Sunday, January 13, 2013

Judging a Book By Its Cover
Yes, Law Professors Do That

Dear gentle readers who read this blog for the law school content (as opposed to those who read the content about pets) law school professors do judge a book by its cover. We are told not to determine who and what a person is by what he wears or how he looks. But trust me, this goes on all the time, even in law school.

For example, in the last week of class, my criminal procedure professor saw me hanging around a classroom. The previous class had run past its scheduled end time, so I milled around the hallway with my classmates waiting for the room to open. The professor, whose office is just a couple of door down from that classroom, saw me, waived and initiated a conversation with me. It was the first time we had spoken to each other that semester.

She wanted to know how things were going for me and in particular, criminal procedure. I gave some pat answers. But when we went into detail, I mentioned that there were some cases I did not like which pissed me off such as Terry and Wardlow. She seemed surprised. She actually said that she thought I'd be conservative, "on the right."

I was taken aback she would say something like that out loud. I responded by saying that for the most part, I am conservative, "you should ask my environmental law professor." (What was funny about that remark is that I latter found out that her husband is an environmental lawyer.) I told her what other viewpoints I had and she said that I sounded more like a libertarian. Who knows.

But, people do indeed judge a book by its cover, even law professors.

The irony of this story is that minutes after my professor said that I "looked" conservative, I gave a presentation on a paper in which I took the same side of an issue as the ACLU and Greenpeace.

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