We’ve seen judges grant continuances to lawyers who wanted to go to the BCS Championship game and the SuperBowl. So we know that the legal community takes notice of important sporting events.
One student at the University of Washington School of Law feels that exams shouldn’t get in the way of the NCAA College Basketball Tournament. UW is in the tourney this year — getting a bid out of the dreadful PAC-10. And the student just wanted to participate in the fun. One of his finals conflicted with the tournament, and he sent a very polite note to the registrar asking to reschedule. Deadspin reprints his email:
The first weekend of the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament occurs on March 18-21 this year. This is, by far, my favorite weekend of the year, specifically Thursday and Friday, in which the first round takes place. I am not a member of any church and have no children, so I consider this my “holiday,” the most important day of the year. For the past several years, a couple of friends of mine, who are in similar position in life, and I have spent the weekend enjoying this “holiday” in Reno, NV. It is a central location for the gathering and meeting there for this weekend has become a tradition that has become very important and dear to me.
I understand that this is not a typical request, but I’d like to move my Compensation and Benefits final to the following Monday (3/22) or earlier in finals week. This is so important to me that I wouldn’t even mind it if it were rescheduled during a day that I already have a final.
Please give my request ample consideration. I appreciate your time.
Reschedule class: Fri. March 19 – 6:00 PM T521B Comp & Benefits (Thorson)
Requested date: Wednesday, March 17
Requested time: 1:00 PM
The humorless registrar was unmoved….
I actually really like the line of argument about having neither church nor children. It reminds me of the Sex in the City episode (I was drunk, sue me) where Carrie wants her own shower because she doesn’t have children. The student’s request struck me as reasonable.
The UWLS registrar doesn’t share my accommodating nature:
This reschedule request is denied; this request does not in any way meet the exam rescheduling guidelines.
Variation from the original exam date/time will be permitted only for an automatic reason (options above), severe mental or physical illness, or very unusual or demanding circumstances that make it unreasonably difficult or burdensome to meet the scheduled time. Rescheduling exam is not done generally for activities such as travel, field research, interviews (personal or school related) and other personal events such as weddings, reunions, etc.
Considering the importance of this event to you, you may have wanted to make different course selections based on the exam schedule, which was available ahead of the start of Winter classes.
Registrar & Director
Jesus Mr. Pontus Niklasson, way to show absolutely no sense of humor. A simple “no” would have sufficed you didn’t have to get all quote-y and chastise the student for not picking his courses around the tourney.
And the message doesn’t even directly address the kid’s main argument. It’s not like religious people have to schedule courses around Christmas. And if the student was having a baby, I’m sure you’d let him reschedule. It’s the freaking tournament! What kind of ridiculous definition do you have for “extenuating circumstance”?
Obviously, I’m being a little bit facetious. Employers, even judges, will be reasonable when it comes to these types of things, but actually rescheduling an exam is an extraordinary step. If they made an accommodation for this, students could try to reschedule for all sorts of things.
So, good luck, UW Law guy. Man up, take your test, and fire up your TiVo. When you run your own firm or law school, you can mandate that no work happens on your holiday. Until then, you’ll have to play by the rules everyone else does.
Fruitless Attempts At Ditching Final Exams To Watch The NCAA Tournament, Part I [Deadspin]
Earlier: Who Dat Needs A Continuance?
Best. Motion to Continue. Ever.