Much has been said about law students’ petitioning for exam extensions in light of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police officers. Students at Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Georgetown University Law Center and several other schools requested that their administrations allow extensions on final exams for students who had confronted the aftermath of the recent failed grand jury indictments of the officers who killed the unarmed black men.
In response, opponents of exam extensions declared that to grant these requests was a disservice to the students. Law students, they argued, must learn how to engage critically with the law in the face of intense adversity. Drawing comparisons to the Civil Rights Movement and other times of intense turmoil, these opponents portrayed today’s law students as coddled millennials using traumatic events as an excuse for their inability to focus on a three-hour exam.
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