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grapefruit18

programs with a focus on anti-oppressive politics

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A middle-class white kid and a black woman with schizophrenia both walk into a bank seeking a $50,000 line of credit. Which one is likelier to receive it?

 

What is the Black woman's occupation? What are her assets?  Just because she is Black and schizophrenic doesn't mean she can't be financially solvent.  Initially the bank might make assumptions but if you apply online and have the figures to back it up it shouldn't be an issue - try credit unions which are less judgmental.

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The problem is, there's no visibility for the people who just aren't able to go, for whom it's out of the question. There's no way to say "the majority of people that take the stairs everyday, even though its a bit of work" when you have no idea how many people may never even set foot on, the stairs, for sake of analogy, because they know they won't be able to climb up. Who will never be able to get that line of credit, to return to what Yogurt Baron's said above. You don't know who has never had the resources available to them. Inaccessibility is so much broader than just financial. 

 

Many people don't make it through high school because of their barriers.  High school is a lot more do-able (and free!) for people.  Are we concerned about this, or just the minute proportion of people who will ever make it to law school anyway? I always feel like there is an element of self-interest in these discussions.  I'm interested in law school / I can't afford law school / law school is the most important thing to me, so l am going to campaign for it to be cheaper.  How about getting people through high school first?  Undergrad?  Then see if they want to go to law school or do something else.

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The one who has a confirmation of enrollment.

 

I'm glad it wasn't just me who found an element of racism in the assumption that the Black woman with schizophrenia could not be successful.

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Many people don't make it through high school because of their barriers.  High school is a lot more do-able (and free!) for people.  Are we concerned about this, or just the minute proportion of people who will ever make it to law school anyway? I always feel like there is an element of self-interest in these discussions.  I'm interested in law school / I can't afford law school / law school is the most important thing to me, so l am going to campaign for it to be cheaper.  How about getting people through high school first?  Undergrad?  Then see if they want to go to law school or do something else.

Hear, hear! 

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The comic is exactly what I've been putting forth, and I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. I wasn't referring to law school as an isolated incident of inaccessibility, just one that we are talking about in this context. Like I said, inaccessibility is financial, and is also connected to race, sexuality, gender, disability among other social intersections like represented in the comic (this is the "identity politics" thing that Yogurt and I were talking about before). I think education (along with healthcare, food, shelter, and all other necessities) is a right and should be free or made 100% affordable. Accessibility means breaking down the barriers that make systems like education, like law school in this case, difficult for those who are less privileged to engage with. When law school costs a shit ton of money to attend, it's just one aspect and one more barrier to this multi-faceted inaccessibility. 

 

[hammer and sickle intensifies]

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Honestly? You should avoid any law school in that case because all of them, even the ones with more "social justice" courses, have many entitled, privileged students who do not give a rip about "hegemonies of power." And I don't say that meaning to be negative - some of those people are actually my friends, though we disagree on lots. I have actually been to and completed law school, unlike some of the people commenting, and you really do need the master's tools to dismantle the master's house. Going in there talking the way you're talking would likely be counterproductive and would come across as pretty arrogant. How can you make sweeping comments about law school and the law etc. when you haven't even gotten into law school yet?

 

I say this as someone who shares a lot of your values and views, but you are choosing an elitist, powerful career as opposed to being in the trenches doing community work, social activism, social work etc. There are opportunities within this career to be in the trenches doing a lot of that, as I do every day, but you also need to know how to "speak truth to power" to be able to do anything useful for your clients, and you get that by learning the law and learning the quirks and personalities of judges and how to navigate that, etc. etc. etc. and to learn all of that, you need to shut up, learn the basics, demonstrate how smart and amazing you are while being humble and open to hearing from others, etc. Now maybe you are all of that - I don't know you - but I get the sense you really don't know how law school and the legal profession work. I really hope you're not intending to march into law school and start talking about anti-oppressive politics in every class and get upset when contract law teaches you the basis of contracts and not how broken social contracts oppress vulnerable people.... because that won't help you get the grades and the credibility you need to do anything with those views.

 

Also, the kind of law you say you want to practice doesn't really exist, and certainly not for a new call. If you want to help the marginalized, it's going to be Legal Aid work in criminal, immigration or family/child apprehensions, or certain administrative tribunals. Maybe if you are super-brilliant in black letter law and have enough resources, you can do some kind of international internship. That's about it.

I share this view.

 

I know that there is a valid argument against joining The Man in order to fight The Man, but it's never been a terribly compelling argument for me.

