Cheaters. What would you do?

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cavalier1138

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 2:49 pm

nixy wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:Forget about it and move on with life. If you snitch, nothing is going to happen to the "cheaters," and everyone will think that you suck.

Did no one else go to a school with an honor code? I don’t think it’s a given nothing will happen to them, or that everyone will know who reported.


I'm starting to think that these people cheated in school and have weird hangups about being "turned in."

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:24 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
nixy wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:Forget about it and move on with life. If you snitch, nothing is going to happen to the "cheaters," and everyone will think that you suck.

Did no one else go to a school with an honor code? I don’t think it’s a given nothing will happen to them, or that everyone will know who reported.


I'm starting to think that these people cheated in school and have weird hangups about being "turned in."

NO CHEATING! The failing @nixy and @cavalier1138 wrote Fake posts today implying that Councelors have a duty to be John Dean type 'RATS.' Time for the Witch Hunt to END!

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby ClubberLang » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:47 pm

nixy wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:Forget about it and move on with life. If you snitch, nothing is going to happen to the "cheaters," and everyone will think that you suck.

Did no one else go to a school with an honor code? I don’t think it’s a given nothing will happen to them, or that everyone will know who reported.


Did you read OP's recitation of facts? It's hardly damning. I attended a law school with an honor code. I also attended law school with my future colleagues and clients. Think about the long game here. Certainly you don't turn these individuals in unless you can prove they cheated, which, based on the below, OP can't.

"I know for a fact that one of the student's said she submitted her memo to her "tutor for editing." My school (a) doesn't provide tutors, and (b) explicitly prohibits outside collaboration with third-parties. As far the students' collaborating went, I didn't oversee them bartering for paragraphs anything, but they were reading over each other's printouts. Prof. instructed all students to "work individually," which could be interpreted in more than one way, I suppose."

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby nixy » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:11 pm

I agree about the students collaborating with each other. The tutor part seems more clear cut. But also I don’t think the standard for reporting is that you have to be able to prove it’s actually cheating - that’s why schools investigate.

I wouldn’t actually be at all psyched about turning anyone in, I just find the idea that it would be “tattling” or “snitching” weird in a group of lawyers, since lawyer ethics requires you to do that where necessary.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby toast and bananas » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:40 pm

nixy wrote:I wouldn’t actually be at all psyched about turning anyone in, I just find the idea that it would be “tattling” or “snitching” weird in a group of lawyers, since lawyer ethics requires you to do that where necessary.


Literally nobody is saying anything to the contrary though. Maybe it matters less in the context of an anonymous law student, but I take half of this thread's point to be that there can be very real social and professional ramifications to snitching that aren't anything to brush off.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:01 pm

toast and bananas wrote:
nixy wrote:I wouldn’t actually be at all psyched about turning anyone in, I just find the idea that it would be “tattling” or “snitching” weird in a group of lawyers, since lawyer ethics requires you to do that where necessary.


Literally nobody is saying anything to the contrary though. Maybe it matters less in the context of an anonymous law student, but I take half of this thread's point to be that there can be very real social and professional ramifications to snitching that aren't anything to brush off.


There are also social ramifications that result from adults unironically using the term "snitching."

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby ClubberLang » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:04 pm

nixy wrote:I agree about the students collaborating with each other. The tutor part seems more clear cut. But also I don’t think the standard for reporting is that you have to be able to prove it’s actually cheating - that’s why schools investigate.

I wouldn’t actually be at all psyched about turning anyone in, I just find the idea that it would be “tattling” or “snitching” weird in a group of lawyers, since lawyer ethics requires you to do that where necessary.


Well, the OP provided the supposedly relevant portion of his/her honor code:

"[if student] believes a significant problem that directly implicates the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA standards has the right to file a complaint regarding that problem."

