Education Questions

Q. Where do I find my section number?

A. That information will be sent to you by Student Affairs via e-mail by July 18.

Q. As a 1L, will I have class every day?

A. Yes, you will have class Monday – Friday. See the Course Schedules page.

Q. How will I know what classes to register for?

A. Classes are already set for 1Ls. Student Affairs will register you for your classes this summer. After you are assigned your section by July 18, you can look it up in the Course Schedules page.

Q. What is a casebook? What is a hornbook?

A. The casebooks are the assigned texts for the semester and contain cases which are supposed to illustrate a given principle of law. Hornbooks, which are also called treatises, are usually written by a noted legal scholar in the particular field of law and it is designed to explain certain legal theories and principles that are sometimes difficult to get from the casebook method alone.

Q. How long are classes?

A. A period is 50 minutes. Most classes are one period, but some are longer. Classes start on the hour.

Q. How many people are in each class?

A. In first year classes, there are 100 students per class, except for section classes divided in half and identified as A & B and writing and research courses, which are much smaller. In upper level classes, the number of students range from about 10-100, but most are smaller than 100.

Q. Do law students have access to law school areas after-hours?

A. Yes. Use your Gator 1 card to access the building. There is a swipe device installed near certain doors.

Q. Where can I find the required textbooks for class?

A. Once you are registered by the Office of Student Affairs, which will be by July, you can find your required textbooks on ISIS.
  • Go to ISIS.
  • On the left-hand side under “My Textbooks” select “Fall Term.”
  • Log into ISIS using your GatorLink username and password.
  • A list of textbooks based on your class schedule will be displayed.

If you don’t have a GatorLink account yet, you can create an account using the “Create Account” link on https://login.ufl.edu/.  You will need your UFID number.

If you do not know your UFID number, go to http://www.it.ufl.edu/ufid/. In the middle of the page you will see “What’s my UFID”. Please follow the steps to see your UFID number. If you have any trouble please call the UF Helpline at 352-392-HELP. Once you have your UFID return to the Gatorlink Account Creation link to create an account.

Course Textbooks Requirements Page: This is a page to look up textbooks for any class using the UF course (i.e. Law 5100) and section (i.e. SEC 4585) numbers (see attached course schedule).

  • Go to the Course Textbooks Requirements Page.
  • Select “Fall Term 2014″
  • Select “Law”
  • Select a “Course Number.” The Fall Term 2014 class schedule with course and section numbers is available on the law school’s Student Affairs Web site. Select the appropriate section for the course number previously selected. The list of textbooks for that Course Number selected will be displayed.

Q. Where should I buy my books?

A. Some buy books online through Web sites like Amazon or Half.com, and others buy their books at the UF bookstore on the Law School Campus.

Q. Does the UF Law Bookstore offer deferments?

A. Yes, they do.

Q. How long does it usually take books to arrive if you order them online?

A. Online book deliveries depend on the site and whether or not you are buying from another student who is selling them used online or from a retail store. Some students have had problems with books taking a long time to arrive or the wrong books arriving in the mail, but other students have saved a lot of money this way, too.

Q. Are there copies of supplements for our classes in the library?

A. Yes, they are located behind the circulation desk at the law library.

Q. Should I join a study group or try to hack it on my own?

A. This is another idea to experiment with, as some study groups work well together and others are not as helpful. It’s a good idea to find people with similar study habits, instead of just friends that you hang out with, so that when it comes to studying, you actually do it, rather than socialize. Study groups can be especially helpful when it comes to preparing for upcoming exams and going over a professor’s old exams. Talk to your Student Ambassador about the pros and cons and your personal study habits.

Q. What other libraries are available other than the law school library and where are they located? Do the other libraries have designated areas for graduate students?

A. As a UF student, you are permitted to use all other UF libraries and library resources on campus, with the same rights and privileges you have in the law library. Accordingly, other UF students (i.e., non-law students) are permitted to use the law library. Library West is a popular one with law students because the sixth floor can only be accessed by graduate students. Just make sure to go to the circulation desk at Library West and have them activate your card for the grad level in advance. The process takes 24 hours.

Q. Is the law library open during Saturday home football games?

A. No, because the campus is taken over by tailgating football fans. You could study hard during the week so you can take off a Saturday and enjoy the spectacle that is “game day in the Swamp!” Or, you can visit one of the other libraries on campus that will be open.

