A MTSU political science professor explained why law firms that defend the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people also are working to educate the public on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.
Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. David Trowbridge, an assistant professor in MTSU’s Department of Political Science and International Relations, first aired Feb. 4 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at www.wmot.org. You can listen to their conversation above,
According to his research, Trowbridge said, legal organizations that represent the LGBTQ community have found that limiting their work to the courtroom isn’t enough to protect their clients’ rights.
The organizations are increasingly using public education to help inform a wider audience about legal issues important to the LGBTQ community, he said. Some of those educational efforts are aimed specifically at LGBTQ citizens to help them learn about their legal rights.
Trowbridge said he found that law firms are realizing they must engage in educational outreach to combat political blowback when they win important civil rights cases.
“I think that lawyers were thinking of their end goals in a very legalistic way — that if you create a change in the court, it’s going to equate to social change,” Trowbridge said. “We need to think of the courtroom as part of a larger repertoire and use all these tools simultaneously to achieve changes outside the courtroom.”
Trowbridge’s article, “Engaging Hearts and Minds: How and Why Legal Organizations Use Public Education,” was published in November 2019 in the American Bar Foundation’s academic journal “Law & Social Inquiry.” You can read it here.
To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at www.mtsunews.com.
For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.