To be honest, I would advise her not to take it. The lectures were full of detail, which is good, but they are never contexted into the larger picture. As a result, the final paper will be [ed. note: "will be"? It's due the day after tomorrow!] incredibly difficult to write, in addition to it being an impossibly broad question to answer.
I can't say for sure that this student didn't come to office hours, but I have a hard time believing that he would've had this attitude after speaking to me about the paper. In addition, they received the final paper assignment the first five minutes of the first lecture, so it wasn't a surprise that the question (Does international law have an independent effect on state behavior?) was going to be broad. Here's another example -
I would tell my friend to try to get out of the course. Your grading is really harsh. You expect something from the reaction papers that was never clearly told to the class. No matter how carefully I read the readings, my grade would not change. Also, an international law class should be about the law.
I had numerous students - ones that wrote them early enough to take advantage of this option - bring their reaction papers to me in office hours to discuss them before the due date. In addition, I allowed them to re-write and have their papers re-graded as many times as they wanted. I think that's a very generous policy, but it takes some effort on the part of the student. On the second point, I wish the student had asked me why I structure the class the way I did - I would have been happy to explain why I was approaching a class called Principles of International Law from the perspective of the motivations and incentives for states. Finally, the one that concerned me the most -
DON'T TAKE THIS CLASS. You can learn everything in 103 [Note: Introduction to International Relations] and that class is much easier. So there is no new info and this is a harder class, therefore it makes no sense to take it
It's not clear to me how the two courses could be covering the same material, but 103 could be easier - unless the student was only being engaged as the most superficial level. Yes, 103 and my class certainly address the same topics - it would be irresponsible to teach a course on International Relations without including interstate conflict or economic policy, for example. But if this student thought my class was just a more difficult version of the intro course, then he wasn't getting nearly as much out of the material as I wanted him to. Again - an issue that could have been addressed, but only if I know about it.