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Here’s what NOT to do while in law school


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#1 StudentLife

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 10:59 AM

Here’s what NOT to do while in law school:

1. Guys, please don’t write and publish in the student newspaper satirical “fictional” stories about the drunken shenanigans of upper year females at parties.

2. Girls, please don’t lose your minds thinking that said “fictional” satirical stories were biographical and written about you individually. Most importantly, don’t use the official law and social media course that you are enrolled in as a platform to single out another student and make public accusations by going directly to the media. Lastly, please don’t pile on and target individual classmates or student clubs via social media just because it was the trending thing of the day to do.

Because that’s exactly what happened last week.

http://edmontonjourn...tions-of-sexism

http://www.calgaryhe...0484/story.html

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...bsite-1.3868434


Lesson learned: Not everyone thought “There's Something About Mary” was hilarious. The same could be said of “American Pie”.



#2 almostnot

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 11:40 AM

It's like UBC circa 2007 with GurilLAW News and the Delgamuukw "satire". Perhaps it is law school memory that is nasty, brutish and short.
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#3 ericontario

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 12:22 PM

People are so sensitive these days. In my time at Ottawa there was an outcry because a female student wrote an article in our paper about how to look stylish without having to spend too much time or money on getting ready in the morning. Apparently that was also sexist and reinforced to women that they are required to look a certain way. Of course, the Ottawa Citizen and CBC didn't pick up on that one.... I can't believe what makes the papers these days.


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#4 utmguy

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 01:26 PM

I'm trying to decide whether the article is less offensive, or less funny.  It's a tossup.  


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#5 Jaggers

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 01:35 PM

If you wrote an article that just relied on a bunch of negative outdated stereotypes about any particular ethnic group, it probably shouldn't be printed. Especially if it was as deeply unfunny as this one seemed to be.


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#6 maximumbob

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 02:10 PM

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One question:  What was wrong with the dork in the cosplay outfit?  He's clearly interested - he's buying her jagerbombs (which, I wouldn't inflict on my worst enemy, but some people lie) - and is no doubt a sweet, sensitive guy with a thing for comic books, like the guys on Big Bang Theory.  Talk about missed opportunities.  

 

 

 

Some of her classmates were horrified, thinking the story was about them, she said.

 

Which raises the question:  Just how many members of the UofA class got drunk, stumbled into a pillar, and gave themselves a concussion at the annual law school Halloween party?  Because if it's more than 1 or 2, forget sexism, that school has an alcoholism problem.  


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#7 Hegdis

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 02:34 PM

I thought the blog post criticizing the original story was very well written. It is in the format of a letter and is clearly an opinion article.

It's also a comprehensive and respectful piece of writing that attacks the objectionable assumptions underlying the original story without "going after" the author.

Not everyone is going to agree with that view, but it's a perfectly legitimate criticism. I would not categorize that blog post as anyone "losing [their] mind"; rather I see it as a future colleague eloquently expressing concern and dismay over a real and ongoing issue in the profession.

(Not sure if I misunderstood the OP to be suggesting otherwise; maybe he was referencing something else.)
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#8 howdydo

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 02:42 PM

I can't believe that Hal-LAW-ween article was even published in Canons. Regardless of whether it contains sexist undertones, it's just a bad piece of writing, plain and simple. You'd think they could muster up some slightly higher quality stuff 


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#9 daw33d

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 02:57 PM

Hah.. exactly. It's so badly written and executed that I'm not surprised it went under fire.

 

Anyways, you could also wear a "no one gets off like Ghomeshi" muscle shirt to the grad gala. It's a quick way to make the dean leave her seat.

 

Rest assured, there were many "town halls" and counseling services offered to the community. Many letters of complaint, and complaints about complaints, etc.

 

Probably on the what not to do list.


Edited by daw33d, 29 November 2016 - 03:00 PM.

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#10 benjuryon

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 04:02 PM

Hah.. exactly. It's so badly written and executed that I'm not surprised it went under fire.

