Hanging with the Wrong Crowd

–From Lynn Lisk, University of Arkansas School of Law at Little Rock, Date of event: unknown

One of my former students sent in this story about the legendary Professor Robert R. Wright, a former colleague of mine, now retired, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law. Professor Wright, a leading property and land use expert, was the law school’s “Professor Kingsfield.” The students were terrified of him:

In first year Property, Professor Robert Wright called on someone to answer a question. The person told Professor Wright that they were sorry, they had not read the assignment and didn’t know the answer. So Professor Wright called on a second student. That person also stated they had not read the assignment and didn’t know the answer either (apparently this was the day after an important basketball game). Completely frustrated by now, Professor Wright “nominated” a third person to answer his question. This third person, obviously destined for greatness due to his ability to think on his feet, stated “I’m sorry, professor, I was studying with them last night.”

According to my source, Professor Wright shut his book and told the class it was dismissed for the day and to be ready for the next assignment on the syllabus since he would not be discussing this subject anymore in class. However, the issue did appear, in substantial part, on the final exam that semester.

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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