Tags: Ferguson in Crisis | law | schools | racial | trauma | student | extensions

Joe Concha Slams Law Schools' Racial 'Trauma' Student Extensions

By    |   Friday, 12 Dec 2014 06:50 PM

Decisions by Columbia and Georgetown law schools to grant students extensions on final exams if they feel traumatized by grand jury inaction in the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner is pure timidity, according to Mediaite columnist Joe Concha.

"To call it wussification is an insult to wussies everywhere," he writes.

To illustrate his point, Concha cites an official statement from Columbia University that declares the determinations of both grand juries to return non-indictments "have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally."

"For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality," the statement adds.

Concha quotes one young Manhattan lawyer identified only as Melissa, blasting the logic, saying "being disheartened or finding the legal system unfair is no reason to suffer such emotional distress as to prevent a student from taking a simple exam… an exam the student should have been prepping for weeks in advance."

“Should these thin-skinned individuals ever practice law, I’m hard-pressed to believe that the people they will be working for – in some instances women who have come back to work a mere 48 hours after giving birth in order to close a deal… or men who missed their father’s funeral, because of a work deadline – will give a damn about their personal tragedies," she told Concha.

Yet another lawyer in her 30s who graduated from the law school at the University of Florida said big controversial cases "can be very distracting in law school."

"[E]ven the professors will change lesson plans to accommodate such debates about current events that are legal in nature," the lawyer, identified only as Carla, told Concha.

"Also, in law school your entire grade is based on the final exam. And at these Ivy League schools, your GPA means everything. So I can understand the students asking for this.”

Concha writes though anger, disappointment and confusion in the wake of the decisions may be understandable, they shouldn't be used as excuses.

"Were law students at UCLA or Cal Berkeley granted extensions or days off after the O.J. [Simpson] not guilty verdict back in 1995?" he asks. "Were those studying at the time of the Casey Anthony decision so traumatized they simply couldn’t even consider going to class … when that was handed down?"

The Washington Post reports it's not just Columbia and Georgetown that are bending over backwards.

"Harvard, Yale and Georgetown have reiterated pre-existing policies that allow students to postpone exams due to traumatic events," The Post reports.

Concha reports some Harvard and Yale law students are also petitioning for an extension as well, though approval has not yet been determined. They are all a "horrible precedent," he asserts.

Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman agrees, The New York Times reports.

"If law students cannot function with difficult issues like these, maybe they should not try and become lawyers," he argued, calling the students' demand "absurd."

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Decisions by Columbia and Georgetown law schools to grant students extensions on final exams if they feel traumatized by grand jury inaction in the cases of Michael Brown and Eric Garner is pure timidity, according to Mediaite columnist Joe Concha.
law, schools, racial, trauma, student, extensions
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2014-50-12
Friday, 12 Dec 2014 06:50 PM
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