 

Anyways, you could also wear a "no one gets off like Ghomeshi" muscle shirt to the grad gala. It's a quick way to make the dean leave her seat.

 

Rest assured, there were many "town halls" and counseling services offered to the community. Many letters of complaint, and complaints about complaints, etc.

 

Probably on the what not to do list.

 

On the other hand, despite the controversy it managed to not get in a newspaper. So there's some kind of lesson in there.


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#11 daw33d

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 04:48 PM

On the other hand, despite the controversy it managed to not get in a newspaper. So there's some kind of lesson in there.

Yeah, I'm pretty proud of that. Newspapers are like vultures over this kind of thing. With few good journalists around.. the facts are hardly represented adequately.


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#12 Hegdis

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 05:04 PM

I have been part of a number of trials where very senior journalists sit through the Crown's opening statement and leave before defence says a word, then report the Crown theory as fact.

It's infuriating and depressing.

I do not have a high opinion of the media generally.
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#13 Jaggers

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 05:51 PM

I have been part of a number of trials where very senior journalists sit through the Crown's opening statement and leave before defence says a word, then report the Crown theory as fact.

 

That's not true... they report the Crown theory as allegations so as not to get sued. They just don't print any allegations that might suggest a different conclusion.


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#14 StudentLife

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 09:02 PM

I thought the blog post criticizing the original story was very well written. It is in the format of a letter and is clearly an opinion article.

It's also a comprehensive and respectful piece of writing that attacks the objectionable assumptions underlying the original story without "going after" the author.

Not everyone is going to agree with that view, but it's a perfectly legitimate criticism. I would not categorize that blog post as anyone "losing [their] mind"; rather I see it as a future colleague eloquently expressing concern and dismay over a real and ongoing issue in the profession.

(Not sure if I misunderstood the OP to be suggesting otherwise; maybe he was referencing something else.)

 

I wasn’t talking about their blog posts. They did go after the author right after that. Some of the writers of the blog went straight to the media (one girl in particular contacted the media first) which then published their one sided allegations calling the author out publicly. Goodbye articling prospects for that second year student. This happened after the Vice-Dean announced there was an ongoing internal investigation and to forward all concerns to him pending a town hall meeting. This also happened after the offending article was deleted and an apology already issued by the author. At the very least the public escalation by contacting the newspapers and providing interviews was improper supervision of the students in that class since “going to the media” happened during their law and social media coursework. To make things more confusing the class is directly supervised by the Vice-Dean who is also the one doing the investigation and speaking to the parties.

How would you like it if back in school students above you used a course they were in to publish negative articles in the mainstream media accusing you of all sorts of vile things? Referring to the Edmonton Journal article which some of them initiated by contacting the media first through their position in the course.

Losing their minds referred to some of the initial reactionary personal comments on Facebook and other social media made by various students directed at the individual. Even later some did not accept his apology or thought it was not genuine.
 
And yes, the school does have a drinking problem, but that is a topic for another day. If only you knew some of the things that happened in the recent past…

I will now go back to watching Animal House, while working on my Professional Responsibility paper.


Edited by StudentLife, 29 November 2016 - 09:06 PM.


#15 Jaggers

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 09:46 PM

What is the issue? The author published the article under his own name, so obviously it's out there. He published it, so it's part of the public record. I haven't seen the apology, but if he did, that's part of the public record too.


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#16 Hegdis

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 09:51 PM

How would you like it if back in school students above you used a course they were in to publish negative articles in the mainstream media accusing you of all sorts of vile things? Referring to the Edmonton Journal article which some of them initiated by contacting the media first through their position in the course.

Losing their minds referred to some of the initial reactionary personal comments on Facebook and other social media made by various students directed at the individual. Even later some did not accept his apology or thought it was not genuine.

Not sure why this got personal all of a sudden.

