” src=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/tld-documents.llnassets.com/0021000/21035/sigma_samanta_khan_mugshot.jpg”> There are endless portrayals of the law school experience in popular culture, ranging from Elle Wood’s uphill battle in Legally Blonde to the intimidating cold-calling or Socratic teaching method of professor Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder . However, for the first time, current law students across Canada and the United States are experiencing law school in a way never expected nor depicted — full course loads, completely online.
As the world continues to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, many law schools have decided to shift to virtual classes for the upcoming semester(s) as an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. This means that law students are logging onto online learning platforms for their courses.
In my experience, virtual law school has consisted of synchronous lectures, asynchronous videos, a class-chat function, a “raise hand” command for student participation and an optional webcam video feature. While students may have taken online classes prior to law school, the nature of law school pedagogy and course loads during the fall and winter semester make experiencing virtual full-time law school unlike the short bouts of online classes typically designed for the summer in post-secondary learning.
Nonetheless, professors and students alike are continuing to make the best of “the new normal,” as the current state of affairs is frequently referred to.
For most students, typical law school days are designed around lectures with group work, class participation or discussion and many students are involved in extracurricular activities, networking events, information sessions, guest speaker lectures, clinics or part-time work in between their regular classes.
Students are now required to shift, adjust and alter their schedules and expectations to take place in a virtual world. As such, for my peers and I, this online law school experience seems to have caused a type of cognitive dissonance as the academic and professional schedules we have spent years carefully getting used to now requires change.
As a millennial law student who has grown up in the digital era and experienced as well as benefited from almost every area of life slowly transitioning into the cyber realm, I […]