should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

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victortsoi
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should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby victortsoi » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:46 am

So I have somewhat conservative tendencies (less against NSA spying than most, for example). I am taking a seminar where half of our final exam will be more policy based. Our professor is a huge liberal and although he's supposed to grade according to how our arguments make sense, I worry that if I say take a stand he disagrees with, I'll be penalized (maybe subconsciously). I'd write a better exam though, writing for something I actually believed was true than contorting my brain to get fired up to agree with professor.

What do I do?

BigZuck
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby BigZuck » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:47 am

victortsoi wrote:So I have somewhat conservative tendencies (less against NSA spying than most, for example). I am taking a seminar where half of our final exam will be more policy based. Our professor is a huge liberal and although he's supposed to grade according to how our arguments make sense, I worry that if I say take a stand he disagrees with, I'll be penalized (maybe subconsciously). I'd write a better exam though, writing for something I actually believed was true than contorting my brain to get fired up to agree with professor.

What do I do?


Write whatever will get you the best grade possible

kaiser
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby kaiser » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:00 am

victortsoi wrote:So I have somewhat conservative tendencies (less against NSA spying than most, for example). I am taking a seminar where half of our final exam will be more policy based. Our professor is a huge liberal and although he's supposed to grade according to how our arguments make sense, I worry that if I say take a stand he disagrees with, I'll be penalized (maybe subconsciously). I'd write a better exam though, writing for something I actually believed was true than contorting my brain to get fired up to agree with professor.

What do I do?


If you write better when you actually believe in the cause, or truly and personally stand behind what you are writing, then you are in for a real shock when you enter actual practice. In the everyday practice of law, you often have to write out and defend positions that you may personally disagree with or find less than savory, and you damn well better not write with any less force or passion in doing so. Yeah, it sometimes takes a mental contortion to get behind what you are writing and the positions you are espousing and defending. But better to learn that skill now.

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jbagelboy
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby jbagelboy » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:28 am

argue both sides as forcefully as possible. don't make any hasty judgments or normative assumptions, and as long as your conclusions are well reasoned and balanced, you shouldn't run into a political bias issue. usually the soundest legal position will reflect the facts and the available readings more than your personal predilections anyway.

victortsoi
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby victortsoi » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:02 am

I can argue well for something I don't believe, if I believe there is an ethical and good faith legal case that could be made. As I said, this will be a policy, not a legal argument. Also, prof doesn't like middle of the road when it comes to policy!

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sublime
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby sublime » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:13 am

..

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North
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby North » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:02 am

jbagelboy wrote:argue both sides as forcefully as possible.

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Avian
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby Avian » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:46 pm

If you can convincingly argue the professor's side, just do it. People subconsciously pick apart things that they disagree with even if they're trying to just evaluate the quality of the arguments. Also you professor will probably have thought a lot about why the other side is wrong, so your arguments may have to be that much more convincing. I'm sure you could do well either way assuming the professor does legitimately try to grade fairly, but if you feel that you are equally capable of coming down on his side I would go for it. Of course lay out both sides well since that will probably have a bigger effect on your grade than if you come out the way the professor thinks is right.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:44 pm

Just say "conservatives would say X" and "liberals would say Y." If you're conservative, you probably understand the counter arguments to your beliefs and how to strike them down. Just conceal your disdain for liberals and present both arguments as objectively as possible. Policy exams are fucking stupid.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:47 pm

sublime wrote:Or just be liberal.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:49 pm

kaiser wrote:
victortsoi wrote:So I have somewhat conservative tendencies (less against NSA spying than most, for example). I am taking a seminar where half of our final exam will be more policy based. Our professor is a huge liberal and although he's supposed to grade according to how our arguments make sense, I worry that if I say take a stand he disagrees with, I'll be penalized (maybe subconsciously). I'd write a better exam though, writing for something I actually believed was true than contorting my brain to get fired up to agree with professor.

What do I do?


If you write better when you actually believe in the cause, or truly and personally stand behind what you are writing, then you are in for a real shock when you enter actual practice. In the everyday practice of law, you often have to write out and defend positions that you may personally disagree with or find less than savory, and you damn well better not write with any less force or passion in doing so. Yeah, it sometimes takes a mental contortion to get behind what you are writing and the positions you are espousing and defending. But better to learn that skill now.


Yeah this. Think Jewish lawyers defending Nazi's rights to protest in Skokie.

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fats provolone
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby fats provolone » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:49 pm

my experience with conservatives on the internet is that they really have their finger on the pulse of what libs think about issues, so it shouldn't be hard for you to argue that side.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby Ron Don Volante » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:56 pm

fats provolone wrote:my experience with conservatives on the internet is that they really have their finger on the pulse of what libs think about issues, so it shouldn't be hard for you to argue that side.

:lol:

kaiser
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Re: should i censor my politics on a policy-based exam?

Postby kaiser » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:41 am

victortsoi wrote:I can argue well for something I don't believe, if I believe there is an ethical and good faith legal case that could be made. As I said, this will be a policy, not a legal argument. Also, prof doesn't like middle of the road when it comes to policy!


Thats a silly distinction and shouldn't make a difference. Stop telling us what you can't do, and do what you need to do.

The best tip I can give is to learn to lie to yourself. Because your argument will never be foreceful and powerful if you are conscious of the fact that you can't really stand behind it, or don't really agree with it. That is the case for either legal or policy argument. You literally need to convince yourself that you care about the point being made, and can make it with force. Its not enough to say "ok, I'll try and write what a liberal would say". When you write that answer out, you need to tell yourself that you are the most bleeding heart liberal imaginable. And more importantly, you need to essentially believe it.




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