Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: RickLax.com on October 07, 2007, 07:20:41 PM

Title: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: RickLax.com on October 07, 2007, 07:20:41 PM
Here's what I figured out after 3 years of law school regarding seating chart penmanship: most professors employ do-it-yourself seating charts, and most professors call on each student only once per semester. If you want to be called on towards the beginning of the semester, write your name in large capital letters and use a felt-tip marker. If you want to be called on towards the end of the semester, write in cursive and use a dull pencil. If your last name is Smith, Jones, or Brown, youíll be called on during the first month of class no matter how illegibly you write. If your last name has four or more syllables, four or more consecutive consonants, an umlaut, or any sort of clicking sound, donít bother doing your reading until the last week of class because you wonít be called on until then. 

If anybody reading this has a complex last name and was called on during the first week of class, I want to hear about it.

-RickLax (http://www.RickLax.com)
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: thorc954 on October 07, 2007, 07:33:52 PM
my school gives the seating charts to a secretary and has her type them up/attach pictures of the class.  :( 
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: eqmassa on October 08, 2007, 11:51:22 AM
In my classes with seating charts, the professor passed around a blank chart and we all filled it in.  We were called on in a random kind of order, I don't think what you said would apply unless the professor had real pronunciation problems...
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: RickLax.com on October 17, 2007, 09:31:40 AM
In my classes with seating charts, the professor passed around a blank chart and we all filled it in.  We were called on in a random kind of order, I don't think what you said would apply unless the professor had real pronunciation problems...

Maybe it only seems random to you...
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: james on October 18, 2007, 09:48:56 PM
I think where a person sits is more important.  In my experience if you sit in the front row you can take at least the first 4-6 weeks off.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: RickLax.com on October 21, 2007, 12:24:08 AM
I think where a person sits is more important.  In my experience if you sit in the front row you can take at least the first 4-6 weeks off.

Yeah, never thought about that...but I don't remember anybody from the front row being called on at the start of class.  Front row + messy handwriting = show up on the last day.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: neon on November 01, 2007, 12:14:55 PM
-)) yes, that is so true! my last name is 4 syllabus, and I sit in the front row. Haven't been called on for 6 weeks. And I also noticed that people in the front row are very rarely called on. Professors would use them as part of hypos, e.g. student&
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: thorc954 on November 01, 2007, 12:36:55 PM
-)) yes, that is so true! my last name is 4 syllabus, and I sit in the front row. Haven't been called on for 6 weeks. And I also noticed that people in the front row are very rarely called on. Professors would use them as part of hypos, e.g. student's name, but would rarely call on them.


Gunner :)~ jk
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: RickLax.com on November 04, 2007, 09:28:03 PM
-)) yes, that is so true! my last name is 4 syllabus, and I sit in the front row. Haven't been called on for 6 weeks. And I also noticed that people in the front row are very rarely called on. Professors would use them as part of hypos, e.g. student's name, but would rarely call on them.


Those hypos are great.  They give the sense you're volunteering...with none of the risk.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: watso059 on December 19, 2007, 11:09:57 PM
This semester, each of my prof's chose names differently:

in Contracts our names were put in a box and pulled out "randomly," but most of us only got hit once

in property, our names were written on index cards and shuffled randomly- I got called on once, but one guy got it 4 times, while others got it 2 or 3...according to whose card came up after the shuffling

in Civ Pro, the prof assigned a number to all of us alphabetically and used a random number generator to assign us a date (unbeknownst to us) for the semester

in Torts, the prof simply looked at the list of names and called on a person randomly--some got it more than once...I never got it

I only missed about 1 day per class, so in the classes I did not get hit much (feels like battleship a little lol), it wasn't b/c I wasn't there
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: flyaway on December 20, 2007, 05:30:58 AM
In one of our classes, it was random name-drawing from index cards.  In one, he basically memorized our resumes and called on us if we had any relevant experience to the case being discussed, and if not you finally got called on sometime toward the end of the semester.  In the other, the class was divided into thirds, and there was only a chance you'd be called on every third day.  Within that, no discernible pattern.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: catchupmidget on December 29, 2007, 09:12:49 AM
My Civ Pro class was only 40 peope and met four times a week. I sat in the second row (there were only three). I was never called on the entire time. My last name has 2 syllables and is a very common and easy to pronounce spanish surname. I think I just lucked out in that class.

