A National Law Student Code of Conduct?

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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3 Responses

  1. angelina jolie says:

    Code of conduct for law students? Give me a break. Just about every school and work place has a “code” re: keep your bigotry and the rest of such to yourself. Frankly, people who would resort to harassing the traditional harasee groups is a) a coward, and b) an idiot. The fact is, there is all sorts of hate in this world. The internet is merely a convenient vehicle (previously unavailable) for people to voice their bigotry anonymously. The real question is: are law schools and the rest trying to protect the vulnerale from harassment, or is it simply in the interest of the school or employer to deter its constituents from letting the public know that these institutions harbor bigots? I am a bit of a cynic, so I think it’s the latter. Also, I think the policy really ought to be say as you wish and all that you think. That way, people applying for employment, and students applying for admission could genuinely be able to judge what kind of a crowd they are getting into.

    Let the bigots have their airtime, I say. This is pretty much the only way to expose the ridiculous and unsustainable stereotypes people carry around. The only way to get rid of short-sightedness and sloppy thinking that is the essential part and parcel of bigotry – is to allow it, expose it, debate it – and reach the one and only conclusion about it: close-mindedness, lack of humility, and lack of basic mental ability to appreciate the causes of ignorance – these are the roots of bigotry, the roots of people’s hatred for others. People who are happy don’t waste their time hating other groups of people: happy people don’t envy the richer and don’t blame the jobless. Only the mirable have the energy to hate. So why not just allow it and deal with it, ey? Expose the jealous and the petty, let them speak their minds. Let bigots choke on the obvious inconsistensies in theor own thinking. As far as I see it, tolerating (exposing) bigots is about the only way to turn the tide here.

  2. Ira Greenfield says:


    I am deeply curious as to why you’ve picked this particular issue as your new pet. What is going on with your research? David, there will always be people in this world secretly bearing all sorts of hatreds, and all sorts of people sneaking through the cracks of “codes of conduct,” or “office/firm policies re: no harassment allowed.” The underlying attitudes will not chance simply because people employers or the institutions where they are enrolled do not tolerate these folks.

    David, people will only learn tolerance with time, and only if bigotry is a topic discussed out in the open. I say you are better than all this. Pick a new topic, run some statistics ons your results, and put out a paper that informs people of the quarky stuff that court and people do. Bigots will be bigots. I say don’t acknowledge their bullshit–it only encourages it.

  3. Former law student says:

    I am jaded by having grown up with young male persons*, perhaps, so the answers to the following questions are not obvious to me. Can anyone help?

    Would having a link to her “social networking” website posted on a discussion board under the rubric “Hotties of the T-14” really cause a reasonable female law student severe emotional distress? Or would having some creep opine “I would bang her silly” place a reasonable female law student in fear of bodily injury or death?

    *A few of my fellow undergraduates actually devised a rating system for the girls we knew, and one day sat in the student union, holding up their appraisals like figure skating judges when the girls passed by.