Category Archives: Academic Success

Mango Gazpacho

SURPRISE...SURPRISE, law school demands an exorbant amount of reading.  So, what can you do to keep your eyes healthy?  Who knew it could be as simple as enjoying a mango from time-to-time.  That’s right-one cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes!  So get over to the market and get ahold of some of the season’s last mangos and enjoy this tasty mango gazpacho. 

Trust me…if you use a knife, you can master this recipe!

Ingredients:
3-1/3 cups, 1/4 inch diced mangoes
3-1/3 cups, mango orange juice
3 T + 1 tsp. olive oil
1-3/4 seedless cucumbers, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1-3/4 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1-3/4 small onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1-3/4 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 c. + 1 T. fresh lime juice
3 T + 1 tsp. fresh parsley/basil/cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Process mangoes, orange juice, and oil in a blender or food processor until pureed.   Transfer to a medium bowl, process remaining ingredients until broken into small pieces.  Combine all ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

2 Refridgerate until ready to serve.  When serving try topping it off with some mango yogurt.

ASP Workshop #4: Wellness Center Tips

With midterms complete, and finals just around the corner, you may be feeling the stress of law school creeping in on your personal life.  Don’t worry.  We’re here to help!  Next week, the Academic Success Department will host the third in its series of ASP workshops geared toward first-semester students titled Wellness Center Tips.  Dr. Virginia Swartz will be on hand to speak to you about managing stress and maintaining a healthy school-life balance.  On Tuesday, October 16th, we will be in room 250 from noon to 1:00 p.m.  Feel free to bring your lunch, or a snack, to enjoy during the presentation.  On Friday, October 19th, there will be an encore presentation from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in room 250.

We look forward to seeing you at one of the workshops next week!

Bar Application Information and Upcoming Workshop

Bar Applications require future examinees to provide very detailed information about their personal lives to undergo an extensive background check as part of the character and fitness process.  If a the state allows you to submit an early application, consider doing so as it may provide a discount financially but it also allows (1) you to address any incidents that have occurred that can create character issues early and start the process and (2) doing your application during your first year means that it will create less stress for you than doing it in your third year when most students are also working. 

The Florida Bar does give a discount to those students who submit their applications by the deadline listed in their first year – see www.floridabarexam.org, click on Checklists and Forms, then click on Register as a First Year Student.  Print out this first year checklist, gather the necessary information, and then create a login and password which is valid for only 6 months (so finish it in time to meet the deadline; if it is not completed within 6 months, all information is deleted). 

The actual application you fill in (where your login and password necessary) is much more detailed than that of general checklist.  In your third year, you will have to convert your student registration to an exam application. You can do this at www.floridabarexam.org, then go to Checklists and Forms, then click on Convert a Student Registration into a Bar Application.

 For those students who want to potentially be involved in an externship where a CLI (Certified Legal Intern) status is required but you do not plan on taking the Florida Bar exam- you can also get a discount by doing it early.  To do so, go to www.floridabarexam.org, click on Checklists and Forms, then click on Register for Certified Legal Internship (CLI) Clearance only.  This is the same application as the First Year Application.  However, this application is not converted in your third year.  This application will start the character and fitness process.  However, upon filing this application, you are not automatically a CLI.  You need to be selected into a CLI program by the Clinic Department, have the mandatory credit hours necessary, and then the Clinic Department requests that you are deemed a CLI by the FL Supreme Court, which will then decide whether to grant such a request.

For more information on when a CLI clearance is required, please see the Florida Board of Bar Examiners website (and applicable links) as well as the FCSL website page for Clinical Information.  If you are unsure if you are going to stay in Florida, you may want to do the full application, which only costs $25 more than the CLI Clearance Only application, and then decide whether or not you are going to stay in Florida and do the conversion application in your Third Year.  This would allow you to receive the discount of $300 (if done by the earliest first year discount) on the total cost of the bar exam.

If your state does not allow you to submit your application early, then see if you can still print out a current application and start gathering your information.  If you are unable to do that, gather all the information for Florida’s application, create a login and print off your completed application (and just not submit it).  Florida asks much more detailed questions than some other states and thus, you will have most of, if not all of, the information required for your state’s bar application. 

If you have any other questions about bar applications, see an Academic Success Counselor.  Please note that the Academic Success Department will be hosting a Bar Application Workshop on Thursday, October 18, from 12 – 1:30 p.m. in Room 250

At this event, the Director of the Clinical Programs, Professor Lynn McDowell, will make a brief presentation on the Certified Legal Intern status as it relates to the clinics and internships.  Associate Dean of Student Services, Dean Taggart, and Student Services Coordinator, Lauren Levine, will also be at the event to discuss the importance of consistency between your law school application and your bar application and how to make amendments to your law school application if necessary.  Finally, the Advanced Florida Bar Studies Professors will discuss the Bar Application process and students will start the bar application.  We look forward to seeing you at the event!

