Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Student Reaction to Merit Scholarship Article

As most of you know, the New York Times ran an article on how students are surprised when they lose their merit scholarships because they did not meet the g.p.a. minimum. The article called for greater disclosure of how many students retained their scholarships after their first year.

Lisa McElroy has written a post on Dorf on Law concerning law students' angry reactions to the article. She asks, "What is it about current law school culture that creates these feelings among students that law schools are acting in bad faith, without their best interests in mind?" In other words, many students don't trust their law schools. She believes, "Our mission should be . . . to make the three or four years that our students spend in law school valuable in and of themselves, a time to explore the concepts of law and justice, of community and governance." She also advocates transparency to show our students that we are trustworthy.

I agree that law school should be more than just getting a job. The intellectual aspects of the law are fascinating, and we need to convey that to our students. As Professor McElroy writes, we should show our students our commitment to law and learning. We need to demonstrate that learning enriches our lives even when it does not contribute to our economic worth. Finally, we should convey to our students that law teaching is more than a job, that we love teaching.


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