When I ride the exercise bike in the morning, I read articles on my phone from The Washington Post, The New York Times, Slate and other sources, to distract me from how old and out of shape I am. (Full disclosure: I also read The Guardian and The Daily Mail for soccer news.)
This morning I found a brilliant article from the New York Times by John Kaag that really hit home to me. A link is attached: The Perfect Essay. The article speaks strongly to the power that a critique can have on an individual, a power that those of us who use critiques as a teaching method can easily forget. I sent this out to some of my fellow advocacy teacher earlier today and got positive responses, including this one from Amy Hanley, an AG in Kansas and an experienced NITA teacher: “I remember every detail of the harsh critiques I've received over the years. And they were valid!”
Please read this article and reflect on how you critique, not just the words you use, but the feelings you convey and the model you present. For good or ill, our critiques are helping to create the next generation of lawyers who will be doing what we consider to be one of the most important things on earth: standing up in courtrooms and advocating for justice.
And after you’ve reflected, please share your thoughts here on the blog. Thanks.