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Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:47 pm
by JK42
Hello,

One of my friends is experiencing a difficult situation with the law school I recently joined as a 1L. He asked me what I think and I don't know what to tell him. I want to know what you all think.

He says the issue is that the professor in one of his classes plagiarized most of his final exam questions from another exam posted online by a professor from another law school(the answers were also posted online). The problem is that many students used the online exam as samples/practice exams to prepare for their exam days before the final. So they technically had the answers fresh in their minds which threw off the curve in the class. He feels his grade in the class is not fair due to this.

He petitioned the school, and they said that there was no abuse of discretion. He called the assistant dean, and caught the guy in couple lies. He first said that there was no proof of anybody really seeing the answers before the exam, but my friend gave him proof (the online exams, and told him he had names of people who saw the sample exams before the real exam). Then the dean changed his story and said that he had the list of who saw it and who didn't and adjusted the grades appropriately because he was notified the day after the exam that it was plagiarized so grades were adjusted before they were sent out (something about eliminating their grades to calculate my friend's grade?)...to this my friend asked him if he asked everyone in class if they saw it or not, and he said no. My friend believes there was no such adjustment.

He came to the conclusion after talking to the assistant dean that the school also believes this situation is wrong but they are trying to sweep this under the rug.

I see his argument, and I am a little alarmed that people of position would lie like that (especially at the school I attend)

What do you guys think?

Thank you,
Thomas

Edit: This happened before? What was the outcome in those cases? Maybe those outcomes can be used as guidance or advice for my friend!

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:56 pm
by Adjudicator
I wanna know what school we're talking about here!

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:01 pm
by bk1
Didn't this happen recently at some school in DC?

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:03 pm
by xyzzzzzzzz
pretty sure this was on atl a while ago.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:10 pm
by KibblesAndVick
IIRC the story from a little while ago ended with the professor realizing half the class had seen the answers ahead of time and punishing them because of it. This situation seems different in that someone who didn't stumble upon the model exam wants justice.

If this is true I feel bad for the kid. It's all kinds of stupid to administer an exam that's available online when law school grades count for so much.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:13 pm
by zanda
something like this happened at NYU... I think they had 2 separate curves but I'm not positive.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:28 am
by Pip
JK42 wrote:Hello,

One of my friends is experiencing a difficult situation with the law school I recently joined as a 1L. He asked me what I think and I don't know what to tell him. I want to know what you all think.

He says the issue is that the professor in one of his classes plagiarized most of his final exam questions from another exam posted online by a professor from another law school(the answers were also posted online). The problem is that many students used the online exam as samples/practice exams to prepare for their exam days before the final. So they technically had the answers fresh in their minds which threw off the curve in the class. He feels his grade in the class is not fair due to this.

He petitioned the school, and they said that there was no abuse of discretion. He called the assistant dean, and caught the guy in couple lies. He first said that there was no proof of anybody really seeing the answers before the exam, but my friend gave him proof (the online exams, and told him he had names of people who saw the sample exams before the real exam). Then the dean changed his story and said that he had the list of who saw it and who didn't and adjusted the grades appropriately because he was notified the day after the exam that it was plagiarized so grades were adjusted before they were sent out (something about eliminating their grades to calculate my friend's grade?)...to this my friend asked him if he asked everyone in class if they saw it or not, and he said no. My friend believes there was no such adjustment.

He came to the conclusion after talking to the assistant dean that the school also believes this situation is wrong but they are trying to sweep this under the rug.

I see his argument, and I am a little alarmed that people of position would lie like that (especially at the school I attend)

What do you guys think?

Thank you,
Thomas

Edit: This happened before? What was the outcome in those cases? Maybe those outcomes can be used as guidance or advice for my friend!


1st some professors are lazy. Your friend should have said nothing and simply used the fact that the next test was likely to be pulled from the same source as his new study method.

