When I started law school at the University of Chicago, I expected to learn the law, but was instead confronted with history. Whether it was in how American tort law frequently assigns lower monetary values to injuries suffered in minority communities, or the various ways common law reasoning worked with legislative statutes to systematically exclude Black families from owning land, I could not escape the pernicious underpinnings of our legal system and how those biases shaped society into what it is today.
I reached out to our Dean of Students and Director of Diversity and Inclusion to recommend a writing program that would compile personal essays into a packet for incoming first-year students. After several conversations, my nascent idea evolved into a full-fledged first-person writing workshop, bringing together diverse voices from across the law school community to reflect on their experiences as law students and future lawyers. The first cohort addressed issues such as race, identity, mental health, and imposter syndrome, bringing those topics to light in a deeply personal and honest way. Once these pieces went public, the response was nothing short of remarkable, with one reader notably wishing she had a similar program at her law school when she was a student.
Read more at OpenMind blog