Happy New Year!

Working in Academia, the day after Labour Day always feels far more like New Year’s Day to me than Jan 1. That being the case the Friday before Labour Day weekend is like New Year’s Eve and my tradition for academic New Year’s Eve is to take a look at the incoming class of law students to see what their mindset is and try to figure out how to relate to them (I dropped my Dragnet reference with regards to legal writing
“just the facts” years ago, which was a shame because I really liked that one). One of the better methods for doing that is to utilize the Beloit College Mindset list… okay, the list and copious amounts of alcohol….I jest.

Given that most law students have an undergraduate degree prior to arriving at law school the list for the students arriving on Tuesday is the Class of 2012 Mindset List.

From the introduction to the list:

The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are “wired” and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.

It is a multicultural, politically correct and “green” generation that has hardly noticed the threats to their privacy and has never feared the Russians and the Warsaw Pact.

Some tidbits from that list include:

  • Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option
  • The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
  • Caller ID has always been available on phones
  • Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens

So this year I have to drop Red Dawn references (btw I just learned that there is a remake of Red Dawn, that is just plain wrong!), I’ll spend my weekend getting in to the right mindset, I hope you are entering your weekend with right mindset too!

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