UW-Madison has paused in-person classes from Sept. 10-25 and made other changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Running list of recent email communications that have been sent to Law students regarding the 2020 Fall Semester and COVID-19.
Update Regarding Building Access [from Emily Kite, 9/11/20]
While much is still uncertain about the coming weeks, we have an update regarding building access during the two-week pause on in-person instruction.
The University has decided that most buildings, including the Law Building, will remain open in line with scheduled Fall 2020 hours. Therefore, if you need to access something in the building, including the Copyshop, you will be able to do so. However, the instruction from campus is that libraries and other study spaces are closed effective tomorrow, September 12th.
We know that some of you have unreliable internet at home and that these closures will have a particularly hard impact on you. Please contact me if this will be an issue for you while your classes are remote these next two weeks.
As always, please feel free to schedule an appointment with me using the link in my email signature if you have other questions and concerns. And recognizing that uncertainty can compound the stress many of us are already feeling, I remind you that our Counselor John Schneider is a confidential mental health resource and is happy to meet with you remotely. You can schedule an appointment with John by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, UHS has counselors available 24/7 at 608-265-5600 (option 9).
We will share additional updates as we have them. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Please take care.
Updated Drop Deadline Information [from Emily Kite, 9/10/20]
In light of the Chancellor’s message yesterday evening, the University has extended one of the below drop deadlines: The deadline for students to drop a course or withdraw from the university without having the course or courses appear on their transcript has been changed from September 9th to September 11th, to align with the 100% tuition refund deadline.
Additionally, if you have dropped the short European Union Law course – or plan to do so – and have not already contacted me or Lauren Devine, please do.
We understand there is a desire to get more answers about what the semester will look like. We will do our best to get information to you as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, please take care.
Pausing In-Person Instruction [from Dan Tokaji, 9/9/20]
Thank you for your efforts to comply with the measures that the University and Law School implemented to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, we have seen a substantial increase in positive tests among UW-Madison students.
By now, you may have seen the message from Chancellor Blank pausing all in-person instruction from September 10th‑ 25th. In-person classes are cancelled this Thursday and Friday and will not take place. Those classes will resume remotely starting Monday (9/14/20) and will remain remote for at least two weeks for all public study spaces, including libraries, that will also be closed during this period; although our library staff will remain available for research and instructional support. Classes already scheduled to be remote will continue.
This decision was made to protect all of us and was not made lightly. We remain hopeful that at least some in-person instruction can resume after September 25th. For classes with an in-person component, your instructors will be in touch with you with information on how course content will be remotely delivered starting Monday.
Some of you may need to come into the Law School building to retrieve belongings from your lockers or to obtain course packets from Room 2115. If you need to access the building for these purposes, you may do so between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm tomorrow (Thur. 9/10/20) or Friday. (You should submit any purchase requests for course packets by end of day Thursday.) Please wear a face covering, observe appropriate physical distancing, and keep your time in the building as brief as possible. The building will be closed Saturday and Sunday. At this point, we do not know whether building access will be possible after that.
This isn’t the news any of us were hoping for, especially those of you who are just beginning your law school course of study. As is undoubtedly clear to all of you, the situation is dynamic. We recognize that uncertainty is difficult, and will make every effort to communicate new developments as soon as we can. I appreciate all of your efforts to be kind and patient with one another. We are Badgers, strong and resilient. Despite the setback, we will get through this together.
Labor Day Closure & Add/Drop Deadlines [from Emily Kite, 9/4/20]
I hope your first week is going well as we navigate this new environment. I write to highlight some key drop/add deadlines, including some that are next week.
First, please note that, consistent with campus closures, the Law Building and Law Library will be closed this Monday, Sept. 7th, for Labor Day. The Law Library will be open its regular Fall 2020 hours on Saturday, and the Law Building will be open on Saturday and Sunday. Regular Fall 2020 Building and Library Hours are listed here.
Below are important drop deadlines for fall semester 2020. For more information about drop/add deadlines, please go to the UW Registrar's Office's Dates & Deadlines page.
