The Law School plans to resume in-person operations when the Fall semester begins, guided by three principles: prioritizing the safety and health of everyone in the NYU Law community, guided by evolving advice of public health experts and governing authorities; innovating to maintain a standard of excellence in the fulfillment of our core academic mission; and striving to provide information and flexibility to our students.
Dean Trevor Morrison has been in regular communication with members of the NYU Law community about measures taken in response to COVID-19 last spring, as well as plans for Fall 2020. (See messages from Dean Morrison.) This page incorporates the most current information from those communications and elsewhere, and is regularly updated (the last update was on July 14).
For University updates and information, please visit NYU Returns 2020-2021.
All Students and Faculty
- Fall Registration and the Academic Calendar
- Incoming 1L JD students: Registration and orientation will be held the week of August 17. Additional information will be distributed this summer.
- Incoming LLM students: For those who need to attend, the Intensive Workshop (July 27-August 7) and Introduction to US Law and Introduction to US Legal Practice (August 10-21) will be held remotely. Orientation will also be held remotely.
- A schedule of upper-level classes for Fall 2020 is available. Registration (first cycle) for these classes runs from June 26 to July 7.
- Fall 2020 classes begin August 25.
- For health and safety reasons, students who travel out of New York for the Thanksgiving holiday should plan not to return to campus during the final week of classes and instead should plan to participate remotely that week.
- View the full 2020-21 academic calendar.
- In-person and Remote Instruction
- We continue to plan for the resumption of some in-person instruction in Fall 2020, offering approximately half of our 1L courses and approximately one quarter of our upper-level courses in a hybrid format. We expect the balance of the curriculum to be offered in an entirely remote format.
- Students who wish to participate remotely in any Fall 2020 NYU Law class in which they are enrolled may do so. Put another way, any in-person hybrid courses for Fall 2020 will be also be accessible remotely, in real time.
- The vast majority of courses will require synchronous participation from all students.
- A typical hybrid course will include a mix of in-person and remote participants with the professor physically present in the classroom, teaching simultaneously to students physically present in the classroom as well as to students participating remotely via Zoom. Our seating plans have been adjusted to comply with density guidelines designed to protect the health and safety of everyone in the classroom. Therefore, in sections where a large number of students prefer the in-person mode to the remote mode, we will assign rotating cohorts for in-person participation. Smaller hybrid courses, such as seminars, may be able to accommodate all in-person participants in every session, without the need for rotation. Still other hybrid courses may provide a mix of larger Zoom meetings with smaller in-person breakout sessions. Faculty will be tailoring their particular hybrid courses to best convey the subject matter they are teaching.
- Courses scheduled to be offered in the hybrid mode are identified by the HCV footnote in the Fall 2020 Course Schedule; courses scheduled to be offered entirely remotely are identified by the RCV footnote. Our ability to offer hybrid instruction in a safe way is contingent on continually evolving health and safety guidelines, so it remains possible that a hybrid course may need to switch to remote-only mode on short notice.
- 2L and 3L JD students and LLM students will soon receive a survey asking them to describe their plans for remote or in-person participation in their Fall 2020 courses.(1L JD students have already received this survey.) Survey responses are for planning purposes and are not binding, as students may understandably change their plans as the semester progresses.
- Although any student—at any time, in any course—may opt to participate remotely, building density guidelines and in-person rotational schedules require some advance planning. Therefore, once the school year begins, please work with the faculty member teaching your hybrid course to ensure there is enough room for you to join a particular class meeting safely if you are not already scheduled by Academic Services to be present in person.
- If any student cannot arrive on campus at the beginning of the academic year, that student may begin the Fall 2020 semester remotely until they can join us in person.
- It remains possible that we will need to begin the academic year fully remotely. It is also possible that, as happened this Spring, a complete transition to remote instruction partway through the Fall semester will be necessary. Should either of these measures be required, 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.
- Fall 2020 Exams
- We expect that all Fall 2020 examinations will be administered remotely.
