The traditional one-way lecturing will soon become a fading fashion in the higher education sector, thanks to the innovation of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and now, with the social distancing rules due to COVID-19 pandemic. The higher learning institutions must embrace technology in their methods of teaching and learning and the law schools are no exception. The in-person face-to-face teaching of law must be innovated with the online learning either by live lectures or pre-recorded lectures, depending on the creativity of the lecturers who should have the autonomy to adopt various interactive contents to engage with the students regardless of their locations, provided that these students have a good internet connectivity. Undeniably, this method will provide the students with opportunity to learn law at their own pace, viewing the pre-recorded lectures as many times as they want until they have fully grasped on the content covered.
The need for the law schools to imbue technology in teaching and learning on a range of digital platforms are even more pertinent now since the Malaysian Judiciary have fully embraced technology in the delivery of justice. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, courts have introduced the e-Filing, e-Service, e-court system, Queue Management System, e-Courts Finance, e-Lelong, e-Jamin, e-Jurubahasa, e-Daily Report, e-Arahan Amalan, e-Integrity, Sistem
eBench Book, and Case Recording and Transcribing. The recent revolutionisation of the courtrooms with digitalization such as live-streaming or broadcasting of the court’s proceedings would undeniably allow the public
virtual entry into the courtrooms. Hence, this article highlights the need for the law faculties and law schools to embrace the remote communication technology in the teaching and learning of legal education which undeniably is an important tool for the graduate’s future employability. It would be submitted that the law faculties and law schools in Malaysia must continue the e-learning beyond the COVID-19 period. The ’old-fashioned’ face-to-face interactions between students and lecturers must be adjusted to imbue the remote communication technology.
Further, the regulatory bodies of legal education in Malaysia must ensure that the remote communication technology is made a prerequisite in the teaching and learning of legal education. This is essential to prepare law students to embrace technology and to churn technology savvy law graduates for their future employability. As aptly noted by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Richard Malanjum, the former Chief Justice of Malaysia, at the Opening of the Legal Year 2019: ‘The legal profession must embrace technology. There is no option … . Adapt or be dropped … unless the Law schools start preparing their law graduates for the industry, they may end up in the unemployment queue’.
The conventional and yet common practice of delivering legal education is lecturing. It involves an actual, physical action by the professors or law lecturers to stand in front of the lecture hall or classroom imparting knowledge to the law students. The professors or law lecturers usually present his or her lesson with the aid of using PowerPoint slides or handouts. This practice demonstrates a lecture-centred approach which tend to encourage law students
to listen, pay attention, take notes and refrain from asking questions during lectures as to not interrupt the flow of the lecture.
The lecture method will also result in a tendency of law students to be passive learners during lectures and often expect professors or lecturers to provide them with sample answers.24 It is a one-way street of learning process
requiring the law students to absorb as many information as possible throughout the lecture.25 Although the lecture method is preferred method of learning by the law students, it inhibits creativity and critical thinking process resulting in law students to regurgitate information from the lectures, handouts or even the textbooks. This is in contradiction to the expectations of the practising lawyers in Malaysia which demands law students to understand the practical applications of the legal principles instead of reiterating the law.
There is also tendency of students to be passive learners in the lecture method and students often expect professors or law lecturers to provide them with sample answers.This will further lead to Generation Z and Generation Alpha to be disengaged in the classroom due to lack of interactions between lecturers-students and between students-students themselves.
TRANSFORMING LEGAL EDUCATION TEACHING AND LEARNING: THE REMOTE COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY  2 MLJ