This in no way creates a duty to report, so you can drop that nonsense. I also don't think overhearing someone say they gave something to a tutor is at all "clear cut." Without a duty to report, it's perfectly reasonable for the OP to assess "what's in it for me" with this decision, which in this case is all bad (become hated by students, lose respect of administration, professors, etc...).

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby toast and bananas » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:31 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
toast and bananas wrote:
nixy wrote:I wouldn’t actually be at all psyched about turning anyone in, I just find the idea that it would be “tattling” or “snitching” weird in a group of lawyers, since lawyer ethics requires you to do that where necessary.


Literally nobody is saying anything to the contrary though. Maybe it matters less in the context of an anonymous law student, but I take half of this thread's point to be that there can be very real social and professional ramifications to snitching that aren't anything to brush off.


There are also social ramifications that result from adults unironically using the term "snitching."


How else do I make certain that my colleagues know that snitches get stitches?

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby nixy » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:42 pm

ClubberLang wrote:
nixy wrote:I agree about the students collaborating with each other. The tutor part seems more clear cut. But also I don’t think the standard for reporting is that you have to be able to prove it’s actually cheating - that’s why schools investigate.

I wouldn’t actually be at all psyched about turning anyone in, I just find the idea that it would be “tattling” or “snitching” weird in a group of lawyers, since lawyer ethics requires you to do that where necessary.


Well, the OP provided the supposedly relevant portion of his/her honor code:

"[if student] believes a significant problem that directly implicates the school’s program of legal education and its compliance with the ABA standards has the right to file a complaint regarding that problem."

This in no way creates a duty to report, so you can drop that nonsense. I also don't think overhearing someone say they gave something to a tutor is at all "clear cut." Without a duty to report, it's perfectly reasonable for the OP to assess "what's in it for me" with this decision, which in this case is all bad (become hated by students, lose respect of administration, professors, etc...).

I should have been clearer, I wasn’t talking specifically about that language in the OP’s honor code creating a duty to report, just more generally about contexts where there is a duty.

I don’t actually think that the dire consequences you outline are inevitable. Plenty of people in this thread were pro-turning in people who may have cheated, so not all students would hate them. I also have no idea why you think professors and administrators would lose respect for someone who wanted to maintain the school’s academic integrity.

And to be even more clear: I agree that that language doesn’t impose a duty to report, that OP isn’t obligated to, and that they can weigh the pros and cons themselves. Again, I just find it strange that lawyers respond so *negatively* to the very idea.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby ClubberLang » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:56 pm

Is there anything to be gained, other than a false sense of being virtuous, by turning in the "cheater?" You've admitted that there is no duty to do so. Why would you then? The risk of social consequences is real.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:11 pm

ClubberLang wrote:Is there anything to be gained, other than a false sense of being virtuous, by turning in the "cheater?" You've admitted that there is no duty to do so. Why would you then? The risk of social consequences is real.

Your question is fatally flawed, because:
  • It assumes a complete lack of any actual virtue in reporting unethical conduct ("false sense of being virtuous").
  • It fights the underlying premise of the discussion - what to do when cheating has occurred - by assuming that the cheater was actually innocent (putting scare quotes around the word "cheater").
  • It assumes that lawyers - or law students - (should) only ever take actions they are legally obligated to do, and should never take any actions they aren't legally obligated to do. Or at least, lawyers/law students should never do anything they aren't legally obligated to do if there's no defined personal benefit in return and there is nonzero risk. This logic would appear to bar, inter alia, performing pro bono work and donating to charitable organizations.
  • It assumes that the reporter's identity would inevitably become (widely) known.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby ClubberLang » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:23 pm

QContinuum wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:Is there anything to be gained, other than a false sense of being virtuous, by turning in the "cheater?" You've admitted that there is no duty to do so. Why would you then? The risk of social consequences is real.

