When do classes start and when does the term end?
Classes will begin on August 26, 2020. All in-person classes will end on November 24, 2020. The final week of all courses (November 30 to December 3) will be taught online, regardless of the format at the start of the semester. All exams will be online.
Will classes be online, in-person, or a hybrid of the two?
We are planning a mixed curriculum, with the option of an all-online semester for those students who choose to attend remotely. Please see below for specifics for first-year students and returning J.D., LL.M. and M.S.L. students.
Will there be extracurricular enrichment activities such as student organization sponsored events, guest lecturers, and other presentations normally done at the Law School?
All of our non-course programming--student group events, speaker series, public service projects, conferences, and much more--will continue, but they will be online. We are working with the Student Bar Association, student leaders, the faculty, and our centers and institutes to build a robust suite of extracurricular offerings.
Will there be a disparity in the academic experience between online and in-person classes?
There will be no disparity between the in-person and online experience because the courses, the standards, and the expectations will be the same in all formats. Faculty members are designing their courses for the formats assigned to their courses. In short, we will provide all students the educational experience that made you choose Fordham.
What if I have to miss classes?
Class attendance is mandatory, but if you have to miss a class or two, then you should contact your professors. If you need to miss a significant number of classes, you should contact the Office of Student Affairs. That office can address absences on a case-by-case basis and provide individualized accommodations. If your absence occurs before a midterm or a final exam, please do not contact your professor as exams are anonymously graded and doing so would compromise anonymity.
If I take online classes, do I have to attend the synchronous sessions or can I watch a recording later?
Regardless of format, students are expected to attend synchronous sessions on a regular basis. Accordingly, students should register for courses only if they are at a time at which regular attendance is possible.
Will students taking only online classes have access to the building to study and use printing services?
Students who elect online classes will still have access to the building, the library, classrooms designated as study spaces, and printers in the building. Please note, however, that access to the building will be subject to the entry protocols to which every person entering the building must adhere. Study space capacity will be limited to comply with social distancing protocols.
Although printers will be available in the building, students must have a basic home printer for online exams.
Is it possible to switch between online and in-person? What happens if someone opts for in-person classes and later changes his or her mind?
First-year students may not change formats. Upper-level students may not change enrollments beyond the add/drop period.
Incoming LL.M. students who arrive late due to visa or travel restrictions may switch from the online to the in-person section of Introduction to the U.S. Legal System and Process.
Will tuition be reduced?
We are not adjusting tuition. We will be offering the same high quality education, faculty interaction, robust extracurricular activities and, ultimately, the same degree that we always have. Also, please remember, our costs have not gone down--we have the same faculty, staff, and physical plant.
What will the grading system be like?
Our regular grading system will be in place for all courses across the academic program.
Will fall exams be in-person or remote?
All fall exams will be administered remotely, according to the posted exam schedule.
Will the library and other study spaces be open? If so, will there be a system we use to rent out space?
Yes. Both the library and specified classrooms will be available to all students for studying, although the capacity of these spaces will be sharply limited to comply with physical distancing requirements.
How will the study space reservation system work?
Please use the library's study space reservation system. The system will begin with the start of classes. All law students--regardless of whether you are taking classes online or in person--can reserve up to four hours a day of study space in the library and designated classrooms. If we find that the supply of study spaces exceeds demand, we will consider increasing the number of hours students may reserve.
Please note that anyone coming into the building for any purpose, including using study space, will need to comply with all health protocols, including the testing and screening protocols.
Do I need a reservation to access the printers in the library?
Will student groups have access to their offices?
We are developing a protocol for very limited access to the building for student groups that need the school resources. All student-group meetings and activities will be conducted online.
What technology do I need for the fall?
Please see the list here. Students are required to have access to a basic black and white printer at home. This is essential for taking exams, which will all be online.
Is there an alternative to lockers for commuters?
Unfortunately not. It is not possible to provide access to lockers and maintain physical distancing.
How and where should I obtain books required for my courses?
Each course listing on LawNET contains any required and recommended books under the “syllabus” tab. (Please note that not all courses have required books.) Students are strongly encouraged to buy books immediately, especially if they intend to have the books delivered rather than buying them at the Lincoln Center Bookstore. Books ordered through Fordham’s online bookstore will be shipped via UPS at no additional cost to the student.
Generally, students who purchase books directly from a publisher are able to have access to an electronic version of the casebook for the semester. For books published by West Academic, the publisher has extended its 15% discount codes to include print and electronic casebooks purchased through store.westacademic.com (use the discount code: FORDHAMLAW). For students who purchase or rent a book published by West Academic through any online or local resellers, West Academic will provide digital access to its titles with proof of purchase.
What course management platforms are faculty using and how do I access my classes?
To streamline course information, all instructors will use either TWEN or Blackboard as a course management platform, unless there is a compelling pedagogical reason for a different platform
Please see the “First assignment” information on LawNET to find out which platform will be used in your courses.
How do I contact faculty members?
All faculty members will hold a virtual office hour or the equivalent. Please see syllabi for more information and Zoom links. If you want to speak with a faculty member you are not taking a course from this semester, email the professor to find out their office hour.
What if I have a disability that affects my ability to take online classes and/or exams?
If you are a student with a disability or with a temporary impairment requiring in-class and/or exam accommodations, please contact Abel Montez, Director of Student Affairs, at email@example.com. Early disclosure is essential in order to allow sufficient time for the Law School to review, approve, and implement accommodations. For more information, please visit https://www.fordham.edu/info/21572/counseling_and_services
What happens if health conditions require in-person classes to move online?
Given the uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak, we may need to move in-person classes online if required by health officials or the University. This may happen with little notice, as it did when the University was locked down in March 2020. Please be prepared for the possibility of this happening again. In the event of a move from in-person to online, your course syllabi will have up to date information about how the class will operate online.