course
Law and society

Dec 2016

I have very mixed feelings about this class. The topic itself is very interesting to me, and I did many of the readings and was really fascinated. Most of Becher's lectures were also insightful - she is clearly so so smart and has a lot of knowledge to share, but sometimes the class would feel really loose, almost like she wasn't prepared. Overall though, the readings and the lectures were the good parts of this class for me, and I do think I learned a lot of useful information. 6 or 7 of the lecture days were given up as group work days. While the group work was sometimes helpful, I think there was too much of it, I would have preferred a bit more lecture by Becher. Even on days when she did lecture, she would often open up the floor to us, asking us questions, but I found this to be very problematic, because either no one would answer and she would get frustrated (instead of just answering her question herself), or someone would answer, and very often she would push them on their answers and go head to head with students. This wasn't like nice, academic discourse, it was really a professor arguing down a student. I felt afraid to speak in her class because I didn't want her to argue with me in front of the entire room. The written assignments for this class were my biggest problem. The prompts were very specific but also convoluted, and I had a lot of trouble understanding what Becher was going for. They require a great deal of time in the preparation/ research phase, Becher asks for very specific kinds of sources as well. Grade wise, these assignments end up carrying by far the most weight, and my confusion with the prompts ended up killing my grade in this class. She also really didn't seem to care about piling the work on at times. We would have weeks where we would have a written assignment due at 5 pm on Sunday and a group paper due the next morning for which we had to read an entire book and watch a movie (and then work on our portion of the paper.) All in all, I learned a lot in this class but it was a lot of work and there were many frustrating aspects.

Dec 2016

The concept of law and society is great, and the readings are very interesting. However the professor is sometimes all over the place, not the most focused lectures. That being said she's very nice and accommodating.