Student News

Learn How to Manage Your Stress

Negative stress is a problem for some law students all year long, but it tends to be prevalent during the exam period.  It helps to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly about stress to deal with it.

There is such a thing as positive stress.  This type of stress helps us respond in an emergency, helps us perform well under pressure, encourages us to reach our potential, and gets us moving and being productive in our lives. 

When we talk about stress in law school, most people think of the negative stress which is also termed distress in the literature.  The symptoms of distress are warning signs to us that something is wrong and we need to deal with the situation.  Some of the common distress symptoms are:

  • Poor concentration
  • Short temper
  • Trembling hands
  • Churning stomach
  • Tight neck and shoulder muscles
  • Sore lower back
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Accelerated speech
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disruption

Distress can lead to decreased productivity when studying, physical illness, fatigue, loss of interest, and decreased satisfaction.  If high levels of distress are experienced for prolonged periods, physical and psychological disorders can result including migraine headaches, ulcers, colitis, high blood pressure, panic attacks, and more.  In addition, a law student's distress can affect their relationships with others.

What are some positive ways you can manage your stress:

  • Avoid being a perfectionist.  Work towards an excellent result rather than a perfect result.  Rarely does a law student get every possible point on an exam question.  Rarely does a law student write the perfect paper.
  • Break down large projects into smaller tasks so that you are not overwhelmed.  Break every topic into subtopics so that you can make progress in smaller time blocks and focus on manageable pieces. 
  • Avoid people and situations that add to your stress.  Steer clear of certain classmates who cause you more stress because of their attitudes, hyperactivity, panic, or competitiveness; end conversations diplomatically and go on your way.  Find locations to study that do not add to your stress.  If the law school is too stress-laden, go to other academic buildings, a coffeehouse, the university library, or the business center of your apartment complex.
  • Get enough sleep.  Sleep makes an enormous difference in our being able to manage stressful situations.  It gives our body the defenses to fight disease.  Getting sick during exams will only cause you to have more stress.
  • Practice stress release.  Get a massage (FREE MASSAGES TODAY!).  Do relaxation exercises.  Go for a run or swim.
  • Lower your alcohol, sugar, and caffeine intake.  All of these ingredients can cause your stress to increase even though you may initially think they are relaxing you or giving you energy.
  • Seek help if the stress is interfering with your life.  See a doctor or counselor if the stress has become more than what you can manage on your own. 

Take action to keep negative stress from getting the best of you.  It is far better to do something about it than wish you had later.  Adapated from a post on the Law School Academic Support Blog by Amy Jarmon.

 

*** CardMail Password and Account Changes Unavailable***

From University IT ...

The CardMail student email system is currently experiencing issues with password and account changes. No new CardMail accounts can be created, and account holds and updates cannot be made. Students are also unable to change their CardMail passwords at this time. However, old passwords continue to work. Microsoft is working to resolve these issues. We (University IT) apologize for any inconvenience these issues may cause.

Academic Success Tip - Keep Up the Good Work

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!

MCB Congrats!

Congratulations to Tyler Fleck, Jacob Giesecke, and Lize Goykhberg for being chosen to represent our school in the 2012 National Energy and Sustainability Moot Court Competition! Thanks to everyone who tried out, and good luck to Tyler, Jacob, and Lize at the competition in March!

County Attorney's Office Seeking First- and Second-Year Students

The Jefferson County Attorney's Office is seeking 1L or 2L law students to conduct legal research in both Criminal and Civil areas of the office.  Responsibilities include:  preparing pleadings, jury instructions, discovery and various other legal memoranda and court documents as requested by prosecutors and civil attorneys in the County Attorney's Office; responding to various requests for legal research; file documents with the courts; perform other tasks as needed to assist attorneys; deliver interdepartmental mail and assist in hand-deliveries; maintain law library.