 

Without my law degree and knowledge of the system gained from being a member of the system who upholds many of the values of the system, I would not be able to do the good work I have done and continue to do. As an individual I have become far more powerful in terms of making a difference in another person's life precisely because I am working with - as providence says - the Master's tools. And from time to time I have the opportunity to do something that affects a large group of disadvantaged people when I am involved in a case that changes or clarifies the law.

 

If I rejected any sort of association with or level of cooperation with the system due to its discriminatory practices (which absolutely exist, by the way, and any suggestion that law achool is accessible to all is laughable) then I would not have been able to make the small differences I know that I have made.

 

Please note that I am not saying the OP is suggesting getting involved in law at all is wrong - this thread indicates quite the opposite - but among people who share anti-oppressive perspectives this is certainly a position that pops up from time to time.

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Well @MaliciousProsecutor, I'm really hoping to find something that does all of these things! I don't really think they are separable. To me, a program has to be informed in these ways in order to be "the best possible education"—otherwise it's just... well...ignorant. I definitely want to work in a branch of human/environmental rights related to any one of these issues, but I am always up to being challenged, and growing the knowledge I already have on them. :-) Sorry I just made this account, so I'm not sure how to respond properly!

 

I just want to share a personal anecdote.  Since I self-identify as a public servant on this board, I try to keep my politics pretty low-key, but they're definitely on the right side of the spectrum.  And in university I was much more politically active.

 

In first year I looked over my class list and saw that my professor for constitutional law was noted for being quite hard-left, in fact at one time had been a full on, card-carrying Communist.  I groaned and figured I was going to hate that class.  

 

But I didn't.  That professor would share his opinion from time to time (and it was still pretty hard-left), but was quite fair and reasonable, even to someone with the opposite political beliefs.  I wound up with an A in his class, and at his request I tutored students the following year in Con Law.  In fact he wound up being my academic reference.

 

This isn't a story where he challenged my political views and caused me to change - my politics were in exactly the same place as before.  But being challenged by exposure to other points of view is a positive.  Realizing that people with different points of view are still people first and foremost is a positive thing.

 

So my advice is not to go to a school that is "informed" by your intersectional politics.  Go to the school that best suits your academic needs.  Be prepared to have your beliefs challenged - and realize that if your beliefs can't stand up to that challenge, they must not be very strongly-held.  I'm not saying this because I think it's more likely to change your political views - but because I think it will make your political views better informed.

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I'm not sure why there's this assumption that I think law school is the *only* system that's inaccessible. I think most of the system is fucked up and inaccessible. I think the system is built to make it extra difficult for anyone thats not male, cis, white, able-bodied etc. to be successful, and there's many reasons for that. It's surprising/interesting to me that this is such a controversial idea over here. This is just a thread about law school, which is why I specifically said law school was inaccessible, and I was just asking a simple question about what programs are informed/aware/interested in social-justicey issues. I'm not trying to have an argument.

 

To be honest I don't really know why this conversation has continued when it's been asserted that there are a bunch of programs that have identified the need for what I've reached out about here, and have exactly what I'm looking for. 

 

Here are some super neat opportunities within programs to do the kind of work/study that I initially mentioned,

 

http://commonlaw.uottawa.ca/social-justice/

 

http://www.uviclss.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JID-Scope-and-Components-26-January-2016-1.pdf

 

http://www.uwindsor.ca/law/student-services-office/51/social-justice-fellowships

 

http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/jd-program/clinics-intensives/innocence-project/

 

http://www.law.utoronto.ca/academic-programs/jd-program/combined-programs/jdmsw-social-work

Edited by grapefruit18
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Many people don't make it through high school because of their barriers.  High school is a lot more do-able (and free!) for people.  Are we concerned about this, or just the minute proportion of people who will ever make it to law school anyway? I always feel like there is an element of self-interest in these discussions.  I'm interested in law school / I can't afford law school / law school is the most important thing to me, so l am going to campaign for it to be cheaper.  How about getting people through high school first?  Undergrad?  Then see if they want to go to law school or do something else.

Sure! Advocate for making high school and undergrad more accessible; advocate for making education—especially those that cost thousands of dollars to attend—more accessible. I 100% agree! 

Edited by grapefruit18

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I'm not sure why there's this assumption that I think law school is the *only* system that's inaccessible. I think most of the system is fucked up and inaccessible. I think the system is built to make it extra difficult for anyone thats not male, cis, white, able-bodied etc. to be successful, and there's many reasons for that. It's surprising to me that this is such a controversial idea over here. This is just a thread about law school, which is why I specifically said law school was inaccessible, and I was just asking a simple question about what programs are informed/aware/interested in social-justicey issues. I'm not trying to have an argument.

