Law School COVID-19 Updates and Remote Learning Resources

Loyola University Chicago is committed to ensuring the well-being and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. In response to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) abroad and in the United States, Loyola's School of Law has created this page for updates that are specific to the School of Law. Please also regularly check Loyola's central hub for the latest news and updates regarding the outbreak at LUC.edu/coronavirus


Catching Up With Kaufman / June 23, 2020

Dear Students,

We are all thinking about you and hoping that you are doing relatively well during these challenging days! 

Update on the Fall

As I shared in the previous “Catching Up With Kaufman,” we are working diligently to plan your fall academic experience in a way that safeguards the health and safety of all members of our community—that’s our first priority. All of us in Illinois must work within the framework of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan for reopening the state. According to this plan, Illinois regions must be in Phase 4 before universities can safely hold on-campus classes.The great news is that city officials have indicated that our region will soon be reaching Phase 4. Assuming that we maintain our Phase-4 status, the School of Law plans to offer as many on-campus classes as possible in the fall, along with a slate of online courses. 

To safeguard the health and safety of all members of our community, we will be following the evidence-based requirements set by our health professionals in all on-campus activities. Using the most recent public health guidance, the University is finalizing plans for testing, contact tracing, and health screenings. Loyola will also be requiring measures including (but not limited to) requiring all faculty, staff, and students to wear masks in classrooms and when social distancing is not possible (note: accommodations will be made for people with hearing disabilities), providing cleaning supplies in classrooms to wipe down work surfaces, limiting the number of people in elevators, single-direction stairways (when possible), and reminders to wash your hands thoroughly or sanitize when soap and water are not readily available. In addition, we have adjusted the time grid of your classes to reduce crowding in elevators and in buildings during class changes. The “passing period” between classes will be extended to 30 minutes to reduce the density of students.

As a result of necessary health and safety measures, we have had to make adjustments to the format and schedule for some of your classes. We have asked the University registrar to place a hold on law school access to LOCUS for Fall 2020 through Monday, June 29, at 5 p.m. After 5 p.m. on June 29, we encourage you to make any required modifications to your class schedule and to contact your academic advisor for additional assistance if needed.

In upcoming communications, I will update you further on the various additional measures that will be in place this fall to address the health and safety of all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Thank you very much again for your patience as we continue to work to ensure that you will have a healthy and rewarding fall semester.

Confronting Racial Justice

As we come back together this fall, we will be engaging in a vital conversation about how we can best work together to combat racism and systemic racial injustice. At the School of Law, we have reinforced our enduring commitment to work together with our students to take concrete steps to uproot persistent racism and to dismantle systemic racial injustice. Last week, the University announced three initiatives to address racism and racial injustice. 

The School of Law—our faculty, students, administrators, staff, alumni, and community partners—will all play an indispensable role in continuing to lead these efforts at the University. 

First, the newly established Anti-Racism Initiative will identify the steps that we must take to move Loyola toward becoming a fully inclusive, anti-racist institution, including by implementing anti-racist pedagogies in all classes. These action steps will build upon the great work being done by Assistant Dean Josie Gough in the law school’s Office for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity and by the great work being done by the many administrators, faculty, students, and alumni who have been directing the Professional Identity Formation class. 

The law school will also continue to be at the forefront of the University’s second initiative, which aims to increase faculty diversity and improve the climate among faculty of color at Loyola.

The third initiative is to develop a transformative University institute dedicated to uprooting racism, dismantling systemic racial subjugation, and promoting racial justice, healing, and reconciliation. This Institute will draw upon the transformative work being done by our law school faculty, students, staff, administrators, and alumni, including through the Civitas ChildLaw Center; the Curt and Linda Rodin Center for Social Justice; the Center for Public Interest Law; the Health Justice Project; the Business Law Clinic; the Amaker Retreat; the Education Law and Policy Institute; the Institute for Investor Protection; the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy; the Center for Criminal Justice, Research, Policy and Practice; our externship program; clinics and practica; and of course, the impactful faculty research and policy achievements in the areas of racial justice, environmental justice, and criminal justice. 

In order to build a truly anti-racist law school dedicated to dismantling systemic racial injustice, we need your help! Please reach out if you’d like to be more involved in racial justice efforts at the law school. Contact Assistant Dean Gough in our Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, or get involved with one of our many student organizations that fight for racial justice. We invite you to be with us through a variety of School of Law-sponsored online events. The University is also planning programs and initiatives that will allow us to come together as one community as we tackle racism at its core.

