Most Law Schools Will Require COVID-19 Vaccine In Fall
Nearly half of the law schools in the U.S., including every law school in the T-14, will require students to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination as campuses prepare to open this fall.
Duke, Harvard, and Georgetown are also planning to require masks indoors this year with the spread of the Delta variant, Reuters reports.
“I’m waiting to see what the impact of the Delta variant is on all of this,” Eric Feldman, a health policy expert and professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, tells Reuters. “The floodgates have definitely opened on vaccine mandates.”
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, 662 colleges and universities across the nation require COVID-19 vaccines for students and employees as of August 5. At least 93 of those are ABA-accredited law schools.
While 64% of Americans support a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, some are not fully on board with the idea.
At George Mason University, a law school professor has sued the university arguing that the school’s vaccine mandate is unnecessarily coercive and unconstitutional. At Indiana University, a similar lawsuit was filed by eight students. A federal judge has since ruled in favor of the university and upheld the vaccine mandate.
“This university policy isn’t forced vaccination,” U.S. District Court Judge Damon Leichty writes. “The students have options — taking the vaccine, applying for a religious exemption, applying for a medical exemption, applying for a medical deferral, taking a semester off, or attending another university.”
At the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School, school officials say that, for the most part, students are on board with the vaccine mandate as a means to return to campus in the fall.
“The students at Penn have greeted this with really open arms, because for them, as successful as remote education was, I don’t think anyone feels like it was anywhere near as successful as the education we can offer in person,” Feldman tells Reuters.