Mailbag – Can you write my law school assignment for me?

law actually mailbag

Every now and then I get the odd email asking for help. Sometimes it’s choosing a law school, how to cope with legal exams, whether I recommend a masters in law, how can someone survive a law degree with their sanity and bank balance intact etc. etc.

Every now and then I get something really wacky, often concerning someone slipping on a spilt yoghurt or something similar and suffering some kind of personal injury and whether I think they can claim compensation.
Heck, what do I know – I don’t even like yoghurt! Be right back


Anyhow, the following little gem which plopped into my inbox was a first – even for me:

Hi Michael,

I am wanting some coursework doing in taxation i would be willing to pay £120 per1000 words, its 3000 words in total so i would more than happy to pay £360 in total.

you can take your time doing it. 3-4 weeks.

would you be interested in doing it?

Many Thanks


Call me old fashioned, but I really couldn’t believe the audacity and blatancy of this.

Apparently students don’t complete coursework by themselves any longer – they outsource it, by first putting it out to tender.  No student should utter the phrase that they ‘want some coursework doing’.

Had I been interested, though, it seems I could have taken my time with it.  How generous – like he was doing me a favour!

But what did he think this is - my email address isn’t !!

When I’d finished simmering a few days later, I did take a couple of minutes to respond and stated that I didn’t engage in plagiarism and I didn’t suggest that he did either. Whilst having to write papers can be annoying, stressful, difficult and all the rest, it’s that way for a reason and paying someone to do it for you shouldn’t even be an option. (He’d probably found some moron to write something for him by that point, but I hope he hadn’t).

There are plenty of other things a struggling student can try: talking to lecturers, going to a drop-in study session, trying different, more approachable texts and so on. But paying someone to write a paper which you intend to pass off as your own really is a stretch too far. You’d be better failing or dropping out than that.


  1. If it was me I think I'd be a lot more cloak and dagger about it all. They've just come out and asked for it.

    I wonder if the best thing to do is take the money, spend the whole of the 4 weeks doing it and hand back 3,000 words of Star Trek slash fiction.

  2. Yep - you don't get much more blatant than that!

    I have his email address if you fancy pulling the star trek gag? ;-)

  3. I've started to seriously wonder what your remedies are if you buy a ghost written essay for your degree and it turns out to be not any good.

  4. Very true... you'd hope that any 'student' who used those services would be too embarrassed to bring an action - even if there were grounds.

    I've not read the T&Cs of your average academic ghost writing business but I should imagine they are pretty woolly. I guess you could try claiming a breach of s13 of the supply of goods and services Act but it would have to be a pretty bad paper to succeed.

    From that perspective, it sounds like an attractive business idea for fly-by-nights!

  5. Studies in the UK have recently shown that 1 in about every 68 students on the verge of failing at uni would willingly pay their way out of having to attend lectures/doing coursework. The statistic was first given to me by one of my professors after a plaigiarism scandal broke out in the law department as two first year students handed in very similarly worded essays - thought to have been purchased from one of these 'dodgy website'. My professor told me that unis have this mega-cool piece of software whereby you input certain phrases, and it tells you whether you have copied it from an uncredited source.

    It's strange to think people want to buy their way out of having to do work. When I was at uni, we had whole lecture dedicated to citations and referencing so that we cwouldn't get called up on stuff.

    I've always wondered though, lots of postgrads tutor and give you sample essays. Either it's their own work, which they don't mind you 'reproducing' or it's not their own work and therefore they have no qualms about sharing it....

  6. One of the more mindblowing thoughts on ghost written essays was that people doing, for example, an MBA or similar degrees should actually get credit for "out-sourcing" their assignments to "specialists" for a "wage". They said this was basically showing management skills.

    I can certainly sympathise with the idea of wanting to trade money for guaranteed success but it really raises issues about the whole point of university.

  7. This is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS.

    If you have this person's university email addy, you should shop him to the relevant law school.

  8. A friend of mine, whom I incidentally tutored (but not the most recent one), 'bought' a custom essay against my advice... and, of course, failed that module at uni.

    With regards to that enquiry, Michael, you ought to consider it properly - after all, the person is "more than happy" to pay £360 in total, AND you can take your time doing it! What an irresistible offer!

  9. Stephen, as far as I know, you can't do anything if you don't get the desired grade.

  10. Minxy - it was a hotmail address otherwise I certainly would have. I did a search on google for it in case he'd been named and shamed previously but it didn't get any matches.

    Andro - nah, I think I'll pass on it.. but you're free to take him up on it if you like? I know you like fleecing students with more money than intelligence! :p

  11. This reminds me of a story I read in the Chronicle of Higher Education - It's about a guy who is paid through a service to write papers for students at all levels of study. Crazy! I cannot even imagine, and especially not in law. Seem highly unethical!

  12. I have to say; this really doesn't surprise me. You hear of all sorts of schemes (some even more blatant than this), especially sitting in the uni library close to deadlines....


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Law Actually is 10 years old today

Blogger’s new templates: Contempo, Soho, Emporio and Notable

Nissan Micra driver reconceptualises traffic laws