Will online classes be recorded? (Updated 03.20.2020)
Yes, all classes except clinics will be recorded for the remainder of the semester.
Will we be switching to a pass/fail grading structure? (Updated 03.27.2020)
All Spring 2020 courses, except for clinic courses or other courses that completed most of their evaluation prior to the COVID-19 disruption (i.e. prior to Spring Break), will be graded pass/fail. Clinic courses and other courses that completed most of their evaluation prior to the COVID-19 disruption will be graded under normal standards. These other courses must demonstrate to the Dean’s Office, based on the wording of the distributed syllabus at the start of the semester, that a major portion of students’ grades, no less than 75%, would be based on performance completed prior to Spring Break.
What do I do if I have an externship this semester? (Updated 03.20.2020)
If you are doing an externship this semester, you should have already received information from your faculty externship supervisor about current externships and should no longer report to your placement sites. We will work with you to ensure you receive the credit you were expecting to receive when you registered this semester. Some students will be able to complete their remaining hours remotely. If you have been unable to arrange for remote work, you should contact their faculty supervisor for guidance.
Will there be a summer session? (Updated 04.03.2020)
We will be offering an online summer session. We already have several online courses confirmed and are actively working on other options. To be eligible for financial aid during the summer term, you must be enrolled in at least six credits with a maximum of nine.
Will summer school courses be graded pass/fail? (Updated 04.03.2020)
Unless the course is normally designated as a pass/fail course, students taking courses taught in the summer session will be evaluated with letter grades.
Will I still be able to study abroad this summer or fall? (Updated 03.20.2020)
Summer study abroad has been canceled. The Aberdeen program has been suspended for Summer 2020. We have not yet made a decision about fall international travel. We will provide updates as soon as we have them.
When will we be registering for Fall 2020 classes? (Updated 04.03.2020)
The Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 schedule has been posted. As of now, we are planning to resume classes in the fall semester, but we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the expert guidance to determine how we will deliver instruction. Because students are facing many different challenges at this time we are breaking registration into two parts with half taking place prior to exams and half after exams. Registration information will be available soon.
I am concerned about taking my exams remotely as internet speeds have slowed down and will slow even more as more students across the country go online. (Added 3.26.2020)
Because your exam is taken locally on your laptop, network resources are only required when you submit. Exam4 takes regular backups of the file as you work on your exam in case your computer loses power. When you submit your exam, the file is extremely small. You should not have trouble with Internet speeds. However, be assured that, as is true with exams taken at school, there will be an IT team on call ready to troubleshoot any exam issues you may have.
I and many of my fellow students have challenging home environments not conducive to learning, such as children at home, inferior wifi connections, inadequate study spaces, and other issues. Normally we find alternative study spaces in libraries or other locations but with the closure of many public buildings, we are having difficulty doing that. Is there any possibility that the law library will be open soon? (Added 3.26.2020)
Given the circumstances, the law school building and law library will not be accessible to students before the semester ends. The decision to allow building access in or beyond the May time frame will be a campus decision made in conjunction with public health experts. We are well aware of the difficult circumstances many of our students are facing. This is why we are taking some time to consider the grading decision. But, beyond grades, our most important concern is the health and welfare of our students and their families. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dean Hayes or other members of the law school administration or faculty if you encounter difficult situations that are beyond your ability to control. We will do our best to help if it is at all within our power to do so.
Under the pass/fail system, what will happen with D or F grades? (Updated 04.03.2020)
D- or above will be considered as a pass. F grades will be designated on the transcript as No Credit.
Can a faculty member still grade exams or papers and give students those grades? (Updated 04.03.2020)
In general, faculty continue to have discretion on how they grade and design exams. However, a group of faculty are currently discussing best practices for handling these aspects of their courses under the temporary grading system.
Is there a University policy regarding closed note remote exams? (Added 04.02.2020)
Faculty members continue to have discretion when they set up the mode for taking their exams. The grading policy requires all exam classes to be assigned pass/fail designations. The Honor Code applies to all exams. Students are expected to follow instructions given out by their professor and to follow the Honor Code.
Since I did not have to use my one credit/no credit option (since all courses are pass/fail) in my last semester, can I go back and retroactively erase a known grade from a previous semester? (Updated 04.09.2020)
No. Changing known grades has never been allowed except in the context of grade grievances. The credit/no credit option never erased previous grades. It was designed to encourage students to take courses they might otherwise be hesitant to take.
Which courses will receive letter grades in Spring 2020?
In addition to clinics and research courses, students in the following courses will receive letter grades this semester: Environmental Advocacy, Interprofessional Education in Action, Writing in Law Practice: Drafting Negotiated Agreements, and Teaching Fellows Seminar (Professor Keene). Professor McClain’s Teaching Fellows will receive a letter grade for the fall semester and a pass/fail designation for the spring semester.
Students who are registered for Independent Written Work this semester or who are finishing up an Incomplete from a prior semester will receive a pass/fail designation for the paper. The only exception to this are students whose due date for the final paper was prior to spring break and the student turned in the final paper prior to spring break. The requirement that cert papers receive a grade of B or better does not apply. The paper must still meet the other requirements for certification as articulated by the faculty supervisor.
Students who are registered for IWWs this semester and take an Incomplete will receive a pass/fail designation for their final paper regardless of when it is turned in.
How will Honors designations be handled for May 2020 graduating students? (Updated 04.09.2020)
For spring 2020 graduating students, we will rank and calculate honors based on students’ performance after the fifth semester for full-time students and seventh semester for part-time students, and after the sixth semester for full-time students and the eighth semester for part-time students. We will then provide rank and award honors based on each student’s best performance. As has been our custom for final rankings, full-time and part-time students are ranked together for this purpose, and we will continue that custom for both sets of rankings. This system of ranking may result in some ties with regard to class rank, and it will increase the number of students who receive Latin honors.
Order of the Coif is controlled by an outside organization, and, unless we receive an exception for awarding Order of the Coif, that will be awarded based on the sixth/eighth semester of grading.
When will the next class rank be determined for non-graduating students?
The next time class ranks will be made available for current students who are not graduating in May will be December 2020.
Is it possible to reconsider the policy of not allowing externships in the private sector in case public sector externships become less available?
The administration and faculty are committed to monitoring the situation carefully and considering all possibilities to help our students. We will refer this question to the Curriculum Committee.