Document Type


Journal Title

University of Toledo Law Review



First Page


Publication Date

Summer 2021


Law students are sometimes caricatured as money-hungry careerists, merely punching their ticket to an outsized law firm salary. Those of us in legal education know that stereotype is entirely invalid. In fact, most students come to law school because they want to make the world a better place.

The death of George Floyd in police custody on a Minneapolis street corner in May 2020 shocked the conscience of the nation. Unsurprisingly, many law students were moved to action and inspired to put their nascent legal skills to work in support of racial justice. Much of their advocacy focused on campaigns for policing reforms at the federal, state and local levels. But some students used the occasion to challenge the law schools they attend (and to which they pay tuition) to live up to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

At a number of law schools, including mine, that energy was channeled into the development of a set of “demands” posed by students to their schools. In this essay I will recount the experience at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where I serve as dean, and offer my thoughts on steps law school administrators can take and pitfalls they should avoid in response to this form of student activism.

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