A big thanks to all of our readers who have been checking in to see if we’ve updated the blog.
It is difficult to maintain this site because it is tough to balance academics with the other parts of our lives. Part of being a student at UW Law (UWLS) means pushing for positive change, pushing against hurtful change and pushing to improve UWLS’ status quo. Suffice to say, it isn’t easy.
We were proud of the UW Law faculty who expressed their concerns about the clinic and through their eloquent, calm expressions, helped us stop the clinic. One result of the most recent article on The Stranger‘s blog was that a prosecutor got his feelings hurt and spoke with a UW Law professor. She shared his complaints with all the faculty, which left some of us–perhaps especially the students of color–wondering why no faculty-wide emails have been sent out with concern about improving the situation for students of color at UW. So we still have some room to grow, obviously.
On the other hand, our advocacy bore great fruit already! The prosecution clinic will not take such a drain from the school’s financial resources because it simply isn’t happening. They decided to add a class especially for folks doing the prosecution externship (which already existed). This course will be co-taught with a former defender and the guy that they had intended to hire to do the prosecution clinic. This great lessening of harm was because of your support of our student advocacy. Thank you.
Another fruit: the school finally broke down and hired someone to come up with some potential plans for making UWLS a more equitable place. Preliminary murmurs indicate that it isn’t quite the Diversity Plan we hoped for, and it wasn’t drafted by any of the people we suggested. There were other problems, too; for example, few students were invited to give input on the front end of the report, and then the administration scheduled the back-end input for the very last day of 2L & 3L classes. And they gave only a single day’s notice. Whatever the case, we believe that the report that will be issued could bring about lasting change if we use it as a tool to keep on pushing. And we are proud to say that a few more faculty are on board to help push for the changes we need.
And perhaps the sweetest fruit yet: we had our first quarter of Critical Race Theory, the result of at least six years of advocacy led by students of color. The class is excellent and taught by an amazing professor, practitioner and community empowering activist.
We have filed a new public disclosure request with the school just to ensure that this externship stuff is not fraught with the same problems that the clinic had. It may take months to get the documents, but we will let you know when we do.
Meanwhile, the most recently acquired information from the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and UWLS is available for everyone to review at this link:
Thank you again for all your support. We will probably not update again for a while. If you like, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.