Weekly Newsletters

11/11/20

Dear Colleagues, 

Congratulations on a very successful semester despite the challenges we have faced. We are heading into finals, with only two more weeks of classes. Please review the following information about the end of this semester, and the beginning of the next.

Finals and Grades

Finals are due on November 30th. Please submit your exam file to Charlene Pineda. Exams will be remotely administered and will be returned through the secure Box server. Because the Registrar’s office is operating remotely, they will not be able to provide hard copies of exams. Although timed exams are permitted, please be aware that many students may not have access to an ideal space to take the exam. Please consider writing exams that will minimize time pressure to account for possible distractions or technical difficulties. In order to give students the ability to review their grades before final OCI bids, grades are due January 4th

Next Semester

Next semester begins January 11th with a two week, remote-only Wildcat Wellness period. In person instruction is planned to begin January 25th. In response to the pandemic, OCI was moved to January and coincides with the first week of classes. Please be as flexible as possible with students who might need to miss classes to attend interviews.

Health Privacy

If a student reveals to you that they have tested positive for COVID or that they believe they are at special risk, please notify the dean of students, Susan Spies Roth. Out of respect for the student’s privacy, do not discuss this disclosure with other students or faculty, and do not attempt to engage in contact tracing yourself.

Once again, let me express my profound gratitude for all you have done to continue to uphold Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s standard of excellence under very trying conditions.

Best Wishes, 

Ezra


10/08/20

Dear Colleagues,

We have only a few updates and reminders this week.  As always, we are impressed by your dedication and creativity in adjusting to the difficult circumstances of this semester.

Teaching Reminders

Whether students are attending class virtually or in person, please be respectful of scheduled end times for classes. Students need time between classes to gather materials or take a short break. Use of asynchronous engagement can be an excellent way to teach and connect with students, but please be mindful of the students’ time. Our total demands on the students should be approximately the same as in other years. 

Harry’s Café

Harry’s Café is open. Please continue to support them if you are on campus and need a snack or beverage.

Reminder: Monitoring Student Engagement

In the remote environment, it is more important than ever for faculty to ensure that students are engaged in their studies. We also play a key role in identifying emerging social isolation or mental health issues.  Please keep an eye out for warning signs, such as lack of attendance, a sudden drop in participation or a sudden obvious change in appearance. We recognize it is harder to keep track of attendance in virtual classes. Your faculty assistant is able to generate automated attendance records for remote meetings, and we encourage you to ask your faculty assistant for these records. If you are concerned that there may be any issues with a student’s engagement or mental health, please get in touch with Susan Spies Roth.

Guidelines for Coming to Campus

As mentioned in Dean Speta’s message earlier this week, we have had some positive COVID-19 tests among our students. Although we have no reason to believe that any of the students contracted the virus on campus, this should serve as a reminder of the importance of adhering to social distancing guidelines. In addition to the symptom reporting and required training referred to above, the University has outlined the following protocols:

  • Wear masks inside University buildings. 
  • Observe six-foot physical distancing when entering, occupying and exiting campus spaces, including classrooms. 
  • Maintain responsible personal hygiene. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. The University will provide sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas in campus buildings.

We are grateful to all of you for continuing to provide the highest quality legal education despite the circumstances. Please take care.

Best Wishes,

Ezra


9/23/20

Dear Colleagues,

Our hard work preparing for the semester is paying off. We have heard from many students that they are pleasantly surprised by the remote educational experience. Thank you again for the time and effort to ensure a smooth start to this unusual academic year.

Symptom Reporting App

The symptom monitoring webapp is now available to streamline access to campus.  Please use this link each day to access the webapp and obtain a virtual badge before entering the Law School. More information, including instructions for installing the webapp on your phone’s home page are here.  Responses to the old University form are no longer being reported to the Law School, so be sure to use the new links.

Teaching Reminders

Whether students are attending class virtually or in person, please be respectful of scheduled end times for classes. Students need time between classes to gather materials or take a short break. Use of asynchronous engagement can be an excellent way to teach and connect with students, but please be mindful of the students’ time. Our total demands on the students should be approximately the same as in other years.

Harry’s Café

Harry’s Café is open, they asked me to pass along the following:

Stop in and say hi to the Harry’s team! Grab a cup of Metropolis coffee or a slice of quiche from Justice of the Pie.  Fall is here, so try our savory house made soups or prepacked sandwiches and salad. We’re here to serve you, Monday – Thursday 9am- 4pm and Friday- 9am- 2pm.