Honoring Retiring Professors

This summer, three of our faculty members will retire after decades of distinguished and dedicated service to the School of Law. Please join me in thanking them for their contributions to our community.

Professor Thomas Haney, the Judge Hubert Louis Will Professor of Law, joined the School of Law in 1975 with rich experience in a wide variety of firms and practice areas. For the past 45 years, he has taught Contracts to our first-year students as well as elective courses in Comparative Law, International Human Rights, and International Law and Practice. In 1982, he co-founded, with Professor Anne-Marie Rhodes, the School of Law’s Summer Abroad Program at Loyola’s John Felice Rome Campus. The Rome Program has become one of the nation’s most distinguished international programs and opened the door to many other international experiences for our law students. He served under Dean Nina Appel as the associate dean of the School of Law for 21 years, from 1984 to 2005. Generations of Loyola law students came to know him as “Dean Haney.” In 2010, he published a book about the history of the School of Law. First 100 Years: The Centennial History of Loyola University Chicago School of Law presents a detailed look at the generations of men and women who helped to build an institution that was inspired by our Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, intellectual openness, and service to others. 

Professor Jane Locke joined the School of Law in 1980. Before coming to Loyola, she was in private practice with a large Chicago firm in the areas of taxation and banking. For 40 years at the School of Law, Professor Locke taught in the areas of Torts, Advanced Torts, Conflict of Laws, Consumer Law, Family Law, International and Comparative Family Law, and Products Liability. For decades, she served as the faculty advisor to Loyola’s Consumer Law Review. Since 1985, she has served as professor/reporter for numerous programs of the Illinois Judicial Conference. 

Associate Dean Lawrence Singer joined the law school in 1992. Before coming to Loyola, Dean Singer was a partner in the health law department of McDermott, Will & Emery and national practice head of the firm’s Catholic health care practice. He is a nationally recognized expert on legal and strategic issues surrounding the organization of health care institutions. He taught classes in the area of corporate and regulatory health law, and he served Loyola as the associate dean of online learning. Since 2003, Singer has served as the director of the Beazley Institute for Health Law and Policy. Under his leadership, the Institute is currently ranked third in the country in the field of health law (U.S. News & World Report).

Thank you to our wonderful retiring professors: Tom Haney, Jane Locke, and Larry Singer!

Looking Forward

Over this unusual summer, please continue to stay up to date on law school news and events by reading Law School Announcements (emailed Monday through Friday and also available on the site) and looking out for my emails every other week. Thank you for your dedication and patience as we work together through these challenging and uncertain times.

With warm regards,

Michael J. Kaufman, Dean

Catching Up With Kaufman / June 10, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope and pray that you are doing relatively well during what continues to be an incredibly challenging time for all of us. 

During this time of uncertainty, I believe that it is more important than ever for us to stay connected with each other. I promise to keep you updated on all the ways in which your law school is supporting you during these difficult days and about our plans for your upcoming fall semester. This message marks the first biweekly email communication you’ll receive from me this summer. These emails will be one of the ways we will keep you informed about the latest events and developments in your law school community. 

Working Together Toward Racial Justice
In addition to confronting the novel coronavirus, we continue to grapple with a different, enduring, insidious, and destructive virus: racial injustice. As Assistant Dean Josie Gough and I shared with you after the murder of George Floyd, we are saddened and outraged at the continuing acts of racial terrorism and racial subjugation that have forever gripped our country. At this great Jesuit, Catholic law school, we are called to heal—to heal our nation and to heal our souls. As St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches, our love for each other and for the equal dignity of every human being must be shown in deeds, more than in words. 

Working together, I know that we can use our knowledge, skills, and values to take concrete steps to uproot persistent racism and to dismantle systemic racial injustice. If you’d like to get more involved in racial justice efforts at the law school, please contact Assistant Dean Gough in our Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, or get involved with one of our many student organizations that fight for social justice. We invite you to be with us through a variety of School of Law-sponsored online events. The University is also planning programs and initiatives that will allow us to come together as one community as we tackle racism at its core.

You can also get involved by applying to be a teaching assistant for academic credit in our Professional Identity Formation Course. The required 1L PIF course helps us develop our competencies to address the impact of implicit bias, racism, and injustice in our legal system and practice.

