About the handful of law school students who get "time-and-a-half" to take their exams.
When someone first mentioned the existence of this practice to me yesterday, I was incensed. How can a few students in the Darwinian academic crucible of a law school exam period get special treatment? The exam in each course amounts to THE ONLY factor in our grade for the course, so it is the end-all-be-all for months of work and study.
But, sure enough. Take a keen look around the room as the exam is being handed out. You will notice that a few individuals from the course are...not present at all.
The individuals whose grades benefit from this perk will not be given an extra day to file a brief beyond its deadline. They will not be given extra time to review a merger document. They will not be given extra time to object in court. And thus it is rather outrageous that they are given a helping hand in the proving ground for lawyers. Law school is the place where a potential lawyer's skills are honed and tested on as even a playing field as possible. As flinty as it may sound, it is not a place where individual disabilities should be factored into the competition's outcome.
Even worse, apparently at least one individual who benefits from the practice made it onto law review. How is that fair? I am sure my grades would improve, too, if I had 50% more time on each of seven exams in my first year! This type of result, at the very least, should be avoided.
I wonder how the people who failed a course last year would feel if they knew that certain individuals in the class avoided failing on the curve because they got a break. I wonder how individuals who missed getting on law review or moot court board - or failed to meet a certain key GPA benchmark for employment purposes - would feel if they knew their spot was taken by someone who got to use a crutch that those other individuals did not get to employ.
I see the impetus behind the move - help those who have some disability so they have an equal shake. But in practice this is no equal shake - it's an overcompensation that is fundamentally unfair, especially in the context of law school. For the value of my law degree, I want every individual who graduates from this institution to be qualified - straight up without caveats - to practice law competently.
I believe I have a number of friends in the law school who benefit from the time-and-a-half exception. While I continue to respect them as individuals, and I count myself as fortunate enough to have no learning-based disability, I cannot in any way respect the institutionalized practice of permitting such an exception that undercuts my own hard work and attempt to play fair. Time-and-a-half is wrong.
The time-and-a-half option for law school exams should be abolished. If it is mandated by some legal framework, that framework should be amended to eliminate the requirement.