It's law school final exam time, and time once again for the horror stories of exam screw-ups. Above The Law's Elie Mystal gives NYU prof (and former Michigan Law prof) Rick Pildes high marks for this classy apology for his screw-up:
I just learned 20 minutes ago about the enormous mistake made with our exam today. First, I want to convey my deepest apologies. You were not meant, obviously, to retake one of the prior exams I had posted for you (or any other prior exam). I can only imagine how miserable this experience is for you and I cannot adequately convey how sorry I am that this has happened, especially after such a wonderful semester we had together.
Second, I feel you are entitled to an explanation as to how this came about. I have tracked down what happened. I did, of course, write a new exam for you. I printed that exam out and left it in my office for my assistant. I do not send exams to anyone, including my assistant, by email, for security reasons. We also needed a new cover sheet for the exam. I took an old cover sheet and modified it appropriately; I needed my assistant to add the number of the course and the time of the exam to that cover sheet. I emailed that cover sheet to him and asked him to make those modifications, then attach the new cover sheet to the hardcopy of the exam that was in my office. The file with the cover sheet, however, contained the prior exam starting on the next page. My assistant simply made the changes to the cover sheet and then printed the whole efile out and did not use the hardcopy of the exam in my office that I instructed him to use. That appears to be how this happened.
Third, the question now is how we rectify this terrible mistake. As soon as I finish this email, I will resume talking with the relevant academic authorities and administrators so that we can figure out the fairest and most decent way of resolving this, given all the other constraints you have with other exams and the like. You will not be graded on the basis of the prior exam alone, of course, and we will try to be as accommodating as possible about the solution, or solutions, we develop for an alternative. We will let you know as soon as possible about the structure of that alternative. Since there are several institutional figures who must be involved in resolving this, I cannot make the decision on my own.
I take full responsibility for this unfortunate situation. Again, I apologize deeply to all of you and we will be in touch as soon as we have a concrete alternative solution.