Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, October 13, 2006

LSAC Southwest Regional Workshop Call for Presenters and Other Updates

Check out the LSAC Southwest Regional Workshop web site for new information on the November 10 - 11, 2006 events at Texas Tech University School of Law.  Web site updates include an expanded agenda with information on the main speakers and topics, the call for concurrent session presenters, and a call for additional topic suggestions.  The deadline for application to be a concurrent session presenter is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 19th - see the web site for all the details.

Do not forget to register for the workshop on-line at the web site.  The registration cost is $50 which includes meals (Friday lunch and dinner and Saturday light breakfast, lunch, and dinner).  You do not want to miss Saturday night's West Texas barbeque and entertainment at the National Ranching Heritage Center.  Flight and lodging information are also available on the web site.

The web site for registration and to answer all of your questions for the LSAC Southwest Regional Academic Assistance Training Workshop is LSAC Southwest Regional Workshop.  If you still have questions after visiting the web site, contact Dr. Amy L. Jarmon, Assistant Dean for Academic Success Programs, Texas Tech University School of Law at or 806.742.3990, ext. 294. 


October 13, 2006 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Motivational CPR

The time of the semester has come when I spend time on "motivational CPR" with my students. Students have been coming by and discussing their doldrums, lack of enthusiasm, boredom with the routine, burn out, and general lethargy. They often ask whether they are the only ones suffering this malaise or whether the lack of motivation is more pervasive. It seems to console them that the discussion is not new to me.

Although the lack of motivation is genuine and to be expected at this point in the semester, I encourage students to explore ways that they can combat their general malaise. In addition, I suggest that students be sensitive to whether the lack of motivation is more than temporary. If malaise has turned into depression or serious physical symptoms, I encourage them to visit the counseling center and student health services for consultations. I often suggest the following techniques to combat a general lack of motivation.

Mix up study time to make it more interesting.  Instead of 5 hours of reading, break the reading into shorter blocks with a mix of practice questions, recitation, or flashcards acting as diversions to the monotony of reading.

Do practice questions on the material to challenge whether one can apply the concepts instead of just reading about them. It is too easy to read and memorize and not spend time on application.

Do the most difficult or unpleasant tasks first in the day so that the tasks will not "hang over" one all day and cause avoidance. Do the second most difficult task next and so forth.

Break up tasks into small chunks (example: 7 units of 5 pages rather than 35 pages).  It is much easier to motivate oneself for a small task. Reading just one case or doing just one problem seems possible even when unmotivated.

Take small 5- to 10-minute breaks frequently to focus more effectively.  Spending time over the pages without concentration is counter-productive. Memory organizes and stores information during the break without our being conscious of that ongoing work.

Take a movie break if focus is completely gone. A comedy or animated movie cheers the viewer and adds laughter as good medicine. It is hard to worry about law school in a darkened theater.

Use longer meal breaks to give oneself a release from the grind. Many students have succumbed to the 10-minute microwaved meal at the kitchen counter routine which allows them less relaxation time (and often less nuitrition).

Surround oneself with fellow law students who are motivated rather than with others who have lost their motivation. Beware of the whiners, moaners, and groaners in your classes and give them wide berth.

Ask a spouse, parent, friend, classmate, tutor, pastor, or other person in one's life to give pep talks when needed – by phone if not in person. (As academic success professionals, we often provide this service to our students.)

Post a sheet of paper listing the motivational reasons for coming to law school on the back of the front door of one's apartment.  Read it every day before leaving for classes.

Plan small rewards for small tasks that have been completed.  Make the rewards fun: a run with the dog; a game of catch with a child; a telephone call to a favorite person.

Plan large rewards for large tasks that have been completed.  Make the rewards fun rather than expensive: a legal movie from the law school DVD collection; a free play, concert, or lecture on campus; Frisbee with a group of friends.

Each night before going to bed, read inspirational quotes.  Post inspirational quotes in each room at home.  Carry a page of quotes for quick reference in a notebook that goes to school each day.

In addition to eating three planned meals a day, eat energy snacks to boost blood sugar during the day: raisins; an apple; trail mix; a granola bar. Non-caffeine and non-processed-sugar energy helps fight the doldrums.

Exercise at least 30 minutes three times a week to lower stress and increase energy. The exercise does not have to include fitness machines or exercise classes. Just walking around the campus will energize one.

Get enough sleep! A minimum of 7 hours is needed according to new research. Life and studying always look less onerous with a good night’s sleep. (alj)

October 12, 2006 in Study Tips - General | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

LSAC Southwest Regional On-Line Registration

The on-line registration link is now available for the LSAC Southwest Regional Academic Assistance Training Workshop.  The workshop is being held at Texas Tech University School of Law on November 10 - 11, 2006.  The link to the workshop web site is at LSAC Southwest Regional Workshop.  Registrants will need to make their own flight and hotel reservations.  See the web site for hotel and airline information as well as other details on the workshop.  (alj)

October 10, 2006 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

LSAC Southwest Regional Web Site

The LSAC Southwest Regional Academic Assistance Training Workshop will be held at Texas Tech University School of Law on November 10 - 11, 2006.  The meetings will begin on Friday, November 10th at 12:30 p.m. and continue all day on Saturday, November 11th.  A $50 non-refundable registration fee will be charged.  Registrants will make their own room and flight reservations and pay for the same.  Blocks of rooms have been reserved at two hotels near the TTU campus.

A web site is now available with information about the workshop details: airlines, hotels, meals, tentative agenda, etc.  On-line registration and details on the call for presenters will be available on the web pages by the end of this week.  An update will be posted on this Blog and on the ASP listserv when on-line registration becomes "live" and presenter information becomes available on the web site.  The web pages for the workshop can be found at LSAC Southwest Regional.  (alj)

October 10, 2006 in Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, October 9, 2006

Dealing with Test Anxiety: Now Is the Time to Start

As midterm exams come around, you may be hearing from students who struggle with moderate or severe test anxiety.  One of the key antidotes to test anxiety is, of course, thorough preparation; so students must begin to reduce the power of fear by confronting it with semester-long preparation. 

Some students, however, prepare very well and still find themselves hamstrung by panic during their exams.  Those students need to do more than study well; they need some strategies for reducing that panic, and they need to start putting many of those strategies into effect long before exams begin.  Below is a link that contains some techniques your students can begin to employ now as well as some they can use during their exams to control the fear that can sometimes debilitate even the most prepared student. (dbw)

October 9, 2006 in Exams - Studying, Stress & Anxiety | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)