Looking Forward to the Fall
We are working diligently to plan your academic experience in a way that safeguards the health and safety of all members of our community. State and local health guidelines permitting, the School of Law plans to offer as many on-campus classes as possible in the fall, along with a slate of online courses. We are developing a robust schedule of courses and events that will continue to engage you. You will have both on-campus and online classes from which to choose, and we will support you with training on how to use the online technology tools. 

If health guidelines prevent the school from offering on-campus classes and if all classes must be delivered online, please be assured that you will continue to receive a rigorous, high-quality education. As a leader in online legal education, the School of Law is leveraging our talents, technology, and team members to prepare faculty to deliver classes in multiple modalities, including online, blended, hybrid, and dual learning. In addition, your faculty are engaging in a series of comprehensive training programs to continue to enhance their skills in delivering immersive and compelling classes. You will have substantial opportunities to interact with faculty no matter what. We will return to our standard grading policy with letter grades. 

In another development to better serve you, we plan to adjust the fall academic calendar so that no classes will take place on campus after Sunday, November 22. All final exams and assessments will be administered by remote means. Students will be able to leave campus by November 22 and won’t need to return for the spring semester until mid-January. 

In preparation for the fall semester, all courses in LOCUS will be updated by the Office of the University Registration and Records in order to account for the new time schedule, course room locations, and course delivery format (campus or online). Please do not make any changes in LOCUS until you receive further instruction from law school administration. We have made every attempt to minimize conflicts by keeping classes on the same day of the week and time period as initially scheduled. When the updating process in LOCUS is completed, please pay careful attention to whether your course will now be offered on campus or online. 

I know that many of you are eager to finalize your financial plans and housing arrangements for an on-campus experience. I wish I could provide more certainty, but there is still more we need to learn before we can make a definitive determination about the fall semester. I’m grateful for your understanding and flexibility. 

What Will Never Change
Regardless of the ultimate path forward this fall, the School of Law will be prepared for another successful academic year as a warm, supportive, adaptable, and engaged community grounded in our Jesuit mission and values. What also remains unchanged is the priority placed on ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. 

Please continue to stay up to date on law school news and events by reading Law School Announcements (emailed Monday through Friday and also available on the site) and looking out for my emails every other week. Thank you for your dedication and patience as we work together through these challenging and uncertain times.

With warm regards,
Michael J. Kaufman, Dean

Previous COVID-19 Updates

March 12th, 2020 Law School Update

March 12, 2020

Dear Students, The health, well-being, and safety of our Loyola community and the broader communities in which we live are our highest priorities. Although currently there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Loyola, we are hereby taking steps to reduce the spread of this virus. We do so while ensuring academic continuity for our students.

We want to provide information more specific to the law school. Please note:

  • Classes today and tonight (Thursday, March 12) will run through 9 p.m. as regularly scheduled.
  • For full-time, campus-based students, there will be no classes as of Friday, March 13, and continuing through March 22.
  • The Weekend JD courses in our part-time division and any mini-seminars scheduled for March 14 and March 15 will continue as scheduled but will be delivered completely online. Further details to follow from Director Kirk Walter and Associate Dean Harris.
  • The online MJ and LLM classes will continue to be offered as scheduled without interruption.
  • The following online JD classes will be on hiatus until Monday, March 23:
    • Title IX Compliance in Higher Education
    • Information Technology and Human Rights Practicum
    • Operationalizing Treaties
    • Public Interest Law Seminar
    • Education Law Practicum (Law 166, Section 003)
  • We will move all classes to online/virtual instruction on the Zoom platform as soon as possible but no later than Monday, March 23, and for the remainder of the semester. You will receive further communication from your instructors. There are Zoom tutorials online that you can access in preparation.
  • Information regarding steps you can take now to prepare for online class participation is coming soon.
  • Final exams will be administered online according to the regularly scheduled exam period. Details about exam format will be provided by your instructor after March 23.
  • Registration for fall 2020 classes will proceed next week via LOCUS as previously scheduled.
  • Remember that the University and the School of Law are not closing; we are moving instruction online to ensure that there is no disruption in your academic progress. You are free to meet with your instructors on a one-on-one basis as needed; however, you may want to consider meeting over the phone or via teleconferencing instead of in person. The Corboy Law Center, including the library, will remain open.
  • Students working in clinics: Students are expected to participate in class online and participate in supervision meetings online. Also, students are expected to meet their professional responsibilities and continue to represent their clients, including appearing in court, unless there is a specific reason they should not, such as illness, individual circumstances that increase concern about contagion, or court closings. As for client meetings, for now the law school remains open and students can still access files and meet with clients in the building – that will be up to individual clinical faculty because it may be dependent on the type of clinic. Students should let a faculty member know if they are not going to be able to carry out their responsibilities. Clinic faculty will be in contact with their students to provide specific guidance regarding the operation of their clinic. 
  • International students: The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISS) offers this link as an additional resource about COVID-19. Also, Residence Life has published a list of exceptions to allow some students to remain on campus with official approval from Residence Life. International students are considered an exception. Please read the full statement here and fill out an exception form by 12 p.m. (noon) Sunday, March 15, if you are interested in staying on campus for the remainder of this semester.
  • Student workers: If you are a University student worker, check in with your supervisor before coming back to campus.

