paraducks wrote: como wrote:
legallybrunette16 wrote:does anyone else think that only inviting minorities and LGBT students to a program that teaches you how to brief a case and prepares you for the Socratic method is a bit insulting? why do they assume we need the extra help, while white/straight students don't?
I believe it's actually not run "officially" by CLS but it is a program that got started a few years ago as a sort of "joint venture" of various CLS identity groups. Now it's just kind of a tradition. I wouldn't take too much issue with it either way. If you feel insulted, don't go. If you feel as though you're not included, just show up. I'm sure they would welcome you.
the academic orientation program is an "official" cls program, funded in full by the school, and run by faculty members as well as representatives from various student diversity groups.
as you will learn from almost any former participant (myself included), aop really doesn't provide participants with any academic advantage over non-participants. rather, aop was first created to establish a welcoming environment for minority students in what might otherwise have felt like a rather unwelcoming environment.
historically, the minorities represented at aop have been underrepresented at law schools across the country, and especially at schools like cornell. while it might seem a little strange now, imagine being one of only 2 or 3 african american students among a sea of wasps in the 1980's.
aop aims to reduce feelings of isolation, by connecting minority students, and also to reduce feelings of being an "outsider," by allowing those students to arrive on campus and get settled in first.
in short, aop's goal is to lessen any psychological burden that often comes with being a minority student in higher education. the fact that, as a minority, you might not feel that burden is perhaps a testament to the effectiveness of such programs.
so, to participants who are insulted for being included, know that the law school does not think that you're stupid and need an academic "boost"; and to non-participants who feel that minority students are receiving an unfair advantage, consider that, on top of the general anxiety of starting law school that you'll feel, many aop participants will also face anxieties and insecurities to which, fortunately for you, you probably have never and will never relate.
hope that clears things up!