I am not an ethicist. Thus, unlike the New York Times column, I do not purport to know the answers. I will post my own as well as those submitted. From time to time I may say what I think but this Blog is primarily for the contributions of others.

Monday, March 31, 2014

What's a Student to Do?

Dear Law School Ethicist:

I am not sure this is an ethical issue exactly but it has something to do with fairness. At my my school we are divided into 4 first year sections. In one course we all take exactly the same exam.  I  recieved a raw score of 38 on the exam and received a B+ for a grade. My friend in another section also scored a 38 and received an A. This seems wrong to me. I seems like my grade was determined by the section I was assigned to and not my actual performance on the exam.  Shouldn't the teachers somehow make sure this does not happen?


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Double Dip?

Dear Law School Ethicist:

I know these letters involve faculty but maybe you can respond to this. I am finishing my second year of law school and I am on law review. I just finished my note and it will not be published. Now I am registering for third year courses. I see  one that dovetails nicely with my law review note. Since I have done most of the research already, I think I can sign up for the seminar and write a paper based on this research and perhaps even use some of the writing.  Two questions. Is it ethical for me to do this? You will probably say I should ask the Professor. But I am wondering, if I ask and he says yes does that mean it becomes ethical? I still would not be doing as much work as the other students Thanks.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Recycled Exams

Dear Mr. Law School Ethicist:

One that that really pisses me off is the reuse of exam questions. It means that I need to learn the material which is why I am in school but it also means searching around for old exams that other students seem to have. If you have the old questions and you know the teacher is a recycler, you are likely to perform better than someone who has simply studied. It seems like professors have an ethical obligation to make sure their laziness does not mean results turn on how hard students scrounge around for old exams. Can't the deans do something about this?

Fed Up UF Law Student

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Make Room for Someone New?

Dear Law School Ethicist:

 Law School hires X for a tenure track position because of expertise in a given area of the law. X has spent 5 years at Law School where she has been a standout as a teacher and has amassed a scholarly record considerably in excess of what is expected of a young professor. Some faculty and the new dean, who has a novel vision for Law School,  have concluded that Law School actually has sufficient faculty strength in X's area of expertise without the presence of X on the faculty. This group would much prefer to hire a new professor in a "hot" area of the law but lack a free slot that would enable them to do so. It is suggested that they reject X for tenure, thereby freeing the slot that they could use to hire the new entrant in the "hot" area of the law. X has made considerable sacrifice in moving to Law School from 500 miles away and giving up a tenured position at another lesser school. Is it ethical for you to vote to deny X tenure?

Hiring Spouses?

Dear Law School Ethicist; 

 My spouse and I are professional people with good jobs. Recently, an out of town firm has made an offer to my spouse who has told the firm no unless the same firm gives me a job comparable to the one I have. They have agreed even though it means by-passing their usual hiring process designed to find the best qualified candidates and to encourage equal opportunity. Is it ethical for me to accept their offer even though it means legitimizing a process that is unfair to others in that it favors me only because of my choice of spouse?