UW-Madison has paused in-person classes from Sept. 10-25 and made other changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Last updated 9/11/20
Frequently asked questions regarding plans for the Fall 2020 semester. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
How can students share feedback and concerns?
Students have a number of ways to share their feedback and concerns. They can fill out the feedback form, which is routed to the SBA and Law School administrators. Additionally, they can email the SBA directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other comments may be directed to:
- Academic Advisor Lauren Devine for Fall 2020 Courses
- Law School Student Counselor John Schneider for mental and emotional wellness concerns
- Assistant Dean Emily Kite for disability accommodations
- Associate 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 questions
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 (PDF) 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? Updated
Update 9/10/20: UW-Madison, including the Law School, has paused in-person classes from Sept. 10-25 and made other changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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.)
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.
Building & Facilities
Who can be in the Law School Building? What is the purpose of the Law School lanyards? Updated
The Law School will be generally limited to UW Law students and employees. The Law Library will be limited to essential employees starting Sept. 12, 2020.
Please wear the provided lanyard while in building. If you lost your lanyard or did not receive one, you will find additional lanyards at the 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.
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.
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 campus services will be available?
The University is working with the libraries, student unions, labs and other campus facilities to come up with creative solutions to allowing safe access as well as finding spaces for students to study.
Libraries will be open for appointment-based access to collections, study space and computer lab services. In order to improve safety (blocking off time for cleaning, for example), there will be a reduction in library locations and hours, and increased support through online services. The University remains committed to providing library support for learning and research, but in general students should expect limited capacity in the library buildings and should plan to do studying in their residences as much as possible.
More details about which libraries and computer labs will be open, and under what terms, will be finalized as the start of the semester draws closer. For information specific to the UW Law Library, visit the UW Law Library’s COVID-19 resource page.
Will the Law Library be open? Updated
The Law Library is closed to all but essential employees, effective Sept. 12, 2020.
Will the library be available for studying purposes? How can I reserve a seat? Updated
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? Updated
Update 9/10/20: UW-Madison, including the Law School, has paused in-person from Sept. 10-25 and made other changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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 Smart Restart guidelines.
Check back regularly for up-to-date information about the course schedule and delivery methods.
Where do I find the course schedule for Fall 2020? Updated
Update 9/10/20: UW-Madison, including the Law School, has paused in-person classes from Sept. 10-25 and made other changes to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
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
- More how to use and where to download.
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:
- Tips & Tricks to Avoiding Glitches
- Video & Sound for Remote Instruction: examples for headphones and tips for video
- Internet Recommendations
If you're still running into issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I get my course packs or other printed materials for my courses? Updated
Law’s Copy Shop (CS) will be open for printed materials until end of day on Sept. 11, 2020.
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
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?
|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|
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? Updated
All Law School courses will be remote from Sept. 12-25. We will update you on the status of in-person instruction after Sept. 25 as details become available.
Should I contact the course instructor if I have a question about how a course will be delivered? Updated
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.
Will there be space available in the Law School for students who need to access remotely delivered courses?
To ensure that students have adequate time to log in to a remote class immediately after attending an in-person class, the Law School is planning to make space available for students to access University Wi-Fi in the Law Building. We anticipate designating safe areas, using available classrooms, the Law Library, and other non-instructional spaces in the building.
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.
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.”
Didn't find the answer to your question? Here's who to contact:
- General questions about Fall 2020 courses: Academic Advisor Lauren Devine (Please contact your instructor with questions about a particular course.)
- Concerns or questions about mental or emotional wellness: Law School Student Counselor John Schneider
- Disability accommodations: Assistant Dean Emily Kite
- Financial planning and assistance: Associate Dean Rebecca Scheller
- Employment resources: Assistant Dean Megan Heneke
- Technical difficulties: email@example.com
- Event or meeting planning and questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Library questions: email@example.com
For more contacts and resources, view the COVID-19 Contacts & Resources for Students.