Honor Code Report

May 20, 2011

Last month I got a memo from one of the associate deans about possible honor code violations in the preceding three years.  Here’s the breakdown:

  • 12 potential violations reported
  • 4 were dismissed after initial investigation
  • 1 became moot when the involved student dropped out (I’m guessing this was the book thief)
  • 7 went to administrative disposition
  • 0 went to the Honor Council

Of those seven that went to administrative disposition

  • 4 were found guilty
  • 3 were found not guilty

Two students were put on academic probation.  I think that was in reference to the four found guilty.  Six of the original twelve had grades reduced.

So we’re not a bunch crooks.  That’s good.  Somehow, I would have thought these number would be higher.  Out of 600 odd students a year, only 4 are reported as possibly violating the honor code.  That almost seems too good to be true.

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1L Reflection: Lunch with the Faculty

May 19, 2011

I remember hearing at orientation that lunch with faculty members would be part of the law school experience.  It was so much a part of the experience that some professors apparently established a schedule so they could cycle through everyone.

It didn’t happen.  I never had lunch with a professor.  I never went to office hours, other than for the legal writing conferences.  I think I asked one quesiton of a professor after class, and that wasn’t actually about the  class itself.  I did say “hi” to my professors if I passed them in the hallway.

What to do with the Books

May 18, 2011

As an undergraduate I got in the habit of not selling my books back at the end of a term.  I figured they’d be good references for future classes.  Indeed, just the other day I grabbed by engineering economics book to look up the basic time value of money formula to figure out student loan interest.  There was never any money in selling back books.  What cost me $100 or more would earn me back pennies on the dollar.  Plus, they looked impressive as they gathered on my shelf.

You may have noticed I’m continuing the habit in law school.  But I’m having some doubts.  I think the money is better, around 50% retained value for some books.  The bigger reason is because if I have a question next year or sometime in the future about, say, contract consideration, I’m probably not going to pick up my casebook.  I would turn to my course outline or a current hornbook.  I wouldn’t want to trudge through a bunch of cases again, cases that become less current every day, and attempt to distill a legal principle again.  I’ll just want the answer.

Something for me to ponder…

1L Reflection: Attendance

May 17, 2011

At the start of the year we were told many things.  One of them, emphasized by every student panel we heard, was not to skip class.  The students told us how shocked they had been as 1L’s to see how many people skipped class.  I imagined an epidemic of class skipping.  I imagined large swaths of the classrooms empty.

Lots of people skipping lots of classes didn’t happen.  I guess we took the advice to heart.  Day in, day out, it sure seemed like everyone was there.  I missed two classes.  One was for a job interview and another was because I mixed up which day con law was cancelled for Passover.  Occasionally I’d notice an empty seat where someone normally sat, but attendance really wasn’t the problem I thought it would be.

I think the faculty may have reacted to class skipping in earlier years.  Every class had an attendance policy.  It was typically something like the professor reserved a right to adjust student grades if there were excessive absences.  Contracts was simple: miss more than three classes and you couldn’t take the exam.  A lot of the professors simply put in the syllabus that the attendance policy would be in accordance with the college’s standards.  From what I could find, the college’s standards on attendance were that every professor would have an attendance policy.  So I’m not sure what that added up to.

1L Down

May 10, 2011

The last exam is done, the books are on the shelf, and the first year of law school is over.  One down, two to go, but first it’s summer break.

My Engineering Brothers

May 9, 2011

Today was an absolutely beautiful day so I went for a run to campus.  In the middle of it there were hundreds of students stretched out on the lawn to soak up the sun.  It looked like a beach.  Except for one thing: beaches don’t have groups of civil engineers setting up transits for their land surveying lab.  Ten years ago, as an undergraduate, that would have been me.

Student Loan Debt

May 9, 2011

An ABA article reports that law student debt for student loans has gone up 50% over the last decade.  It’s attributed to rises in tuition.  In round numbers, the average debt is $69,000 for public schools and $106,000 for private schools.  Remember, those are just averages: some are graduating with less, some are graduating with potentially much, much more.  I’m assuming the ABA’s numbers do not include undergraduate debt.  The rule of thumb I’ve often seen and heard repeated is that a graduate should not take on more debt than they expect their new job to pay annually.  I don’t know that the math is going to work out for everyone.

In Memory of Harold Dow

May 8, 2011

I just realized it’s under forty eight hours until the end of the  semester and my first year of law school.  It’s the first time I’ve thought of those things in terms of hours and not months, weeks, or days.  (And my fingers kept wanting to add “years” to that list…)

“The Catcher in the Rye”

May 7, 2011

Having first read the book in tenth grade, I decided to reread “The Catcher in the Rye.”  The first time through I don’t remember being that wowed by it.  Fourteen years later, I got it a little bit more.  Holden is unapologetic.  He’s searching for something.  He can’t stand phonies.  I can understand that, but at the same time he never seems to get anywhere.  It’s like the book keeps plodding along and then just ends more or less cold.  Maybe I was too naive in tenth grade to fully appreciate it and maybe I’m too old now to really connect with it.

Apartment Keypad Lock

May 7, 2011

The apartment management has put a keypad door lock on the exterior door to my apartment.  The way the apartments are set up, there’s eight of them off a stairwell that has the door to the exterior.  That’s the door that now has a keypad lock.  I can appreciate how this addition probably does improve security but I also think it’s silly to have done.

  • The door doesn’t shut all the way on its own so the keypad protected lock doesn’t engage unless the door is pulled shut.
  • It sure looks like there’s a lock on the interior.  I really don’t need some joker to lock the exterior door from the inside with me outside.
  • Does this mean UPS and FedEx packages are just going to be left at the exterior stoop?
  • I can’t imagine the code for the keypad is going to be protected like a state secret.

On the other hand, it should prevent people who don’t belong here from sleeping in the stairwell. Although I’ve never witnessed that happening.