And maybe that’s why we’re falling behind the rest of the world educationally. But at least we’re having fun, right?
This story comes to us from Boston University Law School (a top 10 law school by alumni median income, by the way). A professor accidentally ended class 15 minutes early, and it looked like class was about to be dismissed — “until one officious intermeddler promptly strode up to the podium and passionately pointed to her watch,” according to our BU Law tipster.
The objector politely “reminded” the professor that there were still 15 minutes left in class — “on arguably the most strenuous day of the week for our section,” said our source. “We all could have used the extra 15 free minutes.”
Perhaps the officious intermeddler didn’t know about our American customs? “Due to her status as a foreign LLM student, and since no one knows her name, she has been dubbed ‘LLM Lady,’” our tipster explained. “She has been the topic of discussion among our section all day now.”
And “LLM Lady” has also been the subject of some amusing Facebook exchanges….
As we sometimes do with law school stories, in the exercise of our editorial discretion, we have anonymized the participants; please keep them that way. There are just excerpts from Facebook wall exchanges, identified as the highlights by our tipster. Enjoy.
Section [X] of BUSL v. LLM Lady
544 F.8d 123 (69th Cir. 2011)
Justice K. delivered the opinion of the court.
…It is well established in law and in the social aspect of our educational institutions that instructions begin and end with the declaration of the instructor. Much of our prior discussion has involved the subjective intent of the instructor as the most important and decisive factor of 43 factors in determining whether adjourn was reasonable. As iterated by Justice Scalia in Michigan School of Law v. Schmidt, none of these 43 factors encompass the right of any students, especially those who do not intend to remain domicile in the State, to object to the order of the instructor in adjourning any educational congregation.
In words of our wise brother Scalia, it is only natural that students of the class “shut the fuck up and move on with their lives when the professor decides to end the class a little early” whether or not the instructor was aware of the allotted time for instruction.
Even in my intoxicated status, it is only clear to me that LLM Lady violated all her duty as a student and a fellow colleague to all the members of Section [X] when she informed the professor of her subjective mistake that Property (LAW [xxxx]) was to be adjourned at 1:45 PM rather than 2:00 PM. We also have no trouble in imputing her the very awareness of the consequences resulting from her voluntary actions, which is obviously repulsive to our educational and social customs. The defendant’s action was not borne out of negligence or recklessness, but was intentional, as she knowingly and purposely informed one Professor [X], knowing full well what her reaction would be. If requested by the plaintiff, we would have no trouble in granting their motion to move this case for deliberation of our brothers at the 70th Circuit Criminal Court. However, the plaintiffs have been generous, and surprisingly so, in condoning the defendant’s actions.
There is no dispute to the facts. The defendant clearly and intentionally inflicted emotional distress in extending the Property class an extra 15 minutes knowing full well the impact it would have on the rest of her peers and knowing full well that the materials covered in class would in any case be irrelevant to all the members of section [X]. The defendant’s actions were therefore repulsive and constituted precisely the kind of actions that the 69th Circuit was commissioned to condemn. Therefore we award Plaintiffs all the remedies they seek including costs for fees of experts who aided in the preparation, but did not testify at trial and punitive damages. We also grant plaintiffs’ the permanent injunction to restrain the defendant from ever speaking out in any class for the remainder of her life, which, upon her death, will pass to her heirs. We also grant the plaintiff’s request for punitive damages….
Justice E., concurring fully.
IGNORANCE OF CLASSROOM ETIQUETTE IS NO EXCUSE. It is so ordered.
JUSTICE H., concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
The value of silence can never be underestimated. Throughout time, great sages have praised an individual who spoke not with a golden tongue and the rich, sonorous voices of … an Achean orator, but the person who knew when to hold his tongue and observe, rather than state, fortuitous circumstances. It is a great thing to know the season for speech and the season for silence. This Court undoubtedly appreciates the virtue of strategic reticence, and it is clear that the clarion calling of the law student is not overzealous speech, but a calculating visage and a stoic manner which extols the acknowledgment of the humility that inherently accompanies the honorable status of 1L.
In light of these strong sentiments held by this Court, it comes as no surprise that the disdain wrought upon the Defendant appears to be not only just, but moral. This Court, however, should acknowledge the loftier aspirations of the Defendant, rather than simply expel her to Antenora. While I applaud my colleague, [Justice K.], in loquaciously propounding the need for communal coherence within section [X], let us not forget the practicality that class serves, and the costs that it does impute upon the impecunious student. The Defendant, perhaps, may have desired to simply elicit more educational value from lost time: a simple calculation will reveal that one 15 minute block lost per week, de minimis, will result in a loss of three hours of classtime per three months. In addition, there must be the painful recognition that every class, and every minute of class does incur substantial cost. And while it is ironically painful to state and defend this premise for the loss of 15 minutes of a class that comes directly before the event horizon of law school spacetime, Legislation, it must nevertheless be stated.
These views, however, are mere postulates to the inquiry of the mens rea of the Defendant. Without a doubt the Defendant violated the key rule of law school: when in doubt, shut the hell up, unless your grade is affected by it. The hallowed motto of this proud nation does indeed apply well to this equally proud institution: E. pluribus unum, out of many, One. Out of many law school students, one body politic does emerge. And, it must always be remembered one’s actions creates a breeze which may foment a more dangerous tempest. With this in mind, I must agree with my esteemed colleague at bar.
As a former gunner, I didn’t follow this advice myself in law school, but if your goal in law school is not to be hated — as opposed to a Supreme Court clerkship, or a V10 job offer — follow Justice H.’s sage counsel: “When in doubt, shut the hell up, unless your grade is affected by it.”