Thursday, August 6, 2020
National Law Journal, Law Schools That Planned to Return to Campus in Fall Are Reversing Course:
At least 32 law schools—or about a sixth of the law campuses accredited by the American Bar Association—have thus far announced that they will be entirely online for the fall semester, or will offer a very limited amount of in-person instruction to select groups of students. Harvard Law School in early June became the first to say it would remain virtual for the fall. Among the campuses that have followed suit are all five law schools within the University of California systems [Berkeley, Davis, Hastings, Irvine, UCLA] (though Irvine hopes to offer a few 1L classes on campus); the University of Southern California Gould School of Law; George Washington School of Law; Howard University School of Law; and the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Deans say the process of planning for the fall semester has been difficult given the intensification of the pandemic, changing local and state public health directives, and the additional layer of university-mandated safety measures. ...
Nearly every law school is giving students the option to complete their studies entirely online during the fall, but not every school is extending the option to attend at least one or two classes in person. And there is little geographic uniformity in the reopening decisions that schools are making.
Florida is currently a COVID-19 hotspot, but only four of the state’s 12 law schools have said they will conduct classes fully online in the fall. They are: Florida A&M University College of Law; Ave Maria School of Law; Florida Coastal School of Law; and Western Michigan University Cooley Law School, which has a Tampa campus. By contrast, five of the six law schools in Washington, D.C., will be fully online. Meanwhile, nearly every law school in New York City—the place hit hardest in the early days of the pandemics—plan to offer at least some in-person classes.