November 22, 2005

To Gift or Not to Gift.

by Armen

An anonymous 1L here at Boalt wrote to me to ask whether it is proper to give gifts to your section profs, TAs, Legal Research and Writing instructors, etc. I responded with a resounding no. I have never been a fan of buying gifts for teachers (or bosses). It just strikes me as a bit tacky. If you want to show your gratitude, I think it would be far more effective to thank them for the time they put in on your behalf. But a gift? I am open to persuasive arguments to the contrary, or just juicy stories about section-wide debates about buying gifts, how much to chip in, etc.

November 22, 2005 12:24 PM | TrackBack

I sent my LRW instructor one of those dopey little candygrams that some organization was selling on Valentine's Day. Not because I had a crush on her (though several people did), but because she had been really kind to me when I was having a rough time completing work. I think it's appropriate to give small gifts, of the "token of appreciation" type, for someone who has gone out of her way to be helpful to you individually. Giving a gift from the entire section to a particularly good prof seems weird -- isn't that what the extra long standing ovation is for?

Posted by: PG at November 22, 2005 02:02 PM

We all went in on a gift for our 1L Legal Writing prof. I didn't instigate it, and thought it was a little weird, but he really appreciated it. It probably depends on the dynamic of the section. We were all really "close," I guess.

Posted by: Blaine at November 22, 2005 02:04 PM

I think we got flowers and a nice cigar for our small-section prof, but he'd had us all over to dinner at his place twice during the semester, and I believe we gave him the "gifts" when he'd had us over for that final dinner of the semester. So I think that was more, "Hey thanks for giving us free food and booze," more than it was, "Hey, thanks for being our prof." Ya know?

Posted by: Ruth at November 23, 2005 06:16 PM

I gave/chipped in for a gift for my professor. Not because I genuinely care about them, but because I'm a tremendous douchebag.

Posted by: 3L at November 23, 2005 09:36 PM
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