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[Serious] How do you feel law schools embrace diversity? Can it be improved?

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36 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

That sounds like a reasonable approach (and I suppose I misunderstood what you intended to imply in your earlier post; my bad). 

No worries, I wasn't entirely clear in my first post.

38 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

Congrats on your acceptances!

Thank you! I'm very glad that it seems to have had no effect on my applications. :)

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Posted (edited)

Diversity was never a priority for me but I do want to point out that there are ways of "doing diversity" that are outright counterproductive and alienating.

When in law school, there was a particular professor who repeatedly called upon me to give the perspective of what she assumed was my kin group. Likewise, a student took it upon himself to greet me in a language that I don't speak everytime we interacted with one another.

Edited by msk2012
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I'll preface this by saying that I identify as a SNAIL but I just wanted to attach this story if no one has heard: 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/university-windsor-complaint-1.5826876

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/09/14/this-windsor-law-student-has-filed-numerous-complaints-of-anti-black-racism-against-the-school-when-the-president-showed-up-to-orientation-he-and-his-peers-took-a-stand.html

And this is at an Ontario school that seems to have one of the most diverse staff and student population.

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate this discussion since it really needs to be had more often. Speaking of my law school, the University of Calgary recently introduced the Black Students Admission Process. I think it's good that they are taking these steps because BIPOC representation is worse than what Hegids described in his comment.

There have also been occurrences of implicit (but obvious) racism at our school, which has been sad to hear about. 

Finally, our school has not imposed a mandatory course on Indigenous people and the law, as per the TRC Calls to Action. Nevertheless, some mandatory courses have had indigenous components added and I think that was our facultys's approach to the TRC's Call to Action. It's debatable if that can be 'equivelant' and, either way, many students think more should be done (I agree).

So, in short, UofC has a way to go but it's taken steps.

(But are you surprised?)

Edited by ImposterSyndrome
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7 hours ago, msk2012 said:

Diversity was never a priority for me but I do want to point out that there are ways of "doing diversity" that are outright counterproductive and alienating.

When in law school, there was a particular professor who repeatedly called upon me to give the perspective of what she assumed was my kin group. Likewise, a student took it upon himself to greet me in a language that I don't speak everytime we interacted with one another.

Those are microaggressions. Problematic for some, others don't mind. It's the same when I was in the fac (did we overlap at all?) when people would take about how gay the fac was (you know, having ~10 people out of a class of 180, or have 3 out people chatting with one another). 

In your example, it might be "well intentioned" and still problematic. I agree there are issues of "doing diversity" that are alienating. That said, we need to start shaking shit up as well. I still routinely hear superior court judges speak about "men's tools" and "mommy responsibilities" and, this week, about religious ideology not in line with Canadian secular society (to a separated couple of faith).

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, bocuma said:

I have a problem with this (and with the idea of providing proof of your circumstances in general) because when places ask for these documents it can be really hard for some people to provide them. Access to healthcare is a real problem for some groups and being told "prove that you experienced 'x'" can itself perpetuate discrimination. Just being able to access therapy is enormously difficult in Canada, because you need a ton of disposable income to do so. It gives people with better access to healthcare, who tend to be wealthy and white, better odds in the law school application process.

I am so glad that you brought this up and this is why I really appreciate hearing other's perspectives. This never crossed my mind and you are so right. 

Being able to access to non-medical mental health care is such a privilege that so many don't have access to. Even medical care is limited and access will be dependent on where you live and the actions of the referring doctor. 

I hope that the schools see this thread and see your comment (and others) and take these items into consideration. It also isn't enough to take them into consideration - they need to communicate what is accepted as evidence because hopeful students will feel pressured to get access to services that they can't afford or feel anxiety over the quality of their corroborating documents. There may be another person in an individual's life that can confirm their life experiences, and it doesn't need to be someone that they need to pay or invasive medical reports, police reports, etc. We are all going to law school. One would hope that we realize that lying in our law school applications isn't ethical and could impact our futures. 

I provided a substantial amount of information with my law school application. More than probably is necessary and as a result members of the admissions committee are going to know more about me and my history than 99% of those that I think that I have a close relationship with. It makes me uncomfortable, but unfortunately have resigned myself to it being the price of admission. It is probably more impactful to have evidence of everything - even if it makes me uncomfortable. Confidentiality is something I am concerned about and I hope that instructors or administrators don't spends an inordinate amount of time looking at me while certain conversations are happening, or regularly call on me in particular when items related to my history come up in class. 

