Tips to Becoming More Efficient and Effective: Time is a precious commodity in law school. Law students are always looking for shortcuts; however, shortcuts are not the answer. Instead, you want to use time more efficiently and effectively. Here are some suggestions:
1. Learn the material as you read it rather than highlight it to learn later. Ask questions while you read. Make margin notes as you read. Brief the case or make additional notes to emphasize the main points and big picture of the topic after you finish reading. If you only do cursory "survival" reading, you will have to re-read for learning later which means double work.
2. Review what you have read before class. By reviewing, you reinforce your learning. You will be able to follow in class better. You will recognize what is important for note taking rather than taking down everything the professor says. You will be able to respond to questions more easily. Your confidence level about the material will increase.
3. Be more efficient and effective in taking class notes. Listen carefully in class. Take down the main points rather than frantically writing or typing verbatim notes. Use consistent symbols and abbreviations in your notes.
4. Review your class notes within 24 hours. Fill in gaps. Organize the notes if needed. Note any questions that you have. If you wait to review your notes until you are outlining, you will have less recall of the material.
5. Regularly review material. We forget 80% of what we learn in 2 weeks if we do not review. Regular review of your outlines will mean less cramming at the end of the semester. You save time ultimately by not re-learning. You gain deeper understanding. You have less stress at exam time.
6. Look for the big picture at the end of each sub-topic and topic. Do not wait until pre-exam studying to pull the course together. Synthesize the cases that you have read on a sub-topic: how are they different and similar. Determine the main points that you need to cull from cases for the sub-topic or topic. Analyze how the sub-topics or topics are inter-related. If visuals help you learn, incorporate a flowchart or table or other graphic into your outline to show the steps of analysis and/or inter-relationships.
7. Ask the professors questions as soon as you can. Do not store up questions like a squirrel storing nuts for winter. The sooner you get your questions answered, the greater your comprehension of current material. New topics often build on understanding of prior topics. Unanswered questions merely lead to more confusion and less learning.
The University of Louisville's Louis D. Brandeis School of Law is ranked #18 in The National Jurist's "Best Value Law Schools".
In its September 2009 issue, the magazine identified 65 law schools that are both affordable and prepare students well to compete in today's job market. The criteria included tuition, employment statistics, and bar passage rates.
Get to Know Your Professors: The faculty members at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law are top notch legal scholars and teachers, and they also provide valuable insight into how you can be successful. Be sure to meet with each of your professors at least once during the semester. Utilize their office hours to clarify points of the law or to follow up on a class discussion.
The law school has started a Flood Relief Fund to provide assistance to some of our students who were adversely affected by the flood that occurred on Tuesday, August 4.
If you'd like to contribute, please contact either Vickie Tencer, Bob Micou or Matt Williams. If you've been affected and would like to request assistance, please contact Vickie Tencer by email or by phone at 502.852.6092.
- UofL Flood Updates
- Restore UofL
- Photo Gallery
- University Libraries seeks digital photos, video of recent floods. Contact Virginia M. Smith in the library if you'd like to contribute.
This information appeared in the Courier-Journal and may be helpful. Numbers to call:
- For food, clothing or other services: 311 (metro government)
- For special request of the Red Cross: 589-4450
- To volunteer through the United Way: 292-6107
- For help from the United Way: 292-6115
- Metro United Way's Volunteer Engagement Center is recruiting standby volunteers, age 18 and older, to respond quickly to flood cleanup needs in the community.
- Anyone wishing to join the volunteer standby list should register at www.metrounitedway.org/volunteer or call 292-6107.
- People who require assistance who lack physical or financial capacity to handle flooding cleanup should call 292-6115 or register online. They will be contacted by representatives of the member organizations of Kentucky and Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.
- If you have suffered damage and would like to request aid from the university, or if you would like to volunteer your time and effort to help victims, send an email to Tammy Lawson.
More than 100 students from the Brandeis School of Law volunteered their time Aug. 14 as part of “Community Service Day,” a new, optional program offered as part of the school’s student orientation. Activities also are planned for Aug. 15.
Volunteer opportunities ranged from trash pick-up and dog walking to painting and yard work. The Student Bar Association-organized program included nine different agencies in the Louisville area.
The community service option seemed to be a welcome addition to the orientation program, said Kathleen Bean, professor and associate dean for Student Life at the law school.
“We had 109 of 142 students sign up in advance and a few added themselves after they got here,” she said.
Effective at the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year, law students may now purchase additional printing credit to supplement their 500-page per semester allotment. Printing credit must be purchased in 100-page increments for five dollars ($5) each in the Law Resource Center, room 272.
NOTE: Additional printing credit purchased in the Law Resource Center will not be available until the next business day after purchase.
The full, new Student Printing Policy is available at www.law.louisville.edu/it/policies/printing.
Create Your Own Case Briefs for Every Case You Read
Case briefing is a formalized way of taking notes on your reading in preparation for class. Creating your own case briefs is important for several reasons: (1) you will be better prepared for class discussion; (2) you will develop the analytical skills that are critical to success on exams; (3) you will crystallize your understanding of the case; (4) you will be able to review a group of related cases easily and efficiently without having to rely on your memory or having to re-read cases; and (5) you can use your briefs and class notes to create your course outlines. Don't make the mistake that many law students make during the fall semester - they brief only sporadically or stop briefing completely because they believe it is too time-consuming. The task of case briefing is worth the added time and effort, and it will actually save you time when it counts - when preparing for exams!
Start Your Day Early and On Time
The work day typically begins between 8:00 and 9:00 AM and so should your study day. A good rule of thumb is to spend three hours studying (outside of class) for every hour of class time. This translates into between 45 and 50 hours per week studying pre-class and post-class (30 to 38 hours if you are in the part-time program). Considering the number of hours you will spend studying, it may not be possible to get everything done in the evening, even if you are a "night owl." Night time studying may have worked in college, in part, because you rarely spent 40 to 50 hours preparing for classes. So, try to start your study day early and work during the daylight hours.