- Prioritizing Health and Safety
As University leadership wrote to the NYU community on July 7, our planning is guided, first and foremost, by the health and safety of the NYU community. Our evidence-informed public health strategy to reduce the risks to our community posed by COVID-19 implements layers of safety, each of which decreases the risk, and emphasizes the importance of individual and collective responsibility in the effort to keep each other safe. Among the key initiatives and policies the University and the Law School are putting in place to prevent and reduce transmission of COVID-19 within our community are:
- Face Coverings/Masks: All members of the community are required to wear face coverings over both the mouth and nose at all times when they are on the University campus, with limited exceptions. The University is working to procure a substantial supply of masks, but community members are encouraged to obtain and use their own face coverings.
- Physical Distancing: All members of the community are expected to maintain a 6-foot distance from others, whenever possible. We are also implementing measures to reduce density in our academic buildings and residence halls overall (see below).
- COVID-19 Testing: We are working to finalize the details of our testing program, which will involve multiple components, including:
- Asking members of the community to get themselves tested prior to reconvening on campus at the beginning of the school year.
- A testing protocol for those who have returned to campus, in line with recommendations of medical experts and established best practices.
- Testing when a member of the community has COVID-like symptoms or has been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19.
- An ongoing testing program of representative segments of the NYU community.
- The NYU COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will oversee the campus-wide efforts to identify, isolate, and support members of the community with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
- Symptom Screening–the Daily COVID-19 Screener for Campus Access: In order to be permitted to come to campus on any given day, all members of the community will be required to complete a brief questionnaire, accessible on computer and NYU’s smartphone app (NYU Mobile) that screens for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms (e.g., elevated temperature, coughing). Those who have recent COVID-19 exposure or symptoms will be instructed to stay home until they are cleared by the NYU Prevention & Response Team. We encourage all students returning to campus to bring with them a wellness kit that includes a thermometer.
- Travel Advisories: Every community member returning to campus from outside of the New York area should be aware of the most current New York State travel advisories, which may mandate quarantine restrictions for those arriving from high-incidence areas. Students planning to participate in in-person classes or activities on campus will need to incorporate these mandatory quarantine periods into their plans.
- Enhanced Cleaning: An enhanced building cleaning regimen will be implemented for on campus, including more frequent disinfectant cleaning of high-touch surfaces and common areas. Hand sanitizing stations will continue to be available.
- Use of Academic Buildings
- Achieving our goal of a safe return to campus requires our community to collectively reimagine our use of space. In planning for Fall 2020, our policies balance our core academic mission with the need to reduce density in all campus buildings and rooms. We are reducing density in NYU facilities by implementing enrollment and space capacity caps; adjusting block course scheduling; ensuring classroom occupancy remains below 50% of total capacity; convening classes only in those spaces in which students and faculty can maintain appropriate social distancing; and reconfiguring in-use classrooms, including investing in the technological improvements necessary to make hybrid instruction possible.
- We look forward to the day when we can once again enjoy a robust calendar of in-person events on campus. For the time being, however, we will not be convening any non-essential, large, in-person extracurricular gatherings. Instead, our plans prioritize dedicating common spaces in our academic buildings as study spaces for students, to the extent that density guidelines and safe social distancing allow. Currently, we plan to open study areas in the Library and certain event spaces and student lounge areas on a first-come, first-served basis, while making some study spaces available on a reservation basis. We are also working to provide limited access to space for journal and student organization use.
- Although space is at a premium in the era of social distancing, we recognize that some students rely on the Law School for internet access and quiet study space. We aim to prioritize those needs, to the extent safety allows.
- In order to maximize safe access to academic buildings for faculty and students engaged in teaching, learning, research, and advising, as well as for essential employees performing a host of duties on campus to keep us all safe, we plan to reduce the in-person presence of administrators and staff where it is possible to provide excellent support to students and faculty remotely (see below for more on Student-Facing Services).
- Even though we will not be hosting large in-person events in our academic buildings when the school year begins, we will be offering a rich array of virtual forums, panels, lectures, and other events throughout the semester. We are committed to maintaining a vibrant intellectual life at NYU Law.
