Dear Members of the Albany Law School Community:
I write with good news about the Fall 2021 semester. Albany Law School is planning to resume fully in-person teaching, learning, and student life this fall. Our optimism stems from our proven record of safety during the current academic year, as well as steady progress of vaccination efforts.
Our plans will depend on the public health situation and applicable regulations. Albany Law School will continue to monitor the health and safety situation in the region, state, and nation. As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we will follow CDC, state, and local guidance regarding safety measures. We will only be together in person if it is safe for us to do so.
Of course, this news leads to many questions. I will try to answer some now, but I am afraid that the lawyer’s favorite answer, “it depends,” will apply in most cases. You have my commitment to be transparent and communicate with each of you as quickly as possible so you can plan for the upcoming semester. In the meantime, please share your questions about Fall 2021 return to campus here. We will collect and respond to your questions in a Q&A and in various town hall meetings.
As to the questions I expect are on your mind now:
We are returning to in-person learning in the JD program for the fall and we expect most members of our community to be here. We recognize that some of you will need accommodations for health or other reasons. Today, we do not have the go-ahead from the NY Court of Appeals to allow for remote learning in our JD program. When we do get guidance, we will work with those of you who need to seek accommodations, including remote learning options.
- Will there be a remote option in Fall 2021, and if so, how will it work?
We anticipate that Albany Law faculty will teach in person except in courses originally designed as online courses. Of course, there may be times when a particular faculty member will need to teach remotely for good cause.
- Will professors teach in person in the fall?
At this time, the Law School follows CDC guidance requiring masks and physical distance in classrooms. Should the guidance change, the law school will revisit its policies.
- Will we have to wear masks in classrooms and maintain physical distance?
We will give you definite answers as soon as we can, and in plenty of time for you to make plans. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of your deans with concerns and questions.
Of course, we still have two more months to complete the current semester. As weather and guidance allow, I hope we are able to start having more in-person events and activities including Commencement.
- When will you have definite answers on these questions?
We are excited to be planning for a safe, robust, and meaningful in-person academic year. We hope you are too.
We are so grateful to you for your support of our school and one another as we navigate uncertainty. Your conscientious care in observing safety measures gives us the confidence we need to begin to fully and carefully reopen our campus.
I look forward to seeing you all on campus again.
All my best,
President and Dean