Connection Reflections: Staying Involved with an Institution While Working Remotely

The last two years have been unprecedented for most legal skills faculty. Having to flip the legal writing classroom and teach in online Zoom rooms became the norm. Gone were the days of seeing colleagues in the hallway, faculty lounge, or stopping by someone’s office. It became harder to stay connected and build relationships. But to a select few, such as myself, the asynchronous and synchronous online teaching modality is where we began.

Can I Teach You in a Hall? Can I Teach You on a Call? Can I Teach You from My Room? Can I Teach You on a Zoom?

Professors—and perhaps law professors more than most—can usually rely on the architecture of the place, the costuming of the participants, and even the nature of our audience for at least some of our success in the classroom. In a normal year, I know I benefit from the kind of people in the room: a captive audience who have been rewarded for sitting quietly and attentively for sixteen years. I benefit from the students’ relationships with one another: they enliven and enrich the class discussion and the classwork.