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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Are you now or have you ever been a member of a debate team?

My colleague and Prawfs Alum, Lesley Wexler, asked me to post this important announcement:

Jim Speta , a law professor at Northwestern, is trying to identify law professors who debated in high school or college.  He's seeking to make the case that debate provides skills and interest that lead students to consider law school, in order to support the expansion of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues, which has been bringing debate back to urban high schools.  Many law professors are already involved with the UDLs.  UDL participants are over 80% minority students, and we hope that (among other beneficial effects) urban debate will increase the pipeline of minorities to law schools and the profession.  If you'd like to hear more, please e-mail Jim at [email protected].

Posted by Administrators on August 30, 2007 at 10:36 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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This brings back high school memories! When I was a debater in high school, virtually every competitor I knew -- not just from my school, but from any school -- wanted to become a lawyer. I was among a handful that had no such ambition.

From my experience, then, I was certainly an anomaly. You may have a "chicken and the egg" problem here, however. Whether my debating colleagues were already interested in law and joined the debate team to gain lawyering skills or gained their interest in the law through their debating experiences, I couldn't tell you.

Perhaps the law did not lure me through debate because I had the U.S. Naval Academy and a military career in my sights long before I started debating. Well, I did go to the Naval Academy, and I was a Marine Corps officer for five years. Ironically, it was in the Marine Corps where i first got interested in law. A fellow lieutenant left his Barron's LSAT study guide out one day, I picked it up and thumbed through it and said, "Hey, I'm good at this kind of thing!"

So now I am a lawyer, I am sure much to the surprise of my high school debating colleagues and my classmates at the Naval Academy, where "sea lawyer" was a term we used to describe someone who offered excuses for not completing the mission.

Posted by: Greg May | Aug 30, 2007 4:38:11 PM

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