Law School Discussion

"academic steroids" in law school?

boulevardier

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2007, 06:59:00 PM »
Greed makes people shortsighted.

If you have a legitimate reason to use Ritalin/Adderall in law school, then by all means take it.  But if you're planning on taking it illegally, just remember that this is LAW SCHOOL.  Everyone knows about what everyone else does, so if word gets out that you are using stimulants to get an advantage over others, make sure that there will be vengeful people who will not hesitate to report you to the law school and the bar examiners.  I think using stimulants in law school is unethical, especially since aspiring lawyers should be committed to obeying and upholding the law.  If you're planning on using them, be EXTREMELY careful.  I'm sure Adderall is just as prevalent in law school as it is in UG.  In my opinion it would not be in one's benefit to take it though.  Developing work and study habits, and building up your ability to focus is really important, and you will be at a benefit for doing so.  Law school is meant to prepare you for the practice of law, and if you hone your study and work habits in law school, you will be better off in the real world where the demands for good work habits are just as high or higher.  If you cop out of true study and work habits and rely on Adderall, what will happen to you when there is no Adderall around?  It's not like you're going to be able to take the stuff everyday...   

Journeyman

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2007, 07:18:25 PM »
Well, others can just study as hard without the medication (barring medical problems requiring that sort of medicine).  While you may do better with it if you otherwise wouldn't have studied as much, it doesn't mean you'll do better than person A or B.

Studying longer and harder doesn't mean studying better.  Also, you can study as much as you'd like, but natural ability kicks in and if you don't have the ability to grasp the material, you're not going to transcend that.

Of course, I could be living in my own naieve little world.  So, I'd prefer it if you didn't bring it down.

Never done it, but I don't think it gives you a leg up on exam performance.  From what I hear, it helps you concentrate; it doesn't make you smarter.

I do know people with ADD that NEED the medication.  They're completely different when they're on it.  In the case of my friend, he becomes sane but once it wears off later in the night he reverts back to a five year old.

That's the point though...it doesn't have to make you smarter.  But you are able to study, longer and harder because you aren't distracted as easily.  Which would make it the perfect tool around finals time.

Hey, I'm in the same boat. I'm not planning to take meds.  I worked with students for two years that took them.  Scared me.

seb7t

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2007, 07:54:03 PM »
Wow, Caveman-- good thing I've got you as my personal substance counselor.

I mean, clearly the subtext of my post was "justify my use of stimulants to function in law school."

I'm merely curious to know how it compares to Adderall use among undergrads-- for the very reasons you outline. I've got a 1L friend who claims that her whole class is hopped up on ADHD meds, and (for the reasons you so astutely note) I just find it hard to believe you could get away with that throughout law school.

Also, as an above poster discerned-- the meaning of "use" is pretty vague...if "use" constitutes once per semester or year, I don't really see a problem with it. But if "use" means "takes it with her daily multivitamin," then, yeah-- there's clearly an ethical/academic issue at hand (if the person does not, in fact, have ADHD).

Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2007, 08:29:42 PM »
Dude, no one is gonna "report you" for using adderrall in law school. You don't know what you speak of. Last I heard, the law school doesn't drug test and most students wouldn't allow themselves to be tested because it's an invasion of privacy. Perhaps you don't understand what degree of professors smoke out. Not saying it runs rampant, but this is about as silly as filing an honor code violation because so-and-so ran the stop sign in teh law school parking lot. You shouldn't do it (depending on where your conscience is- it's not my place to judge), but the only one who makes taht decision is you. No need to get all high-and-mighty that drugs are bad-the republicans cornered that market with DARE 20 years ago.

seb7t

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2007, 08:36:13 PM »
Oh, man...how great were those "DARE" tshirts...?!
Especially when all the stoner kids starting wearing them in high school.


CavemanLawyer

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2007, 08:45:27 PM »
My question is, if you think it's high and mighty to suggest that it's unethical to take drugs illegally in order to have a chemically-induced advantage over your classmates, why are you studying law in the first place?  If it sounds high-and-mighty to suggest that people follow the law, why are you in law school?   It has nothing to do with drug testing, it has to do with a person informing the law school or the bar examiners of unethical behavior, which I'm sure many people would not hesitate to stoop to, especially if the student is getting high grades and is a potential competitor for jobs etc.  I was just saying that people should be aware of that risk, and take caution to prevent it.  I'm not sure where you go to school, but I'm pretty sure most schools would take the illegal consumption of stimulants as a serious matter that would somewhat question one's character. 

CavemanLawyer

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2007, 08:49:08 PM »
Obviously, this statement:

I have mixed feelings on the topic-- on one hand, I can't say I've never relied on them when in the occasional "Oh sh*t, what have I been doing all semester" moment. On the other hand, it sucks to think you're competing against kids with a "leg up" on exams, etc.

shows that you are debating in your mind whether you should consider using stimulants to gain an advantage in law school.  Please don't act naive, it's pretty clear.  Also, I wasn't directly addressing your post, I was merely writing about whether it's ethical to use them.

Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2007, 08:55:51 PM »
I might suggest using LSAT as a gauge. The same people that plan to use it in law school study used it in LSAT preparation. I suspect I wasn't the only one who, familiar with the powers of Adderal, looked into its efficacy with respect to LSAT scores. I ultimately decided that 1 ) it probably wouldn't help me and 2 ) if it did, I would be condemning myself to an academic (and perhaps professional) career of feeling dependent upon it to perform.

As a side note, I don't think that an accusation of one law student against another of Adderal use would hold any water in the law school administration or in the Bar. Imagine trying to substantiate that accusation. But it is substance abuse (if it isn't prescribed), and I feel like, even if there is no chance it could ever become a public matter, it's still the sort of thing that, deep down, YOU know it.

Thistle

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2007, 09:04:32 PM »
it is extremely prevalent at my law school.

i'm adhd but i dont take them anymore, myself.

CavemanLawyer

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Re: "academic steroids" in law school?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2007, 09:25:06 PM »
If a school or bar examiner were informed that someone might have been using performance enhancing drugs  ;) I'm sure they would at least question the person about it.  Of course it would be easy to deny it, but there's always the possibility that someone might feel guilty about it and would rather choose to be honest with the bar examiners.