- Law Library
- While the Law Library is physically closed until further notice, it has not ceased all operations. For faculty and students in need of reference services, librarians are available to assist them remotely. Please email requests to LawLibRef@mercury.law.nyu.edu.
- Many casebooks are now accessible for free online through the end of the exam period. Visit the Free Academic Resources During Closure LibGuide to begin using them. There are several resource platforms represented in the guide, so please make sure to read the instructions for each.
- Residence Halls
- Our Law School student housing is home for many of our students, and our residence halls have remained open throughout the COVID-19 crisis. In these spaces, we will continue to keep health and safety top-of-mind in our plans by closing common spaces in residence halls until further notice to reduce density and unsafe gatherings.
- We will develop a staggered move-in schedule for August.
- We will continue to offer students flexible license terms for housing, allowing students to postpone their arrival or depart early according to their unique circumstances.
- To help minimize uncertainty, once students are living on campus, their housing rates will not increase, even if they remain for all three years of their JD studies.
- Students with questions regarding Law School residential life should contact our Res Life team directly.
- Financial Support for Students
- We are taking additional steps, made possible in part by the generous support of our alumni and friends, to reduce the economic strain that many of our students are facing.
- Every JD, LLM, and MSL student will receive a Technology Support Grant of $1,000, to help ensure that students have access to the technological resources they need to participate in hybrid and remote learning.
- In addition, every student already receiving a partial tuition scholarship from the Law School will have their scholarship award increased by $1,000.
- Finally, the Law School will continue to award grants to students through the COVID-19 Hardship Relief Fund through at least the end of Fall 2020. All law students are eligible to apply for up to $1,000 in support from the COVID-19 Hardship Relief Fund, whether or not they already received support from that fund in Spring 2020.
- Student-Facing Services
- As always, our administrators and staff will be available to support, counsel, and advise students. This Fall, in addition to remaining reachable by phone, email, and virtual appointment, our student-facing services will offer Virtual Reception Areas during normal business hours, so that any student wishing to ask a quick question or make an appointment will be able to chat with a member of our administrative team live via Zoom. We will have more details on this process soon.
- Most appointments with student-facing administrators will be held virtually but in-person appointments will also be available, subject to health and safety regulations.
- International Students
- Last week, the US Government’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released guidance regarding student visa eligibility for the fall. The NYU Office of Global Services briefed our community on the impact of these guidelines for our students, emphasizing the key change that any student studying in the United States on an F-1 visa must be enrolled in at least one in-person or hybrid course this fall. The Law School is very mindful of the distress and uncertainty caused by the new guidelines. We are committed to doing all we can to help our international students cope with these new challenges, including ensuring the availability this fall of at least one hybrid class to all of our F-1 visa students, so long as federal, state, and local regulations permit in-person classes to proceed.
- Students with questions and concerns regarding SEVP have received an invitation to join Dean Trevor Morrison and several panelists from the Law School and the University for a Virtual Town Hall on the New Federal Guidelines for Visa Students on Friday, July 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Registration will close at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21.
- Uncertainty remains regarding travel restrictions and whether embassies or consulates will conduct interviews and process visas in time for students to join us for the start of the fall semester. Students who plan to join us in the fall can start classes online if they are unable to arrive for the first day of classes.
We advise all full-time LLM students to make every effort to arrive in time for the beginning of classes, regardless of their start semester. To count the first semester toward establishing eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT), you must arrive on campus no more than 30 days late.
- NYU's Office of Global Services (OGS) will assist you with the paperwork you will need as you plan to enter the US and establish visa status for the remainder of your studies. OGS is continuing to process requests while it is physically closed.
- OGS has posted information about visas and eligibility for OPT and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The information is under the "Off Campus Employment" heading.
- An FAQ posted by OGS offers additional detail about OPT. Among other things, it outlines potential risks associated with being outside of the US while your application is pending, and explains that you must be physically present in the US at the time you submit your application.
- Career Resources
Public Interest Law Center (PILC)
Public interest career resources, including practice area handbooks, sample resumes and cover letters, and recordings of PILC events, are available on PILC's website.
