In spring 2020, when schools around the world were compelled to close their physical doors, educators, administrators and students were forced to re-invent what it meant to teach and to learn. For fifty years, Street Law programs have been dedicated to hands-on, student centered, interactive teaching strategies. Law students, lawyers and teachers have devoted countless hours to creating fun, practical lessons designed to teach young people about practical law that affects their daily lives and also develop the skills they need to use their newly found legal knowledge to improve their lives and their communities. Remote learning upended all the best practices Street Law practitioners had spent half a century building. We had no choice but to adapt and so we did. Law students and Street Law professors re-imagined their programs. Some practitioners immediately converted their programs to distance learning. That fall, I wrote a practice report detailing the experiences of my law students teaching high school asynchronously in spring 2020 and synchronously during that summer and fall and asking whether it was possible to teach interactive Street Law lessons remotely. In that article, I included the best practices that we had developed for our programs in New York City. I wanted to know if practitioners in other parts of the United States and abroad were having similar experiences and results. This paper examines comprehensive reflections from eight law school-based Street Law programs teaching remotely during the pandemic. The reflections include which suggestions worked for them in practice and which ones did not. In addition, as we look to a return to in-person instruction in the fall of 2021, this paper will examine whether there is anything we have learned from emergency remote instruction that we may want to keep. Is it possible that some of our virtual teaching experiences will strengthen our return to the classroom?
Wallace, Amy, "Cyberspace back to the Classroom: Taking Lessons Learned from Teaching Street Law during the Pandemic Back to in-Person Instruction" (2021). Articles & Chapters. 1544.