 

To be honest I don't really know why this conversation has continued when it's been asserted that there are a bunch of programs that have identified the need for what I've reached out about here, and have exactly what I'm looking for.

 

Here are some super neat opportunities within programs to do the kind of work/study that I initially mentioned,

 

http://commonlaw.uottawa.ca/social-justice/

 

http://www.uviclss.ca/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/JID-Scope-and-Components-26-January-2016-1.pdf

 

http://www.uwindsor.ca/law/student-services-office/51/social-justice-fellowships

 

http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/programs/jd-program/clinics-intensives/innocence-project/

 

http://www.law.utoronto.ca/academic-programs/jd-program/combined-programs/jdmsw-social-work

I'm not sure why you seem so offended by people challenging your views, or continuing a discussion on your beliefs. This forum pretty clearly has long debates over things, many of them relatively inconsequential, because the users here enjoy them. If you have exactly what you're looking for and wish to exit the conversation you're free to, but I don't see any reason that means everyone else needs to discontinue the conversation.

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I'm not sure why you seem so offended by people challenging your views, or continuing a discussion on your beliefs. This forum pretty clearly has long debates over things, many of them relatively inconsequential, because the users here enjoy them. If you have exactly what you're looking for and wish to exit the conversation you're free to, but I don't see any reason that means everyone else needs to discontinue the conversation.

 

I'm not offended, I'm more just irritated, people have just been responding over and over again to points I've already addressed. I made this account yesterday so I'm not really sure how things work! If you all want to continue discussing, feel free. If it's not too much to ask, please don't include me in the conversation though. 

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I'm glad it wasn't just me who found an element of racism in the assumption that the Black woman with schizophrenia could not be successful.

 

On an individual level, sure, some people of colour and/or with disabilities can live out the bootstrap narrative. On a macro level, society doesn't afford nearly the opportunities to marginalized people that it offers to normative people. I'm sorry if my noting the racism prevalent in society strikes you as me being racist and not as me calling out systemic racism as a whole.

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I'm not offended, I'm more just irritated, people have just been responding over and over again to points I've already addressed. I made this account yesterday so I'm not really sure how things work! If you all want to continue discussing, feel free. If it's not too much to ask, please don't include me in the conversation though. 

 

You might be new, but I'm pretty sure you do know how things work here. The phrase "I'm not offended, I'm more just irritated" captures the essence of many lawstudents.ca debates. 

Edited by realpseudonym
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The one who has a confirmation of enrollment.

I think you mean: the one who has a parent to co-sign by using their house as collateral for a Professional Student Line of Credit.

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I think you mean: the one who has a parent to co-sign by using their house as collateral for a Professional Student Line of Credit.

I've never heard of someone that doesn't have a history of being awful with money having to provide collateral or get someone to co-sign a PSLOC.

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You might be new, but I'm pretty sure you do know how things work here. The phrase "I'm not offended, I'm more just irritated" captures the essence of many lawstudents.ca debates. 

I'd read a bunch of threads, but more just about peoples test scores and other generic questions. I didn't realize it was considered customary and acceptable to just sidetrack the thread and then continue...for pages... 

 

It's too bad that this direction is so commonplace 

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I'd read a bunch of threads, but more just about peoples test scores and other generic questions. I didn't realize it was considered customary and acceptable to just sidetrack the thread and then continue...for pages... 

 

It's too bad that this direction is so commonplace 

 

... what you consider "too bad", others view as an immense strength. In conversation, topics come up, they generate tangents which themselves are interesting to discuss. It's a fairly natural form of communication, and is in no way rare online. Unusually, on this board, it tends to go down with relatively thoughtful discussion, and low levels of personal abuse. 

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I've never heard of someone that doesn't have a history of being awful with money having to provide collateral or get someone to co-sign a PSLOC.

I think this situation most commonly comes up for mature students with a mortgage. 

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Okay, for clarity (for the sake of both BQ and providence)---my hypothetical person with mental illness has not pulled herself up by the bootstraps and accessed healthcare and is now functioning well on meds. She is presently homeless and hearing voices that are telling her to harm herself.

 

Look: law schools only let in (relatively) elite applicants. You have to be able to excel (relatively) in undergraduate study and on the LSAT. As providence has noted, you need a whole lot of privilege---or, at the very minimum, a medium amount of privilege and a whole lot of gumption---to even get that far.

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