- PILC is still operating and here for you. To schedule an appointment with a counselor, call 212-998-6686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Appointments with Gail Zweig (government and prosecution specialist) can be made through CSM.
- If you have an urgent matter and have been working with a counselor, feel free to reach out to that counselor directly.
- If you have an urgent matter and have not been working with a counselor, please email email@example.com.
Office of Career Services
- The Office of Career Services (OCS) is operating remotely and students can schedule virtual counseling appointments by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (212) 998-6090.
- All OCS handbooks and resources can be found on the Career Resources tab of CSM
- OCS is planning a full range of career educational and employer events for all JD and LLM students to take place virtually in the fall.
- The Early Interview Week program has moved to January 13-15, 2021; it will now be known as the Winter Interview Program (WIP). OCS will provide additional deadlines and information regarding WIP in the fall.
Judicial Clerkship Office
- The Law School’s Judicial Clerkship Office (JCO) is fully operational and assisting students with clerkship applications.
- The 2L Clerkship Hiring Plan remains in place and 2Ls can submit applications starting on June 15.
- In light of the current coronavirus situation and the difficulty of handling paper applications this year, most judges will be accepting applications on OSCAR or by email. The Ad Hoc Committee on Law Clerk Hiring has encouraged all federal judges to accept applications on OSCAR and to conduct interviews by audio or video conference, and not in person. Some judges are continuing to interview while others are postponing interviews. For judges who request paper applications by regular mail, JCO generally will be sending emails instead.
- NYU's Office of Global Services (OGS) has posted information about visas and eligibility for Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT). The information is under the "Off Campus Employment" heading.
- A FAQ posted by OGS offers additional detail about OPT. Among other things, it outlines potential risks associated with being outside of the US while your application is pending, and explains that you must be physically present in the US at the time you submit your application.
- Bar Exam and Eligibility
On June 6, the New York Court of Appeals issued a programmatic waiver of the restrictions on remote instruction (or "distance learning") for the Fall 2020 semester for students pursuing their JD and LLM degrees at ABA-accredited institutions. The court's order further waives, for Summer 2021, the limit on credit hours normally applicable to students pursuing an LLM degree at such institutions. The provisions of this order preserve New York bar eligibility for our students who participate remotely in classes this Fall or who complete their LLM program in the Spring-Summer 2021 semesters.
- NYU Law COVID-19 Hardship Fund
- The Law School recognizes that many of our students are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and that these challenges often have a financial component. To provide some relief to students under unanticipated financial strain related to coronavirus (COVID-19), we have established an NYU Law COVID-19 Hardship Fund.
- To apply for a grant from the Hardship Fund, please use the University portal. As an NYU Law student, you may request up to $1000 to help with an unanticipated expense related to the coronavirus crisis.
- To support our community during this time, please visit the Law School's giving page and select "NYU Law COVID-19 Response Fund." You may also reach out to our Assistant Dean for Development & Alumni Relations, Nick Vagelatos, at email@example.com. NYU Law student organizations that wish to contribute to the fund should contact Dean of Students Lindsay Kendrick at firstname.lastname@example.org. A heartfelt thank you in advance for your generosity.
Newly Admitted and Prospective Students
- Registration & orientation for incoming JD students will be held the week of August 17. Additional information will be distributed this summer.
- JD Admissions representatives are available via email. You may also call +1-212-998-6060, 10 am-3 pm, Monday-Friday, to speak with a representative.
- Graduate Admissions representatives are working remotely, and are available via email for candidates interested in our LLM, JSD, or Advanced Certificate programs. Alternatively, you may also call +1-212-998-6060 during normal business hours to speak to a representative.
- Graduate Admissions has posted COVID-19 updates for admitted LLM and JSD students on the Admitted Students Website.
