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Emory Law Forward

As of 07/18/2020:

Emory University has announced updated plans for the fall term that include changes designed to reduce density in campus facilities for the health and safety of the entire Emory community. The university’s carefully considered decision is based on consultation with public health and other experts and a detailed, deliberative process. 

For Emory Law, along with other units, this means that the majority of classes will be held online, with some exceptions.

Here is the broad outline of our plan for the fall semester, subject to final approval from the university and changes based on public health considerations in the coming months:

Emory Law first-year JDs and new AJDs, as well as JM and LLM students who choose to take 1L courses, may take those classes in person, as offered. 1L sections will be divided into groups of approximately 35 students to participate in on-campus classes two to three times a week; on days that students are not scheduled to attend in-person, they will join the class online.

Upper-level and all other classes will be held online.

For international students, though DHS agreed to rescind the F-1 guidance issued July 6, we do expect new guidance to be issued. The university is committed to addressing the unique immigration needs of international students as well as creating a safe and healthy environment for our campus community.

Health Concerns and Practices

The Emory Forward website includes comprehensive information about Emory’s return to campus, including important health and safety plans. You can view information specific to Emory Law here.

We count on our entire community to uphold the norms and practices of hygiene, distancing, health testing and reporting of conditions, and mutual care necessary to build the safe educational community that we need.


Testing information is being sent to Emory Law students who have chosen to attend in-person/online hybrid classes in Fall 2020. Full details for student testing are here.

Course Schedule and Enrollment

The upper-level course schedule will be posted on the law registrar page and in OPUS by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 21. The schedule has been slightly modified from the one that was originally released, to allow for a compressed semester and to build in a cushion of extra classes in case a faculty member becomes ill during the semester. The schedule has not been changed in order to retain any enrollment made previously.  This means that if you successfully enrolled into a class during the previous enrollment period, you are still enrolled in that class.

Open enrollment will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 24, and run through 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, August 9. As you review the new schedule, please pay particular attention to whether the start and end times of your classes have shifted. You can expect to receive an email from Dean Julie Seaman on Tuesday, July 21, with a link to the new schedule and further registration details.

Academic Calendar and Teaching Schedule

  • First day of fall term: Monday, August 17
  • No Labor Day break: Classes will be held Monday, September 7
  • Last day of classes for fall term: all classes will end by Friday, November 13
  • 1L exam period: Monday, November 16 – Tuesday, November 24
  • Upper-level exam period: Wednesday, December 2 – Friday, December 11 (These dates apply to scheduled timed exams; some assessments may take place prior to these dates.)
  • Trial Techniques for 3L students: Saturday, December 12 – Friday, December 18 

Assessments, Exams, and Grading

Some exams may be given prior to Thanksgiving; others will be given online following the Thanksgiving holiday. We will provide information about exams and other types of assessment as soon as it becomes available. The law school and university will be implementing measures to safeguard the integrity of the examination process, whether exams take place in person or online. As indicated in earlier university announcements, our regular grading system will be employed for fall semester courses.


We have confirmed that most externship sites will permit remote work. You will be contacted if your externship site requires in-person participation, and we will work with you to identify alternative options, if needed. If you do not plan to be in Atlanta, and would like to arrange an externship in another city or would like to inquire about postponing your externship, please contact the Office of Externships at to discuss parameters for credit approval. All externship classes will be held online.

Student Life

Given the pandemic-related constraints on in-person gatherings, we are creating and supporting innovative ways for students to engage with others and to build community inside and outside the classroom. We are implementing a comprehensive and responsive approach to ensuring that students will have access to academic support, speakers and social events, career services support and programming, participation in student organizations, our Houses program of learning communities, the Dean’s Teaching Fellows (peer-to-peer academic counselors), bar readiness, and co-curricular and other extracurricular activities.

Prior to the start of the semester, you will receive information about office hours and how best to connect with student-facing staff. We will continue to distribute On the Docket on Mondays to communicate the week’s activities and provide important reminders. In addition, academic-related information will be posted on Canvas.

Library Resources

The Hugh F. MacMillian Law Library will provide a full slate of student services including digital access to reference librarian assistance, research consultations, and access to almost all collections through online research tools and legal databases.  Print resources will also be available consistent with best practices for handling physical library materials.  In addition, the library will be offering limited in-person study space consistent with reduced density, social distancing, and hygienic guidelines. Study space will be available through a 2-hour reservation system up to a maximum of 75 students at a time. 

Student Technology Assistance

The IT Student Help Desk will have both an onsite and online presence during the fall semester.  The onsite help desk will continue to be housed on the entry level floor of MacMillan Library. In addition, there will be online Zoom rooms available with help desk coordinators to troubleshoot typical computer and IT issues.


The Office of Parking and Transportation will provide updates on shuttle availability and parking deck registration, as needed.