In fact, I have had things I have said or written subjected to public scrutiny and even - yikes - Facebook and the comments section of the online news. It is not a pleasant experience - but it's what happens when you make public statements (or publish content in the public realm). If you can't take the heat don't play with the stove. You can't later complain that things got hot!

(I am afraid there is no rule anywhere that says anyone has to accept an apology or believe it is genuine. Sad for the honestly contrite, but true nonetheless.)

I am sure this has been a painful experience for the author. Hopefully he learns from it. Hopefully his peers are big enough to let him move on. Their (in)ability to do so will ultimately reflect on them too.
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#17 Yogurt Baron

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 10:59 PM

How would you like it if back in school students above you used a course they were in to publish negative articles in the mainstream media accusing you of all sorts of vile things?

 

I don't see anyone "accusing (the writer) of all sorts of vile things". I see them saying he wrote the article that he wrote.

 

Goodbye articling prospects for that second year student.

 

Well, first of all: "After fearlessly hitting on pretty much all of the 1Ls, some who were clearly attached to partners, word, like herpes, spread at the party." If someone who writes this poorly ever had "articling prospects", thank God something came along and wiped them out. Second of all: employers judge you by the things that you do. If someone did something really great in the course of an extracurricular activity, it would reflect positively on them. This guy chose to write "word, like herpes", and if it reflects poorly on him, welcome to an employment market in which people judge applicants by the shit they do. Welcome to adult life.

I communicate in real life exactly how I communicate on here. Do you know how many professional opportunities I've lost because that guy I called stupid yesterday turned out to be my potential new boss's dad? Do you know how many professional opportunities I've gained because that other guy I called stupid yesterday turned out to be stupid, and people were impressed with my forthrightness? If you're going to want to reap the benefits of the good---and I suspect that if the "writer" of the "article" had written something brilliant that changed the face of Canadian jurisprudence, he'd want credit for it---you've got to accept the risk of consequences of the bad.


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#18 setto

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Posted 30 November 2016 - 11:02 AM

I don't see anyone "accusing (the writer) of all sorts of vile things". I see them saying he wrote the article that he wrote.

 

 

I think the OP is referring to the Facebook hubbub. 

 

 

 

I communicate in real life exactly how I communicate on here. Do you know how many professional opportunities I've lost because that guy I called stupid yesterday turned out to be my potential new boss's dad? Do you know how many professional opportunities I've gained because that other guy I called stupid yesterday turned out to be stupid, and people were impressed with my forthrightness? If you're going to want to reap the benefits of the good---and I suspect that if the "writer" of the "article" had written something brilliant that changed the face of Canadian jurisprudence, he'd want credit for it---you've got to accept the risk of consequences of the bad.

 

While I agree with you, how many of these professional opportunities were at the end of a degree that required considerable investment and the only way to use it was to go through some form of internship/articling/residency? Not exactly like this student can set up shop on his own or lateral into some different role - a JD is pretty hard to market without articles. 



#19 ZappBranniganAgain

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 11:42 AM

As dumb as that article was, in fairness to the author, it is worth saying that people just love scandal. People like to make a big deal out of things because it is interesting, it's something to do. There are a few offended people and then a whole bunch of people that get "offended by association" and it just turns into a big thing. 

 

And seriously, article or no article, I find the party atmosphere at U of A to be pretty bad. The fairly large fringe group that stays out of it is kind of shocked and embarrassed at the whole thing.


Edited by ZappBranniganAgain, 09 December 2016 - 11:42 AM.

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#20 Coolname

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:51 PM

that entire post could have all the genders swapped and it would still make sense. If anything, the stereotype of a person drinking far too much and hitting on anything that moves is a male stereotype. 

 

The article wasn't funny, especially the ending, but it was clearly intended as a joke. 

 

Honestly though, if you think there is even the slight chance that article is written about you, the article isnt going to make your reputation any worse.


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#21 Hegdis

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 11:07 PM

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I have always found this adage instructive: all jokes are half true.

