A lawyer is “a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.” - ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct
At UNH Law, we condemn the enduring and systemic racism that pervades our communities. And we commit to positive change toward racial justice and equality.
We in the law school community are in solidarity with the inspiring movement toward racial justice that has been unfolding nationally and globally. It’s heartening to me that some of the most powerful tools for change can be taught, and learned, within our walls. We pledge to listen not only to the voices that have been marginalized for so long but to make sure that our law school is a space of trust for them to come forward and do so. As lawyers, we possess the training to help drive change in meaningful ways, and we are taught that our action must be built upon thoughtful deliberation. As Audre Lorde said, “The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives.” As law professors, law students, and lawyers, we embrace this opportunity.
Here at UNH Law we are thinking not just about ways to listen and learn but also to act. We are setting up a Task Force on Racial Justice, Diversity, and Inclusion that will make recommendations of ways to promote racial justice, and to create a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse community of students, staff, and faculty. For example, we are evaluating the sensitivity of the use of President Franklin Pierce’s name in our law school and IP Center, and are committed to hearing the voices of our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and leaders in the local African American community on this matter. We will encourage and support faculty to teach courses that incorporate issues of racial injustice. We will work with local leaders to create a welcoming environment in the Concord area. We are inviting speakers to talk with us about the role of law as an instrument of change, and the special responsibility lawyers have for the quality of justice.
Lawyers play a critical role as we wrestle with the questions that shape who we are as a people. As we train the next generation of lawyers, I take this responsibility very seriously, and embrace the opportunity for change.
Dean and Professor of Law