- Wednesday, September 9th – Last day to drop a class or withdraw without a DR or W notation on your transcript
- Friday, September 11th – Last day for 100% tuition adjustment on dropped classes
- Friday, October 30th – Final deadline to drop a class (DR will appear on transcript)
1Ls must meet with me before dropping any class.
Graduate Students must meet with Assistant Dean Jason Smith before dropping or adding any classes.
- Friday, September 11th – Last day to add courses without departmental approval
Please feel free to schedule an appointment with me if you have any questions. And have a good and safe weekend!
All the best,
Welcome Back & Important Reminders! [from Emily Kite, 9/1/20]
We are excited to start a new semester tomorrow, even knowing it is full of unknowns. We wanted to share a few reminders for in-person students and others as we head into the fall together. If you have not reviewed the Law School’s Student Updates page or the University’s Smart Restart page, please do so before returning to class. Please also review Dean Tokaji’s email of August 26th for additional information regarding much of the info below.
Important Reminders for In-Person Students:
- Face coverings must be worn on campus at all times indoors and, where physical distancing isn’t possible, outdoors.
- On your way into a classroom, please grab a disinfecting wipe from the large buckets near the entrance. Use these wipes to wipe down your work space.
- Please select seats so that other students won’t have to push past you. For example, please move to the end or center of the row, depending on the classroom, and please do not leave open seats between you and another person. All seats are spaced per physical distancing recommendations. For that reason, please do not move the furniture.
- The Law Library has seats for reserve for both quiet study and remote class participation. Additionally, unused classroom space is available for the same purpose. Please strictly adhere to room capacities posted outside of classrooms, use the disinfecting wipes to clean your study space, and do not move the furniture.
- Eating and drinking is not permitted in the Law School Building or the Law Library. While University Housing dining facilities are currently closed to non-residents, a number of locations operated by the Wisconsin Union will be open to students, including Crossroads Café (School of Education) and restaurants at Union South and Memorial Union. Please note that Crossroads Café is cashless, but currently allows walk-up food purchasing. The Union South and Memorial Union locations are requiring pre-ordering through Grub Hub. For more information, see the Wisconsin Union website.
- The Law School will generally be restricted to Law faculty, staff and students. Please wear your Gargoyle Lanyard. If you did not receive the lanyard in the mail prior to the start of class, you may pick one up from the Circulation Desk in the Law Library.
- The Main Office reception desk on the 5th Floor is still open! However, like so much this year, it looks a little different. The Law School’s Office Manager, Adam, will be available via a camera and computer screen posted at the 5th Floor desk weekdays 9 am - 4:30 pm.
- Detailed information about COVID-19 testing
- And if you don’t feel well, stay home.
Important Reminders for Everyone:
- The stress of the last 6 months has taken a toll on many of us emotionally, mentally, and physically. Please remember that there are people at the Law School who are here to support you. If you are struggling, please make an appointment with Counselor John Schneider or make an appointment with me. If we aren’t the best resource to help you, we will help you find the better resource. Please also reach out if you are concerned about a classmate. This can be an isolating time, and it’s important we look out for one another.
- As in any semester, if long-term illness or a life event interferes with your ability to attend classes, please let me know.
- Overviews of the most common remote learning software are available here.
- The Law Library will have a lot of remote resources available this fall, including the Ask a Librarian Chat service.
Please take care of yourselves. And enjoy the first week!
All the best,
Message from Dean Dan Tokaji [from Dan Tokaji, 8/26/20]
I’m excited to welcome you – or welcome you back – to the University of Wisconsin Law School for the new academic year. It’s an honor to step into the role of Dean of UW Law, with its unparalleled tradition of academic excellence, innovative teaching, world-class scholarship, and commitment to equal justice. In my first three weeks as Dean, I’ve discovered what a warm and cohesive community we have. Thanks to all of you for welcoming me, and to our returning students for welcoming those who are joining us this fall.