- Messages to admitted JD students from Assistant Dean for Admissions Cassandra T. Williams:
- Bar Exam and Bar Eligibility
- On March 18, the New York State Court of Appeals granted our application for a waiver of strict compliance with the state bar’s limitations on distance learning for all students enrolled at NYU Law in the Spring 2020 semester. The Court’s order acknowledges the necessity of NYU Law’s transition to remotely taught, synchronous classes in the Spring 2020 semester, and permits all NYU Law students engaged in these classes, in both the JD and LLM programs, to sit for the New York bar examination if they are otherwise bar-eligible.
- The Office of Academic Services has performed a review of the 50 states and their bar requirements. Most jurisdictions appear to have no online requirement that would require NYU Law to apply for a waiver. All students are required to know the rules of their jurisdiction and are encouraged to review their state’s bar exam rules. Those needing assistance in finding the proper resources should contact the Office of Academic Services.
- The American Bar Association has assured the deans of ABA-approved law schools that the Association is in full support of the decision made by schools across the country to teach and learn remotely for much of the Spring 2020 semester.
- On April 6, the New York State Board of Law Examiners (BOLE) announced that the July 2020 Bar Examination will be rescheduled to Wednesday-Thursday, September 9-10, 2020. The BOLE is periodically updating their website regarding the September bar exam.
- Graduates taking the bar in another jurisdiction should monitor that bar examiner's website. Each state is making its own decision as to whether they will hold the bar exam in July as planned or it will be postponed to a later date. The National Conference of Bar Examiners has a listing of contact and website information for all US jurisdictions in their online Bar Admissions Guide and also a page tracking each state’s decision.
- On March 25, NYU President Andrew Hamilton announced with regret that we would have to reimagine our graduation exercises for 2020, and it would not be possible or responsible to hold our traditional ceremony in May. We are hoping to arrange an in-person ceremony for our 2020 graduates at some point in the future, but we did find a way to celebrate them virtually on May 21. The celebration is available for viewing on our website. Please reach out to email@example.com if you have questions or thoughts about upcoming plans.
- The Law School has arranged for 2020 graduates to have extended access to legal research, media, and career resources at no charge.
- We expect that we will continue to provide continuing legal education (CLE) for our alumni community at appropriate events offered online. Because the CLE Board’s online attendance requirements are stricter than those for in-person attendance, we are currently working with our IT team to make remote participation for CLE credit as simple as possible.
- For alumni interested in helping our students:
- You may contribute to the NYU Law COVID-19 Hardship Fund, established to provide some relief to students facing unanticipated financial strain related to coronavirus.
- The Law Alumni Association and Law Alumni of Color Association are organizing volunteers. We are happy to facilitate any connections, and anyone looking to help should feel free to reach out to Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations Nick Vagelatos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For alumni who may be considering professional changes, the Office of Career Services and Public Interest Law Center remain available while physically closed. Our law alumni associations may also be able to assist. Those interested in assistance should feel free to reach out to Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations Nick Vagelatos at email@example.com.
- Information about loan repayment relief provisions in the CARES Act.
- The Law School has arranged for 2020 graduates to have extended access to legal research, media, and career resources at no charge.
- NYU Law COVID-19 Hardship Fund. The Law School recognizes that many of our students are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and that these challenges often have a financial component. To provide some relief to students under unanticipated financial strain related to coronavirus (COVID-19), we have established an NYU Law COVID-19 Hardship Fund. To support our community during this time, please visit the Law School's giving page and select "NYU Law COVID-19 Response Fund." You may also reach out to our Assistant Dean for Development & Alumni Relations, Nick Vagelatos, at firstname.lastname@example.org. A heartfelt thank you in advance for your generosity.
- NYU Law's Teleworking Guide
- NYU's Tech Guide to Teleworking
- Benefits: The University has created a webpage dedicated to coronavirus-related benefits updates.
- Mail Services: Mail Services is offering reduced services and has temporarily suspended mail delivery to Wilf Hall, 22 WSN, Vanderbilt Hall and Furman Hall. As a result, mail for these buildings is currently available in the second-floor conference room of D’Agostino Hall (Room 252—turn right when you exit the stairs or elevator; the room is behind the pantry). Pick-up times are 11:00am-1:30pm and 2:30pm-4:00pm.