integrity in software and law school, strike 58104

I’ve always been sort of morbidly fascinated by ExamSoft and SofTest, the combination of software products that, in theory, keep us from cheating during law school exams. There are a whole lot of things wrong with it (buggy, elevates books over computers, etc.), but probably the most irritating to me has always been the assumption that somehow using it meant that there was no cheating. This is silly- like all software not open to public inspection, I always assumed it would be easy to break if I wanted to.1 Turns out I was right- it is pretty darn trivial to break into. Go read the link, and ponder- we’re all under an honor code, and we’re entering into a profession that depends deeply on trusting our word. So why force us to use software that punishes those of us who are honest (by making our experience buggy and frustrating) while not stopping those who are dishonest? If we’ve got a real dishonesty problem in law school (which I agree may be the case) lousy software seems unlikely to fix it…

  1. To be clear, I have not broken into it and have no plans to. I’m just interested in security and the use of software architecture to replace real morality/honesty. []