We will need to support one another more than ever in the coming academic year. The COVID-19 pandemic presents unprecedented public health and learning challenges for all of us. But at UW Law, we know that every challenge also carries opportunities. Our faculty and staff have been hard at work this summer, to prepare for the upcoming semester. That includes the Excellence in Alternative Delivery Working Group, which has spent many hours preparing materials and trainings to help our faculty deliver top-notch instruction through a variety of means.
In keeping with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Smart Restart plan, the Law School will welcome students back to class in September. But things will look and feel a bit different from usual. Like the rest of the University, the Law School will offer a mix of in-person and remote instruction this semester. After Thanksgiving, all instruction will be remote. Until then, many of our courses will have an in-person component, while others will be completely online.
Our faculty are dedicated to providing excellent instruction in varying ways, building upon our long tradition of curricular innovation. We will continue to provide the law-in-action instruction for which UW Law is justifiably famous, while doing all we can to keep students, staff, and faculty safe and healthy.
You can find detailed and up-to-date information on the Law School’s plans for the coming semester at the Law Student FAQ page. In addition, I’ll be hosting a Student Town Hall this Friday, August 28th at 4 pm CT, joined by other members of the Law School’s Leadership team.
Law School faculty and staff have worked in consultation with the Student Bar Association (SBA) to develop these plans. As part of that process, we solicited and received lots of student feedback, including these student survey results. Big thanks to all of you who provided feedback or have otherwise worked to help develop these plans. We have tried, and will continue to try, to be as inclusive and transparent as practicable in our decision making, without overloading you with information or compromising anyone’s privacy.
As we prepare to resume classes, we thought that it would be helpful to summarize the most important information for this semester in one place. Though I won’t describe everything that will be different, here are some key points of which you should be aware:
- Health and Safety: The University, including the Law School, is committed to reducing the risk of transmission for students, staff, and faculty. There are some basic Smart Restart precautions that everyone will be expected to observe, which include:
- Everyone on campus is expected to wear face coverings in all indoor public spaces (including classrooms and libraries), and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. For more information, view Chancellor Blank's order on face masks. Reasonable accommodations will be made for those who require them for medical reasons.
- Everyone should wash or (when that’s not possible) sanitize their hands frequently, and sanitize the spaces you’re using in classrooms, the library, and elsewhere. Supplies will be available.
- Physical distancing of at least six feet will be expected in all classrooms, and where possible in workspaces and public spaces. We realize that it will be a challenge to maintain physical distancing. The urge to shake hands or hug friends we haven’t seen in a while will be strong. But we must resist that urge and keep a safe distance, to protect the health of everyone in our community.
- Everyone should monitor themselves for symptoms (use the UW-Madison COVID-19 Health Screen as a guide), and get tested and quarantine themselves if symptoms exist. Please don’t go to class if you’re sick.
Students will receive, if you haven’t already, a care package with a lanyard, webcam cover, safety key, and mask. They’re being distributed to 1L students as a part of orientation and mailed to upper-level students.
Testing: The University is providing broad access to testing to help identify infections, prevent the virus from spreading, and support our students and employees. View detailed information on COVID-19 testing for UW students and employees. While anyone can get tested, priority will be given to people with COVID symptoms, people notified by a public health authority that they’ve been exposed, and those who engage in higher-risk activities. Anyone who tests positive should isolate themselves immediately.
Contact Tracing: When there are positive tests, University Health Services will handle contact tracing, following CDC guidelines. Those testing positive will be contacted by someone from a (608) area code to help identify those who may have been exposed. They’ll share information as necessary to keep people safe, while respecting their privacy. Being in the same classroom or other space with someone who tests positive is not enough to expose you to the virus, unless the contact was under six feet for at least fifteen minutes. More information on exposure and quarantine procedure.
