Sunday, March 10, 2013
Adderall for All: Students and Professors Alike
A year or so ago a colleague, far, far closer to retirement than to taking a law school exam, told me he went to his doctor to get an Adderall prescription. The result was just what was hoped for. He could focus longer and write more articles. As I understand it, Adderall is available to all will shop around for the right doctors. I would like to write more articles too so I wondered if I should get some Aderall myself. And, since we all want to do "our" best, should we all feel obligated to take Adderall or its therapeutic equivalents so we can be more productive. In fact, maybe employers should require it.
All of this is less important for professors since the measures of success are so elusive. On the other hand, if Adderall is an undergraduate epidemic why would it not also be widespread among law students where grading curves and class rank can made the difference between a job or no job. If it is widespread or likely to become widespread, what of it? One article I read suggested it was a great opportunity for lower socioeconomic kids because their families can substitute Adderall for more expensive prep courses, tutors, etc., to which wealthier students have access. I wonder about the logic of this. In a competitive world won't the rich kids use all their expensive aids plus Adderall. Of course, maybe I just misunderstand how Adderall works.
Another article I read indicated that the abuse of Aderall is more common among middle and higher socioeconomic students. I am not sure what "abuse" means but it does include illegally obtaining Adderall. This surprised me because the richer the kid the more able he or she is to doctor shop. In either case, when it comes to aids -- legal or illegal -- is there really any serious doubt about which class will have greater access and be able to squeeze out the greatest benefit.
Where do law school administrators and bar examiners fall into this. Nowhere is what I expect because a general rule for adminstrators seems to be to do nothing unless forced to. This may be the right outcome. It does not seem practical to test the test takers. Plus, what would the sanction be? Still, it's just another way to game the system and it seems inconsistent for state bars and some law schools to obsess about "background" but then turn a blind eye to dopers.