law school class

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As a decision looms in the Breonna Taylor case, law students at the University of Louisville are in class exploring the systems that lead to her death.

"Breonna Taylor's Louisville: race, equity and law," is a 14-week class at the Brandeis School of Law created by Dean Colin Crawford.

"I thought it was important at this moment in our city to give students the opportunity to think about how they can be agents for positive change," said Crawford, who is facilitating the class.

Inspired by the protests just a few blocks away, Crawford scrambled to get the course together before the fall semester started.

"It's really a course designed to look at different aspects of systemic inequality and systemic racism," he said.

Crawford modeled the class after a similar course taught at the University of Maryland a few years ago called “Freddie Gray’s Baltimore.” Gray was arrested in Baltimore in 2015 and died from spinal injuries a week after police took him into custody.

Each week features a different speaker, tackling topics like policing, housing and voting. While students aren't specifically examining details related to Taylor's death, it looks at systematic inequities that lead up to the police shooting.

"I think we have a really exciting opportunity to explore questions that we really haven't thought about as a society before," Crawford said.

Third-year law student Erin Langley signed up right away.

"When is there going to be another opportunity to take a class like this?" said Langley, who will graduate in May.

While most law classes discuss court cases in the abstract, this course allows students to dive into more concrete scenarios.

"These are things that are happening a few blocks away from campus," Langley said. "It's really right here."

Langley said what she's learning this semester will shape her future as a lawyer.

"Thinking about how each of us could have a role that means something going forward and when we graduate," she said.

As the future of the Taylor case plays out in real time, Crawford said he's letting what's happening just a few blocks away guide what's happening in his classroom.

"The class may have to adapt and have some sort of session to discuss that," he said.

The class meets on Thursdays, mostly online due to COVID-19.

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