Race and Law Spring 2017

Dear Students,

As we embark on the study of race and law this semester it’s important to keep in mind how deeply personal and often painful this inquiry might be. As such, we all need to be mindful of our fellow students, while at the same time not feel as if we can’t ask questions or challenge various points of view.

The best way to accomplish this is fist to be patient. We all come to this subject with varying degrees of knowledge and experience. But we all share a common goal to learn more issues of race. Secondly, be a good listener. A good interviewer or counselor must always learn how to listen. Sometimes the voice in our own head gets in the way of good listening. We can become so fixated on what we’re about to say that we miss what the other person is really saying.

Be prepared for the emotional ride that the study of this subject will inevitably entail. Unlike some law school classes that encourage an often false ‘objective distance’, in this class I encourage the opposite. Pursuing our obligation as lawyers to pursue justice often requires us to passionately feel the effects of injustice. Rather than limiting our perspective when handled in the right way our feeling and passions can expand it.

In addition to the assigned readings I will require everyone to contribute to this blog. My goal is to help you connect the theory and case law we cover to contemporary issues where the impact of race in the law may not at first be obvious, but on close examination will reveal itself. We will learn to apply that ‘close examination’ and as we do so add links, photos, videos and traditional text references to this blog. This page will become a memorial to our collective learning experience and hopefully will be a guide for future classes to emulate.

All the best,