Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Phil Lord (Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University (Ontario, Canada); Google Scholar), Black Lives Matter: On Challenging the Soul of Legal Education, 54 Tex. Tech L. Rev. 89 (2021):
In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement moved to the fore. Many Americans understood for the first time that racism persists in countless aspects of American society and that the legacy of our past is deep and structural. The legal academy, and higher education more broadly, responded by hiring more racialized scholars and making curricular changes. While I salute this effort, I argue that law schools chose to take the easiest path, instead of seizing the opportunity to question, and challenge, the structure and nature of legal education. I consider the structural characteristics of legal education that contribute to the exclusion of racialized and historically marginalized groups.
I conclude that meaningfully advancing equity in our law schools, and responding to the Black Lives Matter movement, will remain hindered by the structure and nature of legal education – its soul. To truly challenge the legacy of racism, we will need to challenge the soul of legal education.