A Miami Law Student Wants a ‘Student Bill of Rights.’ Really? By Elie Mystal Usually I’m happy to stand with law students against the slings and arrows of outrageous law school administration.

But not this time. This time, instead of a noble law student fighting the good fight, I see an annoying whiner who wants law school to be about teddy bears and rainbows.

A student at the
University of Miami School of Law is trying to get the student body to adopt a “Student Bill of Rights.” The proposal lists a number of things that “shall not be violated.” Even though I agree with some of these points, codifying them as “rights” makes me flaccid. We’re talking about law school, not summer camp. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s not supposed to be fair.

We can condemn law schools until the cows come home for inducing students to sign up under false pretenses. But once you matriculate, law schools turn into the warden from Shawshank Redemption: “Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me.”

As a law student, you don’t have any rights….

Even the set-up for this “Bill of Rights” is vomitous. Listening to this kid wax poetic about “students’ rights” is like watching LeBron James take an hour to tell us where he’s going to play basketball.

And like LeBron, I kind of wish this kid would “take his talents” and shove them right back up his ass:

Over winter break [Redacted], a 2L here at UM law, came to me with a proposition — a proposition to reform                    the law school experience. You see, [Redacted] has been very dissatisfied with her legal education. She believes that                    the majority of her frustration comes from the fact that professors have a great deal of power over their students        and students are not given much leverage in which to counteract that power, which leads professors to abuse their
power which consequently produces an unpleasing classroom experience for students. In order to remedy this
situation, [Redacted] sought of a way to empower students in the classroom in order to counteract/keep-in-check  
professor behavior. Hence, the Student Bill of Rights was born.

The Student Bill of Rights seeks to codify all legitimate concerns that students have involving their legal education. Once codified, these rights will be engrained [sic] into the legal education system, which will help raise awareness to
professors that they must protect these rights and to students that they have the right to have these concerns
respected. This will help establish equilibrium between professor and student rights, which will lead to a more enjoyable classroom experience for law students. While we understand that nothing will change over night we are
eager to see the groundwork for a culture change to occur….

The student body will vote on the Student Bill of Rights in this month’s SBA election. It will be attached to the ballot as
a referendum that hopefully will be added to the SBA Constitution and the Student Handbook.

Really? Really dude? You’re going to reform the law school experience? From Miami Law School? With a document?  Why don’t you try reforming your dating life, since you clearly have too much time on your hands?

Really. I mean really, you just said that students don’t have much leverage. So how does making a bill of rights really give them any more leverage? Because it’s been “codified” by other law students? Sounds like somebody doesn’t understand the concept of “enforcement powers.”

You really misspelled the word “ingrained.” Really? I make typos like I get paid for them (and I kinda do), and even I wouldn’t make that kind of an error. Really, don’t try to bite my style, it’s harder than it looks. I mean, “ingrained” wasn’t even the word you were looking for in that sentence. No, really. You wanted to say something like “adopted” or “accepted” or “acknowledged,” and that’s just using words starting with the first letter of the alphabet. I really believe that there are at least three words per vowel that would make more sense there.

And I really don’t know who told you that the classroom experience was supposed to be “enjoyable,” but that person owes you money. Really. Really, dude. If class was supposed to be fun, they wouldn’t call it “class.” If you don’t like class so much, why don’t you just read Above the Law during class, like the rest of your friends? Really. You don’t need a bill of rights, you need a wireless internet connection.

I mean really, what is wrong with you?

Really? Miami Law students, if you vote for this thing I’ll shoot you on general principle.

CORRECTION: The version of the email I received did not reveal the gender of the person championing the Bill of Rights. I assumed it was a guy because it reeked of the bravado inspired by a Y-chromosome.

Turns out the “he” is a she. Really. I apologize for the error.


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