Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Law School Ethical Violation?  (Read 2283 times)

pacelaw2013

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2010, 12:39:51 PM »
Quote
Like I stated in my earlier post, this happened to a friend.  Not sure why people can't read properly

Thats the thing, the way you are complaining about it and are passionate about it, makes it seem like we are reading between the lines just right. ;)

But you are right, I have not yet started law school, I start next week. I have went through forced curves in undergrad during a couple of classes. I have a clue, though I am not pretending to know what it is exactly like.

I also do not see how it is cheating? Did the students print out the suggested answer? Or did they know in advance those were the quetsions? Or did they manage to just stumble upon them luckily? If they happend to study a random question and that got chosen, then I just say, good for them, they got extremely lucky. If they had prior knowledge that the question was going to be asked, then yes, that would be cheating, but you didn't say they knew the question was going to be asked.

If so many people studied the practice exam with the answer, why didn't your friend? Alot of times when the teachers give practice exams out, it isn't to throw you a curve ball, its to say, HERE IS WHAT TO STUDY. If your friend didn't take advantage of that tool, then shame on him/her.
Independence forever.

John Adams' last public words

JK42

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2010, 12:57:53 PM »
Pacelaw, my friend asked me for advice, I'm not sure what to tell him, and I happened to come here because it is a law school forum to see what other law students think.  I thought discussing was different from complaining.  I'm not sure why you think I sound passionate, I might sound concerned because it is a school that I attend also, and like I stated I'm alarmed because if I have some trouble or concerns, these people don't seem like the type that would care.

Again, I think you are misreading my earlier post.  My friend's prof did not hand out any practice exams.  Some students googled "practice/sample law school exams" for the subject that this professor was teaching and they came upon ANOTHER professor's exam/answer key from another school from a previous semester and they studied this.  The actual exam was the exact copy of the sample exam.

pacelaw2013

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2010, 01:03:58 PM »
So they googled a test on the same subject and it just so happend to be used for the test.

I fail to see how they cheated? Did your friend not have internet? Why did so many people find this online, but he/she could not? They were usuing available information prior to the test to prepare themselves. They have done nothing wrong. And many professors use the same test (I have been told by numerous people, and is actually mentioned in the thread). Knowing this, wouldn't studying prior exams be a good habbit to get into?

The only thing I can say is learn from you're friend's mistake and take advantage of other tests.
Independence forever.

John Adams' last public words

pacelaw2013

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2010, 01:06:41 PM »
Part of doing well in school is doing your homework. Part of doing your homework, is figuring out what the professor is likely to ask. The only way you can do that is seeing what professors have asked before. Your friend didn't do his/her homework as well as others. It sucks, but thats life.
Independence forever.

John Adams' last public words

JK42

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2010, 01:12:13 PM »
I think he did more than enough.  He studied notes, other sample law exams posted online, supplements, and took out this professor's sample exams from previous semesters that were put on reserve at the library.  Anyways, good luck at pace, read carefully :)

Edit: You seem to miss the entire point of the situation affecting his grade and overall rank.  I don't think this is a "oh well, too bad, life is unfair" situation.  Some students had answers, some did not...I think it's unfair.

pacelaw2013

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2010, 01:17:21 PM »
Ahhh...see, I didn't say he didn't do enough, I said he didn't do it as well.

I mean, is it fair, no, its not. But then again, is have a class rank decided by one test per class fair? Is you future school decided on a standardized test with no real law in it fair? Is a person in the admissions office deciding if you have the mental capacity to do law school fair?

Your friend got unlucky, and the others in the class got lucky. Its what it came down to. The ethical problem would come if the professor told the students to look at that exact copy (wink wink sort of thing), yes that would be a major problem. But if they managed to look at the exact test the teacher copied from, then well, thats pretty good luck, and good for them. They guessed right. Sometimes, thats just what life comes down to, guessing right.

Independence forever.

John Adams' last public words

john4040

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 471
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2010, 01:22:58 PM »
Some students had answers, some did not...I think it's unfair.

What is unfair is not necessarily unlawful or unethical.  Your post asked whether there was a law school ethical violation.  The answer is no.

pacelaw2013

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2010, 01:28:01 PM »
Edit: You seem to miss the entire point of the situation affecting his grade and overall rank.  I don't think this is a "oh well, too bad, life is unfair" situation.  Some students had answers, some did not...I think it's unfair.

What I understand is alot of students found the exam just fine. Your friend didn't. Its bad luck. The same thing if you study a topic for hours and it doesn't end up on the exam, and others studied another topic and it ended up on the exam, is it fair your topic didn't end up on the exam? No.

Look, your friend did the same exact thing as them. He studied former exams, if his exam came up on the test would he put in ethical questions? No. It sounds more the reason he is mad is because HE didn't look at the copied exam.
Independence forever.

John Adams' last public words

JK42

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2010, 01:39:40 PM »
Some students had answers, some did not...I think it's unfair.

What is unfair is not necessarily unlawful or unethical.  Your post asked whether there was a law school ethical violation.  The answer is no.

Yea, I think its definitely unfair but you're right that was my question.  Doesn't ABA (or someone) have rules and standards that is required by law schools to follow?  I just wanted to look into that. 

Ok, so it might not be an ethical violation, but do you think he has any recourse because the consequences have such a big impact on him and others.
Edit: You seem to miss the entire point of the situation affecting his grade and overall rank.  I don't think this is a "oh well, too bad, life is unfair" situation.  Some students had answers, some did not...I think it's unfair.

What I understand is alot of students found the exam just fine. Your friend didn't. Its bad luck. The same thing if you study a topic for hours and it doesn't end up on the exam, and others studied another topic and it ended up on the exam, is it fair your topic didn't end up on the exam? No.

Look, your friend did the same exact thing as them. He studied former exams, if his exam came up on the test would he put in ethical questions? No. It sounds more the reason he is mad is because HE didn't look at the copied exam.

First, this is not an issue of luck between students.  The exam itself is invalid, the professor should not have copied and pasted an exam that had answers online.  If some students were not penalized for not seeing the exam/answers, this would not be a problem.  But do you get that it adversely affects him.  He is graded against his contemporaries who had answers.

And studying something and it not being on an exam is a completely different situation. 

Morten Lund

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 259
    • View Profile
Re: Law School Ethical Violation?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2010, 03:09:44 PM »

What is unfair is not necessarily unlawful or unethical.  Your post asked whether there was a law school ethical violation.  The answer is no.

I think this about sums it up.  "Fair" is a concept built on the assumption that there is an outside authority there to enforce justice in social interactions.  We learn this as children when parents not only tell us to play fair, but make us play fair.  A complaint of "that's not fair" is essentially a plea to some authority to fix the injustice.

Adult life, however, is mostly free of "fair," and indeed one of the lessons of adolescence is to abandon "fair" as an objective standard and instead internalize it as a personal guiding principle.

Your friend should view this experience as a valuable lesson in real life.  Expecting an outside authority to swoop in and undo the injustice is a futile remnant of youthful thinking.