Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Professor Podcast - Torts Law in the News

Academic Development is proud to premier the first "Professor Podcast"- audio by Professor Michael Zamperini. Professor Zamperini currently teaches Torts I and II, Remedies and Wills and Trusts at GGU and is a graduate of George Washington University Law. Academic Development would like to give a special thanks to Professor Zamperini for his incredible participation with our podcast series.

In this podcast, Professor Zamperini uses current headline news events to discuss real world examples of tort law

Just click on the link and turn up your speakers!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Advice from an Upperclassman

Everyone in law school is intelligent, but law school requires more - it expects you to really put your time in and apply the material. It demands more hours of work than you might expect!

My first year I did a lot of fundamental learning and simple memorization. At the end of the day, what mattered most was approaching the material so that I had both memorized concise rule statements, but also practiced the application of those rules in any given scenario. My law school friends joke that I too frequently talk about "massaging" the material. I encourage new students to take extra time to think about IRAC because this formula for applying the law is essential to your academic success and permits you to use your creativity and thoughtfulness. Practice multiple choice questions in supplements and use the past exam books in the library as well as the exams that are on GGU's website. If you receive poor midterm grades, persevere and make changes. There are many resources through Academic Services that can help you find a way to succeed. GOOD LUCK!"

-- Guest Blogger, Alyssa Gendron, 3L

1L Workshop Schedule- Learning to be an Expert Law Student

All day student 1Ls are required to attend all 3 workshops throughout their first semester. The goal is to teach the skills necessary to succeed in law school. Skill building is a vital part of excelling in your classes; law school requires you to utilize skills that you may not have had to use in your prior education.

Night 1L students have the option of attending, though their participation with the workshops are highly encouraged.

Please check the schedule below to find your first mandatory workshop and mark it on your calendar! It is entitled "Learning to be An Expert Law Student."

LS1: Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. - Room 2202
LS2: Wednesday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. - Room 3214
LS3: Wednesday from 12-1 p.m. - Room 2203

LSN: Thursday from 5:15-6:15 p.m. - Room 3208

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Suggestions for Acing Law School Essay Exams

Suggestions For Taking Law School Essay Exams
*excerpts from Professor Myron Moskovitz
(with general concurrence of the other GGU professors)

Due to the limited time of law school exams, it's best to go in with a strategy for efficiency. Here are some suggestions:

1) FIND THE QUESTION: When you read the exam, find the question. Read the facts carefully- so you don't give the right answer to a question not asked.

2) FOCUS ON THE QUESTION: Your professor wants you to answer the question, not just use the exam as an excuse to show off what you've learned in the course. Everything you write should help answer the question- do NOT waste time on anything that doesn't (ie introductions, background, answering issues that might have been asked but weren't)

3) WRITE AN OUTLINE: Spend about 1/4 of the time allotted for the exam reading the exam, thinking about it, and preparing an outline for your answer. An outline is not a list- it's an arrangement of the issues on the exam set out chronologically. The major issues come directly from the question, the sub issues come from the rules. Make it detailed!

4) START WRITING: Follow your outline to make sure your presentation is organized. Use headings!! As you write, briefly explain how each issue you discuss is relevant to the question.

5) USE IRAC: Issue, Rule, Application/Analysis, Conclusion. You do not need to use the headings "issue", "rule" etc-- just use the structure!

6) THE ISSUE: The major issues arise from the call of the question- which might raise more than one issue ("Discuss the liability of A and B"). The sub issues might arise from the rules of law that apply to each issue. (Ex: if the issue is whether a contract exists, you also will have sub-issues for whether there was an offer, acceptance, and consideration)

7) THE RULE: State the rule accurately and completely. No need to site cases (unless Professor indicates you should do so). If there is a majority/minority rule and question doesn't indicate which one to use- apply both!

8) THE APPLICATION: The largest part of your IRAC is found in your application (and this is where most students have problems). Be sure to examine ALL facts- and, when applicable, give analysis on both sides of the argument. Apply ALL FACTS to ALL ELEMENTS of the rule. Show how those facts apply- or do not apply. You can also do "mini IRACs" where you break down a rule with multiple elements and apply the facts to each element this way (ie: Battery is the intentional offensive touching of another. Break down each element (ie: intent, offensive, touching) and apply facts.

9) CONCLUSION: Write a conclusion for issue issue right after the application. Your conclusions are not your opinions- they're how the issues SHOULD be resolved. Make it short- no more than one or two sentences.

10) CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE THEORIES: If your analysis leaves a conclusion open ended- apply other theories that could be applied as well. (Ex: You conclude there was no valid offer because he was joking. If this issue was at all close, you must go on "But if the court finds that he was not joking, then the court would consider whether A did not make a valid offer because A's proposed terms were too uncertain, etc"

11) PRACTICE, PRACTICE PRACTICE: Don't expect to get the hang of writing exams well right away. It takes time- do not get discouraged!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Academic Development TA Information Meeting

Interested in becoming an ADP TA for next fall?

ADP TAs integrate both substantive review and test taking strategies into their weekly reviews for 1L students. TAs must attend the actual course and hold a weekly session of their own- the sessions are small and consistent of roughly 15 students. In the fall, it is mandatory for 1L students to attend while in the spring it is optional.

TAs are given all material before the weekly meeting and the time commitment is roughly 5-8 hours a week (compensated, of course!).

If you're interested come to a ADP TA INFORMATIONAL MEETING on Thursday April 23 from 12-1pm in room 3203.


Welcome to GGU's Academic Development Blog!

Here you will find helpful information and resources to get all your ADP questions answered---anywhere from the best way to outline, study tips, brief samples, stress busters and exam taking strategies. We will keep you updated on everything happening in the ADP world and upcoming events.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to email the ADP team to set up an appointment or get further information:

Jenny Homer: jhomer@ggu.edu
Gail Quan: gquan@ggu.edu
Mark Yates: myates@ggu.edu