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Author Topic: Mandatory Attendance  (Read 4014 times)

Comm-Law

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Mandatory Attendance
« on: August 28, 2005, 12:06:29 PM »
How are various schools approaching attendance?

I was somewhat shocked to find that every course at UToledo passes an attendance sheet around every day.  The school rants about the honor system and how we need to act like responsible adults and we have an obligation to attend and do our best and not cheat and report cheating, etc. etc.  Yet they institute a grammer-school-like attendance policy that results in automatic failure of a class if you miss a certain number of classes.  In particular, Legal Writing is the most harsh with TWO allowed abscenses this semester and only ONE allowed abscense next semester (and no... your sick/skip days don't carry).  Seems that I'll be attending class with some very sick people at some point this year because it doesn't seem to be an option to stay home with the flu, pnemonia or strep-throat!

So... how are the other schools handling this subject?  Are most as hard-nosed regarding attendance?  UToledo appears to attribute (blame) the entire policy on that of the ABA.  Noting that regular attendance is prescribed by ABA rules.  However, there does seem to be an inconsistant application of that policy.  One of my courses allows 5 days missed and another 4, and another only 2.  Seems to me that the rule is arbitrary.

Don't get me wrong... I intend to attend the vast majority of my classes.  If I'm investing 100K-200K into this venture, I WANT to get something out of it.  But, what I anticipate would be a system that doesn't set artificial lines as to the number of days that can be missed.  Do we really want to encourage extremely sick people to attend class (and thus spread it to the health ones)?  Do we want to discourage students from taking advantage of opportunities to attend "law-related" conferences, interviews, or other out-of-school events?  It somehow seems wrong to put such emphasis on attendance as to threaten failure upon a relatively small number of abscenses.

- Comm-Law

 

zaphod

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2005, 12:35:17 PM »
No mandatory attendance, although I think there is a minimum percentage of classes you need to attend, but I think the percentage is so high it can hardly be referred to as "mandatory attendance."
Don't Panic

lincolnsgrandson

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2005, 02:45:25 PM »
grading based on attendance can be a hoax.  Most professors don't want to grade based on anything besides the exam. Ask the upper level students whether the professors' demands are legit. 
And I agree with you that your school is treating you like children.  I don't think the ABA's standards are as strong as your professors.

Comm-Law

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2005, 04:31:36 PM »
No one here has suggested that grades are based on attendance.  Rather attendance is just a requirement.  If you miss more than X number of classes in a semester you may not sit for the final.

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2005_2L

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2005, 04:56:44 PM »
My school has mandatory attendance, and it usually works something like this: You may miss X number of classes without any effect on your grade.  If you miss any over that amount, your grade is dropped one level (i.e. a B becomes a B-) for EACH absence over the allowed number.  The professors are allowed to set the number of classes you may miss, with most choosing to give us somewhere around 4-6.  Many of them base the allowed absences on the number of times per week that the class meets.  I do have one professor that says you get X number of absences, and anything higher than that results in an F.  In every one of my classes we either sign a roll sheet or the professor takes attendance from a seating chart.

My opinion is that (a) we are paying BIG bucks to go to law school, and that is incentive enough to attend and (b) if you're smart enough to miss a lot of class and still ace the final, more power to you.  People should be responsible for their own choices regarding how well they want to do in law school.  I know the ABA requires a certain level of attendance, but I'm also getting really tired of unnecessary rules.

Furthermore, one of my pet peeves is when a professor tries to show how much "control" s/he has over the class.  We are adults, and we are here to learn.  We are not here to be intimidated or to hear how great you think you are.

eray01

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2005, 02:10:35 AM »
2005 2l's policy is what is generally followed at my school. I think it's the ABA's policy too. I do have one professor who is particularly harsh. You're allowed three absences, and then he drops you from the class. Here's the harsh part: getting caught unprepared equals an absence. The good news is he allows for doctor's appts. and the occasional car trouble if you call before class.

slacker

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2005, 09:52:14 PM »
Where I'm at, depends on the class/professor. My Civ Pro prof. took attendance last year, but most don't. I have one professor this year that will call on a range of people (based on last name) regardless of if they're there or not. If you're not there, you need to get your own "sub" to answer, so the prof. doesn't have to monitor who is/isn't there.

I think I missed 1-1/2 classes during 1st year....1 for an interview and 1/2 for oversleeping from turning in a brief. At the price I'm paying for law school, not going doesn't make any sense to me.

emarejay

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2005, 08:17:48 PM »
In particular, Legal Writing is the most harsh with TWO allowed abscenses this semester and only ONE allowed abscense next semester (and no... your sick/skip days don't carry).  Seems that I'll be attending class with some very sick people at some point this year because it doesn't seem to be an option to stay home with the flu, pnemonia or strep-throat!


I think that the attendence policy for our class was written by the head of the LRW program and that it is the same for all of the classes. I may be wrong though. Anyways, our teacher in particular seems like if you really have to miss, she will excuse it. I scheduled an interview for a summer job for this coming Tuesday when I was under the assumption that there was no class. Today after she changed that, I spoke with her and she was totally cool about it and told me not to worry about it at all. I still may be able to get to class though. It will be a close call.

Im starting to think that the administration is breathing down their necks to enfore strict attendence. Then like you said, the teachers don't want to come off like that so they just blame it on the ABA.

All in all, the policy is bull. Like you, Id attend class regardless, but things do happen and if you are on the verge of death or in your case you have a kid home sick or in the hospital, attending a pretty unfulfilling class should be the last thing on your mind.

squarre

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2005, 08:22:54 PM »
The attendance policies in general are mandated by the ABA.  Of course professors change them around somewhat but the ABA requires a minimum number of classroom hours per hour of credit.

eray01

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Re: Mandatory Attendance
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2005, 09:25:04 PM »
I think the ABA mandates that students attend at least 15% of the scheduled class sessions.