When CWSL was forced to switch to online learning for the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked hard to follow best practices for online learning by attending online conferences and voraciously reading everything we could find to make the learning experience the best we could for our students. CWSL's Legal Skills program earned high praise in student evaluations for adapting so quickly given the difficult circumstances.
During the summer of 2020, we met as a Legal Skills team to discuss how to approach the regular school term. Specifically, we faced a larger-than-anticipated first-year class and contemplated how to remedy the sense of disconnection we expected would be felt by both students and us as teachers with online teaching and the ongoing pandemic. We asked ourselves, "what if one of our colleagues become sick? How would we cover that professor's classes? How can we create a sense of connection in a remote world?"
We also saw the challenges we faced as an opportunity to learn from one another and also mentor our new faculty members. To address these challenges and make the most of these opportunities, we decided to adopt what we came to call our Unified Program for Legal Skills. This paper describes our approach, experiences, and lessons.
David Austin, Allison D. Cato, Amy E. Day & Liam Vavasour,
The Unified Legal Skills Program: How One Law School Adapted to Meet the Needs of Students Online, and How Those Adaptations May Inform Post-Pandemic Teaching,
Nova L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.cwsl.edu/fs/374