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COVID-19 Information & Resources

Columbia Law School continues to anticipate and respond to the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page will be updated with guidance and information specific to the Law School community. 

Header Image: Returning to Campus

Preparing for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

There are many details still to be determined as we work out the precise contours of a return to campus, but here’s what we can say with confidence right now:

  • We are planning for a standard two-semester academic year. We expect to return to our usual fall and spring term configuration, including orientation and Legal Methods I/Introduction to American Law in August and a one-week intensive term in January. The tentative 2021-2022 academic calendar is available here.
  • Classes are expected to take place on campus. In line with President Bollinger’s message, our hope is to resume on-campus teaching and learning. Faculty and students should plan to be in New York in time for the start of the fall semester.
  • A COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all students present on campus, starting this fall. The University will provide religious and medical exemptions, as for the influenza and measles vaccines, in accordance with New York State public health laws.
  • Law School employees will return to campus on a phased timeline. Per the message from the University, we are planning for Law School staff to return to campus in a phased manner, depending on their specific job responsibilities and taking into account public health requirements. We expect that more detailed information will be shared with employees in May.
  • Visit the updated FAQ page, which will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Stay Healthy. Keep the Compact. 

All of us have a role to play in keeping our community healthy. Our individual actions can and do affect our collective health and well-being. That’s why each of us is expected to do our part and uphold the public health and safety commitments outlined in the Columbia Community Health CompactLearn More

Video Tour

Learn more about the public health and safety measures in Jerome Greene Hall. 


Important Information: Protocols for Accessing Campus

All students, faculty, and staff who plan to be on campus must complete the campus protocol, which includes the following steps: 

  1. Read the Enhanced University Health and Safety Policy
  2. Read and sign the Health Compact
  3. Complete Safety Training
  4. Self-quarantine, if required
  5. Get Tested
  6. Complete the Daily Symptom Self-Check via the ReopenCU App

The Law School will fully comply with all applicable State, and University-wide measures designed to protect the health and safety of the community, as well as visitors, while on campus. These protocols, which have been developed in consultation with leading public health experts, include:

  • Testing of all persons for COVID-19 upon returning to campus, followed by subsequent sampling of the campus population
  • Daily self-checks for symptoms and potential exposure via the ReopenCU App
  • A campus-wide contact tracing program
  • Mandatory wearing of face coverings
  • Observance of six-foot physical distancing except where it is impossible to do so
  • Reduction in density of students, faculty, and staff present in campus buildings, as well as limitations on in-person events and group gatherings
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of classrooms, common areas, restrooms, and work spaces

In addition, we have made a number of adjustments to the Law School physical plant, including installing touchless restroom fixtures, hand sanitizing stations, plexiglass barriers in select high-traffic areas, and signage to manage the flow of foot, stair, and elevator traffic. 

We rely on all campus citizens to abide by the health and safety protocols adopted, including affirmation of the terms of the Community Health Compact. At the heart of the Compact is the ethos that each member of our community is responsible to abide by the campus public health and safety protocols not only to protect themselves, but also to protect others. 

To access all Law School buildings, entrants must:

  • Be a Law School student, faculty, or staff member
  • Complete the daily symptom self-check and obtain a Green Pass via the ReopenCU App
  • Present and/or tap a valid CUID card

The operating hours and access protocols for the Law School’s buildings will be as follows. Please note that buildings will be closed to all, including with swipe access, outside of the designated open hours. 


Open Hours

Access Protocols

Jerome Greene Hall

Monday–Friday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

Saturday–Sunday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

  • Entry and exit only through 116th Street doors.
  • Public Safety stationed in lobby to control access and verify CUID and Green Pass.

William and June Warren Hall

Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Friday–Saturday: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Sunday: Closed

  • Public Safety stationed in lobby to control access and verify CUID and Green Pass.

William C. Warren Hall

Limited access for Law Review student staff, and select faculty and staff

CUID card swipe required to enter. 

Jerome Greene Annex


No admittance 

Greenhouse Closed No admittance

Law School Communications

April 1, 2021

Update on Plans for 2021-2022 Academic Year

Dean Lester shares preliminary information about the Law School's return to campus in Fall 2021. Read more.

December 22, 2020

Spring 2021—Important Information

As the Fall 2020 semester wraps up, Dean Lester calls the community's attention to a number of important items relating to the start of Spring 2020. Read more

November 19, 2020

Important Reminders: Concluding the Fall Semester and Planning for Spring

Dean Lester shares important information and reminders to conclude the Fall 2020 semester and plan for Spring 2021. Read more

October 21, 2020

Planning for Spring 2021

With nearly half the academic term now safely behind us, Dean Lester provides important updates and information as we look ahead to completing the fall semester and preparing for the spring. Read more

September 7, 2020

What to Expect on Campus

Dean Lester shares some specific details about how the Law School has adjusted our campus environment to ensure your health and safety, and to reinforce the responsibility we share as a community to uphold the values set forth in the Columbia Health Compact. Read more.

August 21, 2020

Fall Semester Updates for Students

With the start of the Fall 2020 semester rapidly approaching, Dean Lester shares some updates on the protocols for returning to campus, as well as information about events and programming; fall semester grades; and more. Read more

August 14, 2020

Proceeding with Hybrid Instruction

The Law School continues to plan to offer a mix of online and hybrid classes this fall. Read more. 

July 16, 2020

September NY Bar Exam Canceled

The Court of Appeals announced that it has canceled the September 9-10, 2020 administration of the New York bar exam, citing concerns about health and safety in reaching its decision. Read more.

July 14, 2020

ICE Rescinds Restrictions for International Students

U.S. government rescinds order requiring international students to attend on-campus or hybrid classes in Fall 2020. Read more.

July 7, 2020

Instructional Format for the Fall Semester

Dean Lester provides an update to the community regarding the Law School’s planning process for Fall 2020 and answers a number of key questions. Read more

June 22, 2020

2020–2021 Academic Calendar and Other Updates

This message also contains important information regarding the 2020-2021 academic calendar, as well as ongoing contingency planning efforts, including hybrid instruction, New York Bar examination eligibility, and campus operations. Read more.

May 18, 2020

Planning for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Important information about the academic calendar for AY 2020-2021, plans for instruction, and health and safety measures. Read more.


May 11, 2020

Research Activities at Columbia Law School

Information about the University's resumption of laboratory research as it applies to Columbia Law School. Read more

April 14, 2020

Update on Fees, Graduation, Employment, and more

We know that “normal” means something different now, but it remains our commitment to ensure that students are able to advance unimpeded through law school and into the profession. Read more

April 3, 2020

Two Enduring Truths

Our society needs lawyers, and what’s happening in the world right now makes that need all the more urgent. And we have an extraordinary will to adapt. Read more