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2022: Law Schools Return to Online Learning Amidst COVID Surge

Across the country, law schools are starting 2022 with remote learning in response to the omicron variant surge.

Reuters reports that the follow schools have announced plans to shift the start of the semester online: Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, New York University School of Law, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Illinois College of Law, Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, and the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

Experts predict that more colleges and universities will join the growing number of institutions that are starting the spring semester online.

“In respect to law schools, every law school is not just monitoring the data, but likely what other law schools are doing,” Mike Spivey, founder of Spivey Consulting, writes in a blog post. “So if one law school decides to go remote for a period of time we would expect a number of others to follow.”


More than 1,000 colleges already require vaccination against COVID-19 for students and faculty. Now, with the omicron wave, more institutions are adding vaccine boosters to the requirements as well. Rutgers University is one of many colleges that have announced revamped COVID-19 protocols, which include required booster shots for all eligible students and employees.

“The data and the science surrounding the surge in COVID-19 cases, and the dramatic spread of the omicron variant, require that we adapt to the evolving situation without sacrificing our goal of returning to a campus experience that is robust, rewarding, and safe,” Antonio Calcado, executive vice president and chief operating officer with Rutgers University, writes in a message to the university community. “To do so, we are implementing appropriate contingency plans that rely on today’s best available information and expertise so that we may continue to manage the impact of this virus at the university.”

Harvard has also recently announced booster requirements for its community members. Howeer, universities officials are confident that they can safely return to in-person classes on Jan. 24.

“Although the transmissibility of Omicron presents new challenges, we are confident that by minimizing contact, masking, distancing, and testing regularly, we can maintain a safe academic, research, and work environment for everyone,” Harvard University President Lawrence S. Bacow writes in an email to the community.

Sources: Reuters, CNBC, Spivey Consulting, Best Colleges, NBC New York, Harvard University, The Harvard Crimson

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