Your question is fatally flawed, because:
  • It assumes a complete lack of any actual virtue in reporting unethical conduct ("false sense of being virtuous").
  • It fights the underlying premise of the discussion - what to do when cheating has occurred - by assuming that the cheater was actually innocent (putting scare quotes around the word "cheater").
  • It assumes that lawyers - or law students - (should) only ever take actions they are legally obligated to do, and should never take any actions they aren't legally obligated to do. Or at least, lawyers/law students should never do anything they aren't legally obligated to do if there's no defined personal benefit in return and there is nonzero risk. This logic would appear to bar, inter alia, performing pro bono work and donating to charitable organizations.
  • It assumes that the reporter's identity would inevitably become (widely) known.



Interesting post.

To your points:

My question did assume a complete lack of any actual virtue in reporting this situation. What is the virtue in doing so?
Perhaps OP should assess how strong the evidence is before deciding whether or not to go forward.
Not even close. Nice red herring on the pro bono though, and nice use of inter alia.
Correct. I'm assuming the "cheater" wouldn't confess to cheating without understanding the evidence against him/her. Do you disagree?

I'll try and ask a two less objectionable questions. First, what is the benefit to be gained in reporting the suspected cheating? Second, do you deny that the reporter faces a real risk of social consequences?

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:36 pm

ClubberLang wrote:To your points:

My question did assume a complete lack of any actual virtue in reporting this situation. What is the virtue in doing so?

You don't think there's virtue in helping to maintain academic integrity? Are you in favor of students hiring others to write their papers and take their final exams for them? What about students bribing professors?

ClubberLang wrote:Perhaps OP should assess how strong the evidence is before deciding whether or not to go forward.

Absolutely, which is what I was driving at in my very first post ITT. I don't think anyone should report based on vague, secondhand rumors, as rumors are often inaccurate. I think my personal standard would be "more likely than not" that cheating had occurred. That's the standard of proof in civil cases, so it ought to be good enough to support filing a report (not even adjudicating guilt, merely filing a report and allowing the school to investigate). What's your proposed standard of proof?

ClubberLang wrote:Correct. I'm assuming the "cheater" wouldn't confess to cheating without understanding the evidence against him/her. Do you disagree?

Why do you assume the cheater must confess? We convict folks in criminal cases all the time without confessions - surely the school could potentially find a cheater guilty and impose academic sanctions without a confession. And why do you assume that the cheater would be entitled to know the identity of the tipster? This isn't a criminal case where the Sixth Amendment applies.

ClubberLang wrote:I'll try and ask a two less objectionable questions. First, what is the benefit to be gained in reporting the suspected cheating?

As folks have pointed out over and over again, law school courses are graded on a curve. To the extent that one's classmates fraudulently improve their class performance by cheating, that directly harms OP.

ClubberLang wrote:Second, do you deny that the reporter faces a real risk of social consequences?

I don't accept the underlying assumption, which is that the reporter must go public in order to report.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby nixy » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:48 pm

ClubberLang wrote:Is there anything to be gained, other than a false sense of being virtuous, by turning in the "cheater?" You've admitted that there is no duty to do so. Why would you then? The risk of social consequences is real.

Yes - that possible cheating is investigated and, if found to have happened, punished, which is likely to deter cheating in the future. Cheating sucks and people shouldn't do it. Not sure why that's controversial. If you want to call that a "false sense of being virtuous," go ahead, but that's kind of depressing, dude.

And as already mentioned, it's not criminal court with confrontation rights. The OP could likely report anonymously. And as I already mentioned, I don't agree with your assessment of the risk of social consequences. I'd actually respect someone who reported for doing so, especially given some of the responses in this thread. ("Snitches get stitches" isn't really a condemnation of the snitches.)

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby tommy77 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:01 pm

Dr Disrespect wrote:Students in my section collaborated on their memos assignments. Pretty sure one of them hired an editor, too. I'm typically not the competitive type, but in a T15 can I afford not mentioning this to someone? I'm pretty irked. Just looking to feel everyone's temperature on this. Thanks.

