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Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal

Abstract

Intent on more systematically developing the emerging professional identities of law students, the professional identity formation movement is recasting how we think about legal education. Notably, however, the movement overlooks the structural racism imbedded in American law and legal education. While current models of professional development value diversity and cross-cultural competence, they do not adequately prepare the next generation of legal professionals to engage in the sustained work of interrupting and overthrowing race and racism in the legal profession and system. This article argues that antiracism is essential to the profession’s responsibility to serve justice and therefore key to legal professional identity. Fortunately, developing a legal antiracist identity does not require inventing a new approach. Rather, infusing reflective practice with critical race consciousness provides a sound basis from which to launch a new effort to develop the next generation of antiracist lawyers.

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