Message from Assistant Dean for Admissions Cassandra T. Williams: Planning for Fall 2020

June 1, 2020

Dear Admitted Students,

We are delighted to have you as members of the Class of 2023 at NYU School of Law!

Over the past two-and-a-half months, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on all of us, provoking unprecedented shifts in every aspect of daily life, including legal education. This time also has confirmed the tremendous strength and resilience of the NYU Law community. We have responded by coming together in truly inspiring ways to fulfill our core educational mission and to continue to have a positive impact on the world.

As we plan for your arrival this Fall, we’ve pulled together faculty and administrators to ensure that the coming academic year is robust and rewarding. Our plans are to resume in-person operations when the Fall semester begins, and we very much hope to do so. Naturally that remains subject to change as the advice from public health experts evolves and as governing authorities issue new rules and guidelines for higher education. Developments on each of these fronts will also determine exactly what the Fall semester at NYU Law will look like.

In formulating our plans, we have three cardinal principles. We will make the safety and health of all NYU Law community members the principal basis for our decision-making; we will innovate to maintain a standard of excellence in the fulfillment of our core academic mission; and we will provide information and flexibility to our students, so that you are empowered to make informed choices. To that end, although some aspects of next academic year remain uncertain at this point, we are writing to you now to share what we do know.

Academics: In-Person and Remote Instruction

The Fall semester will start as scheduled, with JD Registration & Orientation being held during the week of August 17. Additional information regarding arrival dates, Registration & Orientation will be distributed this summer. Classes will commence on Tuesday, August 25.

The Law School is developing plans for some in-person instruction in Fall 2020, including in some of our core first year courses. Due to likely distancing requirements in classrooms and other constraints, we expect that our in-person course offerings will not cover the entire curriculum and thus all students will receive some of their instruction remotely. Some classes may well be hybrid, a blend of in-person and remote. Any in-person instruction will be consistent with applicable density, distancing, and PPE guidelines, and other health and safety protocols.

Additionally, we are making arrangements to enable students to participate remotely in any Fall 2020 NYU Law course, if they prefer remote instruction over in-person instruction. To that end, all in-person class meetings for Fall 2020 will also be accessible remotely, in real time.

It remains possible that we will need to begin the academic year in a fully remote mode. It is also possible that we will be obliged to transition to fully remote teaching and learning partway through the Fall semester. Should either of these steps become necessary, the faculty, administration, and staff are prepared to pivot and adapt immediately to protect the health and safety of our community while also fulfilling our academic mission.

Whether you are part of classes held in-person, remotely, or a combination of the two, we can assure you that the academic experience will be rigorous and stimulating and the intellectual life of the Law School will be enriching and engaging. Our faculty’s commitment to providing a world-class legal education is steadfast.

Living on Campus

Law School housing is available for incoming students. While we anticipate having space in our residence halls for all students who wish to live in them, the availability of Law School housing varies from year to year. If you are interested in living in one of our residence halls and have not yet applied, we suggest you do so as soon as possible. Recognizing that your plans may change as the current crisis evolves, NYU Law Residence Services will offer students flexible license terms for housing, allowing you both to postpone your arrival and/or to depart early, according to what works best for you. To help minimize uncertainty, once you are living on campus, your housing rates will not increase, even if you remain in Law School housing for all three years of your JD studies.

Deferral Requests

Requests to defer enrollment to Fall 2021 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please note that there is a limit to how many deferrals the Committee on Admissions will approve for any given year. In assessing your plans for Fall 2020, you should also keep in mind that the Committee on Admissions expects you to use your deferral year constructively, that scholarship awards cannot be deferred, and that, if granted, your deferral will be binding. If you wish to be considered for a deferral, please send a formal request to the Committee on Admissions outlining your specific plans for the deferral year. We ask that yousubmit your request by June 22, 2020.

Updates during Summer 

Soon, you will begin to receive the Class of 2023 Docket, which is an adaptation of the Law School's weekly email digest outlining pertinent information for our students. The Class of 2023 Docket is specifically designed for incoming students. It will provide updates regarding Registration & Orientation as well as information from the Office of Student Financial Services, the Office of Academic Services, and other administrative offices.

Everyone at the Law School is looking forward to welcoming you to our community. We know that it will not be a typical start to the Fall semester, but it will be intellectually engaging, academically rigorous, and an important step in your professional journey. We will continue to update you as additional information becomes available.


Cassandra T. Williams
Assistant Dean for Admissions
New York University School of Law