A Conversation with Law School Deans: Legal Education in the Wake of the Pandemic


The COVID pandemic has disrupted higher education in the United States. In March 2020, law schools across the country suspended in person classes and switched to online formats. Since then law schools have been preparing for a fall semester like no other — with a mix of in person, hybrid, and online classes. Join us for a conversation with deans of the area law schools as they address how law schools are adapting in the short term to the pandemic and how the new formats will affect learning, extra-curricular activities, and exams. The panel examines the possible long term impacts of the new format, how will law schools change as a result of this experience, and what law schools have already learned about what works and doesn’t when it comes to online learning. Also discussed will be how the new format will affect subgroups of students — international students, new 1Ls starting this fall, and students with living situations that are not conducive to online classes.

Matthew Diller
, Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Sheila S. Boston
, President, New York City Bar Association

Mary Lu Bilek
, Dean and Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law
Gillian Lester
, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Melanie Leslie, Dean and Dr. Samuel Belkin Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
David Lopez, Co-Dean and Professor of Law and Professor Alfred Slocum Scholar, Rutgers Law School
Eduardo M. Peñalver, Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
Hon. Gail Prudenti, Dean and Executive Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law, Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Sponsoring Committee:
Council on the Profession, Matthew Diller and Melissa Colon-Bosolet, Co-Chairs

Cosponsoring Committee:
Law Student Perspectives, Andrew Tobel, Chair