Teaching International Law During Challenging Times
On October 2, 2020, the American Branch hosted a virtual panel discussion on Teaching International Law During Challenging Times. Moderated by Professor Milena Sterio, a member of the ABILA Board of Directors and Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, the panel was co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law’s Teaching International Law Interest Group and featured four speakers: Darin Johnson, Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law; Cindy Buys, Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law; Jennifer Trahan, Clinical Professor at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University and member of the ABILA Board of Directors; and Mark Wojcik, Professor of Law at UIC John Marshall Law School.
The panel addressed the very important topic of teaching International Law during challenging times, such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. International Law has occupied a less central role within American law schools’ curricula. At many law schools, International Law is taught as an upper-level elective course; thus, numerous American law school students graduate without ever having had exposure to International Law.
It was this panel’s starting premise that International Law is a crucial course of study for every law school student; that International Law occupies a very important place in every lawyer’s practice; that International Law should be taught more frequently at all law schools in the U.S.; and that during the Covid-19 pandemic – a challenging time for all – the role of International Law should be re-emphasized and the course taught to all students.
This panel thus focused on exchanging insights in teaching International Law, with a particular emphasis on best practices, resources, and challenges regarding remote, online or hybrid teaching of International Law. The panel considered questions including:
- What are the best ways of transferring a traditional International Law course to an online/hybrid model?
- What teaching sources are best in an online/hybrid format?
- What video/audio/graphic sources may help to enhance the online/hybrid delivery of an International Law course?
- What challenges may teachers and students experience when enrolled in a non-traditional International Law course?