Event Title

Diverse Interactions: Addressing Race and Implicit Bias in Legal Research Instruction

Start Date

31-5-2019 11:45 AM

End Date

31-5-2019 12:45 PM

Document Type

Presentation

Description

A growing body of research shows that implicit biases based on race and other minority status play a role in student perceptions, behaviors and teacher evaluation outcomes. In this context, the continued use in legal research instruction of race-neutral client names and traditional, noncontroversial hypotheticals misses an important opportunity to train our students in becoming culturally competent lawyers.

The first part of the program will discuss the importance of a legal research curriculum that addresses issue of race and implicit bias, despite the possible unease of the instructors. The second part of the program will entail participants learning tools and tips for incorporating issues of race and implicit bias into the legal research curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on the design of hypotheticals that reflect the legal challenges minority clients may face, while still providing substantial instruction on legal research methods.

Speaker Bio

Shamika Dalton is Interim Associate Director of the Law Library and Professor of Legal Research at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. She teaches both legal research and advanced legal research.

Clanitra Nejdl is Research Services Librarian and Lecturer-in-Law at the Alyne Queener Massey Law Library at Vanderbilt Law School. She teaches legal research and provides legal reference assistance to faculty, staff, students, and other library users.

Michelle Rigual is the Director of the Law Library at the University of New Mexico School of Law, as well as a Professor of Librarianship and a Research Professor of Law. She primarily teaches Legal Research, but has also aught 1L Practicum and Critical Thinking.

Raquel Gabriel is the Director of the Law Library and Professor at CUNY Law. She presents and publishes on matters regarding diversity and teaching legal research.

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May 31st, 11:45 AM May 31st, 12:45 PM

Diverse Interactions: Addressing Race and Implicit Bias in Legal Research Instruction

A growing body of research shows that implicit biases based on race and other minority status play a role in student perceptions, behaviors and teacher evaluation outcomes. In this context, the continued use in legal research instruction of race-neutral client names and traditional, noncontroversial hypotheticals misses an important opportunity to train our students in becoming culturally competent lawyers.

The first part of the program will discuss the importance of a legal research curriculum that addresses issue of race and implicit bias, despite the possible unease of the instructors. The second part of the program will entail participants learning tools and tips for incorporating issues of race and implicit bias into the legal research curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on the design of hypotheticals that reflect the legal challenges minority clients may face, while still providing substantial instruction on legal research methods.