Paul L. Caron
Dean




Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Columbia Law School Lets Students Postpone Exams Due to Grand Jury Decisions; Harvard, Georgetown Students Demand Similar Treatment

Wall Street Journal, Columbia Law School Lets Students Postpone Exams Due to Grand Jury Decisions:

Columbia LogoColumbia University Law School is allowing its students to reschedule their exams if they feel traumatized by the recent grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.

The school’s interim dean, Robert E. Scott, notified students of the option in an email circulated to the student body on Saturday on the eve of the December exam period.

“The grand juries’ determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally,” Mr. Scott’s letter said. “For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality.”

As a result, “students who feel that their performance on examinations will be sufficiently impaired due to the effects of these recent events may petition [head of registration services] Dean Alice Rigas to have an examination rescheduled,” he wrote. ...

Mr. Scott said the option to postpone a test was “in accordance” with the school’s existing examination policies. The school typically allows students to reschedule an exam because of an illness, religious observance, a death in the family, or other exceptional circumstances.

Mr. Scott said in the email that the school has also arranged for a “trauma specialist” to come by the Manhattan campus this week to meet with any students in need of counseling. And several faculty members are holding special office hours for students “to talk about the implications of the Brown and Garner non-indictments,” he said.

Update:

National Law Journal, Minority Push to Delay Finals Spreads to Georgetown Law:

[A] group called Students of Color at Georgetown University Law Center on Monday issued a call for diversity-related reforms and requested exam extensions for “students who have been deeply and psychologically affected by recent events.”

Administrators at Georgetown Law, where final exams begin Tuesday, had not responded publicly to the request as of this report.

New York Post, Selective Coddling at Columbia Law:

Here’s some free legal advice: Don’t hire a lawyer with a degree from Columbia. Those great minds may have high LSAT scores and pass the bar with flying colors.

But when it comes to an actual trial, they’ll probably crack under the pressure. ...

These young men and women are training to be lawyers. What would happen if they were actually involved in one of these cases? No indictment? Sorry, I need to spend the day trembling with rage and sorrow in my office. Can’t take any calls today. I’m meeting with my shrink.

Legal Insurrection, Harvard Law Students Also Demand Exam Delay Due to Ferguson and Garner:

Harvard Law School, are demanding similar treatment, as well as excoriating the HLS administration for not publicly feeling their pain.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/12/columbia-law-school-.html

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