FAQs for Faculty & Staff

Pleas review the FAQs about the fall 2021 return to in-person instruction on the University's COVID-19 website for more information about protocols for vaccination, masks, faculty accommodations, field experiences, and more. The questions below pertain specifically to the Law School. 


Updated August 12, 2021

The academic calendar for 2021-2022 is available at https://law.columbia.edu/academics/academic-calendar

The Law School’s academic programs will start as follows: 

  • Incoming J.D. students (1Ls): Monday, August 23
  • LL.M. students (incoming and continuing): Monday, August 16
  • Continuing J.D. students (2Ls and 3Ls): Wednesday, September 8

No. All classes will take place in person on campus. Students are expected to attend classes in person, in accordance with the pre-pandemic attendance policy. 

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the time of their first symptoms or from the date of the positive test if no symptoms are present, regardless of vaccination status. During the self-isolation period, normal protocols and accommodations for excused absences due to illness will apply.  

All classes will take place in person on campus. If, however, a faculty member tests positive for COVID-19 and is feeling well enough, they may teach remotely during the required 10-day isolation period. Once the isolation period is completed, the faculty member will return to the classroom. Students should plan to attend the class in-person unless informed of other temporary arrangements.

Instructors can determine that their classes should be recorded and, if so, whether to make those recordings available to students. The Law School will continue to comply with all individualized accommodations approved by the Office of Disability Services, and will record classes on certain religious holidays (unless a professor specifically opts out of recording). 

Per Columbia University’s Fall 2021 instructional guidelines, if a class must be rescheduled, it should remain in person. Although unexpected emergency circumstances may justify the occasional use of Zoom in lieu of an in-person meeting, this should be seen as a rare exception rather than a convenience to accommodate conference or research travel, family schedules, and the like. The Curriculum Committee has been asked to develop Law School-specific guidance on the application of this policy.

While it is important for faculty and teaching assistants to hold in-person office hours, they can continue to offer additional review sessions and office hours on Zoom outside of regular business hours to accommodate student schedules and needs.