Tuesday, April 26, 2022

1L Elective

For my 1L elective, I’m taking Critical Race Theory. I chose it because I wanted to learn more about CRT, especially in the legal context. CRT is a hot topic in the news right now, and I wanted to really know the details of it. 

The electives are small classes – mine is only 11 other students – so there are a lot of opportunities for participation and class discussions. In CRT, these discussions are especially important because they allow us to explore each topic thoroughly, through the text, and through personal experiences. 

At times, the theories we study, the stories we read can be difficult. Often, my classmates and I relate a theory we’ve just learned back to tough and emotional cases we all remember from Criminal Law, or Torts. But beyond this, I’ve learned so much about my classmates and the stories they have to share. 

If I needed a reminder that I go to school with intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate, and incredible people, this class reminds me every time we meet. My colleagues in CRT come from a variety of backgrounds and bring grace and new perspectives on each topic. They push me to think more critically about certain things, be more thoughtful, and be more authentic in the classroom. 

In CRT, we are not asked to approach anything we read – essay, case, story – with anything but our open minds and critical thinking skills. We aren’t creating case briefs or outlines. We’re creating a community of future attorneys better suited to approach the diverse world we live in with actual empathy and a critical eye to recognize the wrongdoings in certain areas. 

CRT is a great break from the legal jargon and the technical classes we take first year to form a strong foundation of legal education. But CRT is helping to form that strong foundation in a different way – helping us to strengthen our critical thinking skills so we can see future clients as what they are: individuals with their own story to tell. This foundation will help us to be better attorneys, and even more than that, better people.