Return to Campus Plan
At a Glance
- In-person classes to resume August 24
Fully remote options available for students and faculty
Return to fully remote classes following Thanksgiving break, Nov. 30–Dec. 4
- Safety protocols include physical distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene, and cleaning procedures
- Strict limitations on visitors to campus and official travel
- Library currently open for graduates studying for the bar exam only
Report potential exposure to COVID-19 and travel to areas with outbreaks
See the Return to Campus webpage for full details
Over the past several months, Albany Law School has been working to prepare for the fall semester. Our goal is to bring our community back to campus safely, providing as many of the in-person learning, social, and professional development opportunities that define the Albany Law experience, while abiding by safe practices and government guidelines. At the same time, we are committed to providing equally rich opportunities for the members of our community who for health or other reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic are unable to attend in-person activities.
Toward these ends, a task force comprising 30 members of the faculty, administration, and staff, together with input from a student advisory board,
have developed a detailed, phased plan that will gradually and cautiously allow Albany Law to welcome those students and faculty ready to return to in-person classes the opportunity to do so, as scheduled, on August 24, 2020.
This plan is a living document. As we have seen, circumstances are evolving rapidly. The plan is subject to change in response to New York State guidance revisions, technological or pedagogical considerations, or a shift in the public health situation facing our state or region. Any changes will be communicated to our community quickly.
- A phased reopening of the law school campus and gradual return to extracurricular activities and events.
- Fully remote options for students and faculty who, for reasons related to COVID-19, elect to participate remotely.
- An August 24, 2020 start for fall on-campus classes, with all classes not previously approved as distance education courses to be taught synchronously, using technology to allow attendance by both in-person and remote students and faculty.
- A return to fully remote classes for the week following Thanksgiving, November 30 through December 4.
- Strict safety protocols, including physical distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene, and cleaning procedures.
- Widespread testing and contact tracing.
- Remote work plans for staff members where possible without compromising excellence in student services or operations.
- Strict limitations on visitors to campus and official travel.
- Contingency plans for decreasing, even shutting down, on-campus operations, and the flexibility to move to remote teaching, as necessary, to protect the health and safety of our community.
- A commitment by all students, faculty, and staff physically present on campus to share responsibility for protecting each other's health and safety.
Return to Campus Plan: Full Document
Return to Campus Plan: Anticipated Timeline
Submit a Question:
Do you have a question about Albany Law School's Return to Campus Plan?
Submit it here. We will consider all questions as we send additional communications about the fall 2020 semester.
Library Policies (Summer 2020)
The Schaffer Law Library will open for graduates studying for the upcoming bar exam, as well as necessary library staff, starting June 15, 2020. The library will operate Monday–Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., following all physical distancing, cleaning and maintenance, hygiene, and signage protocols required by New York State.
In order to maintain the health and safety of our community, and in accordance with the reopening guidelines of the State, Albany Law School will enforce the following policies:
- Limit access to library staff and Albany Law graduates studying for the summer 2020 bar exam.
- Limit access to the library and foyers. All other areas of the 1928 Building will remain closed.
- Require all users to sign a Shared Responsibility and Community Safety Agreement before being granted access to the library.
- Adopt a strict no compliance, no usage policy. Use of the library is a privilege which will be revoked immediately in the event of deliberate failure to comply with all health and safety requirements.
- Require physical distancing of at least 6 feet wherever possible.
- Require library users to clean all work spaces before and after use.
- Users will select an assigned workspace for the summer, on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Users will work or study in an assigned workspace for the entirety of the summer. Seating will be limited to one person per table or carrel.
- Require use of masks in all common or shared areas of the law school and library. Users will be allowed to remove masks for solitary work at assigned workspaces, so long as physical distancing is maintained.
- Discourage eating in the library. Library users are encouraged to use the tent next to the 1928 Building, outside the West Foyer, for eating.
- Maintain a daily log of all users of the law library. UHA security will ensure library users sign in and out.
- Implement a mandatory health screening assessment, starting with the on-site collection of individual responses to health questionnaires and on-site temperature checks at the entry to the Schaffer Law Library. Continue manual check in until the law school acquires tools for self-monitoring and reporting using digital tools.
- Provide masks, face shields, and gloves to the individual(s) assigned to conduct health screening and temperature checks.
- Deny access to anyone reporting symptoms of COVID-19, or registering a temperature equal to or greater than 100.4.
- Require self-isolation for 14 days or submission to HR of proof of a negative test prior to return to campus for any employee or user exhibiting symptoms.
- Require library users and staff to
notify HR of a positive COVID-19 test.
- The library is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Users and staff members should not come to the law school if they:
- Have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting to receive test results.
- Have tested positive for COVID-19, or are presumptively positive for COVID-19 based on a health care provider’s assessment or symptoms.
- Have been on a commercial flight or traveled outside of the United States in the past 14 days.
- Have been in close proximity to anyone who has been on a commercial flight or traveled outside of the United States in the past 14 days.
- Feel they are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing complications from COVID-19 by entering the facility.
A staff member will be assigned to serve and collect, review, and store health screening assessments; and monitor compliance with self-isolation/testing following symptoms.
Upon notice of a positive COVID-19 test, Albany Law School will notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers or visitors who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations. The law school will also notify the community and close library for at least 24 hours to allow for cleaning and contact tracing.
Library policies are subject to revision as circumstances evolve.
We are here for each other. Albany Law School encourages students who are experiencing heightened anxiety or worry about COVID-19
to schedule an appointment with wellness counselor Dr. Peter Cornish.
More resources are available at
Albany Law School's Wellness Blog.
For the latest information on "how to protect yourself" and "what to do if you are sick,"
visit the CDC's website.
For additional information and frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19,
visit the CDC’s website.
CARES Act: Emergency Financial Aid Disclosures
For information on CARES Act emergency relief grants,