Traumatized by Michael Brown or Eric Garner cases? Columbia will postpone your exams

It was either a good week or a bad week, depending on your viewpoint. 

It was a GOOD week for  …

Showing sensitivity, after Columbia University Law announced it would allow students who are traumatized by the recent grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases to reschedule their exams for a later date.

“The grand juries’ determinations to return non-indictments in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases have shaken the faith of some in the integrity of the grand jury system and in the law more generally,” Interim dean Robert Scott wrote in an email. “For some law students, particularly, though not only, students of color, this chain of events is all the more profound as it threatens to undermine a sense that the law is a fundamental pillar of society designed to protect fairness, due process and equality.”

It was a BAD week for …

Infantilizing law students, after Columbia University Law announced students could postpone their exams. Critics, including, David Bernstein, a professor at George Mason University School of Law and Constitutional Law expert wrote in a statement, “Columbia has unfortunately chosen to infantilize [their students], suggesting that adult law students can't handle hearing about perceived injustices in the world. I can't imagine why any law student would admit that hearing about a seemingly unjust legal decision incapacitates them; how would such people function as lawyers, given that many verdicts deeply disappoint advocates for one side or the other? Meanwhile, to the extent that Columbia students take advantage of delaying their exams, they are getting an unfair advantage — that is, more time to study — over students who don't claim the delay."