Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen, CLP affiliate and assistant professor of law at UC Irvine School of Law, and Carole Silver, professor of global law & practice at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, recently published, “Where Do We Go From Here? International Students, Post-Pandemic, Law Schools, and the Possibilities of Universal Design,” in an issue of the Canadian Journal of Comparative and Contemporary Law devoted to “changing the future of legal education.”
As the abstract describes, this essay builds on their recent scholarship devoted to the experiences of international students, specifically “us[ing] the recent global pandemic as a revealing lens to revisit structural inequalities in American law schools.” The co-authors continue:
Over the years, law schools have simultaneously encouraged international student enrollment and functioned in ways that have marginalized these students. We suggest that this dissonance between postured inclusion and the actual experience of exclusion these students endure highlights important ways in which law schools’ commitments to equity and inclusion more generally can appear more performative than substantial. We argue that the pandemic has made stark inequalities that have always existed, and that despite its devastating consequences, this period offers new insights that could help reshape the future of legal education. Focusing on specific teaching and learning innovations (e.g. virtual learning), we begin to deliberate on the ways that law schools can better address inequality as they resume in-person activities.
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