Lessons from Pandemic Pedagogy: Humanizing Law School Teaching to Create Equity and Evenness

Publication Title

Journal of Legal Education

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2020


In only a few months, COVID-19 managed to rattle every modicum of certainty. The law school classroom was no exception. Traditional law school learning came to a screeching halt. Face-to-face classes were moved online. Spring breaks were canceled and semesters cut short. Law school faculty scrambled to pivot and develop teaching strategies and modes of learning that would adequately support Socratic, analytical teaching via a remote, online platform. For many law students, that pivot exacerbated their ongoing--often silently and independently fought--battles, magnifying the inherent unevenness of the law school experience. Students with children now juggled home schooling and law school obligations. Students caring for older or ill companions now had to be present for both those depending on them and themselves. Students struggling with their psychological well-being attempted to overcome both the traumas of law school and the traumas of the global pandemic. Students from marginalized communities carried the usual and often-invisible weight of navigating spaces that stifle their voice and value while now carrying the stressors of a global pandemic. Pre-pandemic, this unevenness remained under the radar, but it was now front and center. COVID-19 heightened the impact of the imbalance, making it too crippling to ignore--suddenly there was a clear disadvantage spotlighting an inequitable learning environment due to circumstances beyond students' control. Now, during the pandemic and civil unrest, there was a call for transformation on all fronts: dismantling racial institutions, eradicating inequities in healthcare and deconstructing age-old law school pedagogy.


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Recommended Citation

Kinda L. Abdus-Saboor, Lessons from Pandemic Pedagogy: Humanizing Law School Teaching to Create Equity and Evenness, 69 J. Legal Educ. 621 (2020)



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