Photograph: Students in a classroom.

August 2, 2021 Update From Dean Francis

Dear Students:

As you know, the ABA has granted our request for an extension this fall on the Covid variance to the 30-credit cap on distance learning for those who have a health concern regarding Covid. This variance cannot be used as a matter of convenience, and this means that the variance can only be applied to hybrid courses on the schedule. Hybrid courses are those that are taught in-person but are broadcast to remote participants via Zoom. The majority of the law school curriculum is being taught in the hybrid format. A few courses are being taught exclusively on Zoom or in an asynchronous online format so that all students in those courses will participate in the course online remotely. Those courses have been designed for the convenience of certain groups of students (such as those taking Third Year Anywhere) and the credits earned in those courses count as distance education because the ABA does not allow the variance to apply to courses designed for the convenience of students who are out of residence (remote), even if a particular student attending the course has a Covid concern.

The ABA variance allows remote attendance in a HYBRID course because of Covid concerns or temporary illness to count as regular attendance. Consequently, credits earned through remote attendance in a hybrid course due to Covid concerns do NOT count as distance education credits. Whether a course is distance education affects all students in the course. The ABA variance does not contemplate making individual assessments for each student regarding whether a course counts as distance education. In other words, if a course is distance education for one person in the class, it is distance education for all.

Please be aware of a change in policy. Professors WILL NOT RECORD fall class sessions automatically. Consequently, if you will not be attending remotely in real time, you will need to contact your professor via email at least 30 minutes in ADVANCE of the class if you wish to ask that this particular class session be recorded. If a class session is recorded, it is extremely important that you understand that students are prohibited from creating a copy of any portion of the recording of a class session. A student who creates a copy of any portion of a class recording, including an audio-only copy, will violate this policy and be subject to discipline under the Student Honor Code. See Course Recording Due to COVID-19 Pandemic.


John J. Francis
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs