The Columbus School of Law is working in partnership with University officials to monitor and respond to COVID-19. Although the University’s coronavirus website will continue to be the primary source of information about the institution’s overall preparations for 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 them to Assistant Dean Crowley at crowleykm@law.edu.

 

  • Academic Affairs

    1. Does the D.C. order closing non-essential business affect Catholic University?
      No, the DC order closing non-essential businesses does not affect Catholic University. Classes will be taught online through the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters.  Decisions regarding the Fall 2020 semester have not yet been made and several options are being considered. 

    2. Will the Law School modify grading policies for the Spring 2020 semester?
      Yes.  For the spring 2020 semester, all students will complete required assessments in courses and initially receive a grade for the course pursuant to normal grading policy, including any required curve.  Upon receipt of all grades, students will have the choice to accept the grades for all of their courses as awarded or to convert all of their grades into Pass/Fail status.  This is an all-or-nothing option, not a course-by-course approach. The all-or-nothing option applies to the entirety of the course grade in year-long First-Year courses.  

      Any grades earned for one-credit courses in the first-half of the spring semester and which were completed prior to instruction moving online will remain as-is, regardless of a student's decision regarding the Pass/Fail option.

    3. How does the modified grading policy impact my cumulative GPA and class rank?
      Although all grades assigned prior to students making their choices to keep them or to convert them to Pass/Fail will be used in applying the normal curve to each course, no student who chooses to convert all of their grades for this semester into Pass/Fail will ever have those grades included in the computation of their GPA or their class rank.  

      First-Year students who elect the Pass/Fail option will not be ranked.  The reason for this is that such students will have received very few graded credits, especially given our year-long First-Year courses.   All other students will be ranked based on cumulative GPAs calculated with whatever normal grades remain officially on the record after students make their decisions about the spring 2020 semester.  

      First-Year students who do not choose the Pass/Fail option will be ranked as if all students in the class had accepted our normal grading system.  This will apply only to the ranking that occurs after this semester because of the limited credits on which First-Year rankings are based.  As is normal, the Day and Evening classes will be ranked separately.

      Although rankings are normally calculated after the completion of an entire academic year, we will be recalculating the rankings for those not graduating (including First-Years who opt into Pass/Fail this semester) at the end of the Fall 2020 semester.  Those rankings will be based on whatever normal grades are officially on the record at that point. 

    4. What is the status of the July 2020 bar exam?
      Many jurisdictions have made announcements about the July 2020 bar exam. Please follow this link for the most current information.  
      Individual jurisdictions will continue to make their own decisions about whether they are able to administer the July bar exam, based on factors including ongoing office closures, state and local restrictions on gatherings, and test venue availability.  As of May 5, 19 jurisdictions have announced that they intend to cancel or postpone the July bar exam; the other jurisdictions either plan to go ahead with the July exam or have not yet made a decision. Based on this information, NCBE has determined that there will most likely be a sufficient number of July examinees to administer the bar exam. Accordingly, we plan to make our exam materials (MBE, MEE, and MPT) available to those jurisdictions that choose to administer an exam in July.
      As announced on April 3, NCBE is also making additional sets of exam materials available for two fall administrations for those jurisdictions that have delayed their July exams or decided to offer an additional administration in the fall in the event they must limit seating for the July exam. 

      Please click here for additional information or contact Bryan McDermott at mcdermottb@law.edu with questions.
    5. How will I access my classes online?
      Faculty instructors have now shifted to online platforms and have been in touch with their students with information about how to access course materials. Individual faculty will be the primary contact for students as we move to online instruction.

      Although your instructors may not have used TWEN in the past, they may be moving to that platform now. Please consider searching for courses not previously on TWEN to see if they have been added.

    6. I’m new to online learning.  Do you have any tips for me?
      Please consider reading these helpful reminders and tips on distance learning and reviewing the resources linked in the resources section below. 
    7. Is the Law Library open for students?
      The Law Library has transitioned to "appointment only" status.  It will continue to offer Reference, Computer, and other services online.  Please contact the Reference Librarians (csl-ref@law.edu) with requests for physical materials in the library but not available online.  The library will continue to provide ILL services for materials not held in the library.  For materials held by the library, every effort will be made to scan or mail materials to you.  

      If you need personal access material in the physical collection, please contact the Library Director, Beth Edinger (edinger@law.edu), with your request. As a reminder, the Library has a web page kept up to date with information for students on how to access all services.

      The University's Mullen Library is also offering online services. See here:  https://guides.lib.cua.edu/covid-19.

    8. I don’t have my casebooks with me. Can I access them online?
      In response to the University moving to online classes, publishers are offering CUA law students access to electronic casebooks on a complimentary basis. Please click here for policies and contact information (be sure you are logged-in with your CUA email account.)

