Category Archives: Academic Success

Attention Spring Admits (and all students): Preparing for Finals Workshop – this Thursday!

It’s hard to believe, but final exams are just around the corner.  While performance on the exam should be your top priority, you can help yourself get there by preparing early, developing an action plan, and sticking to it.  To help you with that, we will be presenting a workshop titled ‘Preparing for Finals’ this Thursday, April 11, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in room 505.  At that workshop, one of our Academic Success Counselors will go over tips and strategies to help you ensure you will be ready for your final exams in a few weeks.  Food will not be served, but please feel free to bring a lunch to enjoy since the workshop is being held during the lunch hour.  We hope that you will find the information presented to be helpful.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to meet with your Counselor or another member of our team.

Helpful ASP Workshops this Week!

Writing Assistance Workshop: Organization

Tuesday, February 26 – noon-1:15 p.m. in Room 425 or 4-5:15 p.m. in Room 425

Please REGISTER for the workshop by signing-up in the Academic Success Office, Suite 580, by 4 p.m. TODAY.


Multiple Choice Strategies

Thursday, February 28 – 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Room 505

We recognize that multiple choice exams in law school are nothing like those you experienced at the undergraduate level.  At this week’s workshop, one of our Academic Success Counselors will go over tips and strategies to approaching multiple choice questions in law school so that you can approach your midterm and final exams with confidence.  Please feel free to bring your lunch to enjoy during the workshop since it is held during the lunch hour.  You do NOT need to RSVP for this event.

How To Maximize Your GPA

What if I told you to choose questions from one of three categories?

The first category is the hardest and worth fifty points. The second category is easier and worth forty points.  And the third category is the easiest and worth thirty points.

As a law student, you would probably go through some logically thought out process to choose a category.  Perhaps you would play it safe and choose the easiest questions because they guarantee you a good grade.

What if I did this after the test?

Automatically (without checking for accuracy), I give the students who had chosen the hardest questions A’s, the students who chose the easier questions B’s, and the students who chose the easiest questions C’s.

The moral of the story is that the easy route is not always the fastest way to your destination.

If you have academic goals and do not know how to reach them, visit an Academic Success Counselor for help.

Helpful Workshops This Week

Now that the semester is underway, the Academic Success Department is here with a variety of helpful workshops for you to maximize your academic potential this semester.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 5th, we will host the first of our writing workshops titled Punctuation I.  There will be two presentations.  The first will be from noon – 1:15 p.m. in room 425.  The encore one will be from 4 – 5:15 in room 425.  Please REGISTER for the workshop by signing-up in the Academic Success Office, Suite 580, by 4 p.m. TODAY if you plan to attend.

On Thursday, February 7th, we will host the first of our optional study skills workshops titled Creating a Study Schedule.  There will be only one presentation from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in room 505.  You do NOT need to register to attend this workshop.  Please feel free to bring a bagged lunch to enjoy during the workshop.

Keep an eye out for other reminders about workshops throughout the semester.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Writing Competitions

Happy New Year!

We hope you all had a great break!  Now that you have rested and recuperated, why not take some time to enter a writing competition?  Below is a list of upcoming competitions, most of which offer cash prizes.  Feel free to visit our office to discuss any documents you write.  (For additional information, please follow the links below the titles.)

Good luck!


Citizen Amicus Project
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should be 500-1000 word opinions about the following constitutional question, before the Supreme Court this term in Florida v. Jardines: whether law enforcement’s use of narcotic detection dogs in front of a home, without a warrant, violates the homeowner’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches.
First Prize: $500
Award: The winning author will “receive . . . consideration of having his/her submission included in the [American Bar Association’s] Criminal Justice Section newsletter.” The second and third place winners will receive a recognition plaque. NOTE: The deadline for submitting opinions is “before the Supreme Court issues its decision in the case.” Oral argument will occur on October 31, 2012, so the Court will issue its decision sometime after that date.
Deadline: 01/11/2013
Contact Information:
Steven R. Morrison
Assistant Professor
Co-chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section’s Student Activities Committee
University of North Dakota School of Law
215 Centennial Drive Stop 9003
Grand Forks, ND 58202

American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources Student Writing Competition
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should address “a question of legal and/or policy significance relating to the . . . role of public lands and oceans in America’s energy future. The topic is not confined to any particular type of public land or issue in energy or environmental law or policy.”
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $250
Award: The first place entry will be published in the symposium edition of the Public Land & Resources Law Review. Students submitting the first, second and third place entries will be invited to attend the Public Land Law Symposium, where their selection as winning entries will be announced. Their travel and hotel costs will be covered.
Deadline: 01/14/2013
Contact Information:
Bradley Jones