2nd so what. Your friend could have pulled any of those old test himself but he didn't. Because he didn't get lucky he is now upset. Life isn't fair and he should deal with it.
3rd your friend has no honor. The other people in the class that had seen the answers didn't know they were seeing the answers they were just lucky... yet your friend tried to get them all in trouble by providing some "list"... that isn't someone I would ever want to associate with... he is toxic.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:41 pm
by keg411
There has to be more to this story. Exams are pretty professor-specific, so I can't see randomly finding sample exams online is helpful in terms of studying. How would the other students have known to look for this particular exam? Sounds like some older students let some of the 1L's know where the professor gets his exam questions from and your friend wasn't one of them. Either that or they were able to decipher where else to get information from when looking at the prof's old exams and model answers. I think your friend is SOL.

BTW, I think this is part of the reason why some of the profs at my school have begun to give multiple exams.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:43 pm
by desperate4lawschool
Pip wrote:1st some professors are lazy. Your friend should have said nothing and simply used the fact that the next test was likely to be pulled from the same source as his new study method.
2nd so what. Your friend could have pulled any of those old test himself but he didn't. Because he didn't get lucky he is now upset. Life isn't fair and he should deal with it.
3rd your friend has no honor. The other people in the class that had seen the answers didn't know they were seeing the answers they were just lucky... yet your friend tried to get them all in trouble by providing some "list"... that isn't someone I would ever want to associate with... he is toxic.


+1

I don't think that your friend is upset at the fact that the professor was lazy or that the other students were lucky and won the law school lottery. He appears to be upset at the fact that he didn't see the exam ahead of time and as a consequence, didn't fare well on the curve. That's unlucky, but not unethical on any party. I'd be upset too if I didn't see the exam ahead of time, but I would probably have sucked it up or told myself that I should've been able to do well with or without seeing the exam ahead of time.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:59 pm
by Lucidity
desperate4lawschool wrote:
Pip wrote:1st some professors are lazy. Your friend should have said nothing and simply used the fact that the next test was likely to be pulled from the same source as his new study method.
2nd so what. Your friend could have pulled any of those old test himself but he didn't. Because he didn't get lucky he is now upset. Life isn't fair and he should deal with it.
3rd your friend has no honor. The other people in the class that had seen the answers didn't know they were seeing the answers they were just lucky... yet your friend tried to get them all in trouble by providing some "list"... that isn't someone I would ever want to associate with... he is toxic.


+1

I don't think that your friend is upset at the fact that the professor was lazy or that the other students were lucky and won the law school lottery. He appears to be upset at the fact that he didn't see the exam ahead of time and as a consequence, didn't fare well on the curve. That's unlucky, but not unethical on any party. I'd be upset too if I didn't see the exam ahead of time, but I would probably have sucked it up or told myself that I should've been able to do well with or without seeing the exam ahead of time.


I call bullshit on this. I totally do not agree with either of these apologists. First of all, he said it was a FINAL EXAM. Final, as in, last and only exam. What "next" exam are you thinking of? While it is true that he is "unlucky" in that he did not see the plagiarized exam beforehand like his classmates, this sort of "luck" should never have been part of the equation anyways. His classmates might not have been unethical if they did not know the exams they studied would show up on the final, but his professor certainly was. Like we all know, exams in law school is graded upon a curve. You can't just tell the man to "suck it up" because he should have performed well despite his handicap, because his grade is not only dependent on how well HE does, but also relies on how well HIS CLASSMATES do. The prof is clearly in the wrong, but at this point I'm not really sure what you can do to remedy the situation.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:28 pm
by Pip
Lucidity wrote:
desperate4lawschool wrote:
Pip wrote:1st some professors are lazy. Your friend should have said nothing and simply used the fact that the next test was likely to be pulled from the same source as his new study method.
2nd so what. Your friend could have pulled any of those old test himself but he didn't. Because he didn't get lucky he is now upset. Life isn't fair and he should deal with it.
3rd your friend has no honor. The other people in the class that had seen the answers didn't know they were seeing the answers they were just lucky... yet your friend tried to get them all in trouble by providing some "list"... that isn't someone I would ever want to associate with... he is toxic.


