Effective, Inclusive, and Anti-Racist Teaching

Discussions among faculty, and in faculty-student working groups, have yielded a number of strategies and techniques for creating and enhancing an inclusive learning experience. These techniques are described in some detail in the Inclusive Classroom Strategies document.

The Committee on Teaching has also created a new CourseWorks site with tips and videos specific to the law school classroom, linked here.

Additional resources on inclusive pedagogy can be found here. 

Resources for No-Laptop Classrooms.  Many faculty restrict laptop use in the classroom while seeking to ensure that students are well-supported in their note-taking.  Other faculty allow laptops but are concerned about distractions.  The Committee on Teaching has developed a concise best-practices guide relating to both sets of concerns, linked here.  (Note:  If a student’s ODS accommodation includes laptop use, you must allow it as an option for that student.) 

Tools, Strategies and Approaches: Survey Results

These strategies were suggested by respondents to a survey to interested faculty on their tools and strategies they use in the classroom to address race. The survey remains open, and we invite faculty to complete the survey to share additional tools and strategies with each other.

●      Class lists with pictures and student biographical information are available on LawNet. LawNet also contains the names preferred by your students (if different than the name in the class list), audio of the name pronunciation, and students’ preferred pronouns (if one is indicated). You can access the audio pronunciations by viewing your class list in Album View, or by using the Pronunciation Slideshow feature, in LawNet. In our conversations, students express appreciation for professors’ efforts to learn and pronounce their names.

●      Many faculty choose to cancel or record classes for religious holidays. Religious holidays for this school year are listed here.

●      For in person classes, remember to make and reinforce consistent use of microphones in class—even if participants’ unamplified voices are audible to the individuals present. This is critically important to allow students attending class remotely to hear students who are in the classroom. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) may be enabled within Echo360 to transcribe video recordings. Other forms of transcription may be utilized if such an accommodation is authorized by the Office of Disability Services. Please contact Lillian Ringel in Student Services with questions regarding transcription accommodations.

●      Columbia Law School is committed to the full inclusion of students with all abilities in the life of the University. Some professors have found it useful to place language describing our accommodation policy in the syllabus. You can find sample language here.

●      Regarding accommodations, please reserve seats for students with physical disabilities. Additional guidelines can be found here.

At the end of the 2021-22 Academic Year, the Public Interest/Public Service Lawyering Committee prepared this brief memo sharing insights on the impact of our generalizations and assumptions about students' likely career paths. 

This memo is available as encouragement to include public interest and public service careers in your discussions with students.