Thursday, March 24, 2005
Time for Words of Encouragement?
Here's a letter I just sent to our wonderful wunnelles. Do you have a similar letter you send or post somewhere? If so, e-mail me a copy and I'll post it here. Please feel free to adapt my letter for your own students.
The Krieger pamphlet mentioned in my letter is excellent. You can order a stack of them from FSU Law Professor Krieger direct (firstname.lastname@example.org (850) 644-7262).
March 24, 2005
You ought to be entering into your Final Exam Preparation mode of studying. You ought to have your plan of action designed by this coming weekend - preferably in writing, with precise times allocated for each component of your studying, for each subject. For detailed instructions on how to prepare your final exam study action plan, read "A Plan for Your Exams," in the March 2005 issue of the ABA's "Student Lawyer" magazine (page 32). (All ABA Student Division members received a copy in the mail others can find the magazine in the library and posted on my bulletin board.
Now is the time to shift into high gear. For about 5 or 6 weeks, you need to focus focus focus on exam preparation - and that means practice, practice, practice.
Answer those practice hypotheticals in writing. Each class, each topic. Near the end of the semester, answer your professors' previous exams - in writing - if available. Be sure to reserve enough time in your detailed written study schedule to complete your Legal Methods assignment (appellate brief), and to prepare for your oral argument. Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.
Does this mean "stress out?" No way. Proactive planning and follow through lead to LESS stress, and allow you to enter the final exam rooms with well-deserved confidence. This week, each of you picked up a booklet written by law professor Larry Krieger about handling law school stress. Read it. Enter your exam period stress-free. Want MORE help relieving. Check the bulletin boards around school for announcements of Professor Zlotnick's introduction of his March 31st meditation session led by a psychologist who is a stress-reduction expert. Want MORE help? Select from the 23 topics covered in the FAQ study matrix at http://dennistonsing.com/FAQ-Page-11.html.
Need assistance with any of this? We are here to help! Do you have questions about subject matter, doctrinal issues, substantive loose ends? Schedule appointments with your professors. Could you use help with your appellate brief, or with exam answering style? Schedule an appointment with Kim Baker. Do you need advice on study skills, scheduling, or exam answering techniques? Visit Tracy Sartrys and make an appointment with me.
This is not the time to procrastinate. This is the time to strategize. Achieve your personal best this semester in law school.
Dennis J. Tonsing
Dean of Students
Academic Support Program Director