Asking the Troubling Questions That Weigh on Our Minds

At a time of year when our law school community feels the inevitable tension and anxiety associated with final exams, many of us are also grappling with grief, anger and exasperation over the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City, and the subsequent grand jury decisions in those cases.

Last night, I had the opportunity to join with students, faculty and staff who came together to speak candidly about these events and to ask the troubling questions that have weighed on our minds about the justice system, racial bias, and the grand jury process. I heard students share their personal concerns, express their sadness and frustration, and wonder aloud: “What can I do?”.

At BU Law, we are committed to not just teaching you the law, but helping you to take that knowledge into the real world, where you can use it to fight injustice, advocate for your clients, and create better laws for our society. You have those opportunities now in many of our clinics and externships, and in a number of our student organizations. We recognize that there are more opportunities to engage and will continue to execute programs and community discussions.

As I mentioned, we are planning to create a law school task force to provide input into initiatives to help address any unmet student needs while also providing opportunities for personal growth and professional competency development as it relates to diversity and social responsibility.

In the meantime, let us continue this important dialogue about the difficult issues that the cases in Ferguson and New York have raised for us both as lawyers and as active citizens.

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