Trayvon Martin as Case Study in Law School

Monday, July 15, 2013

A man with hoodie watches the speakers on the steps of the Capitol Building in Tallahassee, Florida at a Rally March for Trayvon Martin. (SteveNakatani/flickr)

Law professors say they plan to include lessons learned from the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin when classes resume later this summer.

James B. Jacobs teaches criminal law and criminal procedure at NYU. He says he’ll use the case to talk about prosecutorial discretion, reasonable doubt and federal investigations into civil rights charges.   

"Because they debated it outside the classroom it brings an energy and an interest into the class that we don't always have," he says.

And while Jacobs anticipates the discussions could get heated at times, he says students should get used to it; learning how to argue is what law school -- and being a lawyer -- is all about.

"In a law school, I think we should be able to argue vigorously and without making it personal," he says.


Julianne Welby


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