Coping With A Pandemic: Berkeley Law's Erwin Chemerinsky

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Law360 (March 26, 2020, 6:24 PM EDT) --
Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky
As self-isolation and social distancing become the norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, Law360 is sharing reactions from people around the business and legal community.

Today's perspective comes from Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley School of Law, University of California.

What challenges has the pandemic created in your specific area of work?

My law school, like all, has faced the need to transition to entirely online education starting March 10. The transition has been remarkably smooth and students have been effusive in praising their professors. But it also has reminded me that distance learning is no substitute for being in the classroom together.

Our building has been closed since March 17. A crucial challenge has been to try and maintain a community while everyone is kept apart. I worry about the health of my faculty, staff and students. I worry about those in our community who are significantly burdened by all of this. It is a key reason that we shifted all grading to Credit/No Credit this semester.

How are you and your family adapting at home?

My wife and I have been "sheltering in place" since March 16 when the order was issued in our county to do so. We have left the house only for trips to the grocery store for essentials. Our children and grandchildren are in other cities and we have been having FaceTime conversations with them on a regular basis.

What is the most creative or productive response to the crisis you've witnessed so far?

Our faculty has had a wonderful exchange online, sharing tips for effective teaching over Zoom and by distance learning.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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