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Frequently Asked Questions

We know you have questions, and we're doing our best to answer them.  Use the form on the right side column to submit your questions, and then check back soon to see the answer.

Health and safety

Stay home. Please do not come to the School of Law if you are not feeling well. Instead, contact your healthcare provider and the university’s Coronavirus Hotline at 803-576-8511 for advice about testing, quarantine, and treatment recommendations. 

Employees should notify their supervisors and students should take their classes online if they are feeling well enough. 

Stay home. Please do not come to the School of Law if you have been in the presence of someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Instead, contact the university’s Coronavirus Hotline at 803-576-8511 for information about testing and whether you should self-isolate as a precaution.

Employees should notify their supervisors and students should take their classes online until it is safe to return to the building. 

A COVID-19 test is required for anyone living in on-campus housing. For all others, it is highly encouraged.

Learn more about on-campus testing available to faculty, staff, and students

The university has put into place every recommended measure to plan for a safe return. We are working within the university plan and have been very conservative in our planning. It is not a return to the pre-COVID environment, but one in which many practices have been modified for safety. 

The university’s Coronavirus Hotline, in partnership with Student Health Services, is ready to advise community members if they are exposed to COVID-19 and conduct contact tracing, if necessary. They can be reached at 803-576-8511. 

Face coverings are required in the School of Law building. Clear face shields may be used by persons with disabilities that make it difficult to use face coverings, and by instructors where a view of a person’s face is critical to quality instruction.

Learn more about the use of face coverings on campus.

 

Building use and access

The School of Law will be open to students with their Carolina Cards according to the following schedule.

Each classroom contains markings, indicated by a green strip at the front of the desk, for where it is safe to sit. All seats that should not be used have been marked as such. In addition, one-way traffic patterns have been created in classrooms with two doors. All classroom doors now have a doorstop assigned that should be used to expedite entrances and exits while reducing common touchpoints. 

Classrooms will be cleaned by the UofSC custodial department each day, using materials that meet or exceed all guidelines. Disinfectant spray will be provided in all classrooms for students to clean their own work area before/after classes. More information about the university’s cleaning protocol can be found beginning on page 48 of the Risk Mitigation Plan [PDF].

2Ls and 3Ls will keep the same locker they had last year unless they requested a change with the Student Affairs staff. The locker area in the School of Law is a small area, so please leave yourself extra time if going to your locker to allow the person next to you to finish prior to entering the space. 

Food is not allowed in the classrooms. Drinks are allowed as long as face coverings are worn when you are not consuming. 

Updated capacity signs have been posted in every journal office and study room, and chairs have been removed to match the new capacity. 

The building schedule was set after careful consideration of the School of Law's custodial capacity. 

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to hold meetings virtually whenever possible. Specific options are at the discretion of each meeting’s participants as long as physical distancing requirements are met. 

 

 Classes

Any student may elect to take their fall courses online, even if the course is offered in-person.  If the course is offered in-person, those attending remotely will not have the benefit of the in-person experience.  Nonetheless, remote attendees will receive the same high-quality education as in-person attendees, and most, if not all, of these classes will be live, synchronous classes.  Consequently, students will be expected to attend these classes at the regularly scheduled class times and participate in class discussion.  

Students who feel well enough to participate in classes remotely should do so. Students who are unable to attend class (either in-person or virtually) should handle the absences like any other illness or extended absence. The faculty and administration are ready to work with students who need to miss class due to illness and are prepared to be generous with attendance waivers this semester. 
We do not expect that tuition will be reduced. 
The Fall semester will begin on August 20. The class start times are available on our website and have not changed. Faculty have now made their decisions about whether their classes will be held in-person or online and information is forthcoming. 
We have not yet made a decision about exams, other than that they will be offered remotely. We will provide updates to the extent that the law school sets any collective policies. Otherwise, as usual, your professors will have discretion regarding the content and format of their exams. 

If the course is an upper-level course and there is an open seat available, you may register for the course. If the course is a 1L course, you will not be able to switch sections. Our faculty are committed to providing you an excellent education regardless of whether your classes are offered in-person or conducted online. 

No additional seats will be made available for courses offered online that are already at capacity. A student seeking to be enrolled in a closed course must submit a hardship petition to the Law Registrar’s office. 

Yes. Professors will hold office hours as usual and will communicate specific instructions for participation to students at the beginning of the semester. 

Yes, our Academic Technology experts are training all faculty to use online education platforms and stand ready to assist faculty as needed. 

Individual professors will make these decisions for their reading groups. 

Cheating is a violation of the Honor Code and can lead to sanctions up to and including permanent expulsion from the law school. As with take-home exams in any other semester, we rely on the personal character and integrity of each student. 

West will not provide free access to e-books this fall. They are, however, offering e-books at a discount (~35%) at westacademic.com with the code SOCARLAW.

 

Technology

Students are required to have a computer when they begin law school, and financial aid has always been available to cover these costs.

Access to printers in the Student Commons will be available this semester, and all students received a survey over the summer to report other technology concerns related to virtual learning. The School of Law’s Academic Technology department has been working with students who reported specific concerns.

Learn more about technology options at the School of Law

Yes. The minimum specifications for computers has not changed.

The computer loan will also cover a desktop computer or any peripherals (printer, etc.). 

 

Student activities

Student Affairs has been working hard all summer to plan activities that will safely help 1L students meet more of their classmates.  

SCLR, SCJILB, and the Property Journal are having in-person orientations, although you can participate remotely if you choose. JLED’s orientation is virtual. 

Yes, student organizations may use university funding to pay for off-campus events. All events must be receive prior approval. To learn more, visit the School of Law's Event Policy page.


Miscellaneous

The School of Law did advocate for students on this issue but does not have control over university parking services. All of the parking infrastructure is still in place and costing the university money. Unless the university goes online again, we don’t expect students or employees to see any relief from parking fees. 

Please direct future questions to the School of Law’s feedback form. 

Clinic Orientation will take place on Tuesday, August 18. 

 Last updated August 28, 2020.


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