Bildungsroman wrote:Just use your fountain pens on the mimeographed exams and write fast to save candlelight. This is simple stuff, people!
Seriously, though, a rule against laptops seems increasingly difficult to justify since the legal field, as every other field in the world it seems, is becoming increasingly digitized.
It's a stupid rule b/c it handicaps the pedagogical process, not b/c the field is "increasingly digitized." Surgery's "increasingly robotized," but med students still learn how to use a scalpel.
I am saying that there is no reasonable justification for restricting the use of laptops in class that can be based on the requirements of the profession after graduation. Actually, because lawyers are almost entirely dependent now on computers in their work (for research, for word processing, for organization, etc) removing this competency training from the classroom by banning these important tools of the trade actually works to the detriment of the law student. It not only handicaps the pedagogical process, it also holds students back from adapting their methods in class to the methods they will use in the profession. Do lawyers typically write up documents by hand, or do they type them? Do lawyers typically rely on notes taken by hand, or do they transcribe them with a computer? The fact that lawyers are increasingly reliant on computers means that the restriction on their use is not just hurting their ability to take notes, it's also hurting their ability to be lawyers. One major complaint I hear from law school graduates is that law school teaches the law, but it does a poor job of teaching a student how to be a lawyer. A laptop ban in class only contributes to that problem,
The reason your analogy is so stupid is that it compares apples and oranges. A surgeon learns to use a scalpel because they still need to use a scalpel frequently in their profession. Robotization of surgery is happening, but learning the core competency of scalpel work is still absolutely necessary to be a surgeon. A lawyer, however, does not need to learn how to take notes by hand beyond the basic competency that somebody already brings in that skill from their 12+ years of education up to that point. A lawyer is better served by being encouraged to use the technology that will define their career.