Category Archives: Exams

Using CALI to Study for Exams

At some point in the coming weeks you will probably reach the point where you feel like you simply cannot look at your course outline one more time.  At this point (and even before!) reviewing for your exam via a CALI lesson is a great idea. CALI lessons are interactive, computer-based tutorials published by the non-profit Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction.  With our school’s CALI membership you have access to over 900 interactive lessons in over 30 legal subjects.  You can find them all at cali.org/lesson.

You must have an account with CALI to access the lessons.  Account registration requires our school’s authorization code, which is available on the Law Library’s Using CALI webpage (sign in with your ASURITE ID).  You can also get the code by visiting the Law Library Reference Office and chatting with a librarian.  Please note that you only need to use this authorization code the first time you register. You can find registration instructions here.

Good luck on finals!

Law School is Tough, Even for Super Bowl Champions

Exams are right around the corner and you may still be trying to work through all those hearsay exceptions for your evidence final, but you can take heart in the fact that law school is tough for everyone – even two-time Super Bowl champions.  Randall Gay, who won the Super Bowl while playing for the New England Patriots in 2004 and the New Orleans Saints in 2009, is now a 1L at the Southern University Law School.  Gay compares the rigors of the NFL to law school:

“I didn’t have to really study for football. It’s just something you know. Now, I’m starting from scratch writing briefs. I don’t know what a brief is. I’m taking a tort class. I don’t know what a tort is. In football, we have seven days to prepare. Now I have to do assignments and have them done by the next day. But I’ve learned to adapt quickly.” (Randall Gay Trades Playbooks for Law Books, 9News Neighborhood)

We wish both you and Randall the best of luck as you head in to this exam season.  If you would like some tips and resources to help you prepare for your tests and papers, check out these past Ross-Blakley Law Library Blog posts:

Preparing for the First Day of Exams

Monday marks the first day of Spring 2012 exams, with Criminal Law kicking things off at 8:30am and Evidence getting underway at 1pm.  Check out these new Evidence study skills books and browse through the library catalog for Criminal Law titles which will help you get ready for Day 1 of testing!

Also, if you are looking for ways to use your time during reading week wisely and be more productive as you prepare for exams, read through the study tips on the Law School Academic Support Blog.

Evidence in a Nutshell
The Nutshell series of study skills books offer compact yet comprehensive reviews of major areas of law.  Evidence in Nutshell contains the newest version of the Federal Rules of Evidence, as well as notes on significant cases in evidence law and developments in expert and scientific evidence.
Law Study Skills Collection KF8935.Z9 R6 2012

Evidence: Examples and Explanations
The Evidence E&E provides a good introduction to the concepts of the Federal Rules of Evidence and helps develop reader understanding through its case examples and detailed explanations.  Particularly useful aspects of this book are the “plain language” version of the Rules of Evidence and a flow-chart that demonstrates how to analyze relevance and hearsay exceptions applied to out-of-court statements.
                                       Law Study Skills Collection KF8935.Z9 B48 2009

Handbook of Federal Evidence
This eight volume set contains the Federal Rules of Evidence and materials designed to help aid understanding and application of them.  It is written for trial attorneys and judges, but provides clear and precise statements of evidence law which are helpful for students as well.  Please note that this set can only be used in the library.
Law Treatises KF8935 .G73 2012

 

 

The Zen of Law School Success

The Zen of Law School Success
By Chad Noreuil
Law Study Skills Collection KF283 .N67 2011

The Zen of Law School Success is a new book in the Law Library collection written by the College of Law’s very own Professor Chad Noreuil.  Professor Noreuil also wrote The Zen of Passing the Bar Exam.  In this new book, Noreuil focuses on the law school experience and details how to put Zen principles such as simplicity, knowing yourself, and staying focused into practice in law school.  He offers a comprehensive approach to succeeding at law school, as well as focused advice on how to deal with the classroom Socratic method, navigate the law school environment (including the competitive atmosphere), manage stress, prepare for exams, and get a job after graduation.  It is an excellent resource for those students seeking to be successful in law school yet maintain balance in their lives.

To read a little bit about Professor Noreuil, go to the  ASU News website.  Be sure to also check out Professor Noreuil’s Law School Zen blog.

Evidence Law Help From CALI

Nobody can fairly pretend to make the Anglo-American law of evidence easy, because it is essentially very difficult.”
– John MacArthur Maguire, Evidence: Common Sense and Common Law (1947).

While understanding Evidence Law may never be effortless, eLangdell® Press, the publishing component of CALI, has made it easier by offering three chapters of its Evidence Law casebook available for free:

 Best Evidence Rule

 

 

  Rape Shield Rule

 

 

  Jury Impeachment

 

 

 

Each chapter provides a roadmap for addressing the topic through a series of cases and hypotheticals drawn from actual cases.  The chapters can be downloaded as a PDF file, a Word document, or as an ebook compatible with an iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader.

Be sure to download the up-to-date edition of the Federal Rules of Evidence  from the eLangdell® Press website as well – it will be handy to have on your computer for in-class and exam-time reference.

New Books at the Law Library – The Glannon Guide to Property

The Glannon Guide to Property: Learning Property through Multiple-Choice Questions and Analysis
Law Study Skills Collection KF561 .S627 2011

What’s the difference between title to property held in fee simple, fee simple determinable, and fee simple subject to executor condition?   The answer to this question (which you will need to know for your upcoming property exam!) and more lie in the pages of the new edition of the Glannon Guide to Property.  Property is a notoriously difficult subject, but the Glannon Guide offers a clear and ordered review of property topics, organized around multiple-choice questions.  Each chapter contains an introduction to the designated topic, followed by a handful of multiple-choice questions with explanatory answers.  Topics covered in this book include gifts, adverse possession, fee simple estates, defeasible estates, life estates, reversions and remainders, executor interests, the rule against perpetuities, leases and assignments, deeds, and mortgages.

