Updated: Feb 28, 2021
Congratulations on completing your first week of law for 2021! For many of you, this may have been be online; but never fear, I have some tips for you to make online learning a breeze! Technology has had an increasing impact on the legal profession, particularly in the last twelve months. Technology is used to gather evidence, for video hearings, to be time and cost efficient for clients, to better collaborate with colleagues, and to go paperless! It is important that we all start to learn some of these tricks of the trade; starting with Zoom etiquette.
Mute Your Microphone
Make sure to mute your microphone when you are not speaking. This will help to reduce any feedback or background noise, and prevent potential embarrassment so your entire class doesn’t hear your dog barking or your Mum asking if you’d like a cup of tea!
Turn on Your Camera!
Please don’t be afraid to turn your camera on during class! There is nothing worse for lecturers than talking to a blank screen, and just because class is online does not mean that class is optional. Turning on your camera also keeps you accountable and stops you from sitting on your phone for the entire class. Do remember to dress appropriately for class, this is really important to help establish a daily routine. Also be aware of your surroundings as no one wants to see your unmade bed, or that One Direction Poster you still have hanging on your wall.
It is a challenge conversing online, as you do not notice social cues and may find yourself speaking over others. It is important that we try not to interrupt other people while they are speaking. You can either physically raise your hand when your video is on, or use the ‘raise hand’ function to alert those on the call that you have something to contribute. That being said, feel free to engage in casual conversation before or after class as you would if you were attending in person.
Test Your Tech
Make sure that your camera is working, have sufficient Wi-Fi connection, and know how to screen share; particularly if you have to do an assessment over Zoom. Practice speaking looking at the camera and not the screen so that others feel that you are talking to them. As much as we all love to send our friends messages during class and watch their video to see them laugh while they read it, make sure your notifications are on silent, particularly, the notifications on your laptop! The last thing you want is your group chat blowing up while you’re speaking to the class.
Our world is still changing, but online learning and Zoom will be here to stay. Hopefully you will find these tips useful, not just during your time at Law School, but also in your future careers.
About the Author
Alicia is studying her fifth year of a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Applied Psychology). In addition to her position on the NDSLS as Education Director, Alicia has a passion for reading, rules, and roses.