Short on time? BOOST mobile ordering is now available. Place your order, pay and pick up.

Having a socially distant meeting? We have you covered with a Joe to Go, enough coffee for up to 10 guests delivered to anywhere within the Law School building for $18.00. Or place your Joe to Go order via BOOST mobile ordering.

Reminder: Monitoring Student Engagement

In the remote environment, it is more important than ever for faculty to ensure that students are engaged in their studies. We also play a key role in identifying emerging social isolation or mental health issues.  Please keep an eye out for warning signs, such as lack of attendance, a sudden drop in participation or a sudden obvious change in appearance. We recognize it is harder to keep track of attendance in virtual classes. Your faculty assistant is able to generate automated attendance records for remote meetings, and we encourage you to ask your faculty assistant for these records. If you are concerned that there may be an issue with a student’s engagement or mental health, please get in touch with Susan Spies Roth.

Reminder: Use of The Courtyard

The Levy Mayer courtyard has been tented to provide an outdoor space for curricular and co-curricular activities. If you would like to use the courtyard, please make a reservation through the EMS system. In order to ensure compliance with social distancing, the courtyard cannot be used without a reservation. 

Class Recording and Student Video Policy

We shared the Law School’s policy on student video and class recording a couple of weeks ago, you can refer to the policy here.  If you need to request an exception to the mandatory recording policy for pedagogical or privacy reasons, please direct your request to Ezra Friedman and/or Susan Spies Roth.

This policy has also been shared with all students.

Reminder: Return to Campus Training Requirement

The Law School building is now open to faculty with key card access. All students, faculty and staff must complete COVID-19: Returning to Campus Training in myHRLearn before returning to campus. Please complete this training as soon as possible in the event that you need to visit campus.

Guidelines for Coming to Campus

In addition to the symptom reporting and required training referred to above, the University has outlined the following protocols:

  • Wear masks inside University buildings. 
  • Observe six-foot physical distancing when entering, occupying and exiting campus spaces, including classrooms. 
  • Maintain responsible personal hygiene. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. The University will provide sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas in campus buildings.

Thanks to all of you for upholding our high standards for legal education despite the circumstances. Please take care.

Best Wishes, 

Ezra 


8/19/20

Dear Colleagues,

We hope this week’s newsletter finds you well. Students have begun orientation and the start of classes is only five days away. We know you will join us in welcoming our students, whether virtually or in person. Thank you again for all you have done to prepare to start this unusual academic year.

Class Recording and Student Video Policy

We recently shared the Law School’s policy on student video and class recording. You can refer to the Class Recording and Student Video policy here. If you need to request an exception to the mandatory recording policy for pedagogical or privacy reasons, please direct your request to Ezra Friedman and/or Susan Spies Roth.

This policy has also been shared with all students.

Remote and Hybrid Teaching Readiness

As a reminder, you can access recordings of programming and other resources via the Remote Teaching Resources website. Those of you who are scheduled to teach in person should have received a message to schedule classroom training for hybrid instruction. Please reach out to Katrina Peters if you have not yet scheduled your training.

Testing Guidance

The University testing guidance requires all students expecting to take in-person or hybrid courses, or who plan to be physically on campus for other reasons (using the library, attending office hours, etc.), to be tested prior to the start of in-person classes on September 8th. This testing will run from August 27th – September 5th. For faculty and staff regularly working on-campus, there will be a recurring random sampling process. The University will cover the costs of all required testing on campus.

  • Asymptomatic Testing on the Chicago Campus will occur at 345 Superior Street
  • Symptomatic testing will take place at a Northwestern Medicine location in Chicago. These appointments need to be scheduled through the Health Service.

More information on testing protocols is available on the University testing guidance website.

Reminder: Modified Schedule and Wildcat Wellness Period

As a reminder, we have adjusted the academic calendar this year. The fall term will begin one week earlier than usual, on August 24th, and end on November 24th, before the Thanksgiving break, which will be followed by a remote reading period. Final exams will be held remotely. This plan ensures that students do not have to return to campus after traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will start the Fall semester with two weeks of remote classes and no students on campus. In person student activities will begin on September 8th. Faculty and staff are expected to comply with the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel order, but are otherwise able to use the building as needed.

