Trigger warnings at law schools

At Law School, Is Insensitivity Grounds for an Objection?

the author argues, in part, that the practice of law can and will be unexpectedly traumatic, and that shying away from such topics in law school does the budding lawyer a disservice.

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Only with the loosest, and frankly silliest definition of trauma.

Are you suggesting that attorneys don’t encounter these situations in a legal career? Or are you suggesting that the complainers are just too darn sensitive?

It seems to me that he doesn’t properly go into of the more pertinent issues here: some topics may well be triggering for students with a painful history in this area, but these areas need people like this - people who can remain emotionally detached because they have never experienced rape often have some pretty wrongheaded views about it, for example. Rather than trying to equalise everything by finding topics that also push SWM buttons or expecting emotional detachment from these topics, maybe they should be taught in a way that considers those who have been affected? I recognise that some cool detachment is important, but this can be achieved without seeing the input of victims as less than that of unaffected people. Often the lack of discomfort that some people feel with discussing a topic comes from lack of awareness, not greater levels of self control.


The article isn’t about attorneys, it’s about students. They were forced to read about heinous crimes. One would imagine that might be a normal part of a law curriculum.

The article addresses those issues quite directly. It’s about the other students.

Yes, primarily it’s about students who are uncomfortable with discussing sensitive topics, even when they themselves have not been affected by them. Still, the focus seems to be on bringing more sensitive people to the point where they can talk objectively about a topic or triggering a similar response in less sensitive people in order to equalise things. There is some echo of the claim by some men that women are overly emotional and can’t talk rationally about certain subjects. Men may be able to talk more calmly about abortion, but their lack of emotional involvement doesn’t make them more reliable. It may be that the system expects an unreasonable level of emotional disengagement and thereby prejudices those who may well have a greater understanding of the issue (and I can’t see that point anywhere in the article). I’m not suggesting that subjectivity should rule, but it’s pretty clear who benefits when a major criterion for success directly supports the existing system of privilege (and finding other issues that get privileged people riled up would change nothing in that area).


whenever I read about law schools in various magazines and newspapers (I’m not a lawyer, merely a sucker for a good lede), a consistent theme is that law schools do a poor job of actually preparing the student for a law career, and that much of a first year associate’s trial and tribulations are justified as “on the job training”, or as employers used to call them, “apprenticeships”.

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