5 hours ago, artsydork said:

 I still routinely hear superior court judges speak about "men's tools" and "mommy responsibilities" and, this week, about religious ideology not in line with Canadian secular society (to a separated couple of faith).

What in the actual f*ck. 

Sometimes I think that our generation is on the cusp of change, and it we will be pushing against traditional values and approaches which will make our superiors uncomfortable, be detrimental to our careers, but be better for the next generation. The most senior leaders grew up in a time where patriarchy was rampant. Now here we are challenging all of this and asking everyone to question everything that they know. I think we will make those senior leaders uncomfortable - and sometimes it may make them so uncomfortable that they want to push us out - but the next generation will be better off because of our actions. 

Edited by OyVey
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9 hours ago, artsydork said:

Those are microaggressions. Problematic for some, others don't mind. It's the same when I was in the fac (did we overlap at all?) when people would take about how gay the fac was (you know, having ~10 people out of a class of 180, or have 3 out people chatting with one another). 

In your example, it might be "well intentioned" and still problematic. I agree there are issues of "doing diversity" that are alienating. That said, we need to start shaking shit up as well. I still routinely hear superior court judges speak about "men's tools" and "mommy responsibilities" and, this week, about religious ideology not in line with Canadian secular society (to a separated couple of faith).

I think we had a period of overlap (I was at the faculty from Sept 2013 to December 2016).

With respect to the rest, I think we're in general agreement. My point isn't that diversity doesn't exist or that it shouldn't be recognized. Of course it exists and of course we should take it into consideration but we should also keep in mind that it can present itself in very nuanced ways that you won't be able to pick up on unless you make an effort to get to know the person as an individual.

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2 hours ago, msk2012 said:

I think we had a period of overlap (I was at the faculty from Sept 2013 to December 2016).

With respect to the rest, I think we're in general agreement. My point isn't that diversity doesn't exist or that it shouldn't be recognized. Of course it exists and of course we should take it into consideration but we should also keep in mind that it can present itself in very nuanced ways that you won't be able to pick up on unless you make an effort to get to know the person as an individual.

We just missed each other!

 

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On 4/15/2021 at 3:48 PM, seallover said:

Yes, I have had some tough years being bullied because of my name to the point I felt ashamed having it because teachers asked if I could change it to deter the bullying. Or having heard the infamous phrase off the street, “go back to your own country.”

This is probably beside the point, but what's the ethnic background that would lead to the name "seallover?" And is that a direct translation or does it just sound very similar?

Kids can be cruel sometimes. The love between a man or woman, and a seal, can be a beautiful thing. You should be proud that your culture embraces it.

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2 hours ago, Diplock said:

This is probably beside the point, but what's the ethnic background that would lead to the name "seallover?" And is that a direct translation or does it just sound very similar?

Kids can be cruel sometimes. The love between a man or woman, and a seal, can be a beautiful thing. You should be proud that your culture embraces it.

This matter is further complexified by the fact this this individual has ducks -- not seals -- as their profile picture.

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I actually first experienced bullying, including racist bullying, in law school; basically had no problems until law school.  I'm also neurodivergent, so I didn't figure out how to respond; it shook me off guard because I assumed law students would be more mature.   Then Trump got elected President, and I realized there is bullying and immaturity at every level of our legal/political system; what I experienced wasn't a one-off.

I actually finished part of law school and dropped out because of these problems.  Now I'm going back to finish the degree.  I hope online law school continues, because in-person there is more opportunity for bullying.

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22 minutes ago, Neurodivergent said:

I actually first experienced bullying, including racist bullying, in law school; basically had no problems until law school.  I'm also neurodivergent, so I didn't figure out how to respond; it shook me off guard because I assumed law students would be more mature.   Then Trump got elected President, and I realized there is bullying and immaturity at every level of our legal/political system; what I experienced wasn't a one-off.

I actually finished part of law school and dropped out because of these problems.  Now I'm going back to finish the degree.  I hope online law school continues, because in-person there is more opportunity for bullying.

I'm sorry to hear your experience has been like this. It's unacceptable.

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1 hour ago, Neurodivergent said:

I actually first experienced bullying, including racist bullying, in law school; basically had no problems until law school.  I'm also neurodivergent, so I didn't figure out how to respond; it shook me off guard because I assumed law students would be more mature.   Then Trump got elected President, and I realized there is bullying and immaturity at every level of our legal/political system; what I experienced wasn't a one-off.

