Why the Law School Needs an Official Blog

I think the law school needs an official blog, run by the Dean’s Office, so that we could have quick and official answers to frequently asked student questions. But that’s probably years away. So I’m going to do my best to give unofficial answers to the questions posted by an anonymous student. I’ve put his/her questions in indent and interspersed my responses at the regular margin. Note that the italics are part of the original from which I’m quoting.

They fixed up the student lounge. Fantastic! I didn’t go in but it looks like they got rid of the couches and desks and ripped up the carpet. So it’s a sterile room with more space for setting up chairs but nowhere to actually do the lounging.

We’re having a reception in there tonight. If I recall, I heard that the furniture should turn up in a few days.

Now we can only print a set number of pages, then after 1,200 pages, you have to pay. That’ll work great. I’m sure no one will have any complaints about things like oh, I don’t know…how on any given day at least two printers are broken, which means you send something to a printer and it just disappears into cyberspace, meaning under the new system you’ll still get “charged” with having printed it.

We studied this carefully. 1,200 pages is much, much more than all but a handful of student (ab)users print out. For over 95% of the class, there’s plenty of margin for error. Fewer abusers also means the machines and paper supplies should last longer.

Some of the classes, including Trusts and Estates with professor Elements, were suddenly cancelled. I know several people who are angry about that because it threw off their schedule. I assume the reason is that Professor Elements is not doing well. I knew he was sick but have no idea how he’s doing. Here’s hoping he gets better — if in fact the reason for cancelling the class is that he’s sick.

At present, he’s not reliably well enough to teach, alas.

[Long screed about parking]

Parking is controlled by the university, not the law school, alas. E-mail President Shalala’s office about the flooding, something might actually happen…

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12 Responses to Why the Law School Needs an Official Blog

  1. Sounds like all law schools seem to go through the same run of complaints by students and responses by the administration. While I was attending the Valparaiso University School of Law, we had many of the same problems, the printer system for example. We only got 500 pages per semester in our print allocation. For those of us who competed on Moot Court and Mock Trial while taking writing courses, it literarlly came down to a pinch. Thankfully, we came to an arragement with the administration to provide extra print pages for those on the accademic teams. I think one of the things that might help the tension is explaining the budgetary restrictions that create the need for these kinds fo print quota restrictions. It always just seemed like the restrictions came top down without any explanation by the powers that be, but this is only my perspective on things.

  2. Pat says:

    CSU, Chico has no free printing in any of the campus-wide student labs. Some department labs have their own policy. The printing system ties into the same student cards that most students use to buy meals on campus. The quality of the print service has increased dramatically and the complaints (save a few ‘I pay tuition how dare you charge me for anything on campus!’ rants) are practically gone.

  3. That is something I have always struggled with. If I am paying what seems like an exhorbitant amount of money for education, it makes sense that certain services would be included in the cost of education. Esepcially considering that in some cases, education has cost upwards of $100,000. With an expenditure rivaling that of real estate, it stand to reason it may be one of the complaints.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Being a UM alum, I think the complaint is based not only on having to pay for additional pages but the actual quality of the print services at UM. The technical support system is, IMHO, very poor at UM, especially compared to my undergraduate institution (which had only about 500 more students than UM law and a significantly larger network). Printers are frequently broken with no answer as to when they’ll be working again. It is also always a guessing game with where your item will actually print (if it does at all) as the computers always default print to some random printer (usually a different one each time you log on — it took me a while to memorize where each coded printer was located, for new 1Ls it is very confusing). Finally, you have incidents where, during important moments in the school year (think finals), the entire network is down and you can’t print anything. There are going to be a lot of angry students if these changse fail to improve the quality of print services and support at UM law.

  5. someguy says:

    Anonymous hit the nail on the head. We’re paying more than $130,000. We don’t expect Bill Gates’ house but we expect basic competence. Instead, the computer system (and I have no technical knowledge so I have no clue if it’s the server, the actual computers, or whatever) is wholly inadequate. It’s a rare day that everything works perfectly. Professors (this blog author included) often tell students they can’t read their UM e-mail account and many work from home because the computer system here is useless. The network is down at least once a week, often for long periods. At least half the printers are down on any given day once the semester gets underway. Yet the same complaints are made year after year and nothing ever changes.

  6. anon says:

    I’m a 3L at UM and I have never had any problems with the network or with printing.

  7. anon says:

    I am a 3L at UM and I have had trouble with the network and printing and I have many friends that have had problems with the network and printing. I echo 8/20/06 11:54a & 8/20/06 3:26p. I do, however, have faith that UM Law will get around to improving their technical services.

  8. anon says:

    is professor stotsky professor elements? if so, how sick is he? –concerned.

  9. Sue AnnCampbell says:

    It is not professor Stotsky. It is prof. Gaubatz.

    Parking at UM has always been a problem. I did a graduate paper on the parking problem here, researched back as far as old issues of the Miami Hurricane newspaper would allow. The complaints are always the same. No parking next to the building where I want to park, banged up cars from people who aren’t careful while parking.

    The solution is and always has been arrive early for classes (even if your class doesn’t start until 10 get here before 8) or park in what the university calls “perimeter parking” which is near metrorail and take the shuttle bus to the Law School. There is parking, just not convienent parking.

    BTW for those unaware of it, staff have to pay to park as well. So students think they are cheated by having to pay for parking, besides payng tuition, but we have to pay to work (or take public transpotation if we can get it) and our measly raises don’t cover the increase in the parking fees so year after year we pay more and get less take home pay.

  10. anonymous says:

    re: parking. i spent close to $400 on a parking permit to allow me to park in the law school lot. i spent over $10 today feeding my meter because all spots were taken by my 8:10am arrival.

  11. Michael says:

    It’s not a “parking permit”. It’s a hunting license.

  12. Anonymous says:

    No matter how early you arrive to campus it will not change the fact that the parking spaces are so small that I have maybe a 1.5 foot clearance on either side of my 2 seat car. All it takes is 1 SUV to screw the whole thing up. My car was hit (with a decent amount of damage) twice in three years, not to mention the numerous door dings, etc. I know it’s a hunting license, but if the parking spaces at UM were actually deer or fish they’d all be too small to legally take.

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