Twenty Someone: Eric Duncan

Eric Duncan

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

College: Emory University 

Law School: Wake Forest University 

Age: 26

Occupation: Law student

1. Describe your job in three words: Stressful, demanding, challenging

2. The hardest thing you’ve ever had to do:  Tell the students I worked with at Crim that I was going to law school in another state!

3.  You went to one of the best high schools in Atlanta and then went on to teach at Crim, an alternative school in Atlanta. How did that shape your view on education? It definitely showed me that education is more about the people in your life and  the environment you are in and not as much about the curriculum. I feel like I was able to take so much for granted growing up which made my school experience a lot easier.  The kids who had the best families and opportunities to do that at Crim were far more likely to succeed in school and graduate than the kids who did not have the support and opportunities.  Unfortunately, the kids who did not have the support made up the majority of my school [Crim].

4. Do you think your experience teaching has helped you in law school at all? Definitely! From a workload standpoint it enhanced my organizational and time management skills, but it also gave me a lot of perspective.  I don’t think I was ready after college to go to law school.  I needed the work experience to show me the value of responsibility and hard work.

5. If you could have been a lawyer in any trial past or present, which trial would it be? Oooh you’re good! Definitely the Brown v. Board Education cases…that was the first domino that led to the modern Civil Rights laws and so many of the arguments made in those cases about the detrimental effect that school segregation had on children of color still resonate today. I wish people would read the opinion and realize that our schools still have a long way to go even 60 years later.

6. Write one sentence of your hypothetical closing argument in that case: Even if segregated schools have equal funding, separate but equal is inherently unequal based on the detrimental psychological effects of segregation on black children and cannot be allowed in the land of the free. That was a really good and hard question! I’m going to start calling you Barbara Walters. Or Oprah. You saw how hard she hit. If Oprah was good-looking I’d call you Oprah, but I’ve seen The Color Purple.

7. Now Oprah is on my mind. Let’s discuss cheating in sports. Ohio State, Lance Armstrong, and the recent hall of fame vote shutout. How do you differentiate these instances of cheating? Is cheating cheating? Where do we draw the line? Do you equate these things? I mean they all broke the rules. I refuse to answer that question on the record until you take Ohio State out of it. Eric! I don’t differentiate these things really, but the most troubling thing they have in common is they are products of a broken system. These rules and regulations need to change…baseball and the olympics have done a decent job of regulating things in response to these acts, but the NCAA is a complete joke! Their rules are ridiculously arbitrary.I took a class about NCAA regulations and there are gems such as taking a player out and paying for him to have a bagel is legal because that is considered a snack, but if the player orders cream cheese with the bagel it is considered a meal and is an NCAA violation that can cost a player their eligibility. The NCAA is a glorified slave system if you ask me….tattoos cost Ohio State a national championship!
8.Okay tell me educator/sport buff. Should athletes be paid in college? You’re also the lawyer. Make a case for or against. If I was a lawyer for the players I would talk about the money that is made off of merchandise that bears their likeness (aka jerseys with players numbers or video clips with their highlights). If I was a lawyer for the NCAA I would stress the importance of maintaining the integrity of the product which is its difference from professional sports. This is extremely important to what the NCAA is marketing and is arguably necessary to its popularity. But as long as there is an agreement from schools to keep a regulating body in charge of their sports, the courts will defer to them and nothing will change…the kids would have to start their own league which is highly unlikely.

Wait, is the regulating body the NCAA? Sorry, I just don’t know.  Yeah sorry I should have made that clearer.  No I’m sure it’s basic. No not if you’re not a sports fan or in law school. Okay. Or if you went to Michigan since y’all are basic. We don’t cheat though. Google Fab Five cheating and see what you find. Google best public university and see what you find. Well played.
9. Time for Mad Libs. Just fill in the blank. You could not live without( person) Robin Beck. (laughs) Okay the first person I thought about was my mother. Your favorite sport (noun) basketball. If you went on vacation you’d take (thing) toothbrush. Every good man must be (trait) patient. You wish the world was more (adjective) considerate.  You wanted your students to know (lesson) that they deserved the best. At the end of the day (your choice) I’m happy to be alive.
10. In ten years you will be: Hopefully married with children and working hard to be the best husband and father I can be!



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