Q. How can I print and/or copy on campus? How much does that cost?

A. Printing is run by the main campus UF Academic Technology Labs. It costs $.10 per single-sided page, $.08 per double-sided page, and $ .75 per colored page, which is billed directly to your student account. Laser printers are located in the copy room on the first floor of the library and in the cafeteria in Bruton-Geer Hall. To set up wireless printing, go to http://guides.law.ufl.edu/studentprinting.
There is free printing for Lexis information and these printers are located in the cafeteria and in the library as well. You can also print for free at the Reitz Union, 250 pages per semester. Please see their website at: http://www.sg.ufl.edu/Services/PrintingLab.

Q. What are the pros and cons of writing your notes vs. typing them on the computer in class?

A. It is a personal preference, but generally laptops can be helpful because you can type a lot of notes and then quickly access them for future outlining and studying needs. The main problem with typing your notes is that some students then become stenographers, instead of note-takers, collecting way too much information. In addition, many students use computers inappropriately and get distracted by surfing the web or chatting between students. By contrast, handwriting your notes can be helpful because you often take better notes and have less reason to be distracted, so you may get more out of class. However, many students then need to access their notes on the computer and this requires typing them into Word or OneNotes. This process sometimes helps students to reinforce concepts and serves as a way to study, though. Please note that some professors will require you to use one method versus the other (required to use laptops as you may be asked to look things up in the middle of class or laptops are not permitted).

Q. What are eLearning, TWEN, and WebCourses?

A. Many professors use online course management systems, such as eLearning, TWEN, and WebCourses, as an extension of the classroom. In addition, many of the organizations on campus use these systems to communicate with members. You will receive instructions on how to register for these services at ILSP and will then be able to access online course materials.

Q. How long will I spend on homework each night?

A. It depends on your professors, but generally 1-2 hours per night per class per credit hour. Assignments for other classes, such as Legal Research and Legal Writing, often take a lot more time. You will also need to factor in the amount of time you will need to outline each evening.

Q. What is outlining? How do I do that?

A. It is a process of tailoring your information gleaned from your notes and other sources to develop a study guide for the class. The best ones are under 50 pages and some professors allow students to use their outlines during the test. Outlining doesn’t work for everyone and how you outline can vary by course. In addition, JMBA has an outline bank of successful students in past classes broken down by professor, and these outlines can sometimes be helpful.

Q. What’s the first day of class going to be like? How do I know if I have first day assignments?

A. It will depend on the class and the professor. In order to be as prepared as possible, be sure to check the First Day Assignments page and do whatever is required of you. Continue to check up until school starts as some faculty submit first day assignments close to the beginning of the semester.

Q. What is the best way to prepare for my first class?

A. Read and think about whatever was assigned. In addition to reading assigned material and being familiar with it, we suggest that students take notes on each assigned case so that the facts, reasoning employed by the court, and the rule announced by the case will be easily accessible. Some professors list first day assignments on the UF Law website and some professors do start calling on students the very first day.

Q. Should I buy anything besides my textbooks to read for class?

A. We recommend that you ask your professors about their particular classes. We do not recommend buying supplements before classes start. Buying additional supplemental materials can be helpful, but it’s important to look through the various types and come up with which type works best. Supplements can help with outlining and application of the concepts learned in class. You can get the older versions of the supplements online as well for a lot cheaper than the newer versions.

Q. Does every professor use the Socratic Method and randomly call on students?

A. The Socratic Method is employed differently depending on the professor. In order to be prepared for it, make sure to read whatever information you are expected to before class.

Q. Why is it helpful to read case opinions and how useful are supplemental materials?

A. We recommend that you ask your professors about their particular classes. The case method is designed to make each student think about the case and the holding in order to discover which legal principle or rule of law is being discussed. While some students do well by this method, others find it helpful to use supplemental materials to help them appreciate the important points of a case. As a first year student, it is a good idea to see which study methods are recommended by your professors and which are the most helpful to you through experimentation with different types of supplements in addition to reading the casebook.

Q. Do I need to bring my laptop to class every day, or is it o.k. to take hand-written notes?

A. It depends on the professor, as some encourage laptops and others do not allow them. Please ask your professors if they do not make this clear the first day of class.

Q. Do I need to bring my books to class?

A. Absolutely, unless your professor tells you it is not necessary! You will probably have to refer to your text if you are on call or refer to it when your professor discusses cases.
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