FAQs for Students and Faculty

March 26, 2020 Grading Clarification FAQs


Faculty may continue to expect and evaluate attendance and participation, although faculty should also give due consideration to these unusual circumstances.

Co-listed Courses

Courses that are co-listed with another school / department from the University and appear on the Law transcript in the Spring term will also receive Credit / No Credit grades.

Evaluations of Papers and Experiential Work

Credit / No Credit grading extends to papers, experiential work, and all courses. Indeed, it is important that the proposal apply to all courses in order to ensure that students do not obtain perceived benefits resulting from their choice of courses. Faculty should still review papers and offer feedback.


JD / MBA students in Kellogg classes will be graded according to Kellogg’s policies / decisions, which are still under discussion. Kellogg has a number of different considerations due to the quarter schedule.

Journals and Honors

We will evaluate honors cutoffs in light of this decision and will share those details as they are available. We are also talking with the journals about their admissions criteria, and they will be in touch shortly.

Letters of Recommendation

This grading decision prohibits “shadow grades,” and faculty should not communicate “what the grade would have been” to students or others.

We do encourage faculty to advocate for students in recommendations and otherwise. As always, faculty will not be able to recommend all students. However, we ask faculty to focus their recommendations on work completed before the exam and to acknowledge the unique circumstances of this semester. Students should feel free to contact their professors after the CR/NC grades have been posted to discuss the possibility of a recommendation.

MSL Program Grades

MSL Spring 1 letter grades will be retained, but MSL Spring 2 classes and the MSL-Online will receive CR/NC.

March 20, 2020 Community Call Follow-ups

Volunteer Opportunities

Students interested in opportunities to help the broader community during this difficult time should contact Cindy Wilson or Maureen Stratton.

Online Summer Classes

We are working to expand our summer course offerings and will have a full listing soon.

Former Dean Daniel Rodriguez is also offering a timely, non-credit five-week online pop-up course, “Law in the Time of Corona,” dealing with a range of legal issues surrounding the COVID-19 crisis. All faculty, students and staff are invited to sign up.

Visa Concerns

Please reach out Adi Altshuler or the Northwestern University Office of International Student and Scholar Services for assistance with visas.

March 13, 2020


CLR and Moot Court

First-year students will soon receive communication from CLR faculty on these topics. Please stay tuned.

Clinic Meetings / Client Work

All Clinic seminars will be conducted via Zoom. The Clinic’s policy on client work and student-faculty meetings will be circulated Monday afternoon, and there will be a virtual Clinic-wide meeting for all students with Julie Biehl and Shericka Pringle on Tuesday, March 17th at 12 p.m. to review the policy and to answer any student questions. 

Grading and Class Participation

We anticipate the vast majority of classes will be graded as usual but continue to evaluate our grading policies during these unprecedented times. 

Professors do understand the difficulty in participating remotely and we expect them to be sensitive to this, including changing their assessment and weight on participation accordingly. 


Exams will be available remotely. We will be in touch with additional details regarding exam administration as we have them. 

Office Hours and Individual Student Meetings

In-person meetings are prohibited. Faculty office hours and individual meetings must be conducted remotely. 

Study Groups

Any meeting for a group assignment must be accessible remotely. Small, informal study groups may continue, though we highly encourage social distancing and remote work arrangements.

Use of Classrooms

Faculty members who choose to teach remotely from their classrooms may not allow students to attend the class live.


Building Access

Beginning March 14th, 2020, the exterior doors will be locked and will require Wildcard for entry. 

Faculty Offices  

As always, faculty can access their offices using their Wildcard to enter the building. However, we encourage the whole Law School community to follow the social distancing and remote working guidance provided by the University and public health officials.  

Library Access / Service

Beginning March 13th, 2020, students, faculty, and staff will have 24/7 access to the Library via their Wildcards. The Library will be lightly staffed March 16th – 20th, 2020. 

Reference librarians are available to provide research support on the phone (312) 503-8450, via chat and via email at law-reference@law.northwestern.edu. Additional information and resources are available through the Library website.

Journal Office

Access is limited to individuals who receive permission from Maryann Wou or Jim McMasters for publication purposes only.


Almost all staff will begin working remotely on March 16th, 2020. Please know that staff will be readily available via email and phone.