Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cornell Law Clinical Faculty Respond to Racism and Police Violence

To the Editor:

As individuals and as professors, we oppose racism in all its forms. We are outraged by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and by the killings of countless other Black people who have lost their lives as a result of racialized violence. We are also outraged by commentators, some of them attached to Ivy League Institutions, who are leading a smear campaign against Black Lives Matter. In describing the protests, they deliberately use terms like “wilding,” a racially loaded term coined in 1989 to describe the imagined actions of five innocent Black teenagers (Korey Wise, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray and Yusef Salaam) who were wrongly convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms for the assault of a White jogger. These commentators express rage over the sporadic looting that has taken place amidst the largely peaceful protests, calling for organized manhunts to track down those responsible. Theirs is a form of racism that gives cover to those police who use their batons and tear gas and rubber bullets and fists to silence and maim their critics.

Cornell Law has struggled to break through the traditionally stable rankings, having failed to move above the 13-spot since at least 2010.

Cornell Law Holds 13-Spot, But Trails Ivy Rivals in Annual Law School Ranking

Correction appended. Cornell Law will once again be the United States’ 13th top law school, according to a leaked copy of the U.S. News and World Report’s annual rankings posted yesterday on Above the Law, a well-known legal blog. Every year, U.S. News — which is best known for its annual ranking of undergraduate schools — scores 192 law schools on the basis of selectivity, post-graduation placement success, faculty resources, bar passage and peer and professional assessment scores, according to the survey’s website. While maintaining its membership to the exclusive “Top-14” — a group of schools historically placed at the top of U.S. News’ report — Cornell Law still ranks below the four Ivies that also offer a J.D. program: Yale, Harvard, Columbia and The University of Pennsylvania. This year, Cornell placed between Northwestern and Georgetown — and six spots behind Penn, its closest Ivy competitor.