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January 06, 2008

Knickers Are Twisting Over Innovative Adjunct Telling Students They MUST Blog

I love it.  Read this from the Adjunct Professor's Law Blog:

Adjunct Law Professor Requires Students To Participate On His Blog

Barry Law School Professor Marc John Randazza states on his class syllabus that is posted on his blog/web page:

Overall Participation will be 10 points (out of 100) for class participation and 10 points for blog participation. Exceptional participation in either department can make up for some a deficiency in the other. So, if you are a “quiet person,” you may want to hit the blog pretty effectively.

This raises some important issues. Is posting on a blog the same as class participation? Will students compete with each other for the most blog postings? Should we encourage this? Is the professor simply trying to increase his traffic? What if students do not have access to the internet?

Any comments or thoughts?

Please post once as typepad holds posts for approval.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

I'm sorry.  Mitchell Rubinstein, you may be a helluva a guy and a great adjunct but to question whether it is appropriate for an adjunct to introduce students to blogging by actually doing it, getting recognition for their efforts, teaching them something valuable in an unorthodox way doesn't come across right to this reader, at least.  Students get a chance to author on a popular blog which has reach in the legal 'hiring' community, a blog which discusses first amendment issues with a recognized First Amendment lawyer sounds fabulous and innovative and down-right brilliant to me.  Oh, and yeah, I read this on YOUR BLOG.

To suggest it is about driving traffic?  That's petty.  Then to ask, "what if students don't have access to the internet?"  Show me one student who doesn't schlep their laptop to class I'M'ing instead of taking notes.  And even if they don't have a computer or laptop, the school provides internet access.  Why is anything innovative, creative, exciting, beneficial struck down by the dull.  I apologize Mitchell if I've misinterpreted what you wrote, but those are the chances you take when you put fingers to keyboard and press 'publish.'

Here is Attorney Randazza's Grading Policy .  You decide.  And this on the heels of my last post regarding the power of 'creativity.'


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Marc J. Randazza

Lets not forget that his headline alone is inaccurate. The students comment on the class blog not on my blog.

Marc J. Randazza

Well, I tried to comment fully on Rubenstein's blog. I guess he is either too busy to post the comments, or didn't have the coglioni to be criticized.

I was somewhat gracious in my comments on his blog. I'm feeling less fuzzy now.

Lets face it... to be part of the "law professors blogs network," you need to be part of the entrenched "legal education" groove. I'm not. He is. Blog participation is something new... and that threatens "them."

Rubenstein is lazy, at best. If he bothered to read more than the paragraph he quoted, he would have seen that my blog (which whups his ass in visits) is not the blog upon which students are required to comment -- they comment on the CLASS blogs.

But, lets not let facts get in the way of a good lazy slop.

As far as students with no internet access... what about students who don't have a pen and paper?

Plain and simple, either he's lazy or petty or both.

We are neither.

Mitchell Rubinstein

Marc and Susan:
Please re-read what I wrote. Pardon the pun, but you're assuming facts not in evidence. I simply raised some questions about requiring students to post on a blog. That is what we Profs do.
As for me being part of the establishment, give me a break. I wish! I am a full time union side labor lawyer who teaches on the side because I literally love it. As you know, most Adjuncts do not teach for the money.
As for lap tops, about 1/2-3/4 of my students bring them to class. Many do not. Many also do not write their exams on the computer and still use the old fashioned pen and pencil. It's frankly a lot to assume that ALL students are computer literate. They are not-at least not at New York Law School. Last summer, for example, I taught a class at New York Law School where a student was having trouble with TWEN. That student was in his 60's and was a retired city employee. He also was my best student.
So guys, please relax and stop and think before you accuse someone you do not know.
Thank You.

Susan Cartier Liebel


Like I said in my post, you may be one helluva a guy. But when you asked the question, "is the professor simply trying to increase his traffic" that was not a question meant to stimulate intellectual debate. It was a question, however, that attempted to undermine Professor Randazza's integrity. And the catalyst for the question was wrong information.

As for my opinion regarding innovative teaching methods, I stand by that. I'm tired of the twin orphans, creativity and practicality, always left standing alone in the cold at the law school's front door.

But anyway, thank you for entering the conversation. Adjuncts have to stick together and maybe we can make a difference.

Mitchell Rubinstein

I also posted comments on my blog on Jan. 16, 2008.
Mitch Rubinstein. My URL should appear above.

Marc John Randazza

Mitch, I've read what you wrote in the first place, and what you wrote today.

I think if you got your facts straight, you probably wouldn't continue to embarrass yourself.

To get to your example of a student who had trouble with TWEN: I presume that you, or someone else, helped him? I too have had computer illiterate students. A computer illiterate lawyer is one who will never make it in the 21st century. Every law student who enters my class computer illiterate leaves at least functionally literate.

I love this comment you made: please relax and stop and think before you accuse someone you do not know.


I'm off to "pad my traffic" now... by grading students' blog comments.


I was a student in Professor Randazza's class this summer, and I thought the blog was an excellent tool. It really helped with communication and allowed all students to express their opinions. Some of my classmates never volunteer in class, and the blog gave them a chance to do so. It was fascinating to me to see how they developed their arguments, and they earned my respect because many of them really had valuable things to say.

Professor Randazza also took the time to read what we posted, and that showed us he cared about our opinions.

Professor Randazza also made it clear we wouldn't get credit for the most posts, it was the content of our writing. So I was competitive on some level- but it was with myself. I worked pretty hard to make every blog count. I took a lot of pride in my work for him, and I learned a lot in the process. The blog gave us a forum for expressing ourselves, and I wish more professors would do that: provide opportunities and LISTEN.

Martza Majstoravich

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