- Building Access: The building’s open hours will be different this semester. This week [until August 28], the building will be open Mon-Fri from 7:30 am to 8 pm. From Monday, August 31, until Thanksgiving break, the library is scheduled to be open the following hours:
- Mon-Thu 7 am to 9 pm
- Fri 7 am to 7 pm
- Sat 11 am to 6 pm
- Sun 12 pm to 7 pm
Access to the Law School building will generally be limited to our students, staff, and faculty, and others who have a business reason to be here. Students will receive lanyards to identify them as part of the Law School community. Please wear your lanyard when in the building.
Lockers: Unfortunately, you won’t be able to access your lockers this semester. We determined that it wouldn’t be possible to allow students access to lockers without undue risk. Fortunately, because of physical distancing requirements, there should be more room for your bags and books in class. Returning students may access your lockers until September 16, 2020, to remove your belongings. After that date, we’ll be closing that area.
Elevators: Elevator use will generally be limited to one person at a time. If this presents a hardship or you require an accommodation, please contact Assistant Dean Emily Kite.
Food and Drinks: You should not eat or drink anything in classrooms, the library, the atrium, and other public spaces within the law school building, unless you have a medical condition or other circumstance that requires you to do so. We’re recommending to our instructors that students who need to eat or drink during class be asked to do so outside and briefly excused for this purpose. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to create an eating area within the building while maintaining physical distancing. Some campus locations will be open for dining. More information on dining location options.
Faculty and Staff: Our faculty and staff have spent much of the summer preparing for this unusually challenging semester. Many will be working remotely. To keep the building density down, faculty and staff will not generally be in the Law School building when they’re not teaching, unless it’s necessary for them to do their jobs effectively. The main office will be staffed remotely during business hours, using a camera and computer screen.
Library: The rules and guidelines for the library, including its hours, are set forth in the Law Library COVID FAQs. In general, access will be limited to students, staff, and faculty, with a limited number of other people who need to use the library for research. You will have to make a seat reservation online: make a seat reservation at the Law Library. The library’s seat reservation system is described in the Seat Reservation FAQs. Both quiet study seats and remote course participation seats will be available. As in other parts of the building, food and drink won’t be allowed in the library.
Internet Access: There will be Wi-Fi access in the building. To ensure that students have access to their online class sessions, the Law School has made available as much physically-distanced space as possible in classrooms not being used, the library (see above), and other non-instructional spaces within the building.
Events and Room Reservations: We are not accepting room reservations for events and meetings in the Law Building. After the start of fall semester, we will assess our capacity to offer meeting spaces, and we will keep the Law School community informed about changes in room availability.
Employment: The job market is likely to be especially challenging this year, for 1L and 2L students seeking summer jobs as well as for students graduating in 2021 seeking permanent jobs. It’s important for everyone to formulate a network and job application plan, which may require you to be flexible about geographic and practice areas. Please remember that your first job isn’t your last job! The Law School’s Office of Career and Professional Development has resources available and is happy to help. You should also feel free to reach out to faculty and staff with knowledge of areas in which you’re interested.
- Who to ask: Questions and comments may be directed to the following people:
- Lauren Devine, for Fall 2020 courses
- John Schneider, for mental and emotional wellness concerns
- Assistant Dean Emily Kite, for disability accommodations
- Assistant Dean Rebecca Scheller, for financial planning and assistance
- Assistant Dean Megan Heneke, for employment resources
- email@example.com, for technical issues
- firstname.lastname@example.org, for event or meeting planning and questions
- email@example.com, for library issues
We recognize that this is a lot to absorb. We will be updating the Law School’s FAQ page on a regular basis, and you can find more information on the University’s Smart Restart site. Please feel free to join the Student Town Hall on Friday at 4pm CT, which will include the opportunity to pose questions. If you have lingering concerns, you can reach out to me through my executive assistant Janice Toliver.
I have one last thing to ask of you all: Please be kind and patient with one another, and with everyone who is part of the UW community. While we may have varying levels of apprehension and risk tolerance about the return to school, we’re all trying to get through this difficult period as best we can. So please assume good intentions on the part of your fellow students, staff, and faculty. Let’s try to maintain our sense of proportion, as well as our sense of humor, through all that lies ahead. We are Badgers. We will get through this together. And we will emerge from this crisis an even stronger community than we were before.
