Friday, July 8, 2022
Danielle M. Conway (Dean, Penn State-Dickinson), Antiracist Lawyering in Practice Begins with the Practice of Teaching and Learning Antiracism in Law School, 2022 Utah L. Rev. __ :
I was honored by the invitation to deliver the 2021 Lee E. Teitelbaum keynote address. Dean Teitelbaum was a gentleman and a titan for justice. I am confident the antiracism work ongoing at the S.J. Quinney College of Law would have deeply resonated with him, especially knowing the challenges we are currently facing within and outside of legal education, the legal academy, and the legal profession. I am fortified in this work by Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner’s commitment to antiracism and associated diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Finally, I applaud the students who serve on the Utah Law Review for their vigilance in using the power of scholarship, convening, and discourse to generate knowledge and inspire action that will be meaningful to our teaching and learning communities as we tackle the perennial issue of systemic racial inequality and intersectional injustice.
This Essay is a call to action for legal education, the legal academy, and the legal profession in America to address the complicity of law and legal systems in scaffolding systemic racial inequality and intersectional injustice.
The focus on legal education, the legal academy, and the legal profession is necessary for two reasons: first, throughout history, the law has been used to design a system that has and continues to advantage some and to oppress others in American society; and second, the special duty of those within the legal profession is to use the law as a tool to promote democracy and democratic ideals, not to diminish or dismantle them. As such, this Essay proposes the use of antiracism in teaching, learning, and practice to acknowledge the persistence of systemic racial inequality and intersectional injustice, to become competent in using pedagogy and practice to prepare methods of resisting systemic racial inequality and intersectional injustice, and to act to embed antiracism into our democratic institutions to promote system equity.