In light of the discussion around the academy of what we could be better doing to prepare students for graduation, I have come up with some proposed courses:
Barrista Law. Course will focus on the legal ramifications of working at a Starbucks. Is the fact that the patron ordered a “Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino Extra Hot With Foam Whipped Cream Upside Down Double Blended, One Sweet’N Low and One Nutrasweet, and Ice” an affirmative defense to battery? What is the maximum number of pro-union buttons you can wear and not increase the risk of extra hot latte heat transfer burn? If in an open-carry state, which drink is the best defense against a gun? Special register transactions, such as the rare use of cash and making exact change, will be covered.
Networking Survivor. Ever notice how students attending lawyer functions cluster together, hold each other tightly and start to shake? Before you graduate, stop this bad habit. A group of students will be forced to spend seven days on an island with a group of lawyers. At the end, the lawyers will vote off all the students but one based upon networking skills. Last one standing gets a job.
Basic Letter Writing. In this advanced course students will learn how to write a letter. Lecture will focus on addressing the letter correctly, constructing the body of the letter, and using a proper signature. Students are taught to avoid a greeting such as “Who Maybe Concerned” or “Yo!”
Psychology 413. This cross-listed course will train students to deal with exceptionally difficult people. Students will visit a local mental hospital, where select patients will have been trained to dress and speak like partners, clients, and colleagues. Students will have to quickly identify the condition presented and how best to diffuse the situation. Beginning students start with OCD while advanced students attempt to pick out the psychopath from the overworked, exhausted, angry and stressed out partner who abuses clients and staff.
Law School Finance. This course will cover the basics of personal bankruptcy, loan consolidation, and credit card debt. Advanced students will file for unemployment benefits and intern in the school’s law library.
Basic Tact. Students enrolling in this course will learn the smoothest ways to achieve their goals. Some examples from my personal experience are helpful here.
Student statement: “You graded my exam wrong!”
Properly rephrased statement: “Can we look at my exam to see what I did wrong?”
Student statement: “What you said totally did not make sense.”
Properly rephrased statement: “I’m not understanding what you are saying.”
Tenured professors, to maintain their status as lifetime employees, will be required to take this course every two years. Examples of potentially rehabilitated statements from law professors:
Professor statement: “What are you, stupid?”
Properly phrased statement: “You might want to give that more thought.”
Professor statement: “The only thing you got right on your exam was your name.”
Properly phrased statement: “Let us see what you can do to correct systemic errors in your exam.”
Peer Pressure and Boundary Setting 101. This course will require students to learn limits by putting them in ordinary situations. For example, students will learn that merely because you are the only one without a 3L’s amazing outline for the course in which you’ve enrolled does not mean you’ll get a lower grade. Students will learn that if you spend 20 hours a day at your law firm and fail to see your family, you’ll regret it later in life. Videos of teen drug peer pressure will be linked to the pressure to essentially live in the law school library.