First try to find out more info. If it still seems likely they cheated, report it.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:23 pm

I also like the underlying assumption from the snitches-get-stitches crowd that reporting offenses like this is automatically viewed in a negative light. If your classmates are not generally unethical pieces of trash and/or 12 years old, there's no reason that this would be the default response. Many/most decent people report something wrong when they see it, and the general populace doesn't actually think poorly of them for it.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby PanjandrumOfReason » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:48 am

This thread should be linked in any thread asking how cutthroat law students are.

Personally, I would assess the possible consequences to the alleged cheater and determine if I believe those consequences to be appropriate for the severity of the alleged cheating. I would absolutely not report if this could get the alleged cheater expelled or even if this could result in the alleged cheater failing the class. Don't ruin someone's life merely because they had their paper edited. Should any law school applicant who had their personal statement edited have all their admissions rescinded? Focus on your own work and make it better than the work of the alleged cheater and their tutor. And in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing to lose sleep over.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby nixy » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:01 am

I'm not even certain that I would report under these circumstances, but the arguments in favor of not reporting just make so little sense. Your PS isn't graded on a curve against those of all your fellow applicants and you aren't certifying to the school that you didn't receive any help of any kind on it. It's just not the same thing at all. Your future work as a lawyer won't be done in 3-4 hour increments without access to resources or consultation with others, but that's what your exams will be like and you have to follow those rules regardless. Also, even if the OP made their work better than the cheaters', there's the whole rest of the class - someone would be affected. Finally, the reporter wouldn't be ruining anyone's life - the person who decided to cheat would be doing that to themselves. It seems much more cutthroat to me not to report because you think snitches get stitches than to report.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:07 am

PanjandrumOfReason wrote:This thread should be linked in any thread asking how cutthroat law students are.

Personally, I would assess the possible consequences to the alleged cheater and determine if I believe those consequences to be appropriate for the severity of the alleged cheating. I would absolutely not report if this could get the alleged cheater expelled or even if this could result in the alleged cheater failing the class. Don't ruin someone's life merely because they had their paper edited. Should any law school applicant who had their personal statement edited have all their admissions rescinded? Focus on your own work and make it better than the work of the alleged cheater and their tutor. And in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing to lose sleep over.


Does "edited" mean "written for them?" Because that would change my answer.

I don't know why not cheating is such a hangup for some students. Just fucking do your own work.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby Atmosphere » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:37 am

QContinuum wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
nixy wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:Forget about it and move on with life. If you snitch, nothing is going to happen to the "cheaters," and everyone will think that you suck.

Did no one else go to a school with an honor code? I don’t think it’s a given nothing will happen to them, or that everyone will know who reported.


I'm starting to think that these people cheated in school and have weird hangups about being "turned in."

NO CHEATING! The failing @nixy and @cavalier1138 wrote Fake posts today implying that Councelors have a duty to be John Dean type 'RATS.' Time for the Witch Hunt to END!

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby acr » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:08 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
PanjandrumOfReason wrote:This thread should be linked in any thread asking how cutthroat law students are.

Personally, I would assess the possible consequences to the alleged cheater and determine if I believe those consequences to be appropriate for the severity of the alleged cheating. I would absolutely not report if this could get the alleged cheater expelled or even if this could result in the alleged cheater failing the class. Don't ruin someone's life merely because they had their paper edited. Should any law school applicant who had their personal statement edited have all their admissions rescinded? Focus on your own work and make it better than the work of the alleged cheater and their tutor. And in the grand scheme of things, this is nothing to lose sleep over.


Does "edited" mean "written for them?" Because that would change my answer.

I don't know why not cheating is such a hangup for some students. Just fucking do your own work.


You seem weirdly aggressive toward people who don't agree with the idea of ratting out fellow classmates and human beings. Bad experience?

