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December 22, 2009


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one person's opinion

Pass fail is the least bad of the options, I suspect. Can't make people take another exam in the spring: they've got studying for other classes to do. Can't give the advantage to people who've seen the exam. This happened to me when I was in law school, except the prof recycled an exam from 10 to 15 years before. A few people had seen it. Ultimately it was no big deal -- we just had a pass for one course.

Gordon Smith

Dan, This happened to my classmates in law school, and the Dean decided to give all of them passing grades. (Does anyone ever fail with the pass-fail option?) I agreed with that decision, and I think it is clearly the least bad option.

Roger Dennis

Dan--happened to me in law school and as an associate good answer and we should remind our faculty about the resourcefulness of students!!!


So is this prof basically toast?

Miriam A. Cherry

That seems lazy, but beyond that, it shows poor judgment. If you don't have the time to write your own contracts essay, why not just reach out to other law professors at your school and collaborate - (most first year exams are scheduled to all be at the same time). Or reach out to the profs on the contracts listserve?


I agree that the safer thing to do is to write a new exam each year, and that's what I have always done. But why is what this professor did so terrible? So what if he had given the exam as a practice exam, or as a real exam, in the past?

Nothing in the post (or the original article) says that he had distributed an answer to the practice exam, or that any of the students who recognized the exam had inside information about the professor's expectations about a good answer. So just seeing the question -- in the course of reviewing many materials, potentially including other past exams of the professor, and without having any reason to suspect that it would appear on the exam -- gives them a "huge advantage" (quote from the article) over the other students? Really?

There are only so many issues one can test on a contracts exam. If a student is resourceful enough to look up all of a professor's old exams and practice writing answers to them, more power to him or her -- it's probably a great way to learn Contracts.

Air Jordans

yes you are right!

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