Following halves, we were settled on the direction we wanted to go and were in production of the scenarios. As we were getting feedback from faculty, we also had a phone call with our client. Normally we just have a call with just the CLE representatives and the subcommittee, but this week several lawyers from across the state of Pennsylvania were on the call. All total, there were 15 lawyers that made up a diverse group and giving us feedback about our project. From that call alone, I took almost three pages of notes as they discussed each of the scenarios in depth. Through this group, we found out quite a few points that needed some adjustment. Here’s a few of the notes I took while on the call:
– One of the African American lawyers made a comment about how the second scenario was rather offensive. Making the issue around affirmative action instead of around the work that was done took away from the scenario’s impact. We are adjusting the script to reflect the feedback on that point and make the scenario more impactful.
– Also around the second scenario, we got feedback from multiple lawyers on the call that the issue here needed to be focused on the “origination credits” and the fact that the scenario was based on the lawyer being used because of her race. We took the the advice and Leona adjusted the scripts to focus more on the racial issues that firms often run into.
– One piece of feedback we received about our third scenario dealt with the power structure within a firm. Being able to talk to our client gave us some valuable insight to how lawyers relate to one another.
– Particularly around our third scenario, the call gave us some valuable insight to what it would mean to ask a lawyer to ‘prop up’ another lawyer on a case. From the outside, it’s something not a lot of people would think much about. However in a law firm it would be a significant issue, particularly for the lawyer who would be in the background of the case.
This call helped us tremendously to understand some of the issues that lawyers face day-to-day. The conversation between people on the call brought to light many of the things that can happen that show bias, micro-aggression, sexism and racism. While we are only limited to three scenarios due to scope, there are many issues we aren’t able to cover in a single semester. But with the help of the client and the lawyers invested in our project, we have discovered a lot of new and interesting perspectives around these issues.