Lebanese Eggplant

Ingredients:
1 lg eggplant
1 tsp. salt/pepper
3 T oil
1 T butter
1 c. onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c. peeled tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 c. soft white bread crumbs
1 c. grated mozzarella/parmesean cheese

Directions:
1. Peel eggplant and cut into 1″ slices – sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Broil eggplant splices for apx. 5 minutes/side, or until eggplant begins to soften.
2. Emmerse tomatoes in boiling water until skin splinters.  When tomatoes cool, peel off skin and chop, reserving any juices.
3. Heat oil and butter in skillet.  Saute onion and garlic until onion is tender, apx. 5-10 minutes.  Add tomatoes and continue to saute until mixture begins to thicken.  Stir in thyme, parsley, and fresh breadcrumbs.
4. Mound tomato mixture on top of sliced eggplant, top with cheese, and bake @350, until cheese melted.

5 Tips to Reduce Stress

  1.  Use Lists
  • When you can’t imagine how you can possibly accomplish everything you need to do, make a list.  Include everything that needs to be done on the list – reading assignments, briefing, grocery shopping, down time, and social events. Prioritize the list and make a weekly schedule from it.  Fit all of your tasks into the weekly schedule.  Then, once you’ve completed tasks, cross them off of your list.  This is a great way to give you a sense of accomplishment and show you how much work you can complete in a day.

2.  Exercise, exercise, exercise

  • Everyone knows the countless benefits of exercise including boosting energy, combating disease, and controlling weight.  Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three to five times per week.  Try out a new yoga class or go running with a friend.   Even a little regular exercise can help ease depression, boost energy and mood, and relieve stress.   If you can’t block out 30 minutes a day, try to incorporate smaller chunks of exercise into your day by taking the stairs or walking at lunch.

3.  Do something you enjoy every day

  • Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be exercising, catching up with family or friends, or playing a musical instrument.

4.  Take care of yourself

  • Get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. When you are taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to handle stress better when it does come up.

5.  Take a break

  • When stress just seems like too much, take a time-out.  A few minutes away from the problem can help.  You may need to just step away from the problem or ask for help.  Talk with your family, a friend, or a counselor.

Why, How, and When to do Practice Questions

Why Should You Do Practice Questions? 

Practice questions, both multiple choice and essay questions, are essential to your success in law school because law school exams are different than other tests.  Success on law school exams will require much more than memorizing the rules.  In fact, writing the correct rules on your essay exams will not earn many points for your grade.  Students who know HOW to apply the rules have the most success in law school.  The only way to learn HOW to apply the rules is to practice.

Using different problems to test your knowledge is the only way to learn to apply the rules in a variety of ways.  Your law school exams will require you to apply what you know to a variety of different problems, often in a in a number of different ways (multiple choice, short-answer, essays).  Practicing application of legal rules can come in many forms:  doing the problems at the end of the reading assignment, answering true/false questions, answering multiple choice questions, drafting short problems/hypos and the corresponding answers, or writing answers to essay fact patterns. 

 When Should You Do Practice Questions?

We recommend that you do practice questions on a regular basis throughout the semester.  You should do practice questions when your professor is “finished” covering a particular topic.  These “new topics” practice questions should occur every other week or so as you go through the semester.  Make a set time in your study schedule to cover “new topics” practice questions.  Next, set a scheduled time each week to do “review topics” practice questions.

The most effective way to do practice questions is to keep doing them throughout the semester so that you do not forget topics that you cover early on in the semester AND so that you do not leave all of the practice questions for the end of the semester.  Waiting until the end of the semester to do practice questions is a fatal mistake.  Often practice questions will show you what you do not truly understand.  When those areas become clear to you through practice questions early in the semester, you can go through the material again, talk to your classmates, ask questions of the TA, or see your professor to make sure you learn the material.  If you wait until the end of the semester – or if you wait until you have “memorized” the material – you may get “lost” as the semester continues or you may run out of time to get your questions answered on all the topics you are missing in your practice questions.  So, start early and repeat often!  Schedule times for weekly practice questions. 

 Where Can You Get Practice Questions?

See the Academic Success handout  - “Helpful Resources for Practice Questions” – available in the Academic Success suite on the 5th floor.

Basil-Peach Chicken

Basil-Peach Chicken

Ingredients:
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1 T. balsamic vinegar
4 large peaches, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
Garnish: fresh basil leaves

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown chicken in hot oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat 2 min/side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallot to hot drippings in skillet, and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add basil, chicken broth, and peaches. Return chicken to skillet, and turn to coat.
4. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until chicken is done.  Deglaze skillet with balsamic vinegar. 

Enjoy chicken atop some quinoa-veggie rice pilaf.