Get Organized Over Spring Break!

If you’re lucky, Spring Break means lounging on a pristine sandy beach, sipping a fruity drink from a coconut. If you’re a law student, Spring Break probably means that you’ll be outlining and gearing up for exams. While we can’t transport you to a tropical locale, we can show you few tools that might help with your studies.

First a brief explanation on a theory called Getting Things Done (GTD). The theory basically says that you’re not at your most productive when you’re overwhelmed by a million things floating around in your head. GTD inspired the popular site Lifehacker. For more information on the theory visit:

GTD programs built around this theory, aim to give you a place in The Cloud to “brain dump,” organize your thoughts, and break them into manageable chunks. So, here are some ways you can get your head into The Cloud! 

  Dropbox Tired of emailing files to yourself? Check out Dropbox, which lets you store documents in The Cloud and access them from any deviceWatch this short Dropbox In Plain English tutorial for more information.
 Google Docs Tired of emailing files back and forth between yourself and your study group? Check out Google Docs. A document is stored in The Cloud, and everyone you share it with can collaborate on it together. You can work on it synchronously or not. You can add comments so you can come back and resolve issues later, or use the chat function for side discussions. This Google Docs In Plain English tutorial will tell you more.
 Evernote If you have a lot of information to keep track of and synthesize, Evernote can be a big help. You can bookmark websites, add photos and voice notes, and upload documents. You can use EverNote online, or install on your computer, phone or other device. You can share (email) notes to friends.Here’s an example of a folder with study aids for Bankruptcy Law:
 ToodleDo ToodleDo is great if you have a lot of tasks to complete and/or need help prioritizing and managing your time. You can set reminders, sync with calendar programs, and send emails to your ToodleDo list. You can estimate how much time tasks will take, then when you have a bit of free time, let ToodleDo know how much time you have, and it will tell you what tasks you should focus on.Our Acquisitions/Serials Librarian Kerry Skinner is an avid ToodleDo user and shares this advice: ToodleDo has a bit of a learning curve, so to really use it as a GTD tool, invest some time upfront learning about the features and thinking about how to organize it best for yourself, since it’s a manifestation of your individual brain.You can watch a thorough (27 min) tutorial here

Here’s what a simple ToodleDo list looks like:

There are lots of productivity tools out there, and the trick is to find the right one for you. Check out Pricata’s guide to choosing GTD software if you’d like to learn more.

Hat-tip to Kerry Skinner and Tara Mospan for their assistance!

Getting the Semester Started Off Right

Exam season may seem like the far-off future now, but it is precisely what you are doing at the beginning of the semester that will prepare you for exams at the end.  The new semester means a fresh start, and now is the time to get your study practices off on the right foot.  Here are some techniques to help:

  1. Condense your briefs and class notes into outlines every week – outlining throughout the semester will help you retain the information you learned and keep you from having to re-learn material at the end of the semester.  Additionally, having your outlines finished or close to completion at the end of the semester will decrease your stress level.
  2. Begin reviewing your outline early – regular review of your outline will lead to a deeper understanding of the material, and will make memorization of key subject components much easier.
  3. Meet with your professors – visit your professor during office hours to clarify any confusing points or issues.  By doing this frequently, you will have a strong foundation before moving on to the next course topic.
  4. Stock up on school supplies – with an arsenal of pens, paper, ink cartridges, and index cards, you will always have what you need when you need it.
  5. Evaluate your study strategies and revamp if necessary – do you study best at home, at school, or in some other location such as a coffee shop?  Do you get more out of focusing on one topic for a long study session or by switching among subjects?  Are you using study time efficiently?

For more thoughts on how to get your semester started off well, read Amy L. Jarmon’s ABA Student Lawyer article titled “Exam Review Begins Now” on the ABA Student Division website (requires sign-in).  Larson offers some excellent techniques for improving your exam results in May.  Look at the “Thinking About the Review Process” post on the Law School Academic Support Blog as well.  This post is a little old, but its information on the four kinds of review that students need to accomplish throughout the semester to be prepared for exams is still useful.

The Bar Exam Cometh

The Law Library has a slew of bar exam preparation materials available for those taking the upcoming February Arizona Bar Exam.  We know that your studying is probably well underway, so be sure to check out some of the following study materials:

Past Arizona bar exam essay questions (Feb. 2011 back to Feb. 1995)
Bar Prep Series
– videos reviewing bar exam subjects, prepared by College of Law faculty

Materials in the Study Skills Collection

CALI Lessons

Many of the over 300 CALI tutorials cover bar subjects, including civil procedure, commercial transactions, con law, contracts, professional responsibility, evidence, property, and torts. To access the College of Law’s subscription to CALI, please visit our Using CALI  website.

Finally, in case you need a break from studying, some bar exam humor:

CALI Can Help You Study for Exams

Don’t forget that CALI lessons are a free way to help you prepare for exams.

CALI lessons are interactive, computer-based tutorials published by the non-profit Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI, www.cali.org).

CALI publishes over 800 CALI lessons in 33 different legal subject areas listed at cali.org/lesson.

Please note that you must register to use CALI lessons on the Web. Registration will allow you to create your own password to use the lessons. In order to register, you will need an authorization code. The code can be found in the Law Library’s CALI Guide.  You will need to login to this page using your ASURITE ID and password. 

Good luck with exams!