Last updated 10/13/20

Frequently asked questions regarding plans for the Fall 2020 semester. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

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General

How can students share feedback and concerns? 

Students have a number of ways to share their feedback and concerns.

For general feedback and concerns, students can fill out the COVID-19 feedback form which is routed to the SBA and Law School administrators, or email the SBA directly at sbamail@law.wisc.edu. Please note that concerns regarding individual student intentional or repeated non-compliance with health and safety requirements are being handled centrally by the University, and should be reported via the Badger Pledge for Students.

Other comments may be directed to:

Health & Safety

What happens if I get sick? What happens if someone in my family or household gets sick?

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19: You should remain in self-isolation and follow the advice of your health care provider and local public health officials. If you have not already, notify University Health Services at 608-890-0000 that you have COVID-19. UHS provides a positive testing protocol  for students. Read the CDC guidance on self-isolation.

If you live with or have been in close contact* with someone with COVID-19: Information about what to do if you are exposed to COVID-19 is available from University Health Services. UHS is offering free testing on-campus. Additionally, you should discontinue contact with anyone who is sick. Stay home and monitor yourself for symptoms, including fever (100.4 F and above), cough, and shortness of breath.

  • For students in University Housing, if you or someone you know needs help finding an appropriate space to limit contact with someone who is sick, please contact the House Fellow on Duty number, which is unique for different halls and posted throughout each building. For all other students, please consider relocating, asking roommates to relocate, or taking appropriate measures to minimize your contact with others.
  • Any person who is sick should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home as much as possible. Household members should avoid contact with the sick member of the household and wash their hands frequently. Avoid sharing personal household items.
  • Follow CDC home care guidance, which includes cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces at least daily in household common areas including laptops, TV remote controls, tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, and sinks.
  • Other people in the home should avoid spaces where sick people spend time.

Please contact Emily Kite and let her know about your situation, so she can provide resources and support as needed. Because of federal data privacy laws, Dean Kite cannot notify your faculty or fellow students of your positive diagnosis. Only University Health Services will be reaching out to people determined at risk through the contact tracing process.

*CDC defines close contact as "any individual within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes." More information about Contact Tracing for COVID-19 from the CDC.

Will face coverings be required?

Face coverings are required on campus, unless you have an accommodation. While we have had a requirement for face coverings indoors, we are now requiring face coverings outdoors as well unless you are engaging in individual exercise.

Campus has free safety kits available to all students that can be picked up at the University Book Store with you student ID. 

The Law School also sent each student a mask. If you didn't receive a mask, you can pick up PPE at the Law School Copy Shop.

What safety measures will be in place for in-person classes?

Update 9/23/20: Some in-person classes will resume beginning Sept. 26, following a two-week pause to prevent the spread of COVID. Course instructors will reach out to students with details.

The university will rely on physical distancing in classrooms and universal face covering requirements (in addition to testing, contact tracing and symptom monitoring).

As in all public spaces at the UW, individuals in Law School classrooms are asked to maintain at least 6 feet of space from others. We request that students arrive on campus with their own face coverings which must be worn in classrooms; the university will provide additional masks as backup.

Cleaning supplies will be available in each classroom, and students should wipe down desks and chairs before using them. Each classroom will also have hand sanitizer stations.

Will regular COVID testing be available?

The university will implement a three-part testing plan:

  • On-campus testing centers will be open to the entire campus community. Visits will be unlimited and free of charge.
  • Surveillance testing will track the prevalence of the virus on campus, including among those who are asymptomatic. Volunteer cohorts of 10 people will be tested on a rotating basis, with up to 2,000 people tested each week. This approach will allow campus health officials to identify problems quickly and target groups that may be at greatest risk.
  • Targeted testing will be required of certain groups for whom we have a special duty of care. For instance, all students and staff in the residence halls will be tested regularly. (Residents of University Apartments will not be part of this.)

Academics

How should students handle their classes if they become ill?

Students should be in regular contact with their professors, as always, and should notify them in the event that they are unable to complete their coursework as planned. The instructor will work with the student to provide alternative ways to complete the work.

The UW has implemented a campus-based contact tracing program. Any person who may have come in contact with an infected student, faculty member or staff will be notified so that they can self-quarantine.

How will Fall 2020 grading work?

Regular letter grading will apply for the Fall 2020 semester.

Review UW Law School Grading System »

Will tuition be reduced for the Fall 2020 semester or will student receive stipends to supplement costs?

The university has stated that tuition and fees will remain the same whether a class is in person, virtual or a combination. View an explanation of that decision.

While the Law School cannot offer stipends at this time, any student facing emergency economic hardship should contact the UW Office of Student Financial Aid and the Law School’s Admissions and Financial Aid Office, as emergency support may be available.

How has remote learning improved from last spring?

The Law School's working group on Excellence in Remote Delivery 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. Technology experts have also been meeting individually with instructors to incorporate the technology and tools that would best support their teaching style.

If a previously in-person class will now be fully or partially remote, is there space at the Law School I can use to participate remotely?

Students may use open classrooms to stream their courses, while following the same safety protocols as they would for in-person classes: wearing a mask, wiping down your space with the provided disinfecting wipes, and maintaining physical distancing.

There is also designated space in the library for remote participation in classes, which can be using the Law Library Seat Reservations system.

Building & Facilities

Who can be in the Law School building? What is the purpose of the Law School lanyards?

The Law School is generally limited to UW Law students and employees. After a two-week closure, the Law Library and in-person study spaces will reopen on Sept. 28. Law Building & Law Library Hours will be the same as they were before the pause on in-person classes. 

Please wear your Gargoyle lanyard if you will be returning to the Law Building. If you have not received a lanyard, you may pick one up at the Law Library Circulation Desk.

Will the main office be staffed?

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 for Monday through Friday, 9 am - 4:30 pm.

Will lockers be available throughout the semester?

No. In order to adhere to campus physical distancing guidelines, the locker area will be closed beginning September 16th.

The locker area will remain open for the first two weeks of classes to allow students who currently have items in lockers to empty them.

Will food and drink be allowed in the building?

Food and drink are not allowed in any common areas, such as the library, classrooms and atrium. Because additional distancing is required when eating and drinking, it was not possible to create eating areas of the building while still prioritizing classroom teaching and study areas. Some campus locations will be open for dining, including Memorial Union, Union South, Badger Markets, and several other cafe and deli locations around campus.

What cleaning processes are in place?

The building is cleaned each Sunday through Thursday night in active classrooms, designated study classrooms, classrooms and common spaces. Restrooms are cleaned, disinfected and restocked. Thorough attention is given to high touch areas like door handles, elevator controls and handrails. Trash and recycling are removed from classrooms and common areas.

Additionally, Monday through Friday some heavily used areas of the building are cleaned midday. These include door handles (external, classroom, bathroom), door accessibility hardware and drinking fountains.

Each classroom has a supply of Oxivir wipes (a hospital-grade disinfectant) that students can use to clean tables and desks. The library also has a stand of wipes near the circulation desk for cleaning study areas prior to use. Hand sanitizer stations are located on 5th floor of the library in the copy center and by the reference desk.

What campus services will be available?

Reference the UW-Madison's COVID-19 Response: Campus Operations for up-to-date information on what campus services are available and which campus buildings are open.

For information about the UW Law Library, visit the UW Law Library’s COVID-19 resource page.

How do I access the building given the current construction?

While the Building will be open, accessing it will be more difficult due to construction.

There are only two ways to get to and into the building:

  1. From the Bascom Hall direction west of the Law School: If heading down Bascom Hill, you may enter the Law School from the Bascom Hill entrance. However, you cannot come up the hill to enter. Bascom Hill from Park Street east of our building is not accessible and neither is Lathrop Drive. 
  2. From University Avenue near the street lights at Brooks Street: The sidewalk and steps between Barnard and Lathrop Halls are open and can be used to enter by the Boerner Plaza doors on the 2nd or 3rd floors. This is the path taken by those who park in Lot 7/Grainger. You can use that sidewalk to enter by the Boerner Plaza doors on the 2nd or 3rd floors. These are the only two paths available at this time. The accessible parking spaces behind the Law School near Lathrop can still be accessed from Charter Street.

map of law building surrounding area showing the two entrance options

The EJI entrance is not accessible for entry, but can be used as an emergency exit.

