Paul L. Caron

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Rapoport: Training Law Students To Maintain Civility In Their Law Practices To Improve Public Discourse

Nancy B. Rapoport (UNLV), Training Law Students to Maintain Civility in Their Law Practices as a Way to Improve Public Discourse, 98 N.C. L. Rev. 1143 (2020):

Our current social discourse is broken. Not only have we resorted to name-calling instead of reasoned discussion, but we have also resorted to the fundamental attribution error: we attribute bad motives to people with whose positions we disagree rather than starting with the presumption that, perhaps, buried deep within their positions could be a grain of truth. We need to find a way to reach across the void. As a way of mending our torn social fabric, I recommend that we train law students not only to pick apart bad arguments but also to find ways to pick arguments apart without showing disrespect for the person making the argument.

By training law students to behave civilly, even when they are convinced that the other person is flat-out wrong, we might just be able to get people to hear each other, rather than speak past each other--not just in law schools, not just in universities, but in our society.

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I guess if Mom and Dad cannot teach civility in the home and by their interaction with the public, now we have to have teachers and programs for it? Sad state of affairs!

Posted by: Tom N. | Jul 30, 2020 2:43:07 PM

I won't be holding my breath for "civil discourse" considering law schools are now adopting the woke anti-racist mantra, and probably have been for years. Because nothing says civility more than claiming America is a deeply racist country and "white" people are inherently racist, and lumping Asians and Jews in with "white" to avoid having to face socioeconomic reality.

Posted by: MM | Aug 1, 2020 5:00:01 PM