One Third of Law Schools Planning for In-Person Classes

A return to a new normal?


The Chronicle of Higher Education claims that about a third of law schools are planning to hold in person classes at the start of the next semester. The one third represents a much smaller percentage of the over three quarters of all universities in the US which plan on opening or are undecided. An updated list can be found here.

Even if you’re attending a school which intends to open up for in person classes, don’t expect business as usual. Josh Blackman speculates some things schools may do to open safely while maintaining social distancing. Large areas with the potential for people to congregate will likely be off limits. Students may be taught in a class with a teacher behind plexiglass. To provide adequate class space for social distance it is possible that half the class will alternate between taking the class in person and at home. Limited or no elevator usage means your legs will get an unexpected workout on stairs. Access to the law library will likely be extremely limited if available at all. Due to space concerns study groups will have to be held off-campus.

All this is to say that your safety will be paramount, as it should be in all aspects of our post-pandemic experience. Your school may not have thought of everything or have the resources to comprehensively prepare for student’s safety. The Red Cross has guidelines for you to prepare before, during and after class. Make sure to wear a facemask at all times, bring hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

COVID-19 affects people in varied ways. If you’re experiencing these symptoms you may have the virus:

  • Fever or chills,

  • Cough,

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing,

  • Fatigue,

  • Muscle or body aches,

  • Headache,

  • New loss of taste or smell,

  • Sore throat,

  • Congestion or runny nose,

  • Nausea or vomiting,

  • Diarrhea.

There is a massive pressure during law school to excel and that can take the form of pushing oneself to do things that feel difficult or uncomfortable. If you find yourself with any of the above symptoms don’t be afraid to stay at home or get tested; you’ll be providing a service to yourself and your community.

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