Law Professors, Law School Deans, Law Schools, listserv, Screw-Ups

More Finals Week Ridiculousness: Law Prof Rips Final Exam Straight from Commercial Outline

Man, final exams week is just a bonanza for law schools screwing up.

First, we had the Villanova debacle. Now we have another law school that should get an “F” in test giving (and we may well have more, similar stories coming later this week).

Keep reading to see which law school had a professor who reportedly gave students an “exam” cribbed straight from a commercial outline…

Earlier this week, we received a tip about an email sent over the ABA law school deans listserv. (Yes, our tipsters are everywhere.)

It looks like the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law has gotten itself in a sticky situation and could use some advice (as a side note, some of you may remember University of Memphis Law as the home of the “only rapping lawyer on the planet”):

Dear colleagues:

A sensitive issue has developed here. A visiting professor inexplicably decided to use a Westlaw ExamPro multiple-choice practice exam as her actual final exam. As you know, every student in her class had access to Westlaw and thus access to the practice exam. So far, two students (out of about 50) have come forward to me and told me they used the practice exam to prepare for the final exam. I’m sure others used it and are remaining silent. Students who used the practice exam didn’t cheat since they had no way of knowing the professor would use the exam. The visiting professor has already left the state for another location.

Any advice on how to deal with this tricky issue would be greatly appreciated. Please reply privately to [redacted].

Thanks in advance,

David S. Romantz
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs &
Associate Professor of Law

Classic. If the allegations in Dean Romantz’s email are true, the professor “inexplicably” didn’t bother to write her own exam. Instead, she just ripped one off Westlaw — and somehow thought no one would notice. On top of that, the professor then fled the country state before anyone could do anything about it. (Plus, let’s not forget the intrepid students who felt the need to report the problem, instead of just taking their A’s and moving on.)

At least this school is soliciting suggestions for help instead of trying to completely ignore the problem (whether or not they planned to publicly acknowledge it within the school’s community is another question). And judging from what we’ve been seeing elsewhere, other law schools can relate.

We want to hear your suggestions, though, commenters. Since the dean is asking, what should the University of Memphis do? Should all the students have to take the test again, with the possible result of penalizing the students who studied the first go round, not the professor who was unprepared? Or should the University of Memphis just let the whole thing slide (and not rehire the visiting professor)? Or should the school take some other approach? Tell us what you think, in the comments.

(hidden for your protection)

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