9-11 AM on September 16. Sign-up lists are posted on the MCB door.
4) Email Heend Sheth a resume with "Mock Trial" in the subject line and prepare a three to six minute opening statement based on the attached Mock Trial problem to deliver at your tryout. The try out problem is long (44 pages); PLEASE don't create an in depth opening. Just read the statement of facts (1 page) and 1 or 2 witness depositions (a few pages each) and create a "light" opening.
5) Practices will take place twice a week (one during the day on a weekday and another on the weekend) at the law school.
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
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 is the holding (now you know the issue and its answer); 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
Tracey Roberts, assistant professor at the Brandeis School of Law, is new to Louisville and to the University of Louisville.
She's started a group called Louisville Faculty and Friends to help newcomers connect with other people in the community. UofL Today recently asked her about the group and herself.
UofL Today: Last year, you were a research affiliate with Vanderbilt University's Climate Change Research Network and held a fellowship with the Searle-Kauffman Institute for Law, Innovation and Growth. Before that, you practiced law in Georgia and Colorado. What brought you to Louisville?
Roberts: I have always wanted to teach law. At the University of Louisville, I feel that I am in a position to make an important contribution through my research and teaching to both academia and (hopefully) generations of students, attorneys and policy-makers. It is particularly gratifying to be doing this work back in my home state. I am originally from Franklin, Ky., a small town along the southern border, south of Bowling Green. I was also a member of the Kentucky Bar for nine years, though I practiced law elsewhere.
UofL Today: What is Louisville Faculty & Friends?
Roberts: Louisville Faculty & Friends is a social group designed to integrate faculty into the broader Louisville community, provide informational resources to newcomers, encourage cross-disciplinary and public-private collaboration, and generally have fun in Louisville and surrounds.
UofL Today: How can people get involved?
Roberts: Everyone should feel free to join our Louisville Faculty & Friends Google group.
Full Story: "20 Minutes with Tracey Roberts on faculty newcomer group" (UofL Today, September 14, 2010)
Lawlapalooza 2010 t-shirts and tickets will be on sale in the Mosaic Lobby ...
- Thursday, September 16 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm,
- Tuesday, September 21 from 5:15 to 7:15 pm, and
- Wednesday, September 22 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.
T-shirts are $10. Student tickets are $5, and general admission tickets are $20.
Bonus: Every student who wears his/her Lawlapalaooza 2010 t-shirt to the show, Thursday, September 30 at the Phoenix Hill Tavern, gets his/her first drink FREE, compliments of Westlaw.
Enjoy the Lawlapalooza 2010 Commercial:
The ABA Client Counseling Competition simulates a law office consultation in which you, acting as a team of two attorneys, are presented with a typical client matter. The competition will be held either February 12, 2011 or February 19, 2011. This year’s topic is Professional Responsibility.
Tryouts will be held Friday, September 24 starting at 2:30pm in Washer Lounge. You must sign up as a two member team. Due to the topic for this year’s competition, it is strongly recommended that each member of a team has either taken or is currently enrolled in Professional Responsibility.
The sign up sheet is posted on the Moot Court Office Door. There is also a folder containing a statement to prepare your team for the tryout.
If you have any questions about this competition or the tryouts please contact Professor Abramson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lani Burt at email@example.com.