“When I saw all my law school classmates the week before spring break started, none of us assumed it would be the last time we saw all 155 of us together."
“When I saw all my law school classmates the week before spring break started, none of us assumed it would be the last time we saw all 155 of us together. I would definitely say COVID and finishing school was a struggle. I was fortunate, though, to have the necessary resources to complete school online. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for thousands of other graduate and undergraduate students across the country. And some students were trying to finish up while dealing with sick family members and other external pressures. I didn’t have any additional issues to deal with, so finishing my last semester was easier than I expected.
This fall I am working part-time for our law school’s criminal defense clinic. Because of COVID, court hearings are on Zoom. We did a Zoom hearing a few weeks ago with myself, my supervisor, opposing counsel and the judge. It’s very different than being in person. The federal courts seem to be handling it fairly smoothly because they’ve had six months to figure it out and make improvements.
I know our clients are frustrated. COVID has pushed back their cases, which means people who are confined have to sit in jail longer. And, because of COVID, they cannot meet with their attorneys in person. They have to rely on the telephone and video conferencing. This is really difficult when the defendant and the attorney have not met before. It’s hard to have effective communication.
Obviously, though, you don't want to be in court during a pandemic, but it is still really frustrating. Particularly for people who are confined and cannot see their families. So, it's the isolation, it's the pushing back cases, it's the video meetings that seem very impersonal, where some things that you're arguing, especially in court, are very personal. It makes it a lot easier to get your point across, to be persuasive, when you're standing in front of someone. It’s just very frustrating." -- Marisa #Missouri