Law Library

Will the Law Library be open?

After a two-week closure, the Law Library will reopen on Sept. 28. 

Law Building & Law Library Hours will be the same as they were before the pause on in-person classes.

Will the library be available for studying purposes? How can I reserve a seat?

Law Building & Law Library Hours will be the same as they were before the pause on in-person classes.

For more information on the Law Library, please consult:

On-Campus Recruiting & In Person Events

Will recruiting events be in person?

No, recruiting events will be virtual. OCPD’s January On-Campus Interview Program will be entirely virtual. Additionally, the Midwest California Georgia Consortium, to which we belong, will be a virtual event. More details and logistical information will be shared as soon as we have it.

Will student organizations be permitted to host meetings and events on and off campus this fall?

We are following the University's event policies:

What options are available for events and room reservations?

Currently, 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. In making this determination, we will prioritize classroom instruction, study areas and compliance with University's COVID-19 Response guidelines.

Courses & Schedules

Check back regularly for up-to-date information about the course schedule and delivery methods.

Fall Schedule

Where do I find the course schedule for Fall 2020?

To determine the delivery method of your course, see the location column in the Fall 2020 Course Schedule.

For more general information about courses and schedules, see Courses & Schedules.

I heard there will be no in-person instruction after Thanksgiving. Is this true? What about final exams?

After the Thanksgiving recess concludes, beginning Monday, November 30, all UW Law courses will switch to a virtual format for the final days of instruction. All final exams will be also conducted remotely. More information about final exams is forthcoming.

I am enrolled in a Fall 2020 course that I no longer wish to take. What should I do?

If you enrolled in a Fall 2020 course that you are certain you no longer wish to take, please drop the course. This provides a more accurate enrollment picture—both for the Law School and the faculty member—and allows for appropriate planning and adjustment.

Course Delivery & Materials

What software and equipment will I need for remote classes?

In general, laptops come ready for fall instruction with built-in webcams and microphones, however, it is recommended that you pick up a headset.  Many headphones (airPods, etc) have headset capability, so first check to see if your favorite headphones already have a microphone.

Software needed for classes

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Office 365
  • Chrome
  • Learning Remotely: how to access and use necessary software

Equipment needed for remote classes

  • Computer with webcam
  • Headset microphone (especially in public areas)

Where can I get more information about troubleshooting technical issues?

Guides for software and equipment:

If you're still running into issues, contact help@law.wisc.edu.

How do I get my course packs or other printed materials for my courses?

Law’s Copy Shop (CS) will be open for printed materials. Up-to-date hours will be avilable on Law School COVID-19 Updates.

All course packs will also be available electronically on the course’s canvas page.

In order to support safe practices:

  • All materials must be pre-purchased online (no payments will be accepted at the door)
  • Allow a 24-hour turnaround time
  • All materials will be transferred via a table at the entrance to 2115 (CS) for pick-up, so that we can maintain a safe 6’ distance.
  • All course materials will also be available online via the course Canvas page

What does synchronous and asynchronous mean?

Synchronous means content is delivered in real time, the same way in-person courses work, and students all receive the content at the same time. Regular attendance is required. A synchronous course appears on the course schedule with the indication “remotely delivered: synchronously” along with a scheduled meeting day/time.   

Asynchronous means remote instruction is not delivered in real time, and students can decide when they view recorded presentations or other content. Students will be expected to follow their instructors’ requirements regarding checking in for regular and substantive interaction about the course content. An asynchronous course appears on the course schedule with the indication “remotely delivered: asynchronously” and will not have a scheduled meeting day/time.

What are the different course delivery modes and what do they mean?