With high hopes and warm regards,
Law Building Access Update [from Emily Kite, 8/14/20]
Thank you for your patience with uncertainty as we prepare for fall semester. A robust email from Dean Tokaji about the Law School’s plans for fall semester will be coming soon, but – because we know some of you have things that you would still like to retrieve from the Law Building – we did want to provide you with an update on building hours. Because the Law School is still preparing for fall semester, we ask that you only come to the Law School the week of August 17th if you need to retrieve something. Please do not access classroom spaces at this time. Masks must be worn at all times in the Law Building. And please maintain appropriate physical distancing.
Fall 2020 Law Building Hours
- Aug 17th – Aug 28th:
- Mon, Aug 17 and Tues, Aug 18 - 10am to 4pm
- Wed, Aug 19 to Fri, Aug 28 - 7:30am to 8pm (Monday through Friday only)
- Aug 31st to Thanksgiving:
- M-Th 7am to 9pm
- Fri 7am to 7pm
- Sat 12pm to 7pm
- Sun 11pm to 6pm
Please note: The building will be locked at all other times.
Thank you again. Take care. And have a good weekend!
Emily D. Kite
Message from Dean Daniel Tokaji [from Dan Tokaji, 8/1/20]
The University of Wisconsin Law School will be open for the Fall 2020 semester, though things may look and feel a bit different from usual.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges for all of us, including students, staff, and faculty. But at UW Law, we see every challenge as an opportunity. Relying on our long and continuing tradition of curricular innovation, we will offer a mix of online and in-person instruction this semester. My predecessor Dean Margaret Raymond mobilized a working group on Excellence in Remote Delivery which has been busy planning courses, researching best practices, and helping faculty develop top-notch online and hybrid instruction. Our faculty and staff have spent months preparing for the return to class and are dedicated to delivering the highest quality legal education.
In keeping with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Smart Restart plan, the Law School will welcome students back to class in September. We must all be careful to observe physical distancing guidelines, while wearing masks or face coverings to protect ourselves and other members of our community. After Thanksgiving, all courses will move to a virtual format for the final days of the fall semester, and exams will be conducted remotely. This is a necessary precaution, to prevent the spread of the virus within the University and to our loved ones back home.
The situation is dynamic. We’ll continue to update this website as the situation develops. Responses to frequently asked questions may be found here.
We understand that some students aren’t comfortable with in-person learning, even with the precautions the University is taking. If that’s the case for you, please reach out to our academic advisor Lauren Devine. We’ll do our best to accommodate your needs and concerns, consistent with University policy and our educational mission.
We are all committed to keeping everyone in our community safe and healthy, while still offering the law-in-action approach to legal education for which UW Law is justifiably famous. There are no perfect solutions, certainly none that all of us can agree on. But if we support one another, we will get through this together.
Daniel P. Tokaji
UW Law Student Survey on Building and Material Needs [from Margaret Raymond, 7/16/20]
Dear UW Law students,
We are seeking your input into UW Law’s Smart Restart planning. A team of Law School administrators and the Student Bar Association have partnered to create a brief student survey [see email for link] to help us learn about the things you’ll need to support your academic experience for Fall 2020. Please complete the survey by noon on July 24, 2020.
We hope every student enrolled in Fall 2020 courses participates, even those of you who previously voiced preferences and concerns to Law School administration. Data will be used to help guide our planning for a safe reopening; the more comprehensive our results, the better we can serve everyone’s needs. In the interest of transparency, we will make the results available to the student body as soon as we can.
While this survey focuses on students’ building and materials needs, we intend to check in with students again, as fall planning develops. We are also working together on an online feedback form to address general concerns or needs that will be available all year; feedback from these forms will also be made available to the student body. We hope to launch that soon.
