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Information for Students

The School of Law has worked diligently to provide a safe learning environment for all students this fall. Here are some of the important changes you will see. We will update this page as changes occur.

Academic Information

View the Fall 2020 Academic calendar

Two major changes to the academic calendar are 1) no fall break, and 2) face-to-face instruction concludes at Thanksgiving break.  

New building hours  have been established for the fall semester for students and visitors. 

A daily health screening MUST be submitted before entering the building. 

You will have access to the building with your Carolina Card. 

You will also have access to printers and copiers.

Hand sanitizing stations are located throughout the building, and custodians will be cleaning surfaces in pubic areas frequently throughout the day.

Most stairwells are either up- or down-only to help reduce traffic and encourage physical distancing. 

Elevators now have a capacity of two, with signage showing individuals where to stand. 

Seating throughout the building has been arranged to allow for at least six feet of separation to allow for physical distancing.

In our only 3-year old building, ventilation refreshes the air several times per day and meets all CDC and DHEC air quality guidelines.

Classes have been scheduled in a way that reduces the number of students in the building at any given time.  This means that some classes will be in-person and some online.  A few may be a hybrid, meaning they might meet in-person sometimes and online at others.

1Ls will have their in-person classes in the morning, and with very few exceptions, will not change classrooms. They will stay in the same seat all morning. 1L classes will end by 1 p.m., at which time the classrooms will be cleaned.

2L and 3L in-person classes will begin at 2 p.m. Because they will changes classrooms, upperclass students will need to wipe down their desk and chair when they come in and when they leave. Sanitizer will be available on the tables.

Classes will have different start times than last year, as we have allotted 20 minutes between them instead of 10.

Please contact Student Affairs if you have an online course in between two in-person classes, and we will do our best to find a quiet place for you to be.

Both faculty and students can opt for online instruction and we will not ask why. Students may start in-person and later switch to online, or vice versa. However, students should not switch on a daily basis.

This also means that an in-person class may move to an online format during the semester. 

Synchronous Courses

Every class that is offered in a classroom will also be available in a synchronous format.  Synchronous means that students will attend the class at the same time it is offered in the classroom and will be expected to participate just as if they were attending in-person.  

Hybrid Courses

Due to classroom capacity limits, some classes may have part of the instruction delivered online and part delivered in class.

Asynchronous Courses

A few courses may be asynchronous, meaning that you can attend at another time during the day.  However, we expect asynchronous offerings to be rare.

We will require that all students comply with the attendance policy, regardless of whether they choose online or in-person instruction.  A student's attendance in a synchronous class will be based on being in attendance during the scheduled live class period.

All classes will be recorded in case a student is too ill to attend and needs to watch the class later. However, doing so will count as an absence. 

While some empty classrooms may be used during the day, all classrooms will be locked and inaccessible following the last class each day. This will allow for thorough cleaning at night in preparation for the next day. 

Seating will be limited in the building, with only about 90 seats in the library. This number does not include the Student Commons, which may also be used for study.

Most group study rooms have been converted to individual study spaces, and we have converted the Event Space into a study hall with distance seating and wired tables.

Additionally, 4-5 group study spaces (up to 4 people) have been developed at the Children's Law Center, located about a block away at 1300 Pickens.

To reserve one of these spaces, go to libcal.law.sc.edu

More spaces are being converted, and we anticipate they will be ready by sometime in October. 

If you are encountering significant internet access issues at home, please let us know.  We are working to reserve some in-building study  areas for those with severe home technology issues.

The Student Commons will be open for printer and internet access following the new building schedule for the fall semester.

Lockers will be available. 1L students will be assigned a locker.  Locker assignments from last year will carry over for 2L and 3L students. Those  who need one may request one from Student Affairs.

Please note that the lockers are in close proximity to one another, so please extend courtesy to others and maintain physical distancing while in the locker area. 

Students should visit the University of South Carolina Official Bookstore to obtain their books.

Students may also check out study guides from the Law Library, or view the library's remote services page for information on electronic access to other remote resources.

View the Virtual Classroom Toolkit

Review the Virtual Tools Presentation for Students [PDF] for instructions on how to login to and use:

Note: Please use Safari, Google Chrome or Firefox when connecting with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Do not use Microsoft Edge.

Faculty will hold weekly electronic office hours. Reach out to faculty members directly for more information on the time and format in which their office hours will be held.

Alex Ruskell will continue offering academic assistance through email and telephone, as well as through videos and weekly practice questions posted on TWEN. He will still be available to look over outlines via email.

Tutors will also provide assistance with practice questions and will hold office hours. Please email him directly with any questions regarding academic assistance and bar prep.

Exams will all be administered remotely in December. If the university allows students on campus after Thanksgiving, you may be able to take exams on your computer here at the School of Law. 

All courses other than those that always are pass/fail, will have letter grades and will be graded on a normal scale.

Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year are not likely to change. The exception to that may be a refund of any unused parking fee, should the university close mid-semester.  Tuition is a university decision and not in the control of the School of Law. 

Who to Contact

Technology: Please email lawhelp@law.sc.edu with any issues related to technology. 

Academic issues or registration: Please reach out to Associate Dean Susan Kuo with academic or registration issues.

All other questions should be directed to Student Affairs who will help guide the student to the proper resource.

 

Health Protocols

Ten to 14 days before you arrive on campus, you should get a COVID test.