    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. If you rely on reserve materials in the library (textbooks, etc.), contact the reference librarians ASAP to review your options.

    10. Course registration is nearly underway, are advising resources available remotely?
      Dean Schept hosted online course advising sessions geared for first-year students on Thursday, March 19.  Recordings of sessions for both day and evening students may be found on the Academic Excellence Program TWEN page.  

      Both Deans Crowley and Schept are available for academic advising via email, phone, and Google Meet. Please email them directly to schedule a time to talk. Faculty also are available remotely to students for academic advising. 

    11. What do I do if I have an externship this semester?
      If you are working in an externship for credit this semester, you should have already received information from the Director for Experiential Learning, Bryan McDermott. Please direct questions to mcdermottb@law.edu.

    12. What should I do if I lack the technology, internet access, or appropriate workspace to complete the semester remotely?
      You should contact Assistant Dean Crowley at crowleykm@law.edu.

    13. What is the status of summer courses at the Law School?
      The Law School's regular summer session courses will be delivered in a fully remote manner.  No live classes will be required.  All final examinations in summer session courses will be remote and open book, following the approach to final exam administration that the Law School has adopted during the current spring semester. All summer session courses will generate letter grades, following our normal grading procedures.
       
      You may review the summer schedule here.
    14. What is the status of the 2020 Study Abroad Programs in Rome and Krakow this summer?
      Both the Rome and Krakow 2020 Study Abroad Programs have been cancelled. Click here for information.

    15. How may I return rented casebooks to the University bookstore?
      The bookstore has offered a grace period for book returns, and students will be able to print a free mailing label to send back their books should you not expect to return for some time. The bookstore will not seek charges against students until the end of the summer. The link for the label can be found here, however, there is only one free label per order. With the current circumstances, the bookstore is happy to accommodate students who may have challenges returning their books. If anyone has specific questions or needs assistance, you should contact the bookstore directly

    16. When will degrees be conferred for May 2020 graduates of the Law School?
      The University Enrollment Services office confirmed that graduating student degrees will still be conferred on May 22, 2020 (our original graduation date).  

    17. How will I receive my diploma?
      Diplomas will be mailed to students soon after the conferral date of May 22, 2020 (to the 'Home' address as listed in Cardinal Students).
  • Student Affairs

    1. Is the Law School open at this time?
      In light of advice from the scientific community that everyone should limit contacts with others, as of Monday, March 23rd, our Law School offices, including the Law Library, will transition to “appointment only” status.  This will allow the Law School to be thoughtful about how to limit in-person contact while continuing to provide support to students.

      Contact information for Law School offices can be found here.

    2. Are on-campus dining facilities open?
      Again, students should not come to campus unless it is essential. All on-campus dining facilities are closed.

    3. Are Law School events and programs cancelled?
      All extracurricular activities hosted by the Law School are cancelled until further notice.  We understand the impact this may have on many students, but our concern for your health and well-being is paramount.

      Student organization meetings should be moved to online platforms.  Please contact the Office of Student Life if you need assistance or have any questions.

    4. How does this impact commencement?
      The Law School is planning a virtual event to acknowledge the conferral of degrees on the originally scheduled commencement date of Friday May 22. Additional details will be shared with students and families.  The Law School also has two dates being held for a possible in-person commencement event in the Basilica: Friday, July 24 and Friday October 16. 

    5. 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. Can Students continue to apply for fellowships such as Squire and O’Brien?
      Yes, Students should apply for the 2020 Squire Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellowship – Deadline is March 31, 2020 and the O’Brien Summer Fellowship – Deadline is April 5, 2020.  Please send materials for the Squire Patton Boggs Public Policy Fellowship to jobs@law.edu. Additional details for applying are available on the homepage in Symplicity.

    9. 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. Learning Remotely - Information for students
    3. Are there any free internet services available if I don't have access? 
      Some internet providers pledged support for those who cannot afford internet access. Comcast, for example, announced it would expand its low-income broadband program, offering it free to eligible families for the next 60 days while raising its speed.  Please also check with your local internet provider.

    4. 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.

    5. 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 are mental health or substance use issues. To find the lawyers assistance program in whichever jurisdiction you are currently living, follow this link.

      If you remain in the District of Columbia, you should email the D.C. LAP at LAP@dcbar.org to get started. 

    6. Here are some additional resources to help students manage stress and anxiety:
      Online therapy apps or sites

      Mindfulness sessions

      ABA: Mental Health Resources

    7. What tips and resources are available to help me make the transition to online learning as effective as possible?
      Online learning tips

      Train Your Brain to be Productive at Home

    8. 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.

    9. I am graduating and concerned about access to health insurance. Are there options available to graduates?
      CUA's student health insurance coverage via Aetna continues until August 13.  While this plan is not eligible for continuation, there are other options available via the ACA exchange.  Please see here for additional information.
  • Alumni News

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