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Laptops In The Law School Classroom

Some Law School teachers forbid students from using laptop computers in class for a variety of reasons.  Of course, there are all sorts of opinions on the matter.  You might be interested to read this anonymous author’s thoughts at Legal Geekery

Anonymous Thoughts On Laptops In the Classroom

There is a lot of discussion going around lately about professors banning laptops in the classroom, so I feel the need to chime in. There are already related discussions on Volokh and here on Legal Geekery, and I want to raise my hand too.

Having had the opportunity to take a class this semester that banned laptops outright, my professor regurgitated the same arguments made by every other electronics-banning professor: facebook, inattentive students in general, lexis, research class or writing class, emails, blog checking, etc.

The way I see it, if you need to tell students (especially those over the age of 21) that they are not attentive enough and you have to ban laptops to get them to pay attention, maybe you should find a better way to teach the class. The law is and should be interesting and that’s the reason many of us have elected to pursue a law degree.

As a 1L, students need to pay attention because they need to hear you go on and on about the ever elusive how to think like a lawyer. But as 2Ls and 3Ls, we figured out that you, just like the bar, are testing our ability to memorize the nutshell/outline and how to argue both sides of your hypo, and that aside from the rule or exception that was the topic of that day’s class, nothing that you lectured about is on the final.


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