+1

I don't think that your friend is upset at the fact that the professor was lazy or that the other students were lucky and won the law school lottery. He appears to be upset at the fact that he didn't see the exam ahead of time and as a consequence, didn't fare well on the curve. That's unlucky, but not unethical on any party. I'd be upset too if I didn't see the exam ahead of time, but I would probably have sucked it up or told myself that I should've been able to do well with or without seeing the exam ahead of time.


I call bullshit on this. I totally do not agree with either of these apologists. First of all, he said it was a FINAL EXAM. Final, as in, last and only exam. What "next" exam are you thinking of? While it is true that he is "unlucky" in that he did not see the plagiarized exam beforehand like his classmates, this sort of "luck" should never have been part of the equation anyways. His classmates might not have been unethical if they did not know the exams they studied would show up on the final, but his professor certainly was. Like we all know, exams in law school is graded upon a curve. You can't just tell the man to "suck it up" because he should have performed well despite his handicap, because his grade is not only dependent on how well HE does, but also relies on how well HIS CLASSMATES do. The prof is clearly in the wrong, but at this point I'm not really sure what you can do to remedy the situation.


Yes he used the word final... but lets be real here. The school year has only now started to no one would be taking a final at this point.... If this is something that happened last year and he is only now yammering about it then he is yelling past the due date. Life isn't fair, and even if it were a final he would know that in the future classes with the professor would be easy so long as you pulled old tests from the same source.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:41 pm
by Baylan
Pip wrote:
Lucidity wrote:
desperate4lawschool wrote:
Pip wrote:1st some professors are lazy. Your friend should have said nothing and simply used the fact that the next test was likely to be pulled from the same source as his new study method.
2nd so what. Your friend could have pulled any of those old test himself but he didn't. Because he didn't get lucky he is now upset. Life isn't fair and he should deal with it.
3rd your friend has no honor. The other people in the class that had seen the answers didn't know they were seeing the answers they were just lucky... yet your friend tried to get them all in trouble by providing some "list"... that isn't someone I would ever want to associate with... he is toxic.


+1

I don't think that your friend is upset at the fact that the professor was lazy or that the other students were lucky and won the law school lottery. He appears to be upset at the fact that he didn't see the exam ahead of time and as a consequence, didn't fare well on the curve. That's unlucky, but not unethical on any party. I'd be upset too if I didn't see the exam ahead of time, but I would probably have sucked it up or told myself that I should've been able to do well with or without seeing the exam ahead of time.


I call bullshit on this. I totally do not agree with either of these apologists. First of all, he said it was a FINAL EXAM. Final, as in, last and only exam. What "next" exam are you thinking of? While it is true that he is "unlucky" in that he did not see the plagiarized exam beforehand like his classmates, this sort of "luck" should never have been part of the equation anyways. His classmates might not have been unethical if they did not know the exams they studied would show up on the final, but his professor certainly was. Like we all know, exams in law school is graded upon a curve. You can't just tell the man to "suck it up" because he should have performed well despite his handicap, because his grade is not only dependent on how well HE does, but also relies on how well HIS CLASSMATES do. The prof is clearly in the wrong, but at this point I'm not really sure what you can do to remedy the situation.


Yes he used the word final... but lets be real here. The school year has only now started to no one would be taking a final at this point.... If this is something that happened last year and he is only now yammering about it then he is yelling past the due date. Life isn't fair, and even if it were a final he would know that in the future classes with the professor would be easy so long as you pulled old tests from the same source.


Summer class.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:48 pm
by Fark-o-vision
Pip wrote:
Lucidity wrote:
desperate4lawschool wrote:
Pip wrote:1st some professors are lazy. Your friend should have said nothing and simply used the fact that the next test was likely to be pulled from the same source as his new study method.
2nd so what. Your friend could have pulled any of those old test himself but he didn't. Because he didn't get lucky he is now upset. Life isn't fair and he should deal with it.
3rd your friend has no honor. The other people in the class that had seen the answers didn't know they were seeing the answers they were just lucky... yet your friend tried to get them all in trouble by providing some "list"... that isn't someone I would ever want to associate with... he is toxic.