Delivery Mode Description Remote?
Remotely Course that has a meeting time listed, will meet synchronously online (i.e., students will log in during the particular scheduled time). Yes
Remotely: Asynchronous Course has no meeting time listed. Generally, students view recorded lectures on their own and then otherwise engage with the instructor on some regular basis. Yes
In-Person A standard in-person course will have a meeting time listed and a meeting location (e.g., a classroom or other space). No
Alternating In-Person

An in-person course currently expecting alternating attendance due to reduced room capacity and physical distancing. Students will view recorded lectures for the sessions they are not required to attend in person.

Important Note: such a course can change to entirely in-person instruction should the enrollment/ room capacity allow.

Sometimes, as determined by the instructor
In-Person + Remote Asynchronous In-person course that will also have asynchronous, remote-only instruction for a cohort of identified students. Details will be forthcoming from the instructor. Depends on the cohort
In-Person + Remote Synchronous In-person course that will also have synchronous, remote-only instruction for a cohort of identified students. Details will be forthcoming from the instructor. Depends on the cohort
In-Person + Remote with Instructor consent Please contact the instructor for consent to take the course remotely (either synchronously or asynchronously). Without consent, students will be placed in the in-person cohort by default. Depends on the cohort

Will every Law School course be available remotely?

Some in-person classes will resume beginning Sept. 26, following a two-week pause to prevent the spread of COVID.

Course instructors will reach out to students with details.

Should I contact the course instructor if I have a question about how a course will be delivered?

Your instructor will contact you regarding your course delivery method and where to find course materials. If you have not received this information, reach out to your instructor directly.

Student Needs

Will there be space available in the Law School for students who need to access remotely delivered courses?

Students may use open classrooms to stream their courses, while following the same safety protocols as they would for in-person classes: wearing a mask, wiping down your space with the provided disinfecting wipes, and maintaining physical distancing.

There is also designated space in the library for remote participation in classes, which can be using the Law Library Seat Reservations system.

How do I stay on track to graduate in December 2020 and meet Diploma Privilege requirements?

Please contact Lauren Devine if you plan to graduate in December 2020 and have questions about fall courses.

Attendance

What are the attendance requirements for Fall 2020 courses? Is attendance optional?

While, as always, regular attendance is required, students who feel ill with symptoms of COVID-19 or any other illness should stay home. They should communicate that absence to their faculty pursuant to the faculty’s attendance policies. If an emergency arises that might lead to a long-term absence, please contact Assistant Dean Emily Kite for assistance.

For in-person courses and remote courses that are synchronously delivered (i.e. have a scheduled day/time for students to log-in for class sessions), regular attendance is required. For those in-person courses with alternate attendance due to classroom capacity/physical distancing, students are expected to attend in person on the attendance schedule as determined by the instructor.

For courses that are asynchronously delivered (i.e. no scheduled class session times; students view recorded course content remotely) students must view all online course content and follow the instructor’s additional requirements regarding checking in for regular and substantive engagement.

If a course is currently listed as “alternating in-person attendance” can I decide on the days I will attend in person?

Instructors will determine the schedule for required in-person attendance in “alternating in-person attendance” courses. Enrollments and classroom capacities are still being assessed and instructor plans for alternating attendance schedules are evolving, so please do not contact the instructor for information in this regard. It will be made clear once classes start.

Be aware that whenever enrollment size and classroom space allow for safe physical distancing for all students enrolled in a course, regular in-person attendance at each session will become the norm and the course will no longer have “alternate in-person attendance.”

Exams New

General

Will there be any in-person exams?

All final exams will be administered remotely.

How will final exams be administered?

There are two types of remote final exams this semester:

  • Take-home exam, administered through the Exam4 website.
  • Online proctored exam, administered through Canvas as a quiz with Honorlock enabled.

Some courses may use both types of exams.

Take-Home Exams

How do take-home exams work?

Academic Affairs will email students when practice take-home exams are available. 

Follow these steps for take-home exams:

  1. Download the exam using your exam number from the Exam4 website.
  2. Use your preferred word processor to prepare your responses.
  3. Upload your responses back to the Exam4 website.

View more information in the detailed Take Home Instructions.

When will take-home exams be administered?

Academic Affairs will email students when practice take-home exams are available. 

