Law Schools’ Fall Plans
As students prepare for the fall semester, law schools have been unveiling a variety of plans for the new semester, including fully online and hybrid classroom models.
Most law schools, as Law.com reports, are planning to have a hybrid classroom model for the fall semester, which would consist of a mix of on-campus classes and online.
FIRST-YEARS GET PRIORITY
According to Law.com, a number of schools are prioritizing in-person classes for first-year students. A majority of upper-class courses will be offered online.
At Georgetown University Law Center, 1L classes will be maxed at 40 students. Typically, 1L classes at Georgetown hold up to 100 students. At the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, 1L classes will max at 45 students.
The key goal for many law school during this time is to offer a quality legal education while ensuring students and faculty are kept safe from COVID-19.
“It has been a really complicated set of design challenges,” Jennifer Mnookin, dean of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, says in a National Association for Law Placement (NALP) webinar. “We will be more remote than in person in the fall, even if things go as well as possible.”
FULLY ONLINE FALL SEMESTERS
A number of law schools have also announced plans for fully-online programs in the fall.
Harvard Law was the first to announce a fully remote classroom environment in the fall, which was met by criticism by some students.
“We have all hoped these past few months that the upcoming academic year could begin, at least in part, on campus,” Dean John Manning says in a press release. “However, in light of the daily news about the continuing health risks of the pandemic, advice from public health experts, and the very real concern that testing will not yet be available on the scale or frequency needed to adequately monitor COVID-19-related illness in the Harvard community, we have found it necessary to conclude that Fall Term 2020 will be online.”
Other schools, according to Law.com, have followed suit with fully online fall semesters that include the University of California, Berkeley School of Law; the University of California Hastings College of Law; Vermont Law School; the University of Connecticut School of Law; and Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.