The Summer School portfolio has adapted its 2020 activities to online format with the great help of linguistics and legal experts. Initially the four (4) Legal language trainings were supposed to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania (Family Law), Riga, Latvia (Civil Law), Utrecht, The Netherlands (Criminal Law) and Krakow, Poland (Human Rights). 63 participants were grateful to attend online, coming from 17 EU countries and 1 Western Balkan Country : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and North Macedonia.
Each session, the participants were divided into two English groups for better interaction and one French group.
During the virtual classes, participants were able to enjoy interactive language classes, were presented with the legal issues in the different fields and could discuss practical cases. On the last day, the participants presented their cases they came across in their works, or countries in order to practice their speaking skills within the legal framework.
The outcome of the webinars was very encouraging. Participants were very glad to have attended online and have expressed their eagerness to be able to attend more webinars in the future. Reasons such as being able to practice English or French learning legal vocabulary, but not only. Due to work obligations and tight schedules, webinars are more accessible and an ideal solution for some legal professions. Other positive feedback was that the online trainings are dynamic with small groups which made it convenient and more willing to participate.
On the Experts’ side, who generally teach in live and deal with more challenges, they were quite surprised how the training went so smoothly and easy to manage. For examples, having more opportunities for interaction with the participants and between the participants themselves – or – being able to have a direct assessment and feedback. The online sessions were either held on Zoom or BigBlueButton platforms.
We are grateful to all the experts and participants for keeping the webinars lively and exchange as much as possible, as if they were in the same place.