Salary and benefits include:

$10.50/hr. first 6 months probationary period

$11.00/hr after probation is successfully completed

$12.00/hr after one year of service

Partial tuition assistance

Vacation, sick, personal time and holiday pay based upon work schedule

Submit resume by December 16th to:  Debbie Hamm, H.R. Specialist, Hall of Justice, 600 W. Jefferson St., Suite 2086, Louisville, KY  40202 or e-mail:  debbie.hamm@louisvilleky.govWebsite is:  http://www.louisvilleky.gov/countyattorney

Fulbright Public Policy Fellowships

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State will inaugurate a new Fulbright award in the academic year 2012-13.  The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will provide opportunities for U.S. citizens to build mutual understanding and contribute to the strengthening of the public sector abroad.  

The Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship will allow fellows to serve in professional placements in foreign government ministries or institutions and gain hands-on public sector experience in participating foreign countries while simultaneously carrying out an academic research/study project.

The deadline to apply is February 1, 2012, by 5:00 p.m.  For additional details, see attachment.
  

Exam Tip - Analyze the Elements

Analyze each element of the relevant causes of action in your exam answer.  While you must address all the elements, the depth of your analysis regarding each element will depend on the complexity of the problem.  For example, with respect to an assualt, it might be quite obvious that the defendant was acting intentionally, but the real question is whether the plaintiff’s apprehension was of an imminent battery.  In this instance, your analysis of imminence will likely be longer than your analysis of intent.  Forcing yourself to analyze every element will accomplish two things: (1) it will let the professor know that you understand that every element of a cause of action must be proven; and (2) it will force you to consider whether each element has been satisfied, thus avoiding the mistake of failing to discuss a complex problem that, at least on the surface, seemed quite obvious.  (Adapted from Succeeding in Law School by Herbert N. Ramy.)

Want to learn a new language--and thereby develop your own legal niche--for free?

PRESTIGIOUS SUMMER LANGUAGE IMMERSION FELLOWSHIPS: ATTENTION TO ALL LAW STUDENTS WITH A FREE SUMMER

 

The Dept. of Education offers Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship grants to professional students (YOU!). FLAS Fellowships offer students the chance to learn one year's worth of a language (generally--though not exclusively--those spoken outside of western Europe) in an eight-week intensive summer immersion setting at one of many universities in the United States. All expenses are paid: tuition, room, and board. You could apply to go back the next summer for another intensive course, or alternatively pursue an advanced-level Critical Language Scholarship, Graduate Boren Fellowship or Fulbright grant to the country in which the language is spoken. Note that based upon our contacts to sponsoring universities, FLAS Fellowships are often not highly competitive, compared with other national awards, such as the summer Critical Language Scholarships.

 

Don't delay! First, students should pick a language (almost any imaginable) that they might be interested in learning. Second, they should call [past FLAS winner and Brandeis Law alum] Jeff Benedict at the U of L Office of National and International Scholarship Opportunities at 852-1515 between the hours of 11:00 and 5:00 pm or email him at jeffrey.w.benedict@louisville.edu for an appointment. The applications for individual FLAS programs are not particularly difficult, but the process of navigating the bureaucracy regarding which universities offer intensive summer FLAS programs each year is highly unwieldy. Jeff will help students there, as well as with giving a general sense of what’s expected with the applications and essays. Note that Jeff will be out of the office and away from email contact from Dec. 16th through Jan. 16th. Deadlines for the FLAS applications vary between mid-January and March, so students should contact Jeff before Dec. 16th.

Public Service Opportunity: Ky. Department of Public Advocacy - LaGrange Needs Student for Immigration Project

The Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in LaGrange is looking for a student to help with a project that will be used department-wide.  It is required that the student must have taken Immigration Law.  The student will work on a table detailing the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for Kentucky statutes. The project includes research on immigration and federal case law interpreting Kentucky statutes (under attorney supervision). The student will help with formatting, cite checking, and entry of immigration analysis into the table.

 If you are interested and you have taken Immigration Law, please e-mail Jina Scinta at jina.scinta@louisville.edu.  The first student will be signed up for the project. 

Are You Still Reading the Docket?

Congratulations to Janet Lewis, the 1L Daily Docket winner.  To claim your prize, a $10 Burger King gift card, stop by Dean Ballard's office by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 1.