Thank you for your participation. If you have questions or concerns, please contact SBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With warm regards,
Dean Margaret Raymond and SBA President Peter Tirella
UW Law School Smart Restart Update [from Margaret Raymond, 7/15/20]
Dear Law School Community,
As you know, campus plans to reopen this fall under the Chancellor’s Smart Restart plan, while fully adhering to current public health guidelines. Here at UW Law, We have mobilized a broad array of members of the Law School to implement Smart Restart within our community. All decisions will be centered around this guiding principle: to make in-person instruction available to students wherever we can do so adhering to public health guidelines, while maximizing our critically important mission to provide the highest quality instruction.
Given this goal, most of our clinical education and student services operations will continue to function remotely. We made this decision so that we can de-densify the Law School spaces to the greatest degree possible, allowing both for required physical distancing and in-person learning experiences.
To better understand our students’ needs, we are collaborating with the Student Bar Association to create opportunities to secure their feedback as we plan for a safe reopening this fall. I’m very grateful for the SBA’s partnership. Students, please be on the lookout for opportunities to share your thoughts on a range of issues, which will be forthcoming soon. Please also remember to check the Student FAQ webpage, which will be updated regularly throughout the summer.
Meanwhile, we are doing our best to be transparent and to address concerns as circumstances evolve. If you have questions, and you can’t find answers on the employee or student COVID pages, please consult the following resource people:
- Emily Kite, Assistant Dean for Students – Student questions and concerns
- Kevin Kelly, Associate Dean for Academics – Curriculum, Scheduling and Classrooms
- Bonnie Shucha, Associate Dean for the Law Library – Law Library
- Bethany Pluymers, Associate Dean for Administration & Jini Jasti, Associate Dean for External Affairs – Building Use, Staffing and Communications
I am grateful for everyone’s patience and input. Stay well, and thanks for hanging in there with us. There has never been a more important time to educate our students in the law. We appreciate the chance, even under the difficult and unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic, to be part of your journey towards making the world a more just place.
New student FAQ regarding fall semester [from Margaret Raymond, 7/9/20]
As you know, we’ve been working to respond to the Chancellor’s Smart Restart for reopening campus for the fall semester by making specific plans for how this will work at the Law School.
In order to better serve and provide information to you, we have created an FAQ website for the fall semester. This webpage will serve as a clearinghouse of all the information on courses, safety protocols, and other student life concerns for the fall semester. We will be updating the information continuously. We’ll send an email when very substantial amounts of additional content are posted, but things are changing constantly, so please make sure to check the website regularly.
We are also working with the Student Bar Association to create a mechanism for students to provide feedback on concerns and issues relating to the fall semester. We hope this partnership will provide an avenue to get more student feedback and provide some transparency with regard to the hard work our faculty and staff are doing to provide you a safe, dynamic and excellent learning environment in the fall.
Thank you for your patience as we work through this process. We are working hard and thoughtfully to provide each of you with options that best suit your needs and comfort level. Your safety and assuring you an excellent educational experience are our most important priorities.
With warm regards,
Two updates re Fall 2020 planning [from Kevin Kelly, 7/3/20]
Dear Law students:
I am writing to update you on our work to prepare for the fall semester. But first, let me thank those of you who have reached out to us.
We have heard from many of you about your preferences for how your fall courses are delivered. We are working hard to offer broad curricular choices for students that respect the wishes of all our students, including increasing online-only options. We know that one size does not fit all, and we respect the various choices and needs of our community. Your safety and education remain our top priorities.
To better share information and seek your input, we have two updates.
First, we are creating a website to provide information on fall courses, safety precautions, and other related matters that will regularly be updated. We plan to have the site up and running next week and will share it as soon as it is available.
Second, we seek your feedback and are creating an easy way for students to provide input for our reopening for the fall semester. Information on how to participate in that process will also be shared next week.
In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns about classes, please contact me or Lauren Devine. Lauren’s e-mail is email@example.com .
I also want to acknowledge that times of uncertainty are stressful. If you need additional support, please reach out. John Schneider, our counselor, will be available early next week after the holiday weekend; John’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate through this situation.
