National Institutions: Supreme Court
Most Helpful Review
DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS unless you like spending $200, being overwhelmed by readings, and wasting 4 hrs/wk of your life. Lebow is a nice lady, but she does not make students feel welcome in seeking help. In one instance, she moved the day of our class and—since a lot of students couldn’t therefore attend—as a result, many students went to her office hours for help. The following class, she yelled at the students because she didn’t “have the time.” She asked for students to get the notes from their group partners, but no one in my group was able to attend the class. In addition, Lebow is biased to the point of blindness. I felt as though she was trying to indoctrinate the class, rather than actually educate her students. One student brought it up in office hours—that she was very biased—and her response was that ‘that is how [she] teaches and only addresses another side if it is raised by a student.’ Even her readings were blatantly biased. I felt very uncomfortable raising my hand in class in fear that my views would conflict with her personal beliefs that she constantly promoted in class. Personally, I didn’t put myself through thousands of dollars of debt to be indoctrinated; I could have gone to a church for that. As an educator, she was supposed to educate us rather than preach to us. She should have given us the pro/cons (better yet, she could have asked students for the pros/cons) of the different judicial ideologies and let students use their own brains to figure out what is best. The readings are beyond unnecessary and excessive, almost compensating for her lack of actual teaching. I would rather have a professor who just lectured off of the slides than listen to professor Lebow talk for two hours. It would have been more productive for us to have 1.25 hours of lecture twice a week & and actual 50 minute discussion class. The discussion would have been more beneficial for students and would give us the ability to actually speak and discuss the material. Most weeks, we had between 300-400 pages of reading. Many of the assigned materials were redundant. For example, we had to read the entire oral argument for Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt AND read a summary of it by Lyle Denison. If I was going to read the entire oral argument for this case, why would it be necessary to read the summary of it too. It seems as though Lebow did not take care in choosing the assigned materials we were required to read—as if she took articles and threw them into the course reader without giving a thought to what was actually important for us to read. Most of the readings were completely unnecessary and did not add any clarification or additional information in regards to the subject. For example, the Bush v. Al Gore reading did not provide me with any important infor and barely discussed the USSC at all. We were required to purchase 3 books, totaling over $200 (and I looked everywhere—ebay, thriftbooks, halfbooks, etc.—to find cheaper versions but were unavailable). It was completely superfluous. She did not explain what she wanted in terms of the midterm, so I spent 15 hours studying 1,000 pages of text for no reason rather, than just studying the court cases. She should have given students a better idea rather than them going in blindly. I shouldn’t have had to go in to office hours just to be told what to expect. Only the people who constantly went to office hours got an A. During the second half of the class, the professor forgot to put up the handouts we were required to read for weeks, putting each student even more behind than he/she was already likely to be. I only missed 2 classes, so it wasn’t for lack of attendance. I love constitutional law so this should have been the class I loved the most... But I hated it because of the lack of actual teaching.