Student News

Academic Success Tip - Reserve Time for Outlining

Congratulations!  You have just completed your fifth week of law school.  If you have not done so already, reserve time THIS weekend to begin your outlines for each course - do not wait!  We forget 80% of what we learn within two weeks if we do not review; by outlining regularly and reviewing your outline often, you will retain more information and not have to re-learn it.  If you are unsure how to start your outline, consider using the topics and sub-topics in your course syllabus or in the general table of contents in your casebook as a framework.  Remember that you want to focus on the bigger picture of the course and fit the parts into that bigger picture; avoid a case-based outline.  If you have already started outlining your courses, keep up the good work and reserve time this weekend to supplement those outlines.

Commemorating Constitution Day

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 two video presentations. In the first video, Law School faculty discuss the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Professors Laura Rothstein, Judith Fischer, Luke Milligan, Samuel Marcosson, and Cedric Merlin Powell and Dean Jim Chen, joined by Professor John McGinnis of the Northwestern University School of Law, ponder the significance of Justice Sotomayor's arrival on the nation's highest court. In the second video, Professor Joseph Tomain presents Fleeting Expletives and the Shadow of the First Amendment.

We invite other institutions, throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and elsewhere, to link to this page and to use its resources in their efforts to commemorate Constitution Day. In addition, we invite students, graduates, and friends of the Law School and of the University of Louisville at large to treat this page as a standing guide to constitutional law. The resources section of this page includes a 21-question constitutional scavenger hunt and a photo gallery depicting constitutional controversies throughout American history.

Finally, we are pleased to provide archives of the Law School's Constitution Day programs from 2008 and 2007.

Important Moot Court Board Informational Meeting for 1Ls

On Friday, September 18, 2009 at 9:50 there will be a Moot Court Board Informational Meeting for 1Ls in Rm 175. The meeting will last approximately 20 to 30 minutes and its purpose is to inform IL's of the oppportunities available to participate in Moot Court Board this year. Although 1Ls are not eligible to participate in moot court competitions, there are many opportunities to get involved. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Moot Court Board Meeting

The Moot Court Board will meet on Tuesday, September 22 in Room 175 at 12:10.  Please make every effort to attend.  Several items will be discussed. Most importantly we will discuss the upcoming Pirtle Washer Competition and what will be expected from Moot Court Board Members. See you Tuesday.

Immigration Law Moot Court Tryouts

Interested 2Ls, 3Ls, and 4Ls are encouraged to apply for the fourth
annual Immigration Law Moot Court Competition coached by Professor
Trucios-Haynes.  You will not only gain valuable experience in
brief-writing and oral advocacy, but you will also increase your
knowledge on current key issues in immigration law.  The competition
will be held at NYU School of Law in Greenwich Village, New York on
February 19-21, 2010.  Students must be available during the holiday
break.

Applications to participate must be received no later than Friday,
October 16th by 5p.m.  Please slide the following materials under the
Moot Court Board (MCB) office door in a sealed envelope:

1. One Page Statement of
      Interest in Immigration
2. Writing Sample
3. Résumé
4. Unofficial Transcript

Interviews will be conducted on Monday, October 26th between 11a.m. and
4p.m.  Please sign up for a slot posted on the MCB office door.  If the
times do not work for you or if you would like more information, please
contact Jamie L. Izlar, Team Facilitator, at jlizla01@louisville.edu.

Academic Success Tip - Using Graphics in Your Outlines

When you supplement your course outlines this week, consider what graphics may work for you to help with the bigger picture, the analysis, and the synthesis of the material; some examples of graphics are:

  • Tables with material in rows and columns
  • Decision trees – flow charts with questions and yes/no choices to work through the analysis
  • Tree diagrams – the main concept is the trunk and the sub-topics (and beyond) branch off
  • Legal diagrams – the main concept starts in the center of the page and lines connect outwards to the sub-topics and beyond
  • Balloon diagrams – similar to the legal diagram using balloons to hold concepts and sub-topics instead of lines alone
  • Mind mapping – use pictures and shapes to brainstorm about the interconnections
  • Venn diagrams to show the overlap between several concepts
  • Time lines for chronological events
  • Columns of material to show connections and progression

Negotiations Competition--Deadline Friday

The Moot Court Board is sponsoring two teams to participate in the ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition.  The Regional Competition will take place November 7-8 at Thomas Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, MI.  The National Finals will be held February 5-6 in Orlando, FL.  U of L won the national competition in 2007-2008.  This competition does not involve writing a brief. 

Interested 2L, 3L, and 4L students should sign up on the Moot Court Board door by September 18, 2009.  Depending on the level of interest, Coach Dave Scott of the Commonweath Attorney's Office may request additional information and hold tryouts for those who sign up. 

Participants must join the ABA Law Student Division and pay a $25 membership fee.  Note that the Regional date conflicts with the November MPRE.  You may take the MPRE in the spring to avoid this conflict.  See flyers around the law school for more information, or visit the competition's website at:

http://www.abanet.org/lsd/competitions/negotiation/

 

Please contact Mark Fendley at mafend01@louisville.edu with any questions.

Diversity Forum to Address ENDA -- Keys to the Door: ENDA, Transgender Identity, and Community

September 29, 2009, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Room 275


Sponsored by the Diversity Committee and the Lambda Law Caucus, with the following co-sponsors: ACLU of KY, ACS, BLSA, Fairness Campaign, Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, SBA, UofL LGBT Services Office.

A  three-person panel will discuss ENDA generally, the case for inclusion of transgender people in ENDA, and the politics of ENDA.  

This event is part of the UofL Pride Week celebration and will include a light lunch from Expressions of You (available at 11:30 AM).

Academic Success Tip - Focused Writing

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

Louisville Bar Briefs

The law school is prominently featured in the September 2009 issue of Louisville Bar Briefs, a publication of the Louisville Bar Association. It contains an update about the law clinic, a summary of the library's prized collections, a lovely piece by Jim Chen, "Rhapsody in Red and Black", and an outstanding article by Joshua A. Spiers (3L), "Police-Referred Mediation: Filling the Void Between Police Authority and the Court Room". 

Drop by the law library to view a copy of the publication.