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby ClubberLang » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:32 am

nixy wrote:I'm not even certain that I would report under these circumstances, but the arguments in favor of not reporting just make so little sense. Your PS isn't graded on a curve against those of all your fellow applicants and you aren't certifying to the school that you didn't receive any help of any kind on it. It's just not the same thing at all. Your future work as a lawyer won't be done in 3-4 hour increments without access to resources or consultation with others, but that's what your exams will be like and you have to follow those rules regardless. Also, even if the OP made their work better than the cheaters', there's the whole rest of the class - someone would be affected. Finally, the reporter wouldn't be ruining anyone's life - the person who decided to cheat would be doing that to themselves. It seems much more cutthroat to me not to report because you think snitches get stitches than to report.


You might be getting some support in this echo chamber, but your viewpoint is objectively bizarre, and is contrary to values that most children learn in kindergarten. Don't cheat. Don't tattle. Mind your own business. Value relationships. It's not that hard.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby nixy » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:40 am

ClubberLang wrote:
nixy wrote:I'm not even certain that I would report under these circumstances, but the arguments in favor of not reporting just make so little sense. Your PS isn't graded on a curve against those of all your fellow applicants and you aren't certifying to the school that you didn't receive any help of any kind on it. It's just not the same thing at all. Your future work as a lawyer won't be done in 3-4 hour increments without access to resources or consultation with others, but that's what your exams will be like and you have to follow those rules regardless. Also, even if the OP made their work better than the cheaters', there's the whole rest of the class - someone would be affected. Finally, the reporter wouldn't be ruining anyone's life - the person who decided to cheat would be doing that to themselves. It seems much more cutthroat to me not to report because you think snitches get stitches than to report.


You might be getting some support in this echo chamber, but your viewpoint is objectively bizarre, and is contrary to values that most children learn in kindergarten. Don't cheat. Don't tattle. Mind your own business. Value relationships. It's not that hard.

I promise you I know many people who share what you consider the bizarre belief that if you do something wrong you face the consequences of doing so and brought those consequences on yourself. (If you report an assault are you ruining the life of the person who committed the assault?) Not sure how you square both “don’t cheat” and “don’t tattle” at one and the same time, or how reporting something someone’s done wrong doesn’t “value relationships” (which relationships with whom?).

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:43 am

acr wrote:You seem weirdly aggressive toward people who don't agree with the idea of ratting out fellow classmates and human beings. Bad experience?


Nope. Just a halfway-decent human being who doesn't like to see assholes win. I know, weird, right?

ClubberLang wrote:You might be getting some support in this echo chamber, but your viewpoint is objectively bizarre


Nah. Try again.

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Re: Cheaters. What would you do?

Postby ClubberLang » Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:46 am

nixy wrote:
ClubberLang wrote:
nixy wrote:I'm not even certain that I would report under these circumstances, but the arguments in favor of not reporting just make so little sense. Your PS isn't graded on a curve against those of all your fellow applicants and you aren't certifying to the school that you didn't receive any help of any kind on it. It's just not the same thing at all. Your future work as a lawyer won't be done in 3-4 hour increments without access to resources or consultation with others, but that's what your exams will be like and you have to follow those rules regardless. Also, even if the OP made their work better than the cheaters', there's the whole rest of the class - someone would be affected. Finally, the reporter wouldn't be ruining anyone's life - the person who decided to cheat would be doing that to themselves. It seems much more cutthroat to me not to report because you think snitches get stitches than to report.


You might be getting some support in this echo chamber, but your viewpoint is objectively bizarre, and is contrary to values that most children learn in kindergarten. Don't cheat. Don't tattle. Mind your own business. Value relationships. It's not that hard.

I promise you I know many people who share what you consider the bizarre belief that if you do something wrong you face the consequences of doing so and brought those consequences on yourself. (If you report an assault are you ruining the life of the person who committed the assault?) Not sure how you square both “don’t cheat” and “don’t tattle” at one and the same time, or how reporting something someone’s done wrong doesn’t “value relationships” (which relationships with whom?).


The bizarre belief is that you as an individual are somehow responsible for making sure those consequences are faced.



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