Students need to feel seen, heard, and included in their law school community. This timely article explains how a #ThisIsMe exercise can foster students’ engagement, well-being, inclusiveness, and learning. It provides students and faculty an intentional opportunity to develop connections, community, and trust. The article explains the logistics of the assignment as well as the challenges and benefits. Students create a #ThisIsMe introduction video or a PowerPoint slide presentation that they will share with the class, answering questions or prompts about themselves. Students may be surprised by how much they have in common with others, how much they will learn about themselves, and how it may spark their curiosity to learn more about others in their class. Students’ answers to the prompts can also remind them of their resilience, grit, accomplishments, and relationships and interests outside law school. It sets the tone for the class, focusing on students as individuals and valuing the whole person. It also cultivates a common bond and trust. In addition, it helps students develop their communication and self-reflection and fosters creativity. Finally, the introductions accomplished through the #ThisIsMe assignment may lessen the nerves of the first day of class and replace them with some excitement. Long after the course is over, students may remember this assignment more than any other because of the connections, community, and trust that it fosters.
Vinson, Kathleen Elliott, "#ThisIsMe" (2021). Suffolk University Law School Faculty Works. 99.