The Empty Threat of 2Ls and 3Ls Transferring To Receive In-Person Instruction
Many law schools may decide to bring 1Ls on campus, but hold 2L and 3L classes online. The thinking here is at once compassionate, but also pragmatic. The first-year of law school is a surreal experience. The pressure of classes forms something of a crucible: students are forced to acclimate to a brand new environment in a short period of time. By the time students get to the second year, they have developed a certain familiarity with the process, and are able to deal with classes more efficiently–even though they do not prepare as well for class. I see a world of difference between Property I students (in the second semester) and Property II students (in the third semester). If law schools have to make tough choices about who to admit on campus, objectively, 1Ls should be given priority.
There is also a pragmatic dimension to this choice. Incoming 1Ls, who feel they will be shortchanged by online instruction, may not enroll. Maybe they will decide to defer a year. Or maybe they’ll pick a law school that promises in-person instruction. Rural campuses over urban campuses may be more desirable. These promises should be taken with some caution. Shut-down orders may come in October, requiring everyone to go back online. And the experience in class may soon become intolerable. But, incoming 1Ls demand in-person instruction. And law schools, dependent on tuition, will be pressu
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