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2 U. Tol. L. Rev. 903 (1970)
Racism and American Law: A New Course in Legal History

handle is hein.journals/utol2 and id is 915 raw text is: RACISM AND AMERICAN LAW:
A NEW COURSE IN LEGAL
HISTORY
Haywood Burns*
The legal educational system must reevaluate itself so
that law school training is more responsive to the demands
of our changing society. The author contends that all law
students are disadvantaged under the present system if
teaching methods fail to put the law into a social context.
Professor Burns uses as an example of curriculum changes
hejavors, a seminar course on Racism and American Law
taught at New York University School ofLaw. The course
deals with racism and its development in A merica as well as
the potential of law Jbr eliminating racism in our society.
Law schools have long given the nation the kinds of lawyers
it has demanded. In a society bent on material acquisition and
self-aggrandizement law school curriculum has been designed to
produce the type of advocate and counselor who can best serve
these drives. The disproportionate emphasis on commercial and
property subjects in law school catalogs has been universal.
However, given the present nature of our society, it is not the
presence of large numbers of courses in these areas that can
validly provide the basis for current curriculum criticism. The
need for them is self-evident. The fault is rather one of
omission-the failure to provide courses that serve other values
and interests and to place the law in some kind of social context.
The fact that law school training in the past has reflected
societal demands should perhaps be encouraging for today's
proponents of curriculum revision; for our society is presently
undergoing substantial reexamination. Increasingly Americans
are questioning old values and assumptions and engaging in what
can only be regarded as healthy self-doubt. There is a heightened
* B.A., Harvard University, 1962; Cambridge University, 1963; LL.B., Yale
University, 1966; Member, New York Bar; Director, National Conference of Black
Lawyers; Adjunct Lecturer, New York University School of Law.

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