I cheated in law school.
It was easy, it was worth it, and looking back, I should have done it more.
The last exam of first semester was Civil Procedure. That was the tough class for my section. Every group of 1Ls has the “tough class.” The one with the professor everyone is intimidated by. The one they spend so much time studying for that they show up to other classes unprepared. In The Paper Chase, the tough class is Contracts with Kingsfield.
Civil Procedure with Samuel Issacharoff was our tough class. It wasn’t the “Kingsfield” of our 1L year though. Our equivalent of Kingsfield, the professor students have heard about before even applying to law school, was Arthur Miller, the professor on whom Perini is based in Scott Turow’s 1L. Arthur Miller also taught civil procedure, but to a different group of students, chosen at random.
Despite the tens of thousands of dollars you pay in tuition to your law school, it’s often a crapshoot like that. Some people will take a class from a legendary professor and gain stories to tell on interviews or around the water cooler later in life. Other people get the B squad. Not that NYU’s B squad was at all bad. But, “Yeah, Arthur Miller was teaching civ pro when I was there, …I had someone else though” isn’t really a compelling story. The Paper Chase without Kingsfield is not The Paper Chase.
Despite not being Arthur Miller, Issacharoff was still the terrifying professor for our section. That makes some people terrified of the exam. They’re scared of every exam, but really on edge about the tough professor’s test. With the curve though, it doesn’t really matter. A hard exam is hard for everyone. Your performance is relative to the performance of your classmates.
And, that’s why cheating works.