The IEL Hartrick Scholar Writing Competition
Web Site »
Topic: Papers should address “any topic related to energy development . . . includ[ing], for example, topics concerning oil and gas law, alternative energy resources, energy regulation, and environmental regulation of the energy industries.”
Award: The person(s) selected as the winner(s) will not only receive the cash award described above, but will also receive travel expenses to attend the IEL’s Oil & Gas Law Conference and the Career Paths for Young Attorneys in the Energy Sector Symposium, and recognition at both the Conference and the Symposium.
Deadline: 01/1/2013
Contact Information:
Lilly Hogarth
Project Manager
Institute for Energy Law
5201 Democracy Drive
Plano, TX

Ladas Memorial Award competition
Web Site »
Requirements: Subject of the paper must be trademark law or a matter that directly relates to or affects trademarks.  Eligible papers may include both original unpublished manuscripts and published articles that are submitted to INTA by the submission deadline.  Published articles must have been first published no longer than one year prior to the deadline.  Paper must be a product of the author’s original thought and scholarship.  Paper may be co-authored.  More than one paper may be submitted for consideration.
Award: A US $2,000 cash award, a set of Stephen P. Ladas’s three-volume treatise, Patents, Trademarks, and Related Rights, an invitation to the INTA Gala, where Association leaders and volunteers recognize award winners, and reimbursement up to US $1,000 for travel to the Gala.  Winning papers are published in The Trademark Reporter, INTA’s legal journal.

Deadline: 01/18/2013
Contact Information:

Scribes Law-Review Award Competition
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Each year, Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers – sponsors a competition to recognize an outstanding note or comment written by a law student who is associated with a student-edited law review or journal. This award has the dual distinction of being the only award presented at the National Conference of Law Reviews and the only national award for student authors that places no limitation on subject matter.
Award: The winning journal and the author of the winning note or comment will receive a plaque.
Deadline: 01/18/2013
Contact Information:
Norman E. Plate
Executive Director
Scribes – The American Society of Legal Writers
Thomas Cooley Law School
P.O. Box 13038
Lansing, MI 48901

Louis Jackson National Student Writing Competition in Employment and Labor Law
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should address a topic that relates to the law governing the workplace, e.g., employment law, labor law, employee benefits, or employment discrimination. STUDENTS MUST CONTACT PROFESSOR ROBERTO CORRADA BEFORE SUBMITTING ENTRIES TO THIS COMPETITION. DO NOT SUBMIT ENTRIES DIRECTLY; THEY MUST BE APPROVED BY A SCOL FACULTY MEMBER OR COMMITTEE.
First Prize: $3000
Second Prize: $1000
Third Prize: $1000
Award: The authors of the top three papers will, in addition to receiving cash awards, have their entries published.
Deadline: 01/22/2013
Contact Information:
Professor Martin H. Malin
Louis Jackson Writing Competition
c/o Institute for Law and the Workplace
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Illinois Institute of Technology
565 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL   60661

American Indian Law Review Writing Competition
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should address “any issue concerning American Indian Law or indigenous peoples.”
First Prize: $1000
Second Prize: $500
Third Prize: $250
Award: The American Indian Law Review will publish the first-place paper. It will recognize all three winners on the Review’s masthead and give each winner a copy of Felix S. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law.
Deadline: 01/31/2013
Contact Information:
David E. Bruger
Writing Competition Editor
American Indian Law Writing Competition
American Indian Law Review
300 Timberdell Road
Norman, OK 73019

International Humanitarian Law Student Writing Competition
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should address international humanitarian law.
Award: Two winning authors will present their papers at an expert conference at American University with travel and accommodation expenses covered. These winners will also receive a complimentary registration at the American Society of International Law’s annual meeting, and a one-year membership with that organization.
Deadline: 01/31/2013
Contact Information:
Dean Claudio Grossman
American University Washington College of Law
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian law
4801 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016


The Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should discuss regulatory or administrative law, broadly construed. Appropriate subjects include empirical or comparative analyses of the effectiveness of specific regulatory regimes or of deregulation, doctrinal investigations of the development of administrative law rules or principles by courts and administrative agencies and the effects of that development, and normative analyses of how particular regulatory or administrative regimes or deregulation advance or fail to advance values of fairness, participation, and transparency.
First Prize: $1500
Award: The winning papers will receive special recognition at the ACS National Convention, on the ACS website, and potentially through other means agreed upon by the authors and ACS. For example, in the past, ACS’s two journals, the Harvard Law and Policy Review (HLPR) and Advance, considered publication of winning pieces that met their word-limit requirements.
Deadline: 02/11/2013
Contact Information:
American Constitution Society for Law and Policy
Attn: Cudahy Writing Competition
1333 H St. NW, 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition
Web Site »
Topic: Papers should “further[] and promot[e] a progressive vision of the Constitution, law, and public policy.” Possible topics include, but are not limited to, civil liberties, consumer rights, criminal justice, free speech, immigration, privacy, racial equality, reproductive rights, LGBT rights, human rights, and labor law.
First Prize: $3000
Award: The winning paper will appear in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law. There will also be two runners up who will receive $1000 each.
Deadline: 02/22/2013
Contact Information:
The American Constitution Society
1333 H St, NW, 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Bert W. Levit Essay Contest
Web Site »
Topic: The 2013 Contest Essay Hypothetical involves questions about a law firm’s potential malpractice exposure when it relied upon a third-party vendor to provide document review services for a client, which ultimately resulted in the release of privileged documents.
Award: Cash award of $5,000.  All-expense paid trip to the Spring 2013 National Legal Malpractice Conference in New Orleans, LA, on April 24–26, 2013.
Deadline: 02/22/2013
Contact Information:


Trandafir International Business Writing Competition
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should address “[a]ny topic of contemporary international business or economic concern with a legal nexus.”
First Prize: $2000
Award: The winning essay will also be published in “Transnational Law & Contemporary Problems,” a journal of the University of Iowa College of Law.
Deadline: 03/01/2013
Contact Information:
Samuel Griffin
Trandafir International Business Writing Competition
University of Iowa College of Law
Boyd Law Building, Room 185
Iowa City, IA   52242

Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Contest
Web Site »
More Information (PDF) »
Topic: Papers should address the following topic: “Is Democracy for Sale? Have Citizens United’s holdings run amok? Legal challenges left to Super Pacs? Can funding disclosure be required?” NOTE: YOU MUST SUBMIT AN INTENT TO ENTER FORM BY 1/31/2013.
First Prize: $5000
Award: The author of the winning essay will receive, in addition to the cash prize above, recognition in the Public Justice newsletter and on the website, and a free Public Justice Foundation membership for the contest year.
Deadline: 03/31/2013
Contact Information:
Erica Robertson
Outreach Coordinator
Public Justice Foundation
1825 K Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC   20006


“Why I Went to Law School”

With the start of a new semester just days away, now is a good time to remind yourself of the reason(s) you decided to attend law school.  There are definitely no shortages of challenges in law school, and whether you’ve just made it through your first semester, beginning your very first semester, or heading into your final one, reminding yourself of why you began this journey in the first place can help you stay on track.  Below are a few examples of why some of our students chose to attend law school.  Take some time to remind yourself of your own reasons and you just might find the motivation you need to have your best semester yet!

Stacey D:  “I went to law school to give a voice to those that otherwise wouldn’t have one.  I was active in the Guardian Ad Litem program at FCSL to make sure children were represented in court.  Also, I wanted to be financially independent, and law school will help me achieve that goal.  Lastly, after seeing firsthand the problems with foster care, I wanted to go to law school to help change the laws in that area so that foster children have greater protection under the laws.”

Laura B:  “I decided to go to law school because I grew up listening to, and witnessing, the passion with which my father described his job as a prosecutor and then then later as a business owner of his own law firm.  I was taught, rightfully so, that with a law degree, I would be privy to multitudes of opportunities that otherwise may not be possible or achieved without this degree.  With a law degree, I can practice law, work with my father and brother at the family firm, or be a business owner, among other things. Also, I felt permitted to respect myself for deciding to pursue a path of higher education.
Furthermore, I leaned towards law because I love language, reading between the lines, finding resolutions, and solving problems in creative ways.”

Michelle L: “The main reason I went to law school is because it offers versatility to different job opportunities. The curriculum teaches marketable skills that include perfecting the art of oral and written communication that is marketable for potential employers.  I am interested in different areas of the law that include health care, legislation, and the corporate environment.  The skills I will acquire while in law school will forever assist me in my professional career path.”

Good Luck!

You’re in the midst of finals now, and we in the Academic Success Department wanted to wish you luck as you wrap up the fall semester.  We sincerely hope that all of the hard work you’ve put in this semester reveals itself through some great exam results.  Heading into the holidays, we hope that you’ll enjoy the break from studying and that you’ll return to campus recharged and refreshed – ready to tackle the spring semester!

If you need any assistance over the next couple weeks, please don’t hesitate to swing by our department on the 5th floor to chat with a member of our team.  If you’re looking for some motivation, please see the video below.  Good luck on your final exams!