Reminder: Return to Campus Training Requirement

The Law School building is now open to faculty with key card access. All students, faculty and staff must complete COVID-19: Returning to Campus Training in myHRLearn before returning to campus. Please complete this training as soon as possible in the event that you need to visit campus.

Guidelines for Coming to Campus

In addition to the required training, the University has outlined the following protocols:

  • Complete a brief symptom monitoring form each day before arriving on campus. On the form, please select ‘School of Law’ from the Department drop down menu on the left. An app for this purpose will be available soon.
  • Wear masks inside University buildings.
  • Observe six-foot physical distancing when entering, occupying and exiting campus spaces, including classrooms.
  • Maintain responsible personal hygiene. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. The University will provide sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas in campus buildings.

Thanks to all of you who are participating in orientation, and thanks to everyone who is working hard to provide a great legal education under trying circumstances this semester. Please take care.

Best Wishes,

Ezra


9/2/20

Dear Colleagues,

Our hard work preparing for the semester is paying off. We have already heard from many students that they are pleasantly surprised by the remote educational experience. Thank you again for the time and effort to ensure a smooth start to this unusual academic year.

Monitoring Student Engagement

In the remote environment, it is more important than ever for faculty to ensure that students are engaged in their studies. We also play a key role in identifying emerging social isolation or mental health issues. Please keep an eye out for warning signs, such as lack of attendance, a sudden drop in participation or a sudden obvious change in one’s appearance. We recognize it is harder to keep track of attendance in virtual classes. Your faculty assistant is able to generate automated attendance records for remote meetings, and we encourage you to ask your faculty assistant for these records. If you suspect any issues with a student’s engagement or mental health, please get in touch with Susan Spies Roth.

Use of The Courtyard

The Levy Mayer courtyard has been tented to provide an outdoor space for curricular and co-curricular activities. If you would like to use the courtyard, please make a reservation through the EMS system. In order to ensure compliance with social distancing, the courtyard cannot be used without a reservation.

Class Recording and Student Video Policy

We shared the Law School’s policy on student video and class recording a couple of weeks ago, you can refer to the policy here. If you need to request an exception to the mandatory recording policy for pedagogical or privacy reasons, please direct your request to Ezra Friedman and/or Susan Spies Roth.

This policy has also been shared with all students.

Remote and Hybrid Teaching Readiness

As a reminder, you can access recordings of programming and other resources via this website: Remote Teaching Resources. Those of you who are scheduled to teach in person should have received a message to schedule classroom training for hybrid instruction. Please reach out to Katrina Peters if you have not yet scheduled your training.

Testing Guidance

The University testing guidance requires all students expecting to take in-person or hybrid courses, or who plan to be physically on campus for other reasons (using the library, attending office hours, etc.), to be tested prior to the start of in-person classes on September 8th. This testing is running until September 5th. For faculty and staff regularly working on-campus, there will be a recurring random sampling process. The University will cover the costs of all required testing on campus.

  • Asymptomatic Testing on the Chicago Campus will occur at 345 Superior Street
  • Symptomatic testing will take place at a Northwestern Medicine location in Chicago. These appointments need to be scheduled through the Health Service.

Find more information on testing protocols.

Student Access and the End of Wildcat Wellness Period

Although the University has announced changes to in person access for undergraduates, there have been no change in plans for the Law School or other graduate programs. Next week, students will return to campus on Tuesday, September 8th. Because of social distancing requirements, and reduced capacity in the Law School buildings, we are limiting the number of students who have access to the Law School on any one particular day.

Reminder: Return to Campus Training Requirement

The Law School building is now open to faculty with key card access. All students, faculty and staff must complete COVID-19: Returning to Campus Training in myHRLearn before returning to campus. Please complete this training as soon as possible in the event that you need to visit campus.

Guidelines for Coming to Campus

In addition to the required training, the University has outlined the following protocols:

  • Complete a brief symptom monitoring form each day before arriving on campus. On the form, please select ‘School of Law’ from the Department drop down menu on the left. We understand that progress is being made on an app for this purpose.
  • Wear masks inside University buildings.
  • Observe six-foot physical distancing when entering, occupying and exiting campus spaces, including classrooms.
  • Maintain responsible personal hygiene. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. The University will provide sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas in campus buildings.

Thanks to all of you for upholding our high standards for legal education despite the circumstances. Please take care.

Best Wishes,

Ezra 


8/12/20

Dear Colleagues,

We hope that you are remaining healthy and well. While this week’s Return to Campus Newsletter does not contain much new information, we are committed to staying in regular contact and reinforcing some important reminders and guidance.

