Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Don't Flatter Yourself

I’ve spoken well of professors who are practicioners or former practicioners, as opposed to someone who got really good grades at Harvard or Yale and decided to stay in school to teach. I’m afraid I’ll have to make an exception for Professor Strap.

He is the partner in charge of immigration at a Very Big local law firm and teaches Immigration Law as an adjunct each year. I have been looking forward to taking Immigration Law since before I even started law school and was majorly bummed out when I didn’t get into the class last year. I should just learn my lesson about “interesting” classes already and stop getting my hopes up. I hate our Immigration Law course.

I described the professor to another student as follows: “He looks like he was a big football player in high school and still has season tickets to watch the team play.” Hence, his nickname: Professor Jacque Strap. This could be overlooked if he weren’t so incredibly incompetent. Seriously, if he makes half the mistakes in advising his clients as he does in lecture, he must commit malpractice eighteen times a day on average. I’m sorry, but if I can spot glaring errors in his lecture after a couple of months working at an immigration law firm, there is a serious problem in his knowledge. Apparently, he can’t even read a statute and understand the words—and a very straightforward statute at that!—because he insisted in a previous class that a certain status rendered you ineligible to attend school while we stared at the subparagraph of the statute that said the opposite.

But now I have a whole new, much more personal reason to hate him: he accused Lasoe of trying to get free legal advice when she dared to ask questions during and after yesterday’s lecture. Personally, I think she should report his sorry self to the administration here. He didn’t accuse the American students of seeking free advice when they asked questions, just Lasoe. And let’s not forget: he’s teaching a class. Taking and answering questions is part of the job; it comes with the territory. And just in case someone out there is thinking, “Well, maybe it’s just a misunderstanding. I’m sure people try to get legal advice for free all the time”, the questions she was asking were to do with visa categories that are utterly unrelated to her current status and, with one small exception, unrelated to any status for which she could be eligible in the near future AND they were to do with the material being (woefully inadequately) covered in that day’s lecture. It’s not like we were talking about asylum and she was asking about how to convert her student visa into permanent residence. Oh, and by the way? If Lasoe were looking for free legal advice, it would be from someone who won't end up getting her deported, not from you!

The intense and burning hatred coming from our side of the room might actually cause him to spontaneously combust.

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At 7:34 AM , Blogger Megarita said...

That comment is hideously wrong but I fear only mildly reportable, so I don't think it's worth the effort. I might keep track of his laughable failings as an instructor for the evals at the end of the semester -- if you get to do those at your level. If not, write a note to the dean with hard examples of his tool-dom. I guess this is one of those exceptions to "those who cannot do, teach." He cannot do either...


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