On March 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic surged across the country and the world, Pace University announced that all live classroom learning would cease, and classes would switch to remote teaching as of the next day. So, on March 11, for the first time since I started teaching at Pace Law School, I sat in front of my computer, stared at the monitor containing four alternating screen shots of small rectangular images of 80 students, and taught my Constitutional Law class by Zoom. And for the next 18 months, Zoom framed my pedagogical Cyber World.
Zoom’s impact on the legal academy—and the legal community generally—has not yet been assessed, so it’s difficult to draw conclusions or make generalizations. Litigating remotely must have had a profound impact on trial lawyers, for whom the courtroom is a theater. For law professors as well, the classroom is a theater. But as courtrooms and classrooms were shut down, the judicial system and the legal academy had to adjust and, for better or worse, replicate live theater and live performances with digital theater and virtual performances.