On November 18, President John Garvey announced a plan for the Spring 2021 semester, anticipating an increase in the number of classes being held in person (or, for those unable to attend, in a hybrid fashion).

In response to that plan, the Law School will be able to offer a mix of both in-person and online courses for all law students, in both the day and evening programs.

Although the University’s coronavirus website will continue to be the primary source of information about the institution’s overall preparedness and response to the coronavirus, the following pages and resources are provided to give additional context for members of the Columbus School of Law community. These resources will be updated as new information becomes available.

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not covered in this section, please submit it to Assistant Dean Crowley at crowleykm@law.edu.

  • Academic Affairs

    1. When will Spring 2021 courses commence at the Law School?

      All courses at the Law School resumed the week of January 4.
        However, because of quarantine rules issued by the District of Columbia for people coming to D.C. from most states and travel and safety concerns regarding the Presidential Inauguration, all courses will remain online through January 21.  In-person courses will commence on Monday, January 25.  

      Students who must isolate may take classes online until their quarantine period is fulfilled. 

    2. Are there any adjustments to the academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester?

      No, the Law School will maintain both Easter and Spring breaks according to the published Spring 2021 academic calendar.

    3. Will students have the option to take an in-person course remotely, either permanently or on an as-needed basis?

      Yes, students will have the ability to choose to complete the entire semester remotely or to take classes online on an as-needed basis.  The form to indicate plans to take an in-person course remotely is now closed, but students can elect to move from in-person to remote status at any time.  Please email Assistant Dean Crowley (crowleykm@law.edu) to do so. 

    4. If a student needs to self-isolate, will it be possible to shift to online learning?

      Yes, students who need to quarantine or self-isolate can shift to online learning at any point in the semester.  In fact, we would strongly encourage students to stay caught up with class content if physically able to participate remotely while quarantined or self-isolated.  One of the main reasons we are planning to use blended learning modalities is to allow students to take care of their health when needed.  We have updated technology in our classrooms to make this an easier process. Students should contact Assistant Dean Crowley (crowleykm@law.edu) about their need to quarantine or self-isolate.

    5. How will I access my courses remotely? 

      Law School faculty will use either Zoom or TWEN/Panapto to deliver their courses online.  Faculty will notify students about how to access their classes or students may refer to course syllabi.

    6. Do I need to use my CUA student Zoom account to access courses on the platform?

      Yes. For security purposes, all students should use their CUA student Zoom account to access courses that utilize this platform.

      Enrollment in Catholic University's Zoom for Higher Education is automatic for current students who have Cardinal Credentials. Logon to Zoom is accomplished through Google using your Cardinal Credentials.  If you need support, please contact CUA Technology Services.

    7. Will the Law School building be available for student access?

      Our building will be available for limited use by members of all class years.  As a general matter, however, we will encourage students to attend their in-person courses and then depart from campus.  It is especially important for anyone who comes to campus prior to the University’s in-person start date of February 8 that you visit only the Law School and student/dining services, and not other areas on campus.

    8. Will the Law Library be available for student access?

      The Law Library's services are currently completely virtual/digital in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Law Library will reopen to the Law School community on January 25.  Please follow this link for hours and other important information on access to our Law Library. 

    9. How can I access the Law Library from afar?

      Many Library resources are available online. You can use the library's catalog, and the library's guides to help you find online resources. Even if the building is closed, librarians will be available to answer questions via email (csl-ref@law.edu). Please refer to the Library's web page for updates about hours and the support available.

      The law library is not updating the reserve textbook collection during the pandemic to reduce the number of close contacts and handling of materials.  You should plan to purchase your own copies of textbooks.  Contact the reference librarians ASAP to review your options.

    10. Will there be any space available in the law school to take a remote/online course?
      Yes, rooms 211 and 305 have been designated for students to take online courses as well as for quiet study. 
  • Health & Safety

    1. Are students required to wear face coverings?

      Consistent with the University-wide Social Distancing Policy and local and federal guidelines and requirements, all members of the University community (faculty, staff, and students) are required to wear face coverings in all campus buildings when other people are present and while on campus grounds when social distancing cannot be achieved.  Violation of this requirement may result in disciplinary action including removal from campus. Exceptions include when eating or drinking in designated areas.  

      Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

    2. Is the Law School implementing social distancing?

      Yes.  Consistent with the University-wide Social Distancing Policy and local and federal guidelines and requirements, all members of the University community should practice social distancing.  Limiting close face-to-face contact with others is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Social distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and others.  To practice social distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other others.  Social distancing should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing cloth face coverings, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer.

    3. Are students expected to complete a daily health checker?

      Yes.  One of the most important things that we will all need to do each day is paying attention to and monitoring our health, including conducting symptom checks and taking our temperature each day before classes.  The University developed a daily health checker to assist in this regard and will provide access to resources for follow-up in case you are ill.  Students should begin daily symptom checks on the University’s daily health checker 14 days before returning to Washington, D.C.  

      All students should bring their own thermometers upon return to D.C. to help conduct self-checks. Additionally, students should ensure that they have awareness of the symptoms of Covid-19.  A good point of reference is the CDC Coronavirus site.

