With essays coming at you left, right and centre, mid-semester exams happening and clerkship deadlines looming, life as a law student can seem overwhelming. It's a path that requires persistence and in the words of RiRi, means we have to ‘werk, werk, werk, werk werk!’.
But what happens when we’re burnt out, exhausted or just too tired to hustle? Well, that’s when we are faced with the decision to keep calm and carry on OR go to the dark side.
In the dark we may entertain the possibility and even give in to shortcuts and loopholes (I’m looking at you academic misconduct). Throughout this listicle, I want to give you 3 reasons why honesty is the best policy and why plagiarising, cheating and embellishing our achievements is just not worth it.
In late 2015, on the eve of his graduation, a law student from University of Queensland was charged with accessing a staff computer to change his grades. Although I’m sure we have all wanted to change a grade at one point in our studies, the consequence of actually altering it far outweigh the perceived gain. Speaking on the issue, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UQ noted that ‘academic misconduct can lead to expulsion and criminal charges’. In this case, the student did have his day in court, and sadly it was not as legal counsel.
To those graduates and final years who are currently seeking employment, the struggle can definitely be real. And for a UNSW graduate (we’ll call him Mr G), it was simply too much. When sending out his CV, Mr G blatantly lied about his results and his extensive experience. With this CV he was able to get a job as a paralegal, then lawyer and eventually a comfortable position at Corrs Chamber Westgarth. Unfortunately, his trickery caught up with him, and in 2015 the charade was up. Admitting to his fraudulent conduct, Mr G now has to wait until 2018 until he can practice again.
What do you do when you’re facing a writer’s block when belting out a 2,500 word essay? Most of us have our own rituals – whether it be getting a coffee, taking a breather, or getting in some worthwhile procrastination, we do what we need to do and then give it another try. Unfortunately, for two students at University of Newcastle, getting someone else to write their essay was their way of dealing with writers block. Using an online ghost-writer, these students chose to pay their way to good grades. In the end, they definitely paid for it and were expelled.
As law students, we are seeking to join a profession that as her honour, Justice McMurdo puts is an ‘honourable and essential profession’. So, as you continue your studies, remember that honesty is always the best policy.