Take-home exams are either:

  • Scheduled on a specific date, or
  • Taken any time during the exam period

View the take-home exam schedule to determine when to complete your take-home exam. All times are listed in Central Time.

If your exam is assigned for a specific date:

  • It will be available for download from the Exam4 website from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the assigned date.
  • The clock will begin to run as soon as you have accessed your exam. You must complete it within the amount of time set by your instructor or by 11:59 p.m. on that day, whichever comes first, by which time you must submit (upload) your response back to the Exam4 website.
  • Plan your start time accordingly so that you have your full time. For example, if you have an 8-hour take-home exam and you start it at 6 p.m., it will still be due at 11:59 p.m., even though you have not used the full 8 hours.

If your exam may be taken any time during the exam period:

  • It will be available for download from the Exam4 website from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 5 to Friday, December 18 at 11:59 p.m.
  • The clock will begin to run as soon as you have accessed your exam. You must complete it within the amount of time set by your instructor or by 11:59 p.m. on December 18, whichever comes first, by which time you must submit (upload) your response back to the Exam4 website.
  • Plan your start time accordingly so that you have your full time. For example, if you have an 8-hour take-home exam, and you start it on December 18 at 6 p.m., it will still be due at 11:59 p.m., even though you have not used the full 8 hours.

Where do I find my exam number?

Law students can use their NetID to access their exam number online.

Non-law students taking a law course only: use your 10-digit student ID# as your exam number.

Do I need to download the Exam4 software for final exams?

No, you do not need to download the Exam4 software this semester for final exams.

Online Proctored Exams

How do Canvas quizzes work?

To take a Canvas quiz, you'll need to visit your course's Canvas site.

Canvas has detailed instructions about How to Take a Canvas Quiz.

Honorlock provides instructions on Launching Honorlock for Canvas quizzes.

Practice Canvas quizzes with Honorlock enabled will be available, and we will email students when they are ready.

When are Canvas quizzes?

Canvas quizzes are either:

  • Scheduled on a specific date, or
  • Taken any time during the exam period

View the proctored exam schedule to determine when to take your Canvas quiz. All times are listed in Central Time.

If your exam is assigned on a specific date:

  • The quiz will be available in Canvas from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the assigned date.
  • After starting the quiz, you will have the amount of time to complete it as set by your instructor or until 11:59 p.m., whichever comes first, by which time you must submit your quiz.
  • Plan your start time accordingly so that you have your full time. For example, if you have a 2-hour quiz and you start it at 11 p.m., it will still be due at 11:59 p.m., even though you have not used the full 2 hours.

If your exam may be taken any time during the exam period:

  • The quiz will be available in Canvas from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, December 5, to Friday, December 18 at 11:59 p.m.
  • After starting the quiz, you will have the amount of time to complete it as set by your instructor or until 11:59 p.m. on December 18, whichever comes first, by which time you must submit your quiz.
  • Plan your start time accordingly so that you have your full time. For example, if you have a 2-hour quiz and you start it on December 18 at 11 p.m., it will still be due at 11:59 p.m., even though you have not used the full 2 hours.

What is Honorlock, and how does it work?

Honorlock is an automated proctoring service that can be enabled in Canvas quizzes.

Honorlock uses your computer’s webcam and microphone along with a browser extension in Google Chrome to monitor activity during an exam. Honorlock will flag your exam if you violate the Student Guidelines for the exam.

What are the Student Guidelines for Honorlock?

The Student Guidelines are the proctoring specifications for a particular test, such as whether notes are allowed, whether other websites may be visited during the exam, etc.

These guidelines will vary by course. The Law School Student & Academic Affairs team will work with each instructor using Honorlock to create the applicable Student Guidelines.

The Student Guidelines ultimately determine which behaviors Honorlock will flag as potential academic misconduct. For example, if the Student Guidelines indicate that notes are not allowed and Honorlock detects that you are consulting your notes during the exam, Honorlock will flag your exam. As another example, all Student Guidelines will require that you work independently, thus Honorlock will flag your exam if it detects that you are communicating with another person.

As an example, view the Sample Student Guidelines for Honorlock from a previous UW Law School course.

