Welcome, 2021! – and a Round-Up of Pedagogy Sessions at this week’s AALS Annual Meeting

Dear readers, authors, commenters, and friends far and wide:

Happy New Year!

We look forward to another year of exciting and thought-provoking discussion with you through the Best Practices for Legal Education blog. 

We begin 2021 with the AALS annual meeting, being held virtually, that you can access here

The conference will include some fantastic programs to help us share skills and techniques in this tumultuous teaching environment. We’ve compiled a round-up of the sessions best suited for those interested in deepening our grasp of pedagogy across a wide range of subject areas. Please feel free to comment below on what you’re learning as the conference progresses!

Tues. Jan. 5

4:15-5:30pm: Section on Civil Rights, Co-Sponsored by Criminal Justice: Teaching About Civil Rights During Incarceration

4:15-5:30pm: Section on Commercial and Consumer Law, Co-Sponsored by Teaching Methods and Technology, Law, and Legal Education: Teaching Commercial Law in the 21st Century

4:15-5:30pm: Section on Professional Responsibility: Bright Ideas and Best Practices for Online Teaching in Professional Responsibility Courses

Weds. Jan. 6

11am-12:15pm: Section on Pro Bono & Public Service Opportunities, Co-Sponsored by Clinical Legal Education, Leadership, and Poverty Law: Calling Out and Leaning In to Racial and Class Inequities in Experiential Learning Opportunities

2:45-4:00pm: Section on Global Engagement, Co-Sponsored by Teaching Methods, Technology and Law and Legal Education: Virtual Mobility: Innovating and Promoting Global Legal Education in Times of Crisis

4:15-5:30pm: Section on Criminal Justice: Beyond 2020: Decarceral, Anti-Racist and Non-Traditional Teaching

Thurs. Jan 7

2:45-4:00pm: AALS Discussion Group: How the Pandemic Made Me a Better Teacher – Lessons Learned and Plans for Change

4:15-5:30pm: Section of Family and Juvenile Law: Family Law – Creative and Experiential Teaching Tips

Fri. Jan. 8

2:45-4:00pm: Section on New Law Professors: Spreading the Word – Law Professors as Teachers, Scholars, and Legal Influencers

4:15-5:30pm: Section on Teaching Methods: Best Practices for Creating and Administering Mid-Term Exams

4:15-5:30pm: Section on Women in Legal Education, Co-sponsored by Clinical Legal Education, Legal Writing Reasoning, and Research and Teaching Methods: Gender, Power, and Pedagogy in the Pandemic

Friday, Jan. 8 2:45-4:00

Sat. Jan. 9

2:45-4pm: Section on Balance in Legal Education, Clinical Legal Education, and Leadership Joint Pedagogy: Teaching Leadership Skills in a Time of Crisis

As you consider your own teaching and writing, please consider posting your original content with us.  You can learn more about the purpose and history of the best practices blog here.

With best wishes for a great 2021,

Melanie and Davida

SALT Social Justice in Action series: Anti-Racist Hiring Practices

by Professor Brooks Holland, Gonzaga Law School

The Society of American Law Teachers has been proud to share its four-part Fall 2020 Social Justice in Action webinar series. This webinar program already has presented leaders in the field to address anti-racism values and practices in three specific contexts, including anti-racism in the core law school curriculum, equity and inclusion in online legal education, and anti-racist work for the long-haul. Approximately 500 people attended these first three webinars, and many more have since viewed them on SALT’s website.

The fourth installment of SALT’s webinar series will take place on October 16, 2020 at 12:00pm PT and 3:00pm ET, and it will address one of the most important influences we as educators have on the future of higher education and the legal profession: our hiring practices. We all know that law school and higher education hiring practices is one of the areas where we most struggle to fulfill our commitment to diversity and antiracist values. To explore how we better can fulfill this commitment, SALT is honored to present three highly respected leaders in legal education to share their perspectives on anti-racist values and practices in the recruitment and retention of faculty, staff, and administrators:

Tamara F. Lawson, Dean, St. Thomas University School of Law

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Dean, Boston University School of Law

Sean M. Scott, President and Dean, California Western University School of Law

Please join SALT for this important event! You can register for this program here.

SALT Webinar Video Available on “Engaging in Anti-Racism Work for the Long Haul”

By Olympia Duhart

Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law

            In the midst of nonstop racialized violence and institutional assaults against minoritized communities, it is no wonder that those committed to fighting racism can sometimes feel personally overwhelmed. The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) turned its attention to this important topic at a recent Webinar. Law school leaders and a resiliency expert offered their insights and advice to law professors engaged in anti-racism work.

            The webinar, “Engaging in Anti-Racism Work for the Long Haul: Avoiding Fatigue and Burnout” was the latest in a series of Social Justice Webinars sponsored by SALT this year. The event featured Dean Mario Barnes, Toni Rembe Dean & Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law; Nikita Gupta, GRIT Program Director, UCLA Bruin Resource Center and Carla Pratt, Dean & Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law. More than 130 people attended the event. A video of the event is available here. Panelists explained why law school professors are in a critical position to combat racism, and talked about the importance of self-care in confronting injustice for the long haul.

The event was part of SALT’s Social Justice in Action Webinar Series. The next webinar, “Anti-racist Hiring Practices” will be held Friday, Oct. 16, 2020 at 3 p.m. EST. Registration is available at:  https://bit.ly/307SZ6M

SALT Virtual Series: Social Justice in Action: Incorporating Anti-Racism Frameworks into Core Law School Classes

        In an effort to encourage law schools across the country to take affirmative steps to promote justice, eradicate racism, and support their law school communities in light of pervasive injustices, SALT has organized a virtual series featuring law school teachers sharing their expertise on how to educate the next generation of lawyers, support students of color, and dismantle structural inequality and racism in the United States. SALT is hosting monthly panel discussions on ways to combat racism and promote equity in law school. The first webinar, Incorporating Anti-Racism Frameworks into Core Law School Classes, will be held  on July 30, 2020.  The webinar will be recorded and made available on the SALT website

THURSDAY, July 30 at 3:00 pmIncorporating Anti-Racism Frameworks into Core Law School Classes  
Register Here:  https://bit.ly/2Oewk1K
Submit Questions Here:  https://bit.ly/2ZOrMFP

Tiffany Atkins, Elon University School of Law, Dorothy Brown, Emory University School of Law, Jane Cross, NOVA Southeastern University College of Law, Hugh Mundy, UIC John Marshall Law School

NOTE:  We are collecting questions for the panelists in advance. Please submit your questions here:  https://bit.ly/2ZOrMFP

Upcoming Monthly Webinars:  Always at 3:00 pm Eastern 
August 21:  Promoting Equity and Inclusion in Online Teaching
September 18:  Racialized Trauma and Fatigue Among Academic Activists
October 16: Anti-Racist Hiring Practices   

Please share your reflections on the July webinar here.
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