      During the routine academic year, Student Health Services (SHS) is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and most Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.  For the health and safety of all patients and staff, students must call SHS at 202-319-5744 to speak with a staff member if you have a health-related concern.  SHS will determine if you need to be scheduled for an appointment and will make the necessary arrangements.  When arriving for a scheduled appointment, students will need to call the office when they arrive. 

    4. What other precautions should students take to help stay healthy?

      Proper handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community.  Always avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.  Follow these steps to ensure that you have effectively washed your hands:

      • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.   

      • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.  

      • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. 

      • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

      • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

      Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

    5. Will the University be testing students on campus?

      Yes.  The University has a testing center in operation on campus.  The focus of the University’s efforts will be in testing symptomatic students and those who have come into direct contact with positive cases of COVID-19.  Direct contacts are those individuals who have come into direct contact (at least 10 minutes of contact within 6 feet) of a positive or presumed positive case.  University staff will conduct an initial trace of possible direct contacts with the student in question.  We are required to report positive or presumed positive cases to the D.C. Department of Health (DCDOH) will take the lead in more systematic contact tracing. 

    6. How will contact tracing be performed if a student tests positive?

      The DC Department of Health performs interviews with individuals who test positive in the District of Columbia to identify close contacts of the COVID positive individual.  A close contact is an individual who has been within six feet of an infected individual for 15 minutes or more. Because the University implemented spaced seating in all classrooms, you would not be considered a close contact simply because you were in the same classroom with a classmate who tests positive. At this time, the Department of Health will handle all notifications for close contacts of an individual who tests positive.

    7. Are D.C. residents required to self-isolate after traveling from any place other than Maryland, Virginia, or a low-risk state? 

      Yes, as of November 9, 2020, D.C. residents must either limit daily activities and self-monitor for 14 days upon their return to the District, or, limit daily activities until they get tested for COVID-19 (within 3-5 days after their return) and receive a negative result.  See page 4 here.

      Visitors to the District, with the exception of those who are visiting from Maryland or Virginia, must be tested.
  • Student Life

    1. Are Law School events and programs cancelled?

      We generally will not have in-person events or meetings at the Law School this Spring, unless conditions change. Students who would like to offer events online should work with the Office of Student Life. 

    2. Are CUA resources available to students remotely? 

      Yes, you can still access support from the Student Health CenterDisability Support ServicesCampus Ministry, and the Counseling Center. Please check their websites for additional information.

  • Career Counseling

    1. Is the Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) available for counseling and interview prep sessions?
      Yes, OCPD is offering counseling and interview prep sessions remotely. For information about how to contact OCPD or other questions, click here.

    2. How will Students and Alumni contact OCPD?
      Students and Alumni can contact OCPD via phone at 202-319-5132 and email at jobs@law.edu. We are also available via Google Meet. Please feel free to continue to schedule meetings via the OCPD App.

    3. Will OCPD continue to review resumes and cover letters? 
      Yes, OCPD will continue to review resumes and cover letters. Please send any resumes and cover letters that you would like to have reviewed to jobs@law.edu.

    4. Are OCPD Handouts Available?
      Many handouts are available in Symplicity in your Document Library. You can also request an electronic copy of all OCPD handouts by sending an email to jobs@law.edu

    5. Should Students and Alumni continue to search for jobs on Symplicity? 
      Yes, job opportunities are updated in Symplicity on a daily basis. Please continue to search for job opportunities.

    6. Will OCPD continue to counsel students and perform interview prep?
      Yes, please continue to contact OCPD via email or phone. Interview prep can be performed via phone or Google Meet.

    7. What if Students have an actual interview scheduled in the coming weeks?
      Please reach out to your contact person at the potential employer and make alternative arrangements for previously scheduled interviews. If you have additional questions, please reach out to OCPD for guidance.

    8. Will OCPD continue to provide career programming and information?
      Yes, please be sure to watch for coming podcasts and video tutorials regarding Fall OCI, Being Successful During Your Summer Experience and Getting a Job in the Federal Government.
  • Student Resources

    1. Where can I get updated information about the University’s response to COVID-19?

      The university has a dedicated page at https://communications.catholic.edu/coronavirus/index.html. The University's page is the primary source of information about the institution’s overall preparations for and response to the coronavirus.

    2. Are CUA resources available to students remotely? 

      Yes, you can still access support from the Student Health CenterDisability Support ServicesCampus Ministry, and the Counseling Center. Please check their websites for additional information.

    3. I’m concerned about the financial strain this has caused. Are there any resources available to help?

      Catholic University has gathered several resources providing food for those in need.  Click here to see a list of nearby locations where you can receive food assistance.

      You may also want to contact the Law School’s Office of Financial Aid for financial aid counseling or AccessLex for financial webinars and counseling.

      The Columbus School of Law established a Student Financial Relief Fund (the SFRF, or the Fund) to support students who are experiencing financial hardship affecting their studies at the Law School. Click here to learn more and to apply.

    4. Are there mental health resources available to law students?

      Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs) throughout the country provide confidential services and support to law students who are facing mental health or substance use issues. To find the lawyers assistance program in whichever jurisdiction you are currently living, follow this link.

      If you reside in the District of Columbia, you should email the D.C. LAP at LAP@dcbar.org.
  • Alumni News

    To learn about the status of Law School alumni events, click here.