I actually finished part of law school and dropped out because of these problems.  Now I'm going back to finish the degree.  I hope online law school continues, because in-person there is more opportunity for bullying.

Hey sorry if this is too personal but can you please give examples about what happened? Not that I'm doubting you, I'm legitimately curious.

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14 minutes ago, humbledman said:

Hey sorry if this is too personal but can you please give examples about what happened? Not that I'm doubting you, I'm legitimately curious.

First, out of nowhere the guy decides he wants to fight me, and pushes me in the washroom.  I have no idea what's going on; I haven't wronged anyone,  so I ignore it.   The abuse continues for the rest of the year as he seems agitated by my very existence; calls me motherfucker as I walk by, gets together with another law guy and they start posting racist stuff on my Facebook wall like saying I can't speak English, calling me stupid, making fun of my name etc.  DM's me calling me vermin.     Spreads some gossip (never asked what it was) in the residence, but now this undergrad girl is also attacking me every time I'm around.   Barely ever did much other than study and eat, so I have no idea where the hate was coming from.  

There was another Asian law student with me in residence, he dropped out too and advised me to drop out as well .  The environment was toxic, and this kind of bad behavior from multiple law students gave a bad impression of the legal profession.  The bully is now a lawyer and writes about "human rights", will be a judge someday.  There are some serious psychopaths in this profession.  I'm on my guard now that I'm back in school to finish my degree.   If this bullying BS happens again, I will not ignore it; I will fight it.  I think neurodivergent people suffer most from bullying because we don't know how to properly respond, but I think anyone can be affected.

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On 4/20/2021 at 10:15 PM, Neurodivergent said:

First, out of nowhere the guy decides he wants to fight me, and pushes me in the washroom.  I have no idea what's going on; I haven't wronged anyone,  so I ignore it.   The abuse continues for the rest of the year as he seems agitated by my very existence; calls me motherfucker as I walk by, gets together with another law guy and they start posting racist stuff on my Facebook wall like saying I can't speak English, calling me stupid, making fun of my name etc.  DM's me calling me vermin.     Spreads some gossip (never asked what it was) in the residence, but now this undergrad girl is also attacking me every time I'm around.   Barely ever did much other than study and eat, so I have no idea where the hate was coming from.  

There was another Asian law student with me in residence, he dropped out too and advised me to drop out as well .  The environment was toxic, and this kind of bad behavior from multiple law students gave a bad impression of the legal profession.  The bully is now a lawyer and writes about "human rights", will be a judge someday.  There are some serious psychopaths in this profession.  I'm on my guard now that I'm back in school to finish my degree.   If this bullying BS happens again, I will not ignore it; I will fight it.  I think neurodivergent people suffer most from bullying because we don't know how to properly respond, but I think anyone can be affected.

Yeh that’s completely inappropriate. Too many dickheads out there. My girlfriend is black and was raised in Quebec, she was saying Montreal is beautiful but once you go to other areas of Quebec they look at you strangely like you belong in the zoo and even follow you around in stores. It’s messed up that some parts of the country this stuff is still prevalent, and then even though the big cities are much better it still exists but to a much smaller degree.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/16/2021 at 11:24 PM, FutLawyer said:

I'll preface this by saying that I identify as a SNAIL but I just wanted to attach this story if no one has heard: 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/university-windsor-complaint-1.5826876

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/09/14/this-windsor-law-student-has-filed-numerous-complaints-of-anti-black-racism-against-the-school-when-the-president-showed-up-to-orientation-he-and-his-peers-took-a-stand.html

And this is at an Ontario school that seems to have one of the most diverse staff and student population.

I am going to argue that I believe that what you have cited here is an example of woke culture playing the race card without logical support. It is not an example of actual anti-black racism. The university may have rolled out all of the usual politically correct talking points regarding racism due to public backlash, but this does not prove actual racism.

The facts of the incident described in your news articles are as follows.

(1) Student A opens a door and hits Student B with it, which seems to be an accident.

(2) Student B becomes slightly angry and pushes Student A.

(3) Student A punches Student B several times, causing minor injuries. Student B does not assault Student A beyond the initial push.

(4) Student A (the one who punched the other guy) but not Student B is banned from the university building due to this incident.

SPOILER: One of these students is white and the other is black, but I will not tell you which is which unless you want to read the news articles.

