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New York Law School Implements Required Courses on Systemic Racism

The change is “designed to help our students examine and understand racism in the law and throughout the legal system”

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Cardozo School of Law at New York’s Yeshiva University sent an email informing the community of a massive curriculum change. Beginning with the incoming class of ’24, the change is “designed to help our students examine and understand racism in the law and throughout the legal system.”

Therefore, at least one of the following courses will be required to complete: Cross-Cultural Negotiation, Race and the Law, Indigenous Rights in the Americas or Critical Race Theory. In a statement, the school said, “Cardozo is committed to training lawyers who can recognize and respond to the ways in which systemic racism impacts our world.”

Not only will a deep look into “race and racism” be woven throughout the entire curriculum, but completion of classes will also be required on “implicit bias” and “microaggressions.” Students will face race in multiple places, ”including in courses that are not primarily or ostensibly about race” said the email.

The law school’s Dean, Melanie Leslie, has been “at the forefront of a new era in education: Last year, she was among a group of law school deans who wrote to the American Bar Association of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar” reports RedState.

Leslie “implored the accrediting agency to ‘require that schools address bias, cultural awareness, and anti-racism,” writes RedState. In the email, Leslie is quoted explaining that “the history of racism and discrimination in America is intertwined and supported by law and legal structures.”

Therefore, “as scholars and advocates” she stated, “it is critical that we do our part at Cardozo to acknowledge and eradicate systemic racism; as educators, we must ensure that our graduates are culturally competent and well-educated on issues of discrimination.”

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