Since, as law students, you are not living on campus, a test is not required, but it is strongly recommended – not only for your health but for the health of others around you.

Register here for university-provided on-campus testing

The university has also provided resources for off-campus testing that may be available near you.

When you get your results, upload them to to sc.edu/MyHealthSpace and bring a copy with you to campus.

If at any time during the semester you test positive for COVID-19, you should contact  Heather Beatty, director of student affairs at the law school, at (803) 603-8945.  This will initiate the School of Law's positive test protocol:

  1. Upon receiving a report of a COVID-19 positive student, Heather will request the student’s schedule (to include the modality of the student’s respective enrollment) and cell phone number from the law school registrar’s office.
  2. Heather will then report the case to the university’s Student Health Center’s COVID-19 hotline at (803) 576-8511. As a part of this reporting process, Heather will provide the center with the student’s respective schedule and cell number. Law school students have been clearly informed that they should also contact the COVID-19 hotline themselves; however, alerting Heather of the situation will ensure reporting adherence.
  3. Within hours of initially receiving the report, a university COVID-19 contact tracer will establish contact with the student in order to perform contact tracing. Based on their findings, contact tracers will contact individuals they deem at-risk for exposure and require them to quarantine and/or recommend that they schedule an appointment for testing, as necessary. The contact tracing process is completely managed at the university level. Determinations regarding those who are deemed at-risk of exposure due to potential interaction with an infected individual are made at the discretion of the university’s contact tracers. Students are not required to self-report their illness to anyone other than the university’s COVID-19 hotline. At this time, we have not been made aware of the collection of any aggregate data that will be shared with the units as it relates to overall rate of infection. Should this change, we will notify all students immediately. Please remember that both students and employees continue to have a right to healthcare privacy.
  4. If the student has selected in-person modality or reports that they have physically entered the building at any point, Heather will call Environmental Health & Safety to verify whether any enhanced cleaning is required. The determination as to whether enhanced cleaning is necessary will be made at the sole discretion of Facilities and/or the Environmental Health and Safety office.
  5. If the student has not already established contact with Heather, Heather will contact the student and recommend that they inform their professors of their positive results. At this time, Heather will also inform the student that their building access will be temporarily revoked until the student submits an “all-clear” notice from their respective health-care provider or the university’s COVID-19 hotline.
  6. After alerting the student that their building access has been temporarily revoked, Heather notifies Academic Technology to rescind Carolina Card building access for the infected student.
  7. Once Heather receives the all clear notice from the previously infected student (after about 14 days), she will then contact Academic Technology to request the restoration of the student’s building access.

 After a positive test, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days. If you can't quarantine at home, the university does have some spaces available on campus. You will be able to attend all of your classes elctronically during that period.

Student Health Services has developed contact tracing protocols, quarantine and isolation protocols, and mental health resources.

If you have been around someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, review Student Health Services' recommendations for what you should do in a variety of scenarios.

Students are required to wear face coverings at all times--except when eating or drinking--when inside the School of Law.

A cloth face covering has been provided by the School of Law for every student. If you have not already received yours, please contact Student Affairs.

Each day before you come to campus, take your temperature, and then fill out the Student Daily Health Screening form

If you have a fever of 100 or higher – or if you have symptoms of COVID, don’t come to school that day.  

You will be able to attend all of your classes electronically during that period.

Feeling overwhelmed?  Please reach out to the following resources:

 

Student Affairs

Orientation for the Class of 2023 will be from August 17-19. Some aspects are intentionally online, while others are intended to be in-person. However, all parts of orientation will be available in a virtual format for those who choose to participate that way.

Students are encouraged to reach out to the Career Services Office to talk about their individual job search needs.

Counselors are available for virtual appointments using Simplicity. The office will also be staffed every day that classes are in session.

On-Campus Interviews

Career Services has been regularly talking with employers about their recruitment plans this fall. Most tell us they plan to defer interviews and hiring until the spring. 

For those that want to interview this fall, we will accomodate any employer that wants to come on campus and agrees to comply with the university's visitor protocols.

We are also working with Academic Technology  to facilitate any employer who wishes to conduct virtual interviews. 

We will continue to post jobs and to collect and forward resumes for any employer who wants to hold interviews at their offices.

Events

Visit our Event Policy page to learn more about how to hold your event safely and in compliance with university protocols.

Meetings

Because classroom availability will be so limited, the default position will be for general body meetings to be held virtually.   Visit our Event Policy page to learn more about how to hold your event safely and in compliance with university protocols.

Guest Speakers

We encourage student organizations who still want to have speakers or panel programs to do so virtually. If an organization wants to have an in-person guest, they should meet with Student Affairs in advance to make sure that guests understand and agree to follow the university's requirements for visitors.  Visit our Event Policy page to learn more about how to hold your event safely and in compliance with university protocols.

Off-campus Events

Visit our Event Policy page to learn more about how to hold your event safely and in compliance with university protocols.

Counselor's Cafe

We are waiting to hear from the university whether the Counselor's Cafe will be open. If it is, it will most certainly offer a limited "grab-and-go" menu. 

You are still able to eat in the cafe, and seating has been arranged to accomodate physical distancing standards.

You may also eat in the courtyard.

While beverages will be allowed in classrooms, food will NOT be permitted in these areas or other spaces in the law school.

Pantries will be closed, and frequently-touched spaces like refrigerators and microwaves will NOT be available. 


  Last updated August 28, 2020.

 


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