Education / Schools

There hasn’t been much to report in recent weeks concerning the prosecution of Stephen M. McDaniel, the 25-year-old Mercer Law School alumnus accused of killing his neighbor and classmate, Lauren Giddings. There has been some continued wrangling over bail, as well as talk of possible civil litigation brought by the estate of Lauren Giddings against Boni and Marty Bush, owners of the Barristers Hall apartment complex where Giddings and McDaniel once lived.

So there isn’t much hard news to report about Stephen McDaniel. In the meantime, let’s take a more personal look at the man behind the headlines.

Last week, I interviewed McDaniel’s college roommate, who described what it was like to live with McDaniel. We had a very interesting conversation….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Living With A Future Murder Defendant: Stephen McDaniel’s College Roommate Tells All”

Doesn’t truancy sound like a problem from a long time ago? Like getting shingles, you don’t really think of absenteeism as a problem that still really affects people. You know, rounding up truants sounds like a television cliché job for people like Cutty on the Wire.

I certainly didn’t think we still put people in jail for truancy. But apparently we do. At least, we do in Texas.

Even if the truant student has a really good excuse for missing school — like having a job — Texas will apparently still put people in jail for missing school….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “High Performing Truant Ruined By America”

The latest craze in the world of higher education seems to be suing your school if you don’t get exactly what you want handed to you on a silver platter. Let’s say you went to law school and you weren’t able to get a job that didn’t involve slinging Frappuccinos — or a job, at all, period. You should probably sue over the school’s allegedly misleading employment statistics. That seems like it might be an okay thing to do, because after all, it wasn’t really your fault.

Or, even better, you went to law school without finishing your undergraduate degree, and now you can’t take the bar exam. You should obviously sue the school for negligently allowing you to enroll. That was kind of your fault, but you’re going to sue anyway, because it’s easier to blame someone else than accept responsibility for your actions.

Or perhaps you’re an international student and you want to go to college and major in law, but you’re too slow to understand that 2 + 2 never equals 5. Whatever, you say — God doesn’t give with both hands, and it’s better to be hot. Alas, now you can’t get into the college program of your choice. You should definitely sue your high school for your own failures, because, really… why not?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Hottie From Down Under Sues Her School Because She Was Too Slow to Study Law”

'I'm ending my 1L year with a B-minus average. What's the point in going on?'

Lat here. Your Above the Law editors occasionally receive requests for advice from readers, to which we sometimes respond. Back in March, for example, Elie Mystal and I debated the merits of Harvard Law School versus Yale Law School, for the benefit of a prospective law student choosing between these two fine institutions. In case you’re wondering, he’s going to Yale.

(The future Yalie explained his decision this way: “I didn’t want to take the chance that even if I worked harder at HLS, I could still be ranked below enough outstanding students to not impress a professor, land a good clerkship, etc. I also got the impression that this risk-averse mentality was what drove many people who were on the fence between YLS and HLS to eventually choose YLS.”)

Choosing between Harvard and Yale is a high-class problem. Today we look at a situation that we’ve addressed before, in 2010 and 2011, and that continues to confront our readers. The question presented: If you do poorly in law school, should you cut your losses and drop out? Or should you keep on trucking and collect that J.D. degree?

We have two fact patterns. One involves a 1L, and one involves a 2L. Let’s hear them out, shall we?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Should You Drop Out of Law School? An ATL Debate”

Cheating is never okay, right? That’s one central lesson all students are supposed to learn in elementary school (to say nothing of law school). It’s important to be honest. If a student lies or cheats on a test or homework, there are consequences. There’s nothing up for debate here, right?

Well, at least one northern California lawyer thinks it was unjust that his son was booted from an honors English class for plagiarizing. It appears the lesson he hopes to teach his son is: cheating is bad, but it’s more important that schools have crystal-clear academic honesty policies. He is suing his son’s school district, arguing that his son’s punishment does not fit his crime.

Keep reading to see more about our latest Lawsuit of the Day

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawsuit of the Day: Plagiarism Doesn’t Pay”

I really, really hate being the one to defend stupid teenagers who get expelled from school. The ones who are kicked out for cursing online or for other forms of bullying.

