RECORD EDITORIAL: Learning from other schools

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Last week The Record prodded the Law School to put its courses, facilities and, to a certain extent, its vision under a Socratic eye to glean what drives this institution and its students to excellence and what hampers progress. We ended the editorial with the statement: “Here at The Record, we hope to serve as an important part of that dialogue through the course of the year.”

As a forum for news and discussion, we are in a unique position to foster debate on issues that concern us as students, our first priority at HLS. As such, we are beginning a series of articles throughout the academic year that will compare certain aspects of the Law School with other educational institutions throughout the country. For example, the Law School’s curriculum has been criticized for being too focused on case history at the expense of practical understandings of how the legal world works. To use another case in point, some minority groups continue to argue that the current admissions process does little to encourage certain minority students to attend; most notably, Native American students. It is unlikely these criticisms are specific only to HLS. Perhaps other schools have found novel ways of encouraging minority students to attend without using scholarships selective.

Our goal is to show students, faculty and administrators that there are other ways, maybe better ways, of doing things. With the Healthy Diversity Report due out sometime this semester, our first installment will examine how other schools have handled discriminatory harassment and speech codes. This school, including its students, should feel equipped to critically examine the work of the Healthy Diversity Committee. Comparative analysis is an important tool for individuals when they decide whether what emerges from the committee’s report will be effective in combating hate speech while respecting free speech.

Of course dialogue means more than a Record staffer writing a comparative article on grading at their institutions and individuals at HLS passively reading said article before tossing the paper in the next available recycling bin. It also means students, faculty and administrators should offer their own positions and criticisms on these issues. The Record opens its pages to guest columns and letters to the editors that are specifically tailored to the subject under discussion. Individuals are also encouraged to propose future issues that should be analyzed and debated. Every effort will be made to include as many of these letters and areas of focus in subsequent issues.

Our goal is not to pick on the Law School, but to sting it into action if change is needed. We expect nothing less from a school with Veritas on its shield.

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