Friday, September 11, 2020
Beth Parker (Nova), Law School Exams During a Pandemic — One Law School’s Experience:
In 2020, toward the end of the Winter semester, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life across the globe. Institutions, including law schools, felt the widespread effects of this public health crisis. Law schools were forced to move entire curriculums online in record time and consider how they were going to administer final exams. There is no precedent or manual for how to do this successfully. The pressure of the high stakes law school final exam that the law student’s entire grade and ranking rest upon is stressful, to say the least. Law students are on edge during final exams during normal times, but as the United States became overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, universities sent students, faculty, and staff home to finish the semester online and were left with a myriad of issues to address. One issue that arose was how to deliver final exams in a completely online format while maintaining the integrity of the law school exam. This article discusses the pivot to flexibility that one law school had to make, under emergency conditions, and with limited resources.
Part I describes the law school final exam pre-COVID 19, Part II describes the pre-planning process, Part III discusses the building process, Part IV discusses the administrating process, and Part V explores some of the lessons learned from the experience with exams and suggests how to move forward in an uncertain world.