Thought Leadership » Millennial Law Students Too Casual, Says Prof

Millennial Law Students Too Casual, Says Prof

August 17, 2016

CAMBRIDGE, MA - MAY 26, 2011: Students of Harvard University gather for their graduation ceremonies on Commencement Day on May 26, 2011 in Cambridge, MA.

Just six years ago, University of Utah law professor Shima Baradaran Baughman’s students had no problem referring to her as “Professor Baughman.” But nowadays, many in her class have taken to calling her “Shima,” she writes for PrawfsBlawg. “I believe that students call me by my first name because there is a growing movement by professors to allow students to call them by their first name, both in undergrad and in law school.” But she fears that level of casualness with students “may lead to false expectation that this is how it is in the legal profession,” one of the last arenas where formality still reigns. “We have to address judges by a certain title (or they will correct you at oral argument), we have to carefully include exact language, color, and formatting on briefs or they are rejected,” Baughman writes. Moreover, her students make requests of her time and resources that she says she “would never have made in law school even if I was paid a large amount of money.” It’s reflective of a broader issue “of casual Millennials and respect,” Baughman writes.

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