However, a girl who was in both my Civ Pro and Property class was called on the 1st two weeks in both classes and her last name was incredibly difficult to pronounce and maybe had 5 syllables.
I think sometimes it depends on the professor.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: flyaway on December 29, 2007, 09:25:32 AM
Check out this excerpt from the New York Times.  I'm in his Con Law class this coming semester:

Every day before his lecture "Introduction to Constitutional Law," Prof. Richard Primus conducts a ritual that Hollywood might call "Socratic method meets social engineering." In an office tucked off the law library stacks, he takes out two piles of index cards adorned with the face-book pictures of his 91 first-year students. Like a blackjack dealer in a casino, he shuffles the piles, which are split by sex, then deals out 10 cards from each, the first step in compiling the list of students to be called on during class.

"I've got three black students out of 20, which is plenty," Professor Primus said one recent morning, now the coach adjusting his lineup. Surveying the selected men, he sighed and sent the top three back to the pile: one had been grilled the day before, another already had four hash marks, indicating the number of times he had been picked, and the third belonged to Richard Hoeg, a white man known throughout campus for his conservative views. "Mr. Hoeg talks every day," Professor Primus explained. "Sometimes he has good things to say, but I don't need to call on him."

Once he had 20 viable cards, the young professor turned to the more delicate process of sequencing, starting with the women's pile. Given the persistent pattern of men speaking more often in classrooms, he tries to pick women two of the first three times he calls on students.

"I want to make sure the conversation in the first few minutes includes some women," he said. "I won't call on three men in a row. It's just too much." The first man in the deck sits too close to the first woman, so he shuffled again. "I want to move the conversation around the room," he said, swapping Kristin Cleary, who sits to the professor's right, for Umbreen Bhatti across the room. Then he picked a man who sits toward the back, then a woman down front. He stopped for a demographic check: two of the first four on the roster were minority women. He was set.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: thorc954 on December 29, 2007, 09:44:54 AM
wow, your professor sounds like a complete and total prick, im glad I dont have him.  Im surprised that a con law professor with some knowledge of the constitution would used racists and sexist methods in choosing his students to be called on. 


my professors use a much better and less assholish method and call on people by going down rows, based on the relation of their undergrad major to the topic of the case, or by trying to create a pattern in the classroom based on the order in which students are selected.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: jacy85 on December 29, 2007, 10:22:16 AM
wow, your professor sounds like a complete and total prick, im glad I dont have him.  Im surprised that a con law professor with some knowledge of the constitution would used racists and sexist methods in choosing his students to be called on. 

I actually don't think that's racist or sexist.  It's constitutional law, and in every Conlaw class I've ever taken, I've found the discussion is far more in depth, varied and interested when a variety of people from different backgrounds speak up.  By making sure he calls on women and minorities, instead of just the conservative white guy who raises his hand all the time, he's trying not only to get everyone to participate, but also to ensure that his class touches upon the various viewpoints that are out there.

I'd actually like to sit in on this prof's class.  I'd think there would be more interesting discussion than there was in my 1L con law class.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: STLGirlAtHeart on January 08, 2008, 12:02:38 PM
Something else to consider: If you have a last name that is first or last in the class alphabetically, you can probably expect to get called on the first day of class. It is easy for the professors to remember that they called on the last/first person on the list than to remember the name of someone in the middle.
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: RickLax.com on February 22, 2008, 01:21:15 PM
My Civ Pro class was only 40 peope and met four times a week. I sat in the second row (there were only three). I was never called on the entire time. My last name has 2 syllables and is a very common and easy to pronounce spanish surname. I think I just lucked out in that class.

However, a girl who was in both my Civ Pro and Property class was called on the 1st two weeks in both classes and her last name was incredibly difficult to pronounce and maybe had 5 syllables.
I think sometimes it depends on the professor.

Wow...really? Then ignore everythign I said, I guess...
Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: RickLax.com on February 22, 2008, 01:22:45 PM
wow, your professor sounds like a complete and total prick, im glad I dont have him.  Im surprised that a con law professor with some knowledge of the constitution would used racists and sexist methods in choosing his students to be called on. 

I actually don't think that's racist or sexist.  It's constitutional law, and in every Conlaw class I've ever taken, I've found the discussion is far more in depth, varied and interested when a variety of people from different backgrounds speak up.  By making sure he calls on women and minorities, instead of just the conservative white guy who raises his hand all the time, he's trying not only to get everyone to participate, but also to ensure that his class touches upon the various viewpoints that are out there.

I'd actually like to sit in on this prof's class.  I'd think there would be more interesting discussion than there was in my 1L con law class.

Close call...when you're discussing, say, race, and the Con Law prof calls on the black guy, isn't he maybe, implicitly, asking him to speak on behalf of all black people, as if they'd all give the same answer?

-LawSchoolBlogger.com

Title: Re: Seating Chart Penmanship
Post by: RickLax.com on May 21, 2008, 11:48:38 AM
Update: the new blog is here: -RickLax (http://www.RickLax.com)