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Leaning Into Uncertainty: Ensuring Quality Legal Education During Coronavirus: Roundtable 4: Sustaining a Sense of Place and Well Being for our Students

A supplemental page for the Leaning into Uncertainty Conference.

Roundtable 4 Additional Information

Sustaining a Sense of Place and Wellbeing for our Students

Our law students are facing many challenges as a result of the coronavirus including navigating health concerns, employment and economic insecurities, and additional personal and familial responsibilities.  We know that the law school building and the people and activities therein, create a “place” for students.  This place allows students to bring their intellectual “A” game, commune with colleagues with varied backgrounds and interests, demonstrate their leadership skills and receive support and guidance from peers, faculty and staff.  For many students, this place provides literal sustenance, opportunities to leave other responsibilities behind and a reminder of the future that awaits them.

 

During this time of social distancing, limits on gatherings and the prolific use of a web camera to connect, how can law schools continue to promote a sense of place and wellbeing for our students, both within our law school walls and without?  This roundtable discussion will allow for small-group dialogue and a “report out” to help create a collection of ideas.  We will discuss three main topics and questions to elicit ideas in these areas:

 

  • Law school is a distinct “place” for students with a created sense of belonging and shared experience.
    • How can we provide opportunities for connection and encourage students to take advantage of them?
    • What can our student leaders do to assist in this endeavor and how do we support them?
    • Can we replicate “hallway conversations” or “locker talk”?  Can we formalize the informal?
  • The health and wellness of our students impacts all aspects of their learning as well as their social and professional growth.
    • What systems are in place to engage in informal “wellness checks” of each student?
    • What policies do we envision will assist us in ensuring the health and safety of each student?
    • Are there new or reframed programs to implement that will assist in focusing students on their health and wellbeing during this time?
  • COVID-19 has elevated the issues of access disparity and the diverse needs of our students, highlighting a threat to learning continuity and academic success.
    • How can we support law students who are parents, care givers and/or have other familial responsibilities? 
    • What can we do to ensure students have access to bandwidth/Wi-Fi, computer equipment and other technology needs to effectively engage in remote instruction?
    • Are there new or revised accommodation policies to implement that will ensure equity in access to education for students with disabilities? 

 

Roundtable 4 Questions

1. How can law schools continue to create a distinct “place” for students with a created sense of belonging and shared experience?

2. The health and wellness of our students impacts all aspects of their learning as well as their social and professional growth. What can law schools do to support the wellbeing of our students?

3. With the impact of COVID-19 elevating the issues of access disparity and the diverse needs of our students, how can law schools minimize the threat to learning continuity and academic success?