The Legal Beat
Georgetown Law Exam Hypo Based On Plane Crash That Killed Georgetown Law Student
Posted on Tuesday May 21, 2019
On March 10th, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed, killing 157 people. The accident is still under investigation, with the Boeing 737 MAX jet being pulled out of service due to safety concerns.
One of the people killed was Cedric Asiavugwa, a third-year student at Georgetown University Law Center.
Does any of this sound like appropriate grounds for a law school exam hypo? Does any of this sound like appropriate grounds for a law school exam hypo at Georgetown?
Georgetown Law Professor M. Gregg Bloche’s final for his “The Mind And The Law” class asks the students assess the FAA’s emergency grounding of Boeing 737 jets. Here’s the first page:
I generally dislike it when law professors try to pull this “ripped from the headlines” crap like their name is Dick Wolf. It’s not creative and exciting to draw a hypo from “current events,” it’s lazy writing.
Yes, I get that “real” lawyers often have to deal with emotional issues of tragedy and loss. I get that dispassionate analysis is a hallmark of the legal profession. But the point of a law school exam is not to test a student’s emotional preparedness. It’s certainly not to test a student’s grief management.
It’s not even like the professor kept the question in the realm of “purely” hypothetical. He attaches articles ABOUT the crash to the exam, asking students to read them and address them in their answers.
A student, classmate, and friend of some of these people died. He died a mere month and a half before the exam was published. There was a memorial, on-campus, honoring his life. Could we maybe NOT turn his death into a freaking exam hypo? Would it be too much of an impingement on academic freedom to show some human empathy?
This exam question was tasteless. Next time, just do what everybody else is going to do and ask about whether Grey Worm can be charged with war crimes for following Daenerys Targaryen’s orders.