Thursday, February 25, 2021

Diverse Voices: YouTube

YouTube is a fantastic tool for anyone interested in watching talks, speeches, and conversations that would otherwise go unseen by those outside the participants and live audience. If you're unfamiliar with YouTube's interface, try using the main search box to find videos, playlists, and channels featuring diverse voices. 

To get started, here are a few videos featuring influential women in the law. Watch the videos, and grapple with the thoughts and questions these thinkers pose. We've crafted brief summaries and a few questions after each video in order to focus your thinking on DEI themes: 

In her talk “Hiding in Plain Sight,” John H. Watson, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School Jeannie Suk Gersen discusses shifts in the thinking behind legal education over the past several decades. Suk Gersen begins with the history of legal pedagogy in America, the Socratic Method, as well as Duncan Kennedy's Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System, a class-, race-, and gender-based critique of legal education. Suk Gersen also asks how professors may best promote equality of education through their teaching. In Suk Gersen's experience, the Socratic Method helps to encourage women and minorities to participate in the classroom conversation--when other methods are used, white male voices dominate the classroom. Have you considered whether the Socratic Method establishes or perpetuates hierarchies in the classroom? Do you agree with Professor Suk Gersen that the Socratic Method is a useful tool in hearing from diverse voices?

In a conversation with BARBRI, Associate Director of Admissions at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Alicia Miles discusses the importance of diversity in the ambitions and perspectives of law students. She emphasizes that law schools do a disservice to students when they don't assemble classes that feature diverse perspectives, and that modern attorneys need to be able to navigate diverse landscapes, including diversity in ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Miles encourages prospective law students to examine faculty and staff, leadership teams, student organizations, and other factors to assess diversity. If you're already enrolled in law school, did diversity factor into your school choice? If you're looking at prospective law schools, how will diversity influence your choice, if it will play a role at all? 

In a conversation with Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law Kenji Yoshino, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg discusses her experience as a Jewish woman in legal practice, and the evolution of diversity in legal practice over her long career. How do you see the meaning of diversity expanding in your lifetime as a lawyer?  

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