38 Student Law. 17 (2009-2010)
Mental Doping: The Untold Story of Modern Law School Exams

handle is hein.journals/studlyr38 and id is 235 raw text is: M ENTAL DOPING
modem law school exams
Depressives have Prozac, worrywarts have Valium,
gym rats have steroids, and overachievers have AdderaU.
--Joshua Foer, The Adderall Me, SLATE (May 10, 2005)

aking prescription drugs
designed to enhance con-
centration during a law
school exam, although
LJ not illegal, raises troubling
questions about ethics and fairness.
The law student equivalent of Olym-
pian doping, performance-enhancing
drugs like Adderall give some students
a chemical advantage by granting them
superior concentration abilities-a
definite plus in the race-to-the-finish-
line clacking of laptop keyboards.
This is not a debate over the existence
of mental illness. Adderall is used le-
gitimately by many law students, but
its illegitimate use, or abuse, may be
in opposition to the foundational prin-
ciples of fairness and justice. Perhaps
not all Adderall users are playing by
the rules.
F~raming the pr' b~e
In recent years Adderall prescriptions
have become de rigueur for children
and young adults with Attention Defi-
cit Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly

referred to as ADHD. As it turns out,
the reason the drug helps ADHD pa-
tients is the same reason it works for
so-called healthy people-Adderall
interacts with the brain to increase
executive functions, such as ability
to focus, memory, and response con-
trol. There is no question that law stu-
dents who obtain Adderall without a
prescription are engaged in a per se
ethics violation; buying drugs on the
black market is illegal and therefore
unethical per Model Rule of Profes-
sional Responsibility 8.4(b). But what
about the users who do have legal pre-
scriptions from their doctors? Is there
a point at which legal use become
unethical in the context of law school
The problem is framed here as
one of abuse, focusing on the sub-
jective intent (mens rea, if you will)
of the drug taker; law students who
game the system to get legally-
yet ethically questionable-Adderall
prescriptions. These Adderall abusers
take the drug with the knowledge that

it is not needed to simply level the
playing field, but with the intent to
gain an advantage through cognitive
Defining the drug-what is Ad-
derail? Adderall (ADDERALL XR®,
or extended release, currently man-
ufactured by Shire Pharmaceuticals)
is an amphetanine. More specifically,
Shire describes it as a combination
of neutral sulfate salts of dextroam-
phetamine and amphetamine, with
the dextro isomer of amphetamine
saccharate and d,l-amphetamine as-
partate monohydrate. Technically,
mixed amphetamine salts. The up-
shot is that, for every pill you take
(pills come in dosages ranging from
5 to 30 mgs), over half of the dose
is straight-up amphetamine. In fact,
according to Shire, the new and im-
proved extended release formula-
and the only brand-name offering on
the market-is chemically designed
to give a double-pulsed delivery of
amphetamines, which prolongs the re-
lease of amphetamine.., compared to

American Bar Association I www.abanet.org/lsd

January 2010 1 STUDENT LAWYER 1 17

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