Changes in Legal Education and Legal Ethics: Article: Getting Past Legal Analysis...Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Teaching Rape
29 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2012 Last revised: 2 Oct 2012
Date Written: August 27, 2012
Long after the rape chapter was over, when we had moved on to inchoate crimes and cases involving "call girls" and conniving defendants who took messages for them in an era before voicemail - protagonists with whom my students, it seemed safe to wager, were unacquainted - the thoughtful young man from the third row stopped in to ask, "What was the take away from the classes on rape?" My hope is that, in explaining my approach to teaching rape, I will also address the deeper themes afoot in contemporary critiques of legal education: whether and how law schools are training students for the practice of law, and what practical use, if any, is served by scholarship among legal academics. These interviews, combined with years of teaching the edited appellate opinion in my casebook, convinced me that I could use the case to surface themes and teach skills often left out of the first-year classroom. Before class, I divided the students into small groups, assigning each group a distinct rape statute, and required them to apply their statutes to the police statements in order to advise the state's attorney about the merits of prosecuting the case. In a class on rape, the search for "bad facts" forces students to retell two stories - the victim's and the defendant's - in legally relevant ways. The state charged both boys with rape, and at first blush, the facts underlying Juan G. Either way, rape victim advocates felt certain that civil remedies could have offered Laura more than criminal law did. Has sexual contact or sexual intercourse with another person without consent of that person and causes injury, illness, disease or impairment of a sexual or reproductive organ, or mental anguish requiring psychiatric care for the victim.
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