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COMMUNITY UPDATE
March 9, 2021

Planning for Fall

Dear Members of the Georgetown Law Community,

Many of you are starting to inquire about what the Fall semester will look like. Students have asked specific questions about whether they will be required to be on campus for their classes, or in the alternative, whether they will be permitted to participate in classes and activities remotely even if some or most of them are offered in person. (We will send a notice about similar issues relating to Summer classes soon.)

In an ideal scenario, the pandemic will have abated before Fall classes begin, and we will return to in-person learning for all. At this point, however, it’s too early to project whether starting in August all classes and events will be held on campus, or whether certain or many will be taught in a hybrid format. We are planning for the Fall semester with all of these possibilities in mind. 

As many of you know, I have appointed and work closely with the law school’s Pandemic Working Group - a small cohort of senior deans and faculty who oversee a broad range of programs, services, and constituents across the school. The PWG has been considering carefully both what Fall classes and events might look like, as well as when we will be able to announce decisions to the community. The group is acutely mindful, as am I, that important decision points will arise in coming months as students think about what classes to register for, what experiential learning opportunities to pursue, and whether to (re-)enter leases in DC or elsewhere. 

The PWG’s work is guided by our intent to offer as many classes, events, and services on campus as we can, consistent with evolving DC public health regulations, the University’s public health policies, and for the safety of everyone in the community. How much we can offer on campus this Fall will turn on a range of factors, and is contingent on review and approval from the DC Government. Relevant factors include:

  • the availability and effectiveness of vaccines;
  • the rates of vaccination in the law school community, in the DC area, and nationally;
  • the trajectory of the pandemic, including local and national infection rates and the spread and impact of variants of the virus;
  • CDC and DC public health requirements such as continued masking and social distancing requirements and maximum meeting sizes; and
  • the limits of our classroom and event spaces, should social distancing or other public health requirements remain in place.

I recognize that it is challenging especially to students not yet to have all the information they would like to make important personal decisions about the Fall. You all have my commitment that we will continue to make and communicate decisions as quickly as we reasonably can, that we will reach those decisions based on the best information available at the time, and that we will do all we can to safely return to something like normal as soon as possible.

I am grateful for your patience and thoughtful partnership as we all navigate these difficult decisions and unprecedented challenges.

Best,

William M. Treanor
Dean & Executive Vice President
Paul Regis Dean Leadership Chair