Law Faculty Experiences Teaching During the Pandemic
16 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020 Last revised: 23 Jun 2020
Date Written: May 21, 2020
When colleges and universities abruptly shifted to online teaching in March, 2020 all focus (appropriately) was on ensuring continuity of education for students. In adapting courses to the new online environment, professors were encouraged to take into account the incredible stress students were experiencing, their new living conditions and, in some cases, lack of access to technology and educational resources. Almost all U.S. law schools shifted to some form of pass/fail grading in recognition of the enormous upheaval to students’ educational plans.
Less discussed during the Spring 2020 semester was how faculty members experienced and responded to the pandemic in their personal lives and as professional educators. This essay conveys the results of an informal, non-representative survey of law faculty conducted in May, 2020. The principal findings are that law professors themselves were under considerable stress during the pandemic, that they altered their modes of delivery and interaction with students, and that they would like students, colleagues, and school administrators to recognize the complex experiences of law faculty teaching during the pandemic.
The initial survey results here could serve as a basis for law school deans and others to develop school-specific surveys that might elicit more specific feedback about the experiences of faculty members at their schools. That feedback would enable law school leaders develop programs that support their faculty and students.
Keywords: legal education, distance education, distance learning, pandemic
JEL Classification: K1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation