Revolution Spreads to Miami

Via Jeff Gamso, while oppressed people in the middle east risk their lives for freedom, law students at the University of Miami Law School join the fight for their rights.  They don’t risk physical harm in their quest for freedom, but merely humiliation for demanding their own Bill of Rights. 

The Chi-Chi Guevera behind this act of insurrection, Megan somebody (she mumbles) who informs that she’s “not a politician,” as if someone might be confused, explains:

Despite her year and a half in law school, Megan somebody says that “she’s yet to be satisfied with her legal education.”  I was heartened to hear that, since her satisfaction is important to me and lawyers everywhere.  Go Megan somebody!

Unfortunately, her “frustration” wasn’t that shared by the legal profession relating to the quality of education and its relevance to the practice of law. Rather, it was the lack of control by law students, left to the “whims” of professors “because the system doesn’t provide law students with resources in which to keep professor behavior in check.”

Poor Megan somebody isn’t going to be happy when she learns that she’s not going to be able to keep judge’s behavior in check either.  To the extent there’s any point to a legal education, at least she’s learning that frustration at being subject to the whims of others is part of the job.

Here are her demands:

They’re a bit hard to read, as Megan somebody chose to use some cute font to make it appear handwritten, like that other Bill of Rights.  Needless to say, they fall somewhat shorter on the lofty goals scale.  Don’t strain your eyes trying to figure out what Megan is fighting for.  It’s not worth the effort.

On the one hand, I admire any law student willing to make an effort to do, well, anything that doesn’t directly involve getting a job, a car or sex.  That said, this effort is slightly misguided.  There is a reason why we don’t give law students the “resources” to dictate their education to their professors, or inmates the keys to the asylum. 

The gist of the “rights” can be easily summed up: They don’t want to be compelled to learn anything they won’t be tested on, and don’t want to be graded on anything they have been expressly told will be on the test. Fair, right?  Just as courts will never expect them to be minimally competent in their chosen area of practice if their professor didn’t cover it in class.

It almost seems disingenuous at this point to invoke the Slackoisie, entitled to the right to dictate their legal education as if becoming a lawyer is their cash-and-carry right, and since they are saddled with their lay-away debt, at least they should be able to demand that it be tied up in a pretty bow.

The bad news for Megan somebody is that neither attending law school, nor entering a profession, comes with the promise that the experience will be fun and sufficiently convenient that students need not reach any further, try any harder, learn any more, than can fit in a blue book.  Frustration is very much part of the lesson, as is recognizing that a student has no right to an easy and pain-free grade.

Like Megan, I share concerns about lawprofs’ whims, particularly given that their focus on their scholarly interests often does little to prepare students to practice law.  There are demands that I would support, like bringing the theoretical back to earth, and expecting applicability of the lesson to the courtroom rather than a lawprof’s pie-in-the-sky anticipation of what they think the law ought to be.  Students don’t attend law school to ponder the majesty of the theoretical, but to learn how to be lawyers.

But as much as I’m troubled by leaving such decisions in the hands of lawprofs, I would much prefer that than putting into the hands of law students, especially students whose primary concern is limiting the scope of their studying to what will get them to happy hour on time.

Megan somebody’s “vote” on the student bill of rights was supposed to come and go last week.  What became of this initiative is unclear, and I’ve seen nothing about the outcome.  Regardless, it’s not like unanimous approval by the law student body means anything, as the faculty has not, to my knowledge, handed over control to the masses. 

That said, it would be wonderful if Megan and her fellow law students took this political zeal and put it to use for a cause of far greater significance.  Perhaps the right to wear flip-flops in class.  Or do they already have that right?

10 thoughts on “Revolution Spreads to Miami


    I have two demands:

    1. I want someone to remove the imprint of my fingertips from my forehead, and;

    2. I want to know where the line is of people who want to apologize to me for telling me that law students today are no different than they’ve ever been.

  2. SHG

    That’s a damn fine shine you have on those wingtips. Did you do it yourself or have it done professionally?

  3. Aaron G

    Wow. Just wow. I’m glad that’s not the Florida law school I attend.

    It’s ok, though. The type of student that complains about the “wrongs” this bill of rights purports to protect against is the type of student that really doesn’t do all that well.

    I admit I couldn’t get through the whole thing. The mix of modern English and cliche conlaw speak was atrocious. Of what I did read, I found it lacking of any interest in actually pursuing a legal education — rather, it’s interested only in securing, as if entitled, of the benefit of that education (without having to really work for it).

  4. John Burgess

    Well, she’s sorta cute. Maybe that’ll be enough to progress her through her chosen profession. Or, she might fine a more suitable profession, like dominatrix or something, where she’s in control…

  5. Brian Gurwitz

    There is something wonderful about her firm declaration that her professors are engaged in abusive practices that violate human rights, that she knows better how to fix the world, and that her idiotic Bill of Rights will make a difference.

    May each of her professors stop feeling offended, and realize that her behavior is indistinguishable from how they appear each time they sponsor a faculty resolution, declaring their views about the unfairness of some issue that has nothing to do with teaching people to become good lawyers.

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