At this time, under University directive, all events are canceled until further notice. This includes student organization meetings, outside events, panel events, or other planned events. Please contact Dean Giselle Santibanez-Bania if you have any questions.

If you have questions as this situation constantly evolves, please refer to the University’s central information hub at LUC.edu/coronavirus. FAQs are being updated frequently. However, if you have questions that are not addressed by your instructors and advisors or on the LUC.edu/coronavirus site, please forward your questions to LoyolaChicagoLaw@luc.edu. Please put “FAQ” in the subject line. The staff monitoring that email account will work to provide consistent and timely responses.

We know that transitioning to online/virtual instruction is a significant adjustment for all of us, and we thank you all so much for your understanding and patience as the University works on alternative methods of delivering instruction for our students. We will endeavor to provide you with the support that you need.

We also understand that these are stressful times in our world. The Loyola Wellness Center has a number of resources available for students, including a list of tips for managing anxiety caused by the spread of COVID-19. We also want to encourage you to be sure to take care of yourself.

We are proud of the work ethic, dedication, and resiliency of the Loyola community. We firmly believe that together we will get through this and come out stronger.

With best wishes for your well-being and with profound gratitude for your patience and perseverance, 

Michael J. Kaufman, Dean

James Faught, Associate Dean, Administration

Zelda Harris, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Giselle Santibanez-Bania, Assistant Dean, Student Services

March 10th, 2020 Law School Update

The health, safety, and well-being of every member of our law school community is and always will be our first priority.  As we return from spring break, we wanted to remind our community to stay current on the developments regarding COVID-19, also referred to as coronavirus, and to take preventative actions as you would routinely do in preparation for the annual flu and cold season. Loyola University Chicago is committed to sharing the most up-to-date information with our community – you can find updates on the University’s website: https://www.luc.edu/coronavirus/. To date, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the virus within our University community here in the U.S. or our study abroad programs. 

Please note the following:

  1. At this time, Loyola University Chicago is not cancelling classes; if that changes, we will alert you via email and Law School Announcements as soon as possible.
  2. The Law School has modified its attendance policies for classes in light of our concern for your safety. If you are sick, please stay home. Your absence due to illness will not be held against you in the grading process. Faculty and staff are encouraged to work remotely as needed.
  3. We are working with faculty to potentially teach courses remotely. We will share information with you about remote courses if they become necessary.
  4. All sick students and employees (with symptoms of respiratory illness such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should consult their health care provider and stay home from school or work until their symptoms resolve. Students with chronic conditions (like asthma) should work with their health care providers to ensure any necessary rescue and controller medicines are on hand and take special care to keep the illnesses well-managed and under control. If you need help identifying a source of primary medical care, please contact the Wellness Center: https://www.luc.edu/wellness/
  5. Please ensure that your most up-to-date contact information is available in LOCUS.
  6. In accordance with University directives, any law school student, faculty member, or staff member who has traveled from or through a country designated as threat level 3 by the CDC (currently China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea) must stay home and may not return to campus or campus events for a period of 14 days after returning from the affected country.   

Finally, COVID-19 does not distinguish between race, nationality, or geographic borders.  Stigma and discrimination against the afflicted discourages early reporting of symptoms and further perpetuates community spread. If you believe someone has been the victim of discrimination, please contact the Office for Equity and Compliance to submit a report: https://www.luc.edu/equity/

For more information from local and national government agencies, please visit www.chicago.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CDPH Coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 or email coronavirus@chicago.gov.

Thank you for your attention to this challenging situation and for your patience as we work through developments as they happen. Please continue to check https://www.luc.edu/coronavirus/ for the latest updates about Loyola University Chicago. We want to do all we can to protect the health of those in our community—that’s our first priority.