Student News

Academic Success Tip - One Week to Go!

Congratulations!  You have completed your first week of law school final exams.  The good news is that there is only one more week to go, and after finals you will have a much-deserved long break.  While it is important to take some time for yourself this weekend, do not abandon your studies.  You want to end strong, so be sure to devote enough hours to studying this weekend.  Do not procrastinate.  Good luck!


Kudos to the Intra-State Mock Trial Team!

Congratulations to Sandra Moon, Paul Chumbley, Justin Gooch, Jenn Murzyn, James Fisher, Marlow Riedling, Teresa Kenyon and Julie Purcell of UofL's Intra-State Mock Trial Team for a very successful competition this past weekend. One of the teams competed in the semi-finals and numerous team members were nominated for the Best Advocate Award. Congratulations and great job!

Academic Success Tip - Legal Analysis

Your analysis is the most important thing that goes into a law school exam, so make sure it is in there!  Much of what students write when answering a law school exam is not legal analysis, and has originated in places other than the student’s mind.  The issues you will be dissecting were created by your professors and are contained within the examination fact patterns.  The same is true of the facts you will be discussing in your answer; they were created by your professor.  The law you will be relying on to resolve these issues originated in the cases and statutes you read during the course of the semester.  The only part of an essay answer unique to you is your commentary on WHY certain facts lead you to believe that a legal issue should be resolved in a particular way.  This commentary is legal analysis, and is the difference between the grades of “C” and “A” on a law school exam.  (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)

Students Needed for Clark County Self-Help Center

The Clark County (IN) Circuit Court is looking for students to assist with the Clark County Self-Help Center located at the courthouse in Jeffersonville, Indiana.  The center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Students can sign up to work at the Center both days or just one.  There will be a training on Saturday, January 8, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  If you have not had training for any other public service project, you will be allowed to count the three-hour training toward your public service requirement.  Any work performed at the Center would count toward your public service requirement.

Interested students should contact Jina Scinta at to sign up.  A Reservation Form will be required to sign up.

Academic Success 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, professors 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.

As for supposedly irrelevant facts, professors rarely place information into their fact patterns that does not need to be discussed.  Most “irrelevant” facts are there so that you can explain why they are irrelevant.  (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)


Students don't forget that today, December 1, in the Washer Lounge you can get a FREE MASSAGE!  Massage therapists will be here from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.  

Law Student Massages!!!!!

To relieve some of the stress created by exams the Student Bar Association is providing massages FREE OF CHARGE to Brandeis' students.  The massages will take place in Washer Lounge on Wednesday, December 1 and Wednesday, December 8.  There will be two massage therapists and one will be in the lounge from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and the other therapist will be in the lounge from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m.  The massages will be given "first come first serve" and a sign-up sheet will be placed in the lounge by 1 p.m. today.  Please sign up for a time!  


Continue to do well on your finals! 

Don't Forget to Return Study Aids

After exams this week and next week, remember to stop by the Academic Success Office to return any study aids that you checked out over the course of the semester.  And, if you would like to clean up your space and get rid of any study aids that you have purchased since you started law school, donations are welcome!  You may claim a tax deduction for your donated items up to the amount of their cost. If you have questions, please see Ms. Kimberly Ballard, Room 212.

Academic Success Tip - Organizing Your Exam Answer

Before answering an essay question, you must outline and organize your response.  When the exam begins, too many students read the first paragraph in an essay exam question, recognize an issue, and are so overjoyed at finding an issue that they spend the next 20 minutes responding to it.  The problem with this approach is that the fact pattern was probably over a page long, and the writer just spent more time than was necessary in responding to a relatively straightforward issue. 

While different students outline differently, students who perform well on law school exams take the time to read through the entire essay question, create a list of the various issues contained therein, and then take a few more minutes to separate out the major issues from the minor ones.  This approach will give you a better sense of how much time you have to complete your entire answer.  (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)

Dinsmore & Shohl Diversity Scholarship Program

A scholarship is available for a first-year diversity student to obtain clerking experience with the legal department of Procter & Gamble for six weeks, followed by six weeks in Dinsmore & Shohl's main office.  Both are located in Cincinnati, OH.  The scholarship winner will be assigned mentors from both organizations, providing a dedicated resource to assist with professional development.  Scholarships are also available for a number of Summer Associate positions at the Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH;  Charleston, WV; Lexington, KY; or Louisville, KY offices of Dinsmore & Shohl.  First-year students may apply between December 1st and December 31st by completing the attached application.