Academics News

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Make the Most of the Last Two Weeks

Congratulations!  You are about to finish another semester in law school.  Here are some tips to make the most of the last two weeks of classes in preparation for finals:

  • Do not skip classes.  Professors often give information about the exam during the last few classes.  In addition, there is a good chance that there will be questions on the exam specifically on the last week’s material.
  • Attend all review sessions that your professors offer.   Professors provide review sessions to help you do well on the exam.  Whether the session is a professor-led review of the material or based on questions and answers, you can use the session to your advantage.  If you are confused about certain areas, then this is the time to get the material straight.  If you think you understand the material, then this is the time to “test” your depth of understanding. 
  • If there are not scheduled review sessions, ask your professors any questions that you have this week.   Once classes are over, many professors work from home or work in their offices during limited hours.  Yes, you could e-mail or telephone the professor regarding your questions; however, there is no substitute for being there face-to-face. 
  • Try to have all of your reading and outlining completed by April 16.   You want to allow yourself plenty of time for learning your outlines, memorizing black letter law, and applying the concepts through practice questions.  
  • Evaluate your status in each course.   Determine which topics and sub-topics still need to be learned for each course.  Determine which topics and sub-topics just need to be reviewed.  Determine how many practice questions need to be completed for each topic and sub-topic.  Prioritize your studying tasks.  Be realistic.  
  • Map out your plans for each day for the next two weeks.   A monthly calendar format may help you to see when your exams are, when papers are due, when other projects may be due.  Mark down review sessions being held by professors.  For each day, indicate the course(s) you plan to study, the topics or sub-topics for that course, and the hours of study.  
  • Maximize your study time within your plan.   Decide whether you learn better by studying one course all day or by mixing up two or even three courses in the same day.  Decide when you are most alert and place the most difficult tasks (intense learning and memorization for many students) in those time slots.  Use time slots when you are less alert for tasks that you find easier (review of material already learned, practice questions, and flashcards for many students).  
  • Re-check the exam schedule to make sure that you have written the correct days and times down for all of your exams.   Nothing can be more distressing than to find out that you missed an exam because you were not careful enough in noting the dates and times on your calendar.  If in doubt, find out now. 
  • Have a talk with your significant others about the fact that you will be studying for exams and need their understanding.   Have a heart-to-heart with your friends, parents, spouse, children, and any others who need to be cooperative with your efforts.  Schedule needed babysitters now.  

2010 Summer and Fall Registration Instructions

It is the student's responsibility to read all of the registration instructions.

Please check your "Summary of Account" on ULink to make sure that you do not have any financial holds on your account.  If you have a financial hold on your account, you will not be able to register for classes.

Pre-registration forms are due by Wednesday, April 7.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Barbara Thompson in Student Records.

Deadline to Order Graduation Apparel

May, August & December 2010 Graduates

Wednesday, March 31 is the deadline to order your graduation apparel.

 

www.louisville.ed/commencement.caps-and-gowns

2010 Summer and Fall Registration Times

Attached are the times for 2010 summer and fall registration.  Registration times are based on credit hours completed and does not include spring 2010 credit hours.

Please check your summary of account to make sure that you do not have any financial holds.  If you have a financial hold, you will not be able to register for classes.

All forms are due by 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 7.

Dean Bean is having a registration advising session for first year students on Tuesday, March 30 and April 5 for upper division students.  If you have question, please feel free to contact Dean Bean.

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Stay Positive

Are you feeling fatigued or discouraged?  Does it seem as though there is no way to get everything done?  Are you stressing out over the time crunch you are in right now?  Take a very deep breath and count to ten.  Then, use some of the pointers below to get things under control. 

  • Get a pep talk from someone.   You can do this!  Talk to whomever you have in your life who will encourage you and help you calm down.  It may be a professor or Academic Fellow.  It may be a spouse or significant other.  It may be a non-law mentor.  It may be a counselor or doctor.  And, if no one comes to mind, schedule a “pep talk” appointment with the Academic Success Office.
  • Be an optimist and not a pessimist.   Optimists are more successful in academics than pessimists.  Look for that silver lining in the cloud.  Go ahead and make yourself feel better!
  • Use visualization for success.   Athletes visualize themselves making the winning basket, breaking the speed record, or throwing the fastest pitch.  You can visualize yourself studying diligently each day, conquering a difficult concept in a course, and confidently taking an exam. 
  • Post inspirational sayings around your apartment.   For some, these will come from favorite authors or famous people.  For some, these will come from scriptures.  For some, these will be found using Google searches for quotes on various topics.
  • Put things into perspective.   As anxious as you may be about law school, it is not a life or world crisis.  Each day there are ordinary people dealing with hunger, poverty, homelessness, illness, natural disasters, or armed conflict.  Law school is nothing by comparison.  So, lighten up and be thankful for the opportunities that you have.
  • Be cooperative and not cut-throat competitive.   Explain a class concept to another law student who is struggling.  Provide class notes to someone who has been sick.  Offer to lend a supplement to someone who cannot afford one.  Praise another student for an excellent presentation in class.  Thank someone for supporting you when you needed help.
  • Take one day at a time.   Consciously decide each day how to use your time and talents.  Do the best you can do and then let it go.  Do not dwell on mistakes or lost time.  Re-evaluate your priorities and keep going.  The best you can do is the best you can do.
  • Set up a support system.   Decide with another law student what each of you needs help on and consciously help each other.  If the other law student needs a phone call in the morning to get moving, then make the phone call.  If you need someone to monitor your wasted time chatting in the student lounge, then ask the other student to confront you when you procrastinate.
  • Cuddle a cat, pet a pooch, or hug a horse.   Animals have a way of calming us.  Some furry friendship can do wonders.  
  • Give yourself some credit.   Remember that you are here because we believed in your abilities when we admitted you.  You were selected when hundreds of others were denied admission.  You still have the same attributes and talents as when you walked in the door on day one of law school.  There are a lot of very bright and competent people here.  And, you are one of them.  You may need to learn some new study strategies, but that is different than not belonging here.

