You probably don’t realize it, but over 150 years after the Civil War ended and slavery was abolished, we still have “Badges and Incidents of Slavery” in our country, and we need a “Radical Vision for a Third Reconstruction.” At least, that is what you would be learning as a gullible student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, according to a conference held there on Feb. 17 entitled “The Unfinished Work of Abolition.”
That was one of the first things we found in our review of UPenn Law, which is next in the series that J. Christian Adams and I are writing on the “top” law schools in the country, as rated by U.S. News and World Report for the 2022-2023 school year.
We have already covered Yale, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, and Harvard, which have become reeducation camps of the progressive Left. Unfortunately, UPenn Law is just more of the same. Its purpose these days, it seems, is indoctrinating students into rejecting the American system of jurisprudence as racist, homophobic, gender-biased, and oppressive. Just pick-your-favorite-adjective of wokeism and cancel culture.
And don’t even think about exercising your First Amendment right to speak out against the political and cultural orthodoxy of the radical Left that prevails there. The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression ranks UPenn (which includes the law school) as the second worst college in the entire nation, out of over 200, when it comes to restricting the First Amendment rights of its students.
Only Columbia is worse. This apparently leads students to self-censor and not speak up because their opinions are not “deemed acceptable on campus.”
To be reprogrammed, a student must spend close to $250,000 for tuition, room, and board over three years. The student can even earn an LGBTQ Certificate in addition to a law degree, and probably a great letter of recommendation from the law school’s Office of Equity & Inclusion.
The Office of Equity and Inclusion advertises that the school “showcases” its “active engagement on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” but a look through the course catalog shows that DEI should, in our view, stand for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination.
Consider the elective “Race, Law, and Resistance, LAW 932-0002,” at which, according to the official description of the course, students will “come to understand” the “system(s) of oppression that have engendered anti-racism resistance” and the “structural racism” that sustains “white supremacy” in the U.S. Students will “complete an in-depth review of mobilization, including legal mobilization – against structural racism, especially mobilization by Black women and by indigenous, Asian, and Hispanic/Latinx people on the U.S. mainland and in U.S. colonies and occupied territories.”
U.S. colonies and occupied territories?! What colonies and occupied territories? Nothing prevents the residents of U.S. territories like Puerto Rico and Guam, which have their own elected governments, from holding plebiscites deciding whether they want to leave the U.S., which they seemingly don’t want to do. We don’t have military forces “occupying” Puerto Rico or any of the territories forcing them to remain as part of the U.S. This absurd propaganda is just in the course description, which tells you just how biased the rest of the course is likely to be.
Of course, there is no emphasis at the law school on training future prosecutors to uphold the law and protect the public from dangerous criminal predators. Instead, you can take “Community Lawyering to End Mass Incarceration, LAQ 584-001,” which will teach students how to take on the “racialized mass incarceration system” in their representation of clients in order to “enhance” their “effectiveness” in “end[ing] mass incarceration.”
Given the fact that only 3 percent of criminals who commit violent victimizations and property crimes like robbery end up in prison, one could make a compelling argument that we don’t have a mass incarceration problem. Rather, we may well have an under-incarceration problem.
This is the same abolish-all-prisons and defund-the-police claptrap we have seen in the curricula of every law school we have examined. No mention of the increase in crime and victims, especially in poor, urban communities—the ones the course description says are “disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal and incarceration systems”—caused by violent predators and the refusal of rogue, Soros-supported prosecutors to enforce the law. No question that engaging in mass release of criminals has “disproportionately” impacted the law-abiding citizens of those urban neighborhoods with the highest crime rates, but that goes unmentioned.
Naturally UPenn Law (no pun intended) has to prepare students to fight climate change caused by humans, which supposedly presents “an imminent threat to social and ecological systems,” a dubious claim that is contested in the scientific literature. In “Climate Change, LAW 954-001,” students will be provided the “policy tools” for responding to this emergency, learn about the “limits of addressing climate change via litigation and private governance,” and realize “the social and racial justice implications of climate change.”
We didn’t realize that if the climate actually warms up by some tiny, fractional degree in the decades ahead, as predicted by the flawed climate computer models used by the sky-is-falling progenitors of this theory, that it will have different effects on each of us depending on our race. Who knew?
And, it seems, the effects of technology also depend on our race. In “Privacy and Racial Justice, LAW 5333-001,” students will learn how privacy laws can be used to “target” and “exclude minority groups’ interests,” and how technologies like “algorithms, encryption, facial recognition and smartphones, can be used as mechanisms of surveillance and control,” particularly of “African Americans” and “other marginalized groups.”
Who knew that mathematical algorithms and encryption apps were so racist? Back on earth, we know this just isn’t true.
When it comes to protecting unborn life, don’t look for a course at UPenn Law and any balance on the issue of abortion. Obviously woke culture must have a course on ensuring “reproductive justice.” For that, you can take “Reproductive Law and Justice, LAQ 734-001,” in which you will be provided an “intersectional analysis that emphasizes the ways that race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, and immigration status can affect a person or community’s reproductive lives.” You will also be taught “advocacy that seek[s] to promote social justice.”
The overused phrase “social justice” in this context means ensuring there are no limits of any kind on abortion and the ability to end an unborn human life. Not exactly the definition of justice we would use.
Students can also take the “Women Law and Leadership Class, LAQ 900-001” that debunks the “idea that leadership is a divine or masculine trait.” Students will learn all about how “women’s leadership is smart macroeconomics” and how “gender bias, stereotypes” and alleged “exclusion from professional development networks, reinforce women’s underrepresentation in leadership in public and private.” The class seeks to “elevate women’s leadership to a higher intellectual plane.”
Naturally, the law clinics at UPenn Law, where students work with professors and outside lawyers to provide free legal assistance, all follow the same theme the curriculum does—that we’re a systematically racist, oppressive society with an unfair justice system. As a student, you can participate in the Advocacy for Racial and Civil Justice Clinic that provides “legal support” for “organizing to demand redress for racial subordination in areas including education, ending overpolicing and mass incarceration, economic justice, and health justice.”
Or how about the “Trans Empowerment & Advocacy Project” that is “dedicated to supporting trans and nonbinary people” and where you’ll learn, among other much-sought-after skills, how to handle “name-change” petitions in court? You can’t make this stuff up.
As you can see, race, gender, climate politics, environmental extremism, and the vital importance of who you sleep with seems to permeate the entire law-school curriculum and clinic work. So does the current political orthodoxy of the radical Left, with its contempt for our Constitution and our legal system.
The bottom line, as with the other schools we have examined, is that if you want to hire an unbiased, well-trained, ethical, and professional lawyer who actually understands the law, you might want to choose someone other than a graduate from the law school at the University of Pennsylvania.
This piece originally appeared in PJ Media