Remote and Hybrid Teaching Readiness

We thank you for your incredible hard work preparing for remote and hybrid teaching; the beginning of classes is now less than two weeks away. Most of you have attended programming presented by the Remote Teaching Readiness Committee. As a reminder, you can access recordings of programming and other resources via this website: Remote Teaching Resources. Those of you who are scheduled to teach in person should have received a message to schedule classroom training for hybrid instruction. Please reach out to Katrina Peters if you have not received such a message.

Testing Guidance

The University issued its initial testing guidance this week. All students expecting to take in-person or hybrid courses are required to be tested prior to the start of in-person classes (September 8th for the Law School). This testing is expected to begin August 27 for the Chicago campus. For faculty and staff regularly working on-campus, there will be a recurring random sampling process. The University will cover the costs of all required testing on campus.

  • Asymptomatic Testing on the Chicago Campus will occur at 345 Superior Street
  • Symptomatic Testing on the Chicago Campus will occur at either the Northwestern Medicine drive-through tent at the Lavin Pavilion, or the Streeterville Immediate Care Center (635 N. Dearborn Street)

Find more information on testing protocols.

Reminder: Modified Schedule

As a reminder, we have adjusted the academic calendar this year. The fall term will begin one week earlier than usual, on August 24th, and end on November 24th, before the Thanksgiving break, which will be followed by a remote reading period. Final exams will be held remotely. This plan ensures that students do not have to return to campus after traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will start the Fall semester with two weeks of remote classes and no students on campus. Faculty and staff are expected to comply with the City of Chicago’s Emergency Travel order, but are otherwise able to use the building as needed.

Reminder: Return to Campus Training Requirement

The Law School building is now open to faculty with key card access. All students, faculty and staff must complete COVID-19: Returning to Campus Training in myHRLearn before returning to campus. Please complete this training as soon as possible in the event that you need to visit campus.

Guidelines for Coming to Campus

In addition to the required training, the University has outlined the following protocols:

  • Complete a brief symptom monitoring form each day before arriving on campus. On the form, please select ‘School of Law’ from the Department drop down menu on the left. An app for this purpose will be available soon.
  • Wear masks inside University buildings.
  • Observe six-foot physical distancing when entering, occupying and exiting campus spaces, including classrooms.
  • Maintain responsible personal hygiene. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. The University will provide sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas in campus buildings.

We are looking forward to welcoming students and continuing our tradition of great legal education this semester. Please take care.

Best Wishes,

Ezra


8/5/20

Dear Colleagues,

We hope this message finds you healthy and well. After all of your hard work preparing for remote and hybrid teaching, the beginning of classes is now only a few weeks away. As we approach the beginning of classes, we will be sending a Return to Campus Newsletter every week.

Residential Faculty Meeting

Our next residential faculty meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, August 6th, at noon. Please join us in welcoming Jim Speta to his new role as interim dean. Join the meeting on Zoom.

Modified Schedule

As a reminder, we have adjusted the academic calendar this year. The fall term will begin one week earlier than usual, on August 24th, and end on November 24th, before the Thanksgiving break, which will be followed by a remote reading period. Final exams will be held remotely. This plan ensures that students do not have to return to campus after traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. As we shared with you yesterday, we will start the Fall semester with two weeks of remote classes and no students on campus. Faculty and staff will still be able to use the building as needed. We reached this decision, consistent with the University’s Wildcat Wellness plan, and the City’s evolving travel order.

Return to Campus Training Requirement

The Law School building is now open to faculty with key card access. All students, faculty and staff must complete COVID-19: Returning to Campus Training in myHRLearn before returning to campus. Please complete this training as soon as possible in the event that you need to visit campus.

Guidelines for Coming to Campus

In addition to the required training, the University has outlined the following protocols:

  • Complete a brief symptom monitoring form each day before arriving on campus. On the form, please select ‘School of Law’ from the Department drop down menu on the left. An app for this purpose will be available soon.
  • Wear masks inside University buildings.
  • Observe six-foot physical distancing when entering, occupying and exiting campus spaces, including classrooms.
  • Maintain responsible personal hygiene. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. The University will provide sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas in campus buildings.

In closing, I’d like to thank you again for your hard work and dedication in preparing for this next semester, and I’d like to remind you all to take good care of yourselves

Best Wishes,

Ezra