1L Spring Break Challenge Champion Crowned - Julie Simonson

Please join the faculty, staff, and administration in congratulating the Champion of the inaugural Spring Break Challenge - Julie Simonson.  Ms. Simonson is a first-year student in Section One.  She took the Challenge on March 23, and answered the most Contracts questions correctly under timed conditions.  As Champion, Ms. Simonson will receive a $300 certificate for a Kaplan PMBR Bar Review Course, 3,200 Lexis Rewards points, and a Lexis Finals Survival Kit.  Congratulations are also extended to Lani Burt, runner-up, and third-place finishers Amanda Anderson and Nancy Vinsel.  The Champion, runner-up, and third-place finishers are all from Section One!  Congratulations and excellent work!

DEADLINE TO ORDER GRADUATION APPAREL

May, August and December 2010 Graduates

Wednesday, March 31 is the deadline to order graduation apparel for the May 8, 2010 School of Law Convocation.  Please keep checking the Docket for other graduation information.

www.louisville.edu/commencement

Weekly Academic Success Tip - Think About Your Review Process in Preparation for Finals

Some of you have been studying for exams all semester by staying on top of your course reading, adding to your outlines each week, and conscientiously learning new material while reviewing past material.  This ongoing process is the key to the highest grades because deeper understanding and long-term memory result.

As you study for exams, consider the four kinds of review that you should include in your study plans.  If you incorporate all four types, you are more likely to master your courses and garner better grades.

Intense Learning.  First, you need to learn intensely each topic.  This type of study has deep understanding as its goal.  It may take several study sessions to reach this level of learning for a long topic that was covered over multiple class sessions.  Intense learning may need to include additional reading in study aids or time asking the professor questions in order to clear up all confusion and master the material.  In addition to learning this one part of the course, the student should consider how it relates to the course as a whole. 

Fresh Review.  Second, you should strive to keep fresh everything in the course.  This type of study is focused on reading your outline cover to cover at least once a week.  It makes sure that the law student never gets so far away from a topic that it gets "foggy."  Students forget 80% of what they learn within two weeks if they do not review regularly.  After intensely learning a topic, it would be a shame to forget it.  Constant review reinforces long-term memory and provides for quicker recall when the material is needed.

Memory Drills.  Third, you should spend time on basic memory drills.  This type of study helps a student remember the precise rule, the definition of an element, or the steps of analysis.  For most students, these drills will be done with homemade flashcards.  Some students will write out rules multiple times.  Other students will develop mnemonics.  Still others may have visual reminders.  The grunt work of memory can be tedious.  However, if you do not know the law well, you will not do well on the exam.

Practice Questions.  Fourth, you must complete as many practice questions as possible.  This step has several advantages.  It monitors whether you really understand the law.  It tests whether you can apply the law to new fact scenarios.  It allows you to practice test-taking strategies.  And it monitors whether you need to repeat intense learning on a topic or sub-topic because errors on the questions indicate that it was obviously not learned to the level needed.

Ideally, you should set aside blocks of study time to accomplish each of these reviews every week for every course.  The proportion of time for each course will depend on the amount of material covered, the difficulty of the course, and the type of exam.

Spring Break Challenge - March 23

FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS:  ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE CHALLENGE?

Finals are right around the corner!  This is a great opportunity to test your knowledge.  The Challenge begins at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday in Room 275.  Snacks and drinks will be provided.

The challenge will consist of several objective-type (non-essay) questions covering one subject – either Contracts or Torts.  You will be asked to answer as many questions as you can within 30 minutes.  The student who answers the most questions correctly will be crowned the Spring Break Challenge Champion.

Prizes sponsored by Lexis and Kaplan PMBR:

  • $300 certificate towards the purchase of a Kaplan PMBR Complete Bar Review Course or MBE Combination Course
  • 3,200 Lexis Rewards Points
  • 1L Finals Survival Kit

1L Spring Break Challenge

1Ls:  TAKE THE SPRING BREAK CHALLENGE on MARCH 23

What do I need to do?

  1. Enjoy your spring break (March 15 – 21), but reserve some time each day to catch up on your reading; catch up on your outlining; and to review your outlines (especially Torts and Contracts).
  2. On Tuesday, March 23 (right after your 9:00 a.m. class), go to Room 275.
  3. The Challenge will begin at 10:30 a.m. and will end at 11:00 a.m.
  4. All you need to bring is a pen.
  5. We will flip a coin.  If it lands on heads, the Challenge questions will cover Contracts.  If it lands on tails, the Challenge questions will cover Torts. 
  6. Each student will receive a handout with the Challenge questions (there will be different handouts for Section One students and Section Two students).
  7. You will answer as many questions as you can in 30 minutes.  There will not be any essay questions.  The following is an example of the type of question you may see:  "List the three types of warranties you studied in Contracts at the beginning of the semester."
  8. After 30 minutes, all students will submit their answers for grading.
  9. The student who answers the most questions correctly will be crowned the Spring Break Challenge Champion and will receive:  a $300 Kaplan PMBR certificate towards the purchase of a Complete Bar Review Course or MBE Combination Course; 3,200 Lexis Rewards Points, and a 1L Finals Survival Kit.
  10. What do you have to lose?  NOTHING 

If you have any questions, please email Ms. Kimberly Ballard - kimberly.ballard@louisville.edu

TAKE THE CHALLENGE
Tuesday, March 23
10:30 a.m.
Room 275