Honorlock Technical Requirements

What equipment do I need to use Honorlock?

You will need:

  • Working webcam
  • Microphone
  • Laptop or desktop computer

Either an integrated or external USB webcam will work.

What are the system and software requirements for Honorlock? Is my computer compatible?

You will find minimum system requirements for your computer on Honorlock's website. You can check your system’s compatibility on Honorlock’s support website using the “Simple Single-Click Test”.

Honorlock only works with Google Chrome, so you will need to download and install Google Chrome on your computer if it's not already installed on your computer.

You will also need to download the Honorlock extension for Chrome. You will be prompted to download it when you attempt to take a Canvas quiz with Honorlock enabled. You may uninstall it as soon as you have submitted your quiz.

What if I don't have a working microphone and/or webcam?

The Law School Help Desk has a limited number of webcams with integrated microphones available for check out. Reach out to help@law.wisc.edu if you need to borrow one. We recommend that you reach out to at least two weeks before your first exam.

Additionally, several libraries on campus have laptops available for two-week loans:

Can Honorlock be used internationally?

Because Honorlock requires the use of a Google Chrome browser, some international students may need to use a VPN while taking their exam.

UW–Madison recommends and provides a VPN for all staff and students with a NetID, which can be downloaded by following the directions in this WiscVPN Overview KnowledgeBase. Students are not required to use the UW–Madison VPN, but it is considered more reliable than others.

A stable internet connection is needed for all exams using online proctoring, regardless of location.

Using Honorlock

What will happen if Honorlock flags my exam?

If your exam gets flagged, a member of the Law School Student & Academic Affairs team will review your Honorlock recording.

If the flag is determined to be innocuous, no further action will be taken, and you will not be notified.

If the flag reveals potential academic misconduct, your submission will be referred to the associate dean of academic affairs for further investigation. You will be notified if it is determined after further investigation that there is a concern that academic misconduct might have occurred.

How do I start an exam that uses Honorlock?

The exam will be administered as a Canvas quiz on your course’s Canvas site.

Visit Honorlock's Launching Proctoring for your Exam for step-by-step instructions about starting a Canvas quiz with Honorlock enabled.

Where can I take a practice quiz using Honorlock?

A practice quiz with Honorlock enabled will be available in your Canvas course prior to final exams beginning.

What if I have technical difficulties while using Honorlock?

If you have technical difficulties with Honorlock, start a live chat with the Honorlock support team.

If you are in the middle of an exam with Honorlock enabled, you will see a small bubble in the bottom right corner of your browser where you can start a live chat. The live chat is available 24/7.

If you have other technical difficulties, contact the Law School Help Desk at help@law.wisc.edu or 608-262-5242.

Keep track of any time lost and notify Dean Kite (emily.kite@wisc.edu) and Lauren Devine (lauren.devine@wisc.edu) via email immediately.

Privacy Concerns

Will I be required to do a 360-room scan or show a government- or school-issued ID?

The Law School has recommended that instructors do not enable these features, though it is in your instructor’s discretion to enable them.

Will my instructor watch my Honorlock recording? What about blind grading?

Instructors are not permitted to watch students’ Honorlock recordings, unless the associate dean of academic affairs determines after further investigation that academic misconduct might have occurred and consultation with the instructor is necessary.

All final exams in Canvas will have anonymous grading enabled to preserve blind grading.

Can I opt out of Honorlock?

If an instructor chooses to use Honorlock in the course, you will be required to use it for that course.

Where can I learn more about Honorlock? What about my privacy & data?

You will find more information about Honorlock at UW-Madison on the UW-Madison Instructional Continuity website, which includes FAQs about Honorlock that address important issues such as student privacy and data.

NOTE: Some FAQs on UW-Madison Instructional Continuity website may conflict with information contained in the Law School’s FAQs. In the event of a conflict, you should rely on the Law School's FAQs.

You will find more information about Honorlock on Honorlock’s website, including:

Contacts

Didn't find the answer to your question? Here's who to contact:

For more contacts and resources, view the COVID-19 Contacts & Resources for Students.

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