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The Hazing of Roy Moore as a 1L

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, like any political candidate, has his opponents, but this post isn't about his politics. The harrowing tale of his hazing as a 1L and throughout law school is an all too real reminder of why hazing is just wrong, despite how even the coolest lawyer blogs are joining the pile on.

Unfortunately, the story of his hazing effectively confirmed that the pejorative nickname given to Moore by some jerk of a professor was well deserved, according to his peers. Moore was nicknamed "fruit salad" by his professor after extensive in class questioning via the Socratic method whereby the professor concluded that Moore was "all mixed up" like a "fruit salad." You might not like Moore, but that's just mean, and not very professorial.

Times may have been different back then, but the details provided by Moore's peers are telling of an overly lax attitude toward professorial hazing.

Professor Bully

In law school, Moore was called on by one of his professors who ruthlessly questioned him throughout the entire class period. And while generations of law students have amassed a rather well stocked vault of Socratic method horror stories, Moore's seems to be worse than most. After the initial day, Moore was called upon again, and during that session, he was walked up to the front of the classroom, and told to spin around in circles because he was, again, "all mixed up" like a "fruit salad." And for the rest of law school, not only did the professor refer to him as fruit salad, his peers did too.

While maybe a light teasing is okay, professors ridiculing students crosses a line. What Roy Moore experienced was beyond what would be considered okay by today's standards. Moore may have been "mixed up," but his professor was basically harassing a Vietnam war veteran that had graduated West Point where he was trained to think like a military officer and not a liberal arts student entering law school.

Hazing the 1Ls Good

Although the name calling was out of line, Moore's experience of being under the professor's microscope is part of the law school experience, and is pretty much one of the only good forms of hazing that exists. Getting called on and ruthlessly questioned is perhaps some of the only practical legal training a law student will get in subject matter courses. Students may hate it, but it's actually good for them.

Having a professor focus on a single student somewhat simulates being questioned by a judge in a courtroom. Also, it really ups the pressure for the rest of the class, as anyone could be next. The only way to avoid being distressed is being prepared.

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