Rutgers Law School has announced that it will hold classes remotely for the Fall 2020 semester, though some clinical and skills classes will be held at the law school buildings in Newark and Camden.
The announcement came as New Jersey continued to take part in safeguards, including postponing indoor dining, to continue to battle Covid-19.
Though classes will take place remotely, students who do not have stable Wi-Fi or quiet places to study will be allowed in the law school buildings as long as they practice social distancing and other safety measures.
In addition, students taking remote classes will have the opportunity to register for classes at either the Newark or Camden law school location, regardless of that student’s home law school location. This provides law students with additional opportunities to learn from experts at either location and to have additional options in taking bar, skills, and writing courses.
While classes are being taught remotely, professors have discretion about teaching classes synchronously, where students meet virtually at a time listed on the schedule; or asynchronously, where the entire class does not meet at a set time. Courses may also be a combination of the two and a few classes may be held in-person, particular for incoming 1L students.
The law school has opened its fall registration and students with questions about the fall schedule are encourage to schedule virtual office hours with their respective deans of students and registrars.
Law Library: Effective the beginning of the fall semester, the Rutgers Law Library in Newark will be open to members of the law school community only, with sign-in procedures required by the university, including showing a Rutgers ID. Only a limited number of people will be allowed (depending on the maximum number allowed under public health guidance). Group study areas will be closed. Plexiglass screens will be installed at the Circulation Desk and the stacks will be closed and areas cordoned off to avoid foot traffic. Patrons will place holds on materials through QuickSearch and schedule appointments for pick up. Access Services will institute a paging service where staff will retrieve books from stacks and bring them down so that patrons can pick-up their materials from the counter; curbside pick-up also will be offered starting in early August. Reference and instruction services will continue to occur online. The Newark computer lab will be open, but with limited capacity due to social distancing restrictions. Student printing in Newark will be available at all times the library is open.
Clinical Work: Clinical work can be done in the building as is necessary. Faculty and students in the clinic will communicate with each other about what in-person instruction or meetings are necessary.
Skills Classes: Some skills classes in Newark can use the building for skills-based instruction as necessary. We have also expanded training available to our faculty supported by Rutgers’ offices such as Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) and the Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research.
Among the limited in-person classes this fall will be Trial Presentation on Wednesday evenings and Intensive Trial Advocacy, held over two weekends in October.
Co-Dean David Lopez said, “Classrooms in our buildings will be set aside for students to take classes offered as distance learning if they lack quiet spaces, reliable Wi-Fi service, or have other impediments to their ability to learn off campus. Study areas in our buildings will also be set aside for students who lack quiet spaces, reliable Wi-Fi service, or have other impediments to their ability to learn off campus.”
“The building will remain available for those taking classes with in-person components, for students who need access to quiet study space or a steady Wi-Fi signal, and for small gatherings of students, particularly 1L students that we hope will help build a sense of community for those who haven’t ever had a class that meets in the law school building,” said Co-Dean Kim Mutcherson, in an email to faculty, staff, and students.
Building Access: The law school building in Camden will have new signage related to the use of staircases, elevators, bathrooms, and all gathering spaces, including the library and the Bridge. There will be hand sanitizer stations installed throughout the building, and some changes to physical spaces in order to enforce social distancing mandates. Access to the building will require those entering to swipe their Rutgers ID at all times. Those entering the building will need to wear a mask in public areas and practice social distancing.
Academic support, health and wellness counseling, library materials, academic advising, financial aid support, and career development services will remain available virtually as has been the case since March.
Additional information about Camden-specific resources can be found at this page.