Sunday, April 24, 2011
Above the Law first broke the story:
A tipster informs us that controversy has been brewing for a while regarding NDLS’s first year legal writing program. It appears that some students believe that they work too darn hard to only receive one measly credit for their second semester legal research and writing course.
. . . .
[T]he gist of the complaint is that students in the legal writing course at issue, which includes a moot court component, are finding that they have to put in a lot more time than they expected for a one-credit course. It appears that more credits were given for this course in the past, and there is a fair amount of work involved.
And here's an excerpt from the student petition sent to the NDLS administration:
This semester’s Legal Research and Writing II (Moot Court), course number 60707, should be allocated two credits to the students enrolled in it for three reasons:
First, in keeping with the fairness of the school and credit allocation, the requirements, class time commitment and demands of this course are the equivalent of other 2 -3 credit courses and twice the amount of class time and work required as the one credit 1L Research Course and vital GALILEE Program.
. . . .
Second, this was the first year that only one credit was given yet the work was sufficiently challenging and equally demanding as many, if not all, two or three credit courses. In addition, the writing of an Appellate Brief, research for that brief and the oral argument, and preparation for the oral argument were substantially more than half of the demands as the past years when two or three credits were allotted to this course.
. . . .
Third, this was an experimental curriculum and can be afforded changes at this time in the semester because the administration and teachers were unaware of the time, preparation and results of such change.
You can read the full student petition, as well as ATL's commentary, here.