Top 5 Lessons Learned about Teaching from the Pandemic

Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 2:00 – 2:45 PM EST

Webinar Description:

Wooo! We made it through the pandemic!  Now, let’s reflect on what we learned and see if there are any lessons learned that can advance law teaching. In this webinar I’ll share my top 5 takeaways about legal education from the pandemic:

  1. Law professors are looking for new models of legal education.  Most law professors have used traditional Landellian models of legal education for years.  The pandemic forced us to change our ways.  Some professors liked what they learned and want to start to embrace new models.  
  2. Faculty development is key for new pedagogies to evolve. Faculty development is needed.  Law professors get little to no formal training about teaching and learning.  The pandemic taught us that we can all benefit from more instruction on instructional design for our courses.
  3. Student-centered design will guide our teaching. For legal education to be successful, we need to appreciate that teaching and learning are two different verbs performed by two different sets of actors.  For years, I assumed that if I taught a topic, my students learned it.  Now, I realize the mistake in that way of thinking and have started to think about teaching and learning from my students’ perspectives.   
  4. Learning goals, learning activities that align with those goals and formative assessments all support student learning. Student-centered design starts by understanding how students learn best.  By clearly articulating the learning goals for our courses and for each unit (class, week, section), we can ensure that our teaching aligns with what we want our students to learn.   
  5. Collaboration and Crowdsourcing We don’t need to do it alone.  Through online technologies, we can collaborate and crowdsource in ways that are much harder to do without technology.  Collaboration will also make it fun!


Learning Objectives:


Click Here to watch the Webinar Replay




Michele R. Pistone, J.D., Professor of Law, Villanova University, Charles Widger School of Law

Professor Pistone is a Professor of Law at Villanova University. She founded the Law School’s in-house Clinical Program and founded and directed the Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES). Professor Pistone has also taught at Georgetown University Law Center, twice as a Visiting Professor at American University Washington College of Law and as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Malta.

Professor Pistone designed and created the first-ever online certificate program to train immigrant advocates, VIISTA. Pistone won the highly competitive, national JM Kaplan Innovation Prize in 2019 for her ground-breaking work designing VIISTA.

Professor Pistone is the Founder of the AALS Section on Technology, Law and Legal Education and was awarded the Section’s inaugural Award in 2020.  She is the winner of the 2020 Meyer Faculty Award in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, and is an Adjunct Fellow with the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive InnovationShe is also a Fellow at the Institute for the Advancement of American Legal System’s (IAALS)

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.

Pistone founded LegalED web. It’s videos on law and law teaching have been viewed more than 1,000,000 times.  She is a regular speaker at conferences on these topics and has taught hundreds of legal scholars to use technology in their teaching.  Pistone started a Bootcamp: Designing Your Law Course in 2020 and is offering it again June 23-25, 2021.


Connect with Me

TwitterMichele R. Pistone
LinkedinMichele R. Pistone
Bootcamp: Designing Your Law Course


Relevant Publications:

Expanding the Legal Services Ecosystem: An Educational Model to Improve Access to Immigration Justice through Legal Paraprofessionals,49 J. Law and Education 487-523 (2020)
Disrupting Law School: How disruptive innovation will revolutionize the legal world, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, March 2016
Law Schools and Technology: Where We Are and Where We Are Heading, Journal on Legal Education (2015)
No Path But One: Law School Survival in an Age of Disruptive Technology, 59 Wayne L. Rev. 193 (2014) (with John J. Hoeffner), selected as the Article of the Month by the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning
Please also see Professor Pistone’s SSRN Author Page and her SelectedWorks Page.



The Future Law Podcast, Michele Pistone, Training Allied Professionals at Villanova Law
The Future Law Podcast, Michele Pistone, Villanova Law



Directed and produced an 11-video series for the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).  The video series includes videos by leading scholars from the law schools at Catholic, Georgetown, Northwestern, Pepperdine, Tennessee, UCLA, University of Georgia, University of Montana, Villanova, and Willamette.

Formative Assessment Improves Student LearningPersuasive Lawyering
Pathos – Persuasive Lawyering
Flipped or Blended Learning