Friday, April 23, 2021
Eunice Park (Southwestern), The Power of Empathy: Cultivating Culturally Competent Lawyers:
The ability to connect with diverse clients and audiences is not a soft skill, but a power skill. This connection is just as important as substantive knowledge and is essential for the competent practice of law. Fostering that connection must start with recognizing one’s own positionality, and thus one challenge in the classroom is cultivating the ability to recognize positionality. One way to cultivate this aspect of cultural competence is by building empathy.
Being intentional about building empathy in the classroom as a pathway to cultivating culturally competent lawyers, in turn, can include (1) modeling awareness as the professor; and (2) integrating culturally meaningful facts into assignments.