Lawyering with Creativity and for Equity
“May you live in interesting times.”
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
“I know that I know nothing.”
Three quotes, attributed to different cultures. What connects them?
We are certainly living in interesting times. This saying—wrongly attributed in popular culture to the Chinese people—has often been taken as a curse. But interesting times are also a challenge to embrace. They call on our creativity and imagination to engage, to question, and to solve problems.
As Einstein didn’t say, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” When we have fun, our minds are free to wonder, engage our emotions, and find new meanings.
To have fun, it helps to be humble, or, as Plato attributed to Socrates, “to know that [we] know nothing.” This intellectual humility enables us to be open to different perspectives and connections, to make mistakes, and to work with others.
Creativity, imagination, play, fun, humility—these aren’t terms we normally use to describe legal education. When we do, it’s often experiential legal education we are talking about. Equality, justice, equity, peace, and humanity are topics for every law school classroom, they are more often than not central to the mission of our externships and clinics. So, this conference is designed to give time and space to integrate work mode with play mode: have fun, be creative, and share or co-create new strategies, narratives, and structures for teaching, lawyering, and equity. We encourage you to mix disciplines within and across all forms of experiential education; to collaborate across schools, states, and countries; and to integrate technology into your sessions. This is a moment to ponder the times we are living in today and those we hope to live in tomorrow.