+1

I don't think that your friend is upset at the fact that the professor was lazy or that the other students were lucky and won the law school lottery. He appears to be upset at the fact that he didn't see the exam ahead of time and as a consequence, didn't fare well on the curve. That's unlucky, but not unethical on any party. I'd be upset too if I didn't see the exam ahead of time, but I would probably have sucked it up or told myself that I should've been able to do well with or without seeing the exam ahead of time.


I call bullshit on this. I totally do not agree with either of these apologists. First of all, he said it was a FINAL EXAM. Final, as in, last and only exam. What "next" exam are you thinking of? While it is true that he is "unlucky" in that he did not see the plagiarized exam beforehand like his classmates, this sort of "luck" should never have been part of the equation anyways. His classmates might not have been unethical if they did not know the exams they studied would show up on the final, but his professor certainly was. Like we all know, exams in law school is graded upon a curve. You can't just tell the man to "suck it up" because he should have performed well despite his handicap, because his grade is not only dependent on how well HE does, but also relies on how well HIS CLASSMATES do. The prof is clearly in the wrong, but at this point I'm not really sure what you can do to remedy the situation.


Yes he used the word final... but lets be real here. The school year has only now started to no one would be taking a final at this point.... If this is something that happened last year and he is only now yammering about it then he is yelling past the due date. Life isn't fair, and even if it were a final he would know that in the future classes with the professor would be easy so long as you pulled old tests from the same source.


"Life isn't fair so suck it up" seems like a weird response from a future lawyer. Maybe this is what everyone means when they say "thinking like a lawyer." You're right, of course, but isn't it--theoretically, anyway--the purpose of the profession to remedy this as often as possible? Sucking it up and accepting what appears to be an unfair circumstance smells like the wrong kind of dinner for a future lawyer.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:47 pm
by Pip
Fark-o-vision wrote:
"Life isn't fair so suck it up" seems like a weird response from a future lawyer. Maybe this is what everyone means when they say "thinking like a lawyer." You're right, of course, but isn't it--theoretically, anyway--the purpose of the profession to remedy this as often as possible? Sucking it up and accepting what appears to be an unfair circumstance smells like the wrong kind of dinner for a future lawyer.


You can be a lawyer or you can be an advocate for some cause... a lawyer will accept that laws often suck and simply make the best of it and move on down the road and advocate will fight for change and rarely be successful. It is better to make your money and move on and let someone else fight the windmills... and I'm not a future lawyer, I'm a former lawyer I escaped to greener pastures.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:11 am
by dalilama
Something very similar to this happened years ago at my school, pre-internet. A professor got hired from another school, and his first year teaching decided to use the same exam he had used his last year at his old school. A few kids in his class had written to the old school for copies of his old exams to use as practice tests(obviously unaware they would have the actual final in their hands). Apparently, after the finals, the students went to the dean, fearing that they would be considered cheaters. The school decided that the opportunity had been there for all the students to do, it wasn't unheard of for students to use past exams as study guides and/or for professors to re-use an old exam question, and therefore those grades stuck. But the sheer odds of being forced into a curve with uber-dorks who hunt down old finals in the days of mailings and waiting for responses, it just seems unfair to anyone who got a B+. Oh well..

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:31 am
by d34d9823
Fark-o-vision wrote:"Life isn't fair so suck it up" seems like a weird response from a future lawyer. Maybe this is what everyone means when they say "thinking like a lawyer." You're right, of course, but isn't it--theoretically, anyway--the purpose of the profession to remedy this as often as possible? Sucking it up and accepting what appears to be an unfair circumstance smells like the wrong kind of dinner for a future lawyer.

Pretty sure actual lawyers make their money by manipulating the rules to create unfair situations.

Re: Law School Ethical Violation?

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:32 am
by d34d9823
zanda wrote:something like this happened at NYU... I think they had 2 separate curves but I'm not positive.

Yeah it was on ATL. I don't remember either, but I don't see how you could have two curves because then the real advantage goes to the people who saw the test and wouldn't admit it.