What are Law Schools around the Country Doing about in-Person vs. Remote Learning?

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

At George Mason's Scalia Law School, where I teach, first-year students were given the option of in-person or remote, and my understanding is that most chose in-person. Most of our upper-level classes are remote (sometimes by student plebiscite, sometimes scheduled that way), a few are hybrid (some students in class and some remote) and a few are in-person. What's going on at other law schools? Comment away below.

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  1. Any words on shrink — i.e. what percentage of deposit-paid first year students won’t/didn’t show up? I’m thinking it is going to be kinda high this year, particularly at those doing on-line teaching.

    1. I don’t know what the ultimate “shrink” will be, but so far we have 153 students and 25 transfers incoming, compared to something like 138 and 8 last year, with the same medians as last year. I suspect accommodating the 1Ls with in-person has really helped.

  2. I think in person classes are very important for law school, especially for 1Ls. But after conducting a few court hearings via Zoom and watching others from area courts, I will admit I can see a lot of value in baby lawyers learning how to conduct themselves remotely, assuming courts continue to use this approach as appropriate when the pandemic ends.

  3. My now former paralegal started at UC Hastings this week. They are 100% remote, even 1L classes.

    Dr. Ed – take this with a grain of salt considering (1) there is a bit of telephone since my paralegal told me what was told to him and (2) it is extremely anecdotal. But at least for Hastings, I was told the shrink was pretty high (somewhere in the neighborhood of over 1/3 of accepted students). Accepted students were given the option to defer to next year and their acceptance would be continued. However, any financial aid they had been offered would not automatically roll over if they deferred. Many students chose to go that route. My paralegal was offered a very generous financial aid package of scholarships and didn’t want to risk losing it. So he decided to go ahead and start this year.

    1. That’s the other question — what’s the average tuition discount for law schools? Back in Fall 2019, before all of this stuff, the average tuition discount for private undergrads was 47%.

      That’s what got both Mt. Ida and Hampshire Colleges in trouble — they discounted the tuition (i.e. offered generous institutional aid) so as to fill the seats, but then didn’t get the revenue because they’d done that.

      The flip side of all of this is if this all ends this year and things are normal next fall (F-2021) there will be the students who deferred along with next year’s entering class, and will they be more selective or be larger?

  4. Berkeley is in-person only.

  5. Gah! Remote only. Proofread!

  6. What’s more interesting that reading about law school inside baseball? Listening to rock musicians singing about life on the road?

  7. David – I was just accepted as a 2L transfer to Scalia – can you please assist – I want in person! Is it the right move?

    1. We will have some in-person classes. Any 1L class you need to take will be in person if you want it to be. Most, but not all, upper class classes are remote.

  8. UNLV’s original class schedule was hybrid, but now it’s all online.

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