Many colleges and graduate schools in the United States have switched to online learning as the COVID-19 epidemic spreads. This has made it difficult for law students due to the American Bar Association’s previous limit on how many online credits they can receive, the importance and popularity of legal clinics, and the American Bar Association’s prior limit on how many law students can receive.
Enjuris wants law students to succeed. We have some tips that will help you succeed academically and emotionally during this challenging time.
We have also addressed some of your questions about the impact of coronavirus on legal education and careers, such as whether your bar exam will need to be rescheduled or how it might affect your job prospects.
We will update this page as the situation changes.
Tips to achieve academic success
Law school is a very important program that requires academic success. Students who are at the top in their class often have more opportunities such as participation in the law review or on-campus interviews. These opportunities aren’t always available for those who perform poorly.
How can you ensure that your grades won’t drop when you switch to online classes? These are some tips to help you get started:
Tip 1: Get familiar with the technology
Students in law know how to navigate a classroom. Most law students are familiar with the different methods to get the professor’s attention, including the best places to sit in the classroom and how to take notes. Many law students have never attempted an online course.
It will help you to adapt to the new learning curve. There are tutorials available for almost all digital tools. These tutorials can help you make your online learning more efficient and avoid any problems.
Zoom, a popular video conferencing platform, has an “attention tracking” feature that allows you to let your professor know if the meeting window is not in focus for longer than 30 seconds.
Tip #2: Keep your professionalism
While it is easy to lose your guard in the comfort of your home, it is important to resist the urge to do so. Even though you are attending classes from home, other students and professors still have opinions about you. When you rely on professors for letters of recommendation or fellow students for referrals, you want them to remember that you are a professional who has always conducted themselves professionally.
How do you make your online business professional? These are some tips to help you be a professional online.
- Refrain from speaking less formally than you would in the classroom
- Refrain from wearing sweatpants or any other clothing you wouldn’t wear in class
- You should check your surroundings to ensure your video feed does not capture anything you don’t want (e.g., a political sign, empty beer cans, embarrassing clothing items, etc.).
- Instead of lying on your couch, or on your bed, sit at your desk or table.
Tip #3: Keep in touch with your professors
Most law students are comfortable communicating with their professors. You can ask questions from the front row, meet with your professors during office hours, or sit in the first row. You can communicate with your professor to ensure you understand the material. It also helps you build a relationship that could prove useful if you need a reference, research opportunity, internship or a job.
You may have to work harder to communicate with your professor online. There are still some things you can do.
- If you have the option, turn on audio and video for your online classes
- Make use of your professor’s office hours. Most professors will still hold “virtual office hours”.
- For questions, or to inquire about other opportunities, email your professors
Tip #4: Look for an alternative method to the Socratic approach
The Socratic method, which is an educational tool that allows a professor to call on students randomly and ask them questions about course material, is probably something you already know. Because it encourages students to be prepared for each class, the Socratic method works well.
Professors of law will often continue to use the Socratic method online. Some professors might decide to discontinue using the Socratic method. You’ll need to find a way to prepare for every class if this happens.
One option is to set up a Zoom meeting with some classmates prior to each class to discuss the material and grill them.
Tip #5 – Keep a routine
Although online classes sound wonderful, it can be difficult to stay engaged and motivated when you are wearing sweatpants and are surrounded by many distractions. This problem can be avoided by sticking to your routine. Here are some tips:
- Get ready for the day with a good shower, a change of clothes, and breakfast
- You can take your online classes in a designated space
- Your phone should be turned off
- Avoid activities that you would not normally do at school (watch Netflix, hike, etc.).
Tip #6: Minimize distractions
It’s one thing for you to remain focused in a small classroom without much to see other than the professor and a PowerPoint slide. It’s quite another to be focused at home, with your phone, computer, or pet nearby. There are some critical things that you can do if you have trouble focusing.
First, create a work area. This space should not be used for distractions. Set a timer so that you don’t have to leave the room except for the bathroom and food breaks. If you find this difficult, reward yourself for being successful.
The second step is to download one of many free programs that will allow you block distracting apps and websites for a set period of time. You can also download the same program to your smartphone.
Improve your emotional well-being
Numerous studies, including this one, have shown a positive correlation between academic success and emotional well-being. While you are focusing on online learning and not letting your grades suffer from, it is important to take steps to ensure your emotional well-being. These are some tips to help you get started.
It is important to understand that “social distancing,” in reality, refers to “physical distance.” This means you are still allowed and encouraged to communicate with your family, friends, or classmates, while keeping your physical distance.