Getting Beyond a Property in Race


The policy choices that lawyers promote will have far more significance for our children and our grandchildren than will the credentials that we wield as we confront the intricacies of government and private enterprise. Each lawyer’s vision of society and his or her dedication to the dignity of individuals will affect the quality of life in our country in ways that mere technical skill in drafting a document, constructing a statute, writing a brief, or authoring a law review article can never approach. If lawyers are to play the important social and moral roles that I believe we can and should, then we must begin by recognizing that our nation’s basic human problems have not arisen because the legal profession misunderstood Blackstone, the Bluebook, the Uniform Commercial Code, or the Federal Rules of Evidence. Poverty, hatred, malnutrition, inadequate health care and housing, corruption in government, and the failures of our public school system continue to haunt us today, because those in power often have lacked personal morality or have failed to make real the values that they have professed to hold in the abstract.


African Americans, Race discrimination



Derrick Bell (New York University Law School)



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