With Kind Regards,
Assoc. Dean Kelly
Additional information regarding Fall 2020 Semester [from Margaret Raymond, 7/1/20]
As you know, we’ve been working to respond to the Chancellor’s Smart Restart for reopening campus for the fall semester. In accordance with campus directives, we will offer a mix of coursework this September to include both limited in-person instruction and online coursework.
Before I outline some of the steps we’re taking to plan for your safety, I want to apologize for the confusion over fall instruction. Please know that I am hearing all your concerns, and I take every one of them to heart. I understand that everyone’s approach and comfort level to the pandemic is different.
First and foremost, providing a safe learning environment, along with a great educational experience, is our main priority. Let me provide the following assurances of what we are doing to meet this goal.
We’ll work to support your learning preferences. If you prefer remote coursework to in-person learning, we will have courses available for you. I can’t promise that you will be able to take all the classes you originally selected; not every course can be moved fully online. But we will offer a wide range of courses that will allow you to make appropriate progress towards your degree. That list isn’t set yet, so if you have some preferences, please let Lauren Devine, our academic adviser know. Please also, reach out to Lauren if you have any questions about revising your class schedule. She’ll be happy to help figure out how you can meet your degree requirements and have a great and productive semester.
We are planning for a hybrid model. If you choose to enroll in some remote courses, I think you’ll be pleased with how intentionally and thoughtfully our online coursework has been crafted to maximize your learning experience. Our faculty have invested substantial time and effort this summer to learn about and plan for excellent online instruction. We mobilized a Working Group on Excellence in Remote Delivery shortly after the spring semester ended, and that group is busily planning courses, offering guidance to colleagues on best practices, and helping others build templates for great online courses. They’ve also listened to your feedback about your experiences with remote delivery this spring. Our clinical faculty are teaching remotely this summer, and have already developed substantial expertise in remote delivery of experiential learning.
We’re taking steps to make the building safer. Every aspect of community life in the building needs to be considered with an eye to keeping us all safe and healthy. It turns out, even very large rooms only hold a small number of students in person in a safe physically distanced way, which is why many of our larger courses will need to be fully online. Where we have scheduled in-person instruction, we are working to determine our capacity to seat students at a safe distance. In addition, cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in every room, and masks will be required. After Thanksgiving, all courses will go fully online, and end-of-semester assessments will all be remotely delivered.
We are all learning to live with uncertainty. I want to be honest. Things could change, and as they do, we’ll respond quickly and flexibly. This is a rapidly-moving situation, and we will make the adjustments we need to address the public health situation as needs arise.
We will do everything we can to be transparent moving forward. Please email your questions and concerns to Dean Emily Kite, who is working on an FAQ document that we’ll share and update regularly. We value your feedback.
I’m profoundly grateful to each of you for all you are doing to keep yourselves and others around you safe and well in this incredibly difficult time, and to stay focused on your law study in the face of this unprecedented challenge. I am certain we will weather this: we are part of an incredible institution and an extraordinarily resilient community.
My last day as Dean is July 31st. Dean Dan Tokaji has been consulted on this, and I’m confident that your fall semester will be a rich and remarkable experience under this deanship.
With warm regards,
IMPORTANT: Scheduling OCPD meetings and walk-in hours [from Megan Heneke, 6/30/20]
Thank you for your patience with us as you scheduled counseling appointments the past couple months. We are pleased to announce that we are able to move back to Symplicity scheduling for appointments on July 6 or later! For the time being, all future appointments will be virtual and your counselor will call you on Microsoft Teams at the time of the scheduled meeting. We will alert you immediately if and when this procedure changes. If you are unfamiliar with Teams, you can find the link to download Microsoft Teams and an instructional video here. You’ll notice the location in Symplicity says “virtual meeting.” To schedule a meeting:
- Log into Symplicity.
- Click on “Counseling Appointment” on the left-hand side.
- Click on the red “Request New Appointment” box and follow the instructions.
Your counselor will then approve the meeting.