Because I was a teenager once — not even that long ago — and I still clearly remember what it feels like to be on the receiving end of horrid teenage evilness. But somehow, I can’t help myself.

So here you go. Keep reading to see why the ACLU is doing the right thing by defending three eighth-grade girls who were expelled for talking about killing people on Facebook

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “When Will We Stop Punishing Children for Being Children?”

Now this is a radical nun.

* In America, secret agents drive awesome spy cars. In Soviet Russia, awesome cars spy on you. Actually, cars spy on Americans, too. [Not so Private Parts/Forbes]

* An accused inside trader used his ill-gotten gains to buy a jet, four houses, and an island help the homeless. The government is still prosecuting him. Sir, with all due respect, you are doing it wrong. [Dealbreaker]

* The Vatican is going to crack down on radical nuns. I can’t even think of a good joke because radical and nun so obviously don’t belong in the same sentence. Unless you’re having some sort of nun surfing contest and the Mother Superior catches a really sick wave. [BBC News]

* I frequently get upset with schools that punish students too quickly and harshly for relative nonissues. But hacking into the school attendance system and “selling” absences — yeah, that’s probably not okay. [Bay Citizen]

* Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance the law firms, and then the law schools go out… and the corporations sit there in their… in their corporation buildings, and… and, and see, they’re all corporation-y… and they make money… Matt Damon! [Centre Daily]

* Don’t forget to vote for your favorite ATL Law Revue entry. Also, tune in tomorrow to see our picks for honorable mention. [Above the Law]

There’s a great story in the Washington Post this morning about how senior citizens are still struggling to pay off their educational debt. Senior. Citizens. The story says that collectively Americans over 60 owe $36 billion in student debt. That figure includes seniors who have co-signed on loans for their children or grand-children.

And yes, I love the holier-than-thou people who lecture me or other debt-defaulters on our financial responsibilities who went to school by putting their parents or grandparents at financial risk.

But seniors are also in trouble because they took out loans to finance continuing education later in life. I’m sure if you look around your law school, you’ll think of a couple of people who are really too old to be there but were led to believe that one more credential would solve all of their life’s problems.

The senior struggle is just one more indication that our system for financing higher education is about to implode…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Student Debt: It’s Not Just For Young People Anymore”

Apparently, this is the kind of image that is just too confusing for the children of New York.

I mentioned this yesterday, but I think it deserves further discussion. In a move that can only be characterized as bizarre, the New York State Department of Education has decided to ban words — lots of words — from standardized tests that cause children to feel bad, confused, or bring up “controversial” topics. Yep, the NY Regents was apparently just too controversial for some parents.

And we’re talking about some very common words here. Words like dinosaur. Dinosaur is deemed “controversial” because it brings up evolution, according to a report in the New York Post. Words like “birthday” are banned because Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate birthdays.

I didn’t know Jehovah’s Witnesses didn’t celebrate birthdays. Maybe instead of banning the word “birthday,” they should ask a question like: “Which of the following groups don’t celebrate birthdays?” That way, our children might learn something about other cultures instead of being protected from ever having their precious points of view challenged because of f***ing PC helicopter parenting idiots who are trying ruin America one stupid goddamn rule at a time. It’s not that I don’t care about the views of Jehovah’s Witnesses or Creationists or poor little children who don’t know what a Mercedes is (“Mercedes” is another banned word). It’s that banning words IN NO WAY ADDRESSES THE PROBLEM and is freaking stupid.

In a multicultural society, words are our friends….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Nanny State Ban on Words Is Lazy Educating By New York State”

Every so often we hear a new story about a student getting suspended / expelled / paddled for some nonsense offense. These days, the disciplinary problems usually are are a result of some alleged electronic misconduct.

A debate usually follows, where people question the legality and general appropriateness of several issues: was the student punished for something he did at school or at home? Was he or she making some kind of threat, whether serious or sarcastic? How much should a school insert itself into its students’ private lives?

Whatever side of those questions you fall on, at least they are valid points to raise. But what about the student who is expelled for a 2:30 a.m. tweet from his home — a tweet that was simply a juvenile exploration on the word “f***”?

You have to be f***ing kidding me.…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Why the F*** Was This High School Student Expelled for Tweeting the F-Word?”

Page 15 of 251...111213141516171819...25