This summer, AALS presented Faculty Focus, a webinar series aimed at early-career faculty, clinical, legal research and writing, and other non-tenured faculty for whom the challenges of the pandemic response may be particularly disruptive.
Faculty Focus was a series of weekly conversational webinars hosted by AALS President Darby Dickerson (UIC John Marshall Law School) and President-elect Vince Rougeau (Boston College Law School), and moderated by AALS Director of Research Jeff Allum. Each 60-minute session featured expert advice from law school leaders on that week’s topic, followed by shared experiences from early career and non-tenured law faculty peers, providing a wide variety of perspectives on issues that ranged from pandemic-specific to about the academy in general.
The sessions were structured to encourage conversation and connection, with opportunities for participants to crowdsource solutions and discuss common issues across schools and teaching areas.
The summer series covered the following topics:
Work-Life Balance and the Demands of Scholarship
Meeting the Needs of All Students Online
Excellence in Online Instruction
Racism, Justice, and Your Fall Classes
A Perspective from the Deans Office
Effective Use of Research Assistants
How to Become an Excellent Teacher While Starting Your Career in a Pandemic
What Every Faculty Member Should Be Doing This Summer
Attendee feedback throughout the series was positive, with many attendees returning for new topics in subsequent weeks. One attendee said specifically about week six: “I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten so much useful information from a single panel.” A strong majority of attendees who submitted evaluations after each week’s session reported that they would recommend the series to others.
Though Faculty Focus is currently on a break, the series will return in the fall with webinars centered around “Returning to the Not-So-Normal.” The content of the series will again be geared toward early career faculty, but all are welcome to attend. Learn more at www.aals.org/events/faculty-focus/.