 

The point being that when we joke around, it's often a way of telling people what we really think - with plausible deniability. If you think jokes invoking stereotypes are hilarious, it's frequently because you think the stereotype exists for a reason and you believe the joke expresses a truth you could not otherwise acknowledge without social consequence. We all know that we tell certain jokes around certain groups of people and we keep our mouths shut when other groups of people are within earshot.

 

This is human nature. it is not one of the better sides of human nature. (*This is also not All Jokes. Please for God's sake read this post and understand I am not saying All Jokes. The jokes to which I refer meet the pornography test: you know them when you hear them.)

 

I've come to believe that a lot of "joking around" is really passive aggressive behaviour designed to put certain people in their place. "It was just a joke!" is so often the bully's defence. So when I hear some one retreating behind that phrase, I don't give it a lot of weight. Yeah, maybe you were "joking" - but the point is, you believed it was funny for a reason. And I think when you are arrogant or careless enough to tell a "joke" like this to the world at large there's really no excuse for pretending to be surprised when a large number of people call you on your shit.


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#22 utmguy

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 12:44 PM

I've come to believe that a lot of "joking around" is really passive aggressive behaviour designed to put certain people in their place. "It was just a joke!" is so often the bully's defence. So when I hear some one retreating behind that phrase, I don't give it a lot of weight. Yeah, maybe you were "joking" - but the point is, you believed it was funny for a reason. And I think when you are arrogant or careless enough to tell a "joke" like this to the world at large there's really no excuse for pretending to be surprised when a large number of people call you on your shit.

Ah, but who gets to define what that reason is?  Is the literal interpretation of the words all that matters?  Is it the most commonly understood perception of the joke?  What if the teller of the joke meant something very different from how the joke is perceived?

 

The case of Mike Ward is instructive. 

 

A literal interpretation of Mike Ward's jokes would make one think that he is making fun of Jeremy Gabriel, and saying that Mr. Gabriel is unworthy of charity.

 

The subtle, (and in my view, more correct) interpretation of Mike Ward's jokes, is that he is simply exploring a question about human psychology:  What makes anyone decide to donate to charity/What makes a charitable cause worthy?  And, using Jeremy Gabriel is a real life example, explores the question of whether an illness must be terminal in order to be deserving of charity. 

 

While, literally, the jokes made fun of Jeremy Gabriel, and indeed, it appears Mr. Gabriel took offence to the joke, in my view, it would be unreasonable to conclude that Mike Ward thinks that Jeremy Gabriel is unworthy of charity on the basis of his set. 

 

In fact, I would conclude the opposite.  The target of Mike Ward's set is anyone who believes that an illness must be terminal to be worthy of charity, and he expresses this view through the approach of reductio ad absurdum. 


Edited by utmguy, 11 December 2016 - 12:49 PM.

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#23 Hegdis

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 02:39 PM

Sigh.

(*This is also not All Jokes. Please for God's sake read this post and understand I am not saying All Jokes. The jokes to which I refer meet the pornography test: you know them when you hear them.)


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#24 utmguy

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 06:24 AM

Sigh.

 

Says the person who's prior post started with "All Jokes".

 

Furthermore, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal obviously thought Mike Ward's set was offensive, in fining him tens of thousands of dollars.  But yes, I should just trust the unprincipled approach that we'll "know it when we see it."


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#25 Hegdis

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 08:42 AM

Says the person who's prior post started with "All Jokes".

Furthermore, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal obviously thought Mike Ward's set was offensive, in fining him tens of thousands of dollars. But yes, I should just trust the unprincipled approach that we'll "know it when we see it."


I am not sure how this got confused, since I thought it was abundantly clear (underlined disclaimer and all!) but I was expressing a personal opinion and my individual approach to certain "jokes".

I am not the human rights tribunal and I was making no comment on their criteria or methods. Nor was I suggesting they should adopt mine.

There are social consequences that stand apart from legal ones. If it wasn't clear before, maybe it will be now.
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