College campuses nationwide have emptied as communities battle the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Illinois’ law schools are no exception.
Here’s a rundown of what the state’s nine law schools are doing.
University of Chicago Law School
UChicago sent a notice to staff and students March 12 notifying them of plans to move all undergraduate and graduate classes to “remote learning” for the entire spring quarter of 2020. The spring quarter will begin as scheduled on March 30.
According to the letter, the campus will remain open for students unable to leave — but unless a student is given special permission, must vacate on-campus housing by March 22.
Additional information will be posted regularly to the University’s COVID-19 website, as it is made available.
DePaul University College of Law
DePaul implemented its social-distancing plan on campus on March 11 by canceling all in-person winter quarter finals for undergraduate students. That didn’t affect J.D. students, since the College of Law operates on a semester system instead quarters.
But law students also had classes moved online starting today and running through the end of the spring semester in April.
“We have our exams during the first two weeks of May and we are working on adapting them so they can be done online,” said Law School Dean Jennifer Rosato Perea. “This is an evolving situation, and decisions are being made in real time, but at this point we do not expect any of our students to be back on campus before the end of the year.”
DePaul is keeping campus buildings open for students who wish to use the library or meet privately with staff members.
Any new information regarding events or building updates will be available on DePaul’s coronavirus page.
University of Illinois College of Law
The Urbana-Champaign campus will remain open, but classes will go entirely online after spring break, which started this week.
Students leaving campus were encouraged to bring laptops and course materials with them and are encouraged to remain at home if possible.
Updates about the COVID-19 response at U. of I. are available on the school website.
Northern Illinois University College of Law
NIU extended its spring break through March 22. Over the extended break, faculty and administrators will be working to “develop alternative modes of course delivery, as appropriate” including transferring lessons online.
Modified classes will begin next week. The university hopes these classes will only be needed for two weeks and anticipates face-to-face classes will resume in April. But the date could be pushed back “if warranted by evolving conditions.”
More information will be shared at https://www.niu.edu/updates/index.shtml as updates are available.
Southern Illinois University College of Law
Spring break was been extended through March 22 at SIU Carbondale, and classes will resume online or in “alternative formats” beginning next week.
“I would love to see the students be able to return to campus, but that might be unlikely at this point,” said Interim Dean of the School of Law Cindy Buys. “It’s still possible that things could change though, so we’re monitoring the situation.”
The extended spring break is not anticipated to impact dates for finals exams or the end of the semester, Buys said.
The university plans to continue posting updates on its website as the situation evolves and more information becomes available.
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
Illinois Tech issued a statement on March 12 announcing the transfer of all classes to an online format following the completion of spring break. “Effective March 23, all academic classroom instruction will move online until further notice,” the school wrote on its website. “We strongly encourage students planning to depart for spring break to make plans not to return to campus until further notice and finish the semester from home, if at all possible.
The Chicago-Kent facility remains open.
The university published a COVID-19 page on its website.
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Northwestern as a whole moved classes online after spring break, which has been extended through April 5.
The Pritzker School of Law, which operates on a different schedule than the rest of the university, shifted to remote teaching last week and anticipates remaining online for the rest of the semester.
Spring break for law students is still scheduled for March 21-29, and classes will resume online on March 31.
According to spokeswoman Hilary Hurd Anyaso, “all events through May 4 will be canceled including lunch time events and panels, evening receptions, offsite events, student organization board and body meetings and anything law school supported or funded.”
More details of Northwestern’s coronavirus policy are available on the school website.
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Loyola suspended in-person courses on March 13 and asked students living on campus to leave by this Thursday. Faculty members are working to prepare online materials for their classes. As courses become ready, they will be launched online.
All classes will transition “no later than March 23,” per the university.
Updates on Loyola’s handling of the coronavirus will be posted to luc.edu/coronavirus/.
UIC John Marshall Law School
As of Monday, March 16, 2020, UIC John Marshall Law School is on Spring Break through March 29. On March 30, classes will resume, but online. The Law School will remain online through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
UIC will post general updates at today.uic.edu/coronavirus and updates specifically related to the law school at https://jmls.uic.edu/coronavirus/.