I believe that woke people would always side with the black student and cry racism regardless of which student was Student A or Student B. I also believe that woke people would call the university administration racist if the black student were the one banned from the building regardless of whether they are Student A (the one who threw the punches) or student B (the one who was punched).

Woke people be like:

If student A is black: he was just defending himself by throwing those punches and student B should be punished because he started it!

If student B is black: he was an innocent black guy walking down the hall and he got punched several times by a white guy? There is no way you should punish the black guy for being the victim of a hate crime!

Edited by SNAILS
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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, SNAILS said:

-Snip-

I mean ultimately though, by your own account of events, it would appear that both students committed an assault (and both were provoked but not to the extent of justifying their own conduct). Alternatively it could be construed as a consent fight. By either characterization, both students are culpable. Would you agree with that?

Yet only one was banned from the building. So is it really "politically correct talking points" for the school to admit this was mishandled in light of that? Put aside race entirely for a moment.

Edited by CleanHands
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9 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

I mean ultimately though, by your own account of events, it would appear that both students committed an assault (and both were provoked but not to the extent of justifying their own conduct) but only one was banned from the building. Alternatively it could be construed as a consent fight. By either characterization, both students are culpable. Would you agree with that?

You strike me as someone who has witnessed a fair number of altercations.

How often have you actually seen a push result in a situation being de-escalated?  It seems to me like a push is typically a catalyst for the receiver of the push to get angry -- which in turn results in the pusher believing in the potential for retaliation -- and thus justifyiing a pre-emptive strike.

This is also my general commentary on the infamous Odor/Bautista incident:  https://twitter.com/SNFaizalKhamisa/status/731972895266746369

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, utmguy said:

You strike me as someone who has witnessed a fair number of altercations.

How often have you actually seen a push result in a situation being de-escalated?  It seems to me like a push is typically a catalyst for the receiver of the push to get angry -- which in turn results in the pusher believing in the potential for retaliation -- and thus justifyiing a pre-emptive strike.

This is also my general commentary on the infamous Odor/Bautista incident:  https://twitter.com/SNFaizalKhamisa/status/731972895266746369

 

Well, thank you kindly (although I don't want to overstate my experience).

I take your point. I was just alluding to the fact that necessity and proportionality are features of Canadian self-defence law (see s.34 of the Criminal Code). Being pushed does not legally justify the pushee in beating up the pusher (if the person who did the push doesn't take any further aggressive action). However, yes, from a purely practical perspective, you are correct that if you don't want to get punched, you shouldn't push people.

Edited by CleanHands

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I often get criticized on the grounds of giving an opinion on something while I am not a lawyer. So I honestly do not know what the appropriate response for a university is when there is a two-sided assault on school grounds where there is a difference in the severity of one person's assault (the push) vs the other person's (the punches).

So let's just assume that the correct thing to do is ban any person from the building who commits an assault of any kind.

Based on that premise, the university violated their policy. They need to ban Student B (the one who pushed Student A) from the building as well. The guy who threw the punches was correctly banned from the building. The guy who threw the punches was only wronged if it can be shown through evidence that his disproportionate treatment was due to discrimination.

15 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

I mean ultimately though, by your own account of events, it would appear that both students committed an assault (and both were provoked but not to the extent of justifying their own conduct). Alternatively it could be construed as a consent fight. By either characterization, both students are culpable. Would you agree with that?

I agree.

15 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

Yet only one was banned from the building. So is it really "politically correct talking points" for the school to admit this was mishandled in light of that?

tl;dr : the university public relations department went into overdrive because there was an allegation of racism.

If races where reversed in the scenario, there would be no news story, no apology, and probably no appeal to the initial decision. It is only in cases where a minority is seen to be mistreated where we get this level of fanfare. 

In the hypothetical situation where a black person pushed a white person and the white person punched the black person several times, there would either (a) be no news story or (b) there would be a news story where the black person is the victim of a hate crime. If the university failed the ban the black person from the building in this hypothetical situation, there would be no outrage.

Interestingly, the level of fanfare surrounding these types of news stories perpetuates the perception that we live in a racist, hateful world. 

Woke people reasoning: How do we know that law school is a racist place? Because of case examples such as the one cited in the news story linked. How do we know that the news story linked is a case example of racism? Because law school is a racist place.

It's an example of circular logic.

30 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

Put aside race entirely for a moment.

My entire point is one related to race, or namely, common cultural perceptions of race and racism and how this perception is perpetuated by the media and disingenuously regurgitated by universities to appease woke members of the public. 

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