Due Dates in the Real World: Extensions, Equity, and the Hidden Curriculum

31 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2021 Last revised: 3 Aug 2022

Date Written: 2021


“Our job is to prepare them for the real world.” This statement is not an unusual, nor an unreasonable, justification for pedagogical decisions throughout legal education. The dual role of law school as both an intellectually challenging academic endeavor and a training ground for the profession places it at an intersection ripe for “real world” considerations. As one example, many professors argue that inflexible deadlines (and serious consequences should they fail to be met) are necessary preparation for legal practice. However, as many an experienced attorney will report, extensions are hardly uncommon in the practice of law. This Article argues that the ability to not only ask for an extension, but also to avoid procrastination, anticipate when an extension will be needed, and communicate professionally in that request, is a skill law schools must teach. The necessity of this skill, and its place in the law school curriculum, is a matter of professionalism, equity, and practicality. Bringing together educational pedagogy, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, actual cases of attorney discipline, and legal ethics this Article makes the case for extensions in law school – and in the “real world.”

Suggested Citation

Schendel, Sarah, Due Dates in the Real World: Extensions, Equity, and the Hidden Curriculum (2021). Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 35, Iss. 2 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3922907

Sarah Schendel (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

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