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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:42 PM
Original message
So it's the first day of (law) school...
and my first day as a professor.

I'm working on my introduction speech. How cruel should I be?

I have to be a little bit evil becase a) this is law school, it's a requirement and b) I'm younger than most of my students so I have to establish some sort of fear (uh...respect).

So, DU...how big of a bitch should I be? Being their friend isn't gonna work, they'll walk all over me. But I don't want to be that professor that everyone hates either.
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. My dear huskerlaw!
Wow, sweetie....That's a tall order!

I really have no idea how tough you should be.........

Perhaps very tough.........

And then leaven it with humor?

I don't know, really......

Good luck........to them, and to you!


:loveya: :hug:
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Thanks, Peggy!
I'm thinking that I need to be really tough on them. I just feel bad because they're already freaked. But hey...it's law school, it's not supposed to be fun!

:hug:
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RumpusCat Donating Member (548 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. Lock and load!
It's my understanding that you can always become more lenient but you can't become stricter (in so far as keeping students' respect goes).

:hi:
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That's what I've been told
so I guess I go in with guns blazing even though they already look like deer caught in the headlights...and then back off later (maybe).
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. Whatever you do, make it sincere
If you're even remotely phony, if the kids are smart, they'll pick up on it. Then your respect is all down the drain.
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Yeah, you're right...
I'm not going to fuck with them. I'm just trying to decide how to present the class. I think I have to be hard-ass. Instead of "it's ok, we'll teach you what you need to know" (which we will), I'm leaning more towards "we expect you to already know some of this stuff already" (which we do).

In other words, a focus on expectations rather than "and here's all the great things you'll learn!"
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
6. I vote Big Time Bitch. Down to the glare and the eyeroll that suggests
they win the prize for stupidest question ever ask. Glance at your watch often so that they know right off they are wasting your time...and never remember one single name. That oughta do it! :hi: Good luck!
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Hahahah
but if I don't know their names, how do I call on them and humiliate them in front of the class? ;)

Ooh...I got it. "Hey! You! Yeah, you. Front row, Yankee hat. Did you do your reading for this week? Yes? Ha, well...I guess we're about to find out. By the way, this is Los Angeles, not New York. If you wear that piece of shit hat to class ever again, you fail. Got me?"

I say that somewhat jokingly, but I actually had a professor who wouldn't allow people to wear things with Yankees logos in her classroom. She was a Mets fan. :P
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. Never smile before Thanksgiving
at least thats the advice they give other teachers.
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I'm done with them at Thanksgiving!
So I suppose I could crack a smile right before they evaluate me... ;)
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. There's an idea
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Maybe a smile
and some warm chocolate chip cookies. ;)
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
13. Considering it's legal research, you won't be taken seriously anyway.
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Yeah, thanks.
Too bad it's the only class with actual real-life applicable knowledge. :eyes:
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
14. I vote for watching "Legally Blonde"
and totally stealing Holland Taylor's introductory speech to the law class.

I loved her in that movie. Remember, "The law is logic, free from passion."

Julie
"Would you stake your life on it? Would you stake his life on it?"
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Hahaha,
unfortunately, all of my students would know where it came from...and then all of my credibility would be shot.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
17. I propose the following:
"Dear Students. Welcome to Legal Research 101. I know full well that none of you want to take this class, and that everyone hates legal research in general (it is, after all, why we have paralegals and interns) However, you will want to take it seriously for two reasons: first, if you don't, you will end up as a paralegal doing just this sort of thing for the rest of your life. Second, 50% of you will fail this class, leading directly to a career as a paralegal competing directly with people from correspodence colleges. This is your lot. You need to decide, right now, if you want to be the woman hiring the paralegals, or the guy being hired as one. Frankly, I don't care. Anything, and I do mean anything, is fair game. Good luck."

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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Good, except
it's not true that that they'll always have paralegals to do their work. First there's the summer jobs during law school...where they're even lower on the totem pole than the paralegals. And then there's the hazing of the new hires. They don't get full run of the paralegals either. Furthermore, only upper level associates and partners at big, wealthy law firms have enough help to never have to do their own research.

It would probably be more correct to say "learn it, or you'll never get hired to your first job and being a summer associate will be pure hell. Then, learn how to be respect your reference librarians, because we can hold the key to an A in your seminar class...that goes for the firm librarian too. Piss her off and you'll never get the research you want when you want it. Welcome and have a good day."
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #18
31. yes,but they don't know that, right?
they all think they're going to make partner and be just fine. don't dusabuse them of the notion, get good work out of them now!
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
19. Firm, but fair. Hold them to high standards; don't let them slip.
Also, be accessible and pleasant to communicate with.
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Awww,
you're no fun. x(
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. OK, walk into class carrying a bull whip.
:D
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. It's a Catholic school...
that might not be a very popular choice. ;)
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. OK, then carry in a yard stick.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 06:11 PM by GOPisEvil
It works for nuns everywhere.

Edit - not saying you're a nun or anything... ;)
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Buahahaha
Me? A nun? Hardly! ...for soooo many reasons.

I don't think the yardstick would work either.

Me: Wrong answer! Bend over.
Hot 24-year-old guy: Uh...ever heard of sexual harassment?

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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Mwahaha! OK, go with a ruler on the knuckles!
:D
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
24. 1st of all, congratulations, but honestly,
When I taught my one and only college course, I saw it as a partnership - I would give them the benefit of my experience and they would comply with the reasonable demands I placed on them. The ones who didn't take me seriously - flunked, and their grades supported my decisions.

I'm not looking forward to doing it again; teaching is hard work!
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. That is probably how I'll approach it
I'll be kind and respectful if/until they piss me off. Then, they flunk.

My only real concern about that approach is that I am younger than a lot of them, and within a few years of any that happen to be slightly younger. ...and I know how a law student's brain works. I don't want to be a pushover.
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Fredda Weinberg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:24 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I've always looked younger than I am
And sitting in lotus posture on the desk probably didn't raise my stature, but it was the only way I could see the back of the class ... packed with over 50 when we started and not a single drop.

I applied my mother's method and kept emphasizing the practical; it kept the bright ones engaged and dullards amused. In the end, the grades formed a perfect bell curve ... I knew I graded fairly.
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eyesroll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
29. Tell 'em you're pregnant, but if you bring anything more interesting than
Cheerios to stabilize your blood sugar, you'll bring enough to share.

That's what mine did. :D

(She basically did the "I'm saying this because I'm supposed to be a bitch" routine, but it didn't seem like she was enjoying it.)
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huskerlaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Alas, I'm not pregnant
(thank goodness!)

But yeah, I'm not very good at acting like a bitch unless I really am pissed off (or unless I really know you and I'm just fucking with you). And those poor students today looks so scared. I just couldn't do it.

I went with "look, I'm gonna be straight with you. I'm not your friend, I'm not your enemy. I'm here to teach you and help you, but if you cross me, I'm going to fail you." Ok, I didn't actually say that, but hopefully that's what my demeanor conveyed. ;)
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