Law in the Classroom: Week in Review

           Friday Dialogue from                

                                      Your Two Favorite Educators 

As Emily and Aubrey look back over the week they use their razor sharp wit to discuss John Edwards’ fate.


1.)  I know you love Clarence Darrow’s closing argument.  However, it was seven hours long.  C’mon, Darrow.  Really?  Seven hours?  That’s a little excessive.  Aubrey, in honor of Darrow, if you had to deliver a speech for seven hours what would be your topic?  Is there anything you could speak about for seven hours?
Listen.  We’ve had this conversation before.  LEAVE DARROW ALONE Is Aubrey right?or there is a distinct possibility that we fight and you lose.  Okay, so let me respond by giving you several categories.  In terms of literature I could speak on All the King’s Men for at least seven hours.  That would be the short, short version.  In terms of food, making pie crust from scratch.  In terms of pop culture, well, so many choices.  Probably something about Bristol Palin’s retooled show for Lifetime.  I could talk about that for hours.  
Emily:  Don’t mistake me.  I love the closing argument.  I think it is great.  I just think it is a little long.  I can’t imagine sitting in the courtroom listening to one person speak that long.  You, however, I could certainly listen to you talk about making pie crusts from scratch.  I’ve had your pies before and they are tasty!

2.)  To what extent do you think teachers need to be conscientious of controversy when selecting cases for students to study?
Aubrey: I think it’s very important to be aware and thoughtful of how controversy can impact students.  I want to create critical thinkers but sometimes there are things I don’t want us to cover in class.  We need to discuss global issues, dissect cultural norms because it makes for thoughtful argumentation but the biggest challenge is to find a way to do so where I don’t have to play referee.  I’m not sure I’ve found that happy medium.  

What does Emily say?Emily:  Sometimes I forget that they are kids.  I think they can handle talking about John Edwards using donor money to hide his mistress, but I’m not sure they can handle really graphic or extreme cases.  Correction:  I’m not sure I can handle dealing with the parent complaints from giving them a controversial case to handle. 

3.)  This week I profiled several skills lawyers must possess.  They must be able to analyze the audience of the judge/jury, sift through seemingly meaningless research looking for clues, and determine the larger argument that needs to be addressed.  What do you think is another important skill lawyers need to possess.  Feel free to be funny and poke fun of the rich, rich lawyers.
Aubrey: Well, what I’ve learned from The Good Wife is they need to have the power of both rhetoric and justice on their side.  Also a lot of money, some killer heels and a sensible haircut.   

Emily:  That is so sad…and so true.  I will say though that I do feel more powerful in a good pair of heels. 

3.)  Imagine you are a participant of the current John Edwards trial.  What role would you like?  Juror?  Defense?  Prosecutor? Judge?  Bailiff?  Why?
Aubrey: You’ve left out court reporter and sketch artist.  Since I can’t draw it’s definitely court reporter.  All I would have to do is type accurately and quickly.  

Emily:  Really?  Reporter?  I’d have too tough of a time keeping my opinion out of the article.  I’d love to be on the jury or serve as the presiding judge.  I’d just want access to all of the dirty evidence.

4.) In what way is a teacher like a lawyer?
Aubrey: I am constantly on trial and not by a jury of my peers.  Hmmm.  You said lawyer not defendant.  Okay, then I’m definitely doing pro bono work.

Emily:  Amen, sister.  I feel like I am constantly having to prove myself and validate the content I teach with evidence that it is valuable.  It’s a fine line to balance between entertaining and persuading.  I feel like I’m failing at both!

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