Student Insight: Tips on Maintaining Your Law School Community From Afar

April 3, 2020

Wow… so now we are all online, some of you were required to leave campus dorms, many law school buildings are locked, and while others can remain open, for the most part, we are scattered across different time zones and even the world. 

I think one of the best things about law school is our community, and many of us are missing that now. It’s been a rough week for many reasons, but as the dust settles from classes going online, moving, new grading policies, self-quarantining, and more, it’s time to start rebuilding those connections. Now is the perfect time to not only connect with your regular law school friends but reach out to someone you do not know well. 

Here are my tips on how to bring it all together:

Create Nightly Events so Classmates Can Share Their Passions 

Even though we are all apart, this time presents us with a unique opportunity to get to know people in our class that we rarely have interacted with. We all have individual interests, skills, and hobbies. Now it can be a time to share those with your fellow classmates. One of our students lead a Zoom yoga class yesterday, and it was great! 

Consider setting up events where each student can lead a class and share a passion, just host a game, or have a demonstration. One of our students wants to host a Bollywood dancing class, and I can’t wait for it. You can use a google calendar or Facebook Events to get a schedule of events established. If one person goes each night, not only will you become closer with everyone in your class, you might also pick up some fun new skills or at least have a good laugh—something we could all use right now. 

Host a Virtual House Party 

The House Party app is a fun way to host a virtual game night and just chat. You can do this with up to 6 people. I decided to host the first event, and we played games and talked for nearly 3 hours, I was able to hang out with people from my class that I had never really met before, and it was a blast. You can just talk, but you can also play Quick Draw!, Chips and Guac, Trivia and Heads Up! Here is my link: feel free to add me! 

Host a Viewing Party on Facebook 

I believe most schools have a Facebook group set up for each class year. Not only is it a great way to stay connected, but you can also set up a viewing party of your favorite movies. Create a poll; see what you want to watch and start viewing! 

Host a Virtual Happy Hour 

Again, Zoom can be great to use here, as you can literally invite everyone to attend. Our school hooked us up with accounts that can accommodate up to 500 people! That’s our entire school. Now… having that many people talk would be crazy, but you get the idea. 

This week has been hard. The critical thing to remember is that while you are isolated, you're never alone. Use social media and these tools to reach out. And if you haven’t heard from people in a while, be sure to check in with them. We all deserve kindness right now. 

If you have any tips, questions, or suggestions, feel free to reach out to me at the @The2LLife on Instagram or Twitter. 

Stephanie Baldwin is 2L at University of Arizona Law and blogs for BARBRI.