How will classes run?

  • Safety of our community is paramount.
  • We are currently working on various contingencies so we are well equipped to respond to this dynamic situation. We are preparing for anything from an all-online world to entirely back in classrooms.
  • First-year students will be given as many opportunities for in-person learning as it is safe for our community.
  • We will prepare for a fully online semester to ensure that we are ready if that is what is necessary. Specific technology requirements are below. Generally, students should expect to have access to steady Broadband Internet, a computer with a microphone and camera, and a quiet place to attend online classes.
  • Exams will be conducted in person or online depending on the situation at the time.

Can I live outside the area and attend virtually?

  • Yes. We understand that it may not be possible or safe to secure housing near campus. Students will have the option to remain where they are, and attend classes for fall 2020 online.
  • Classes will take place on Pacific time. While you may remain where you are in a different time zone, classes will take place on Pacific time.
  • If the situation changes, and we can hold classes on campus in spring, we will let you know with enough time to plan.

Could the semester be delayed to accommodate for the possibility of returning to campus?

  • We will begin Orientation as scheduled on Monday, August 10, and classes will begin on Monday, August 17.

May I choose to start my first year in spring 2021?

  • You will start your legal career in the fall semester. The first-year curriculum is carefully crafted to begin in the fall, and spring courses build upon those in the fall.

Will campus housing be available?

  • We do not know, and the University will make decisions throughout the summer. We know that most law students were not able to secure summer 2020 housing, and so we advise off-campus housing options to minimize disruption. It is also safer, as campus housing may have shared facilities.

What technology do I need to accommodate online learning?

  • Steady access to Broadband Internet.
  • Please see minimum laptop requirements on our page here.
  • A camera and microphone so you can participate fully in class. Most laptops are equipped with a camera. If not, we recommend Logitech as a brand. Webcams include a built-in microphone, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing an additional microphone.
  • You will have the opportunity to practice using the technology during Orientation to ensure a smooth classroom experience.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the Law Technology helpdesk (law.scu.edu/lawtech).

What Academic Support will be available?

  • All of our standard academic support programming will be available online, including Academic Success Program (ASP) groups, weekly workshops, and practice exams. ASP faculty will meet with all new 1Ls during the fall semester for an online intake appointment, and will continue to be available to you online and in-person through Graduation and the Bar Exam.
  • The Office of Academic & Bar Success sends out a weekly email newsletter highlighting essential information and services.
  • Professors have offered, and will continue to offer, online access such as Zoom office hours, phone calls, emails, etc. Our faculty remain committed to student success.

How will you support disability accommodations?

  • Santa Clara Law is dedicated to supporting students with disabilities.
  • Students with disabilities are encouraged to register with the Office of Accessible Education as soon as possible. This office services the entire university to ensure all students are able to participate in campus life, programs and activities. More information can be found here.
  • You may apply before the academic year begins, and virtual intake appointments are available.

Will there be an Orientation?

  • We are planning for an all online Orientation program, and are hoping that we will be able to bring small groups to campus in a safe manner. You will learn all the important information you need to succeed at Santa Clara Law. Additional information will be sent to you over the summer.

Will there be any tuition reduction due to lack of services?

  • We have no plans to reduce tuition at this time, and any decisions will be decided by the University. We are providing all the substance of our services. All that is changing is the medium of instruction.

How are externships, clinics, and job placement working?

  • Law students are not expected to work during their first year. The law program is predicated on full-time students holding minimal employment and part-time students holding only ordinary employment. First-year full-time students are advised not to seek employment. If they do choose to work, we recommend hours be limited to 10 hours per week. A part-time student should not accept employment that exceeds 40 hours per week. We are sympathetic to students with limited funds, but our full-time program cannot be varied to accommodate working students.
  • After the first year, law students are expected to engage with clinics, externships, and work with attorneys and business.
  • Clinics and Centers will keep providing their services as they have done so throughout sheltering. They plan to keep offering these opportunities. For more information, please review here.
  • Our Office of Career Management (OCM) has a lot of resources on our website for students including typical hiring timelines and typical summer jobs law students get. If you come across a password protected webpage, the password is “broncos.”
  • OCM sends a weekly newsletter during the school year with a lot of information about job opportunities, application deadlines, and other resources.
  • OCM likes to meet 1:1 with first year law students in their first semester to get to know you better and learn about your particular career goals. We look forward to meeting each of you and supporting you to develop the skills you need for the careers you want.
  • Given the current economic market, OCM is actively trying to pair current students with attorneys and judges who have projects; and we have been pairing graduating students with alumni who have volunteered to be a support and resource. Our faculty are hiring Research Assistants in record numbers to give students opportunities.

Will there be any major changes to Financial Aid?

  • Financial Aid applications and payment are taking place normally.
  • We highly recommend enrolling in direct deposit as the most efficient way to get a refund (where applicable). The alternative is a check that is mailed to you which can cause delays in getting your aid at the start of the term. Visit scu.edu/bursar/refund/ for more information.
  • Your cost of attendance will not change whether you are able to move to the area or not. Cost of attendance does not have an on-campus, off-campus, or at-home budget component. You will have the same cost of attendance as if you were here.
  • If you must buy new tech to accommodate online classes, we are able to adjust the cost of attendance aspect of your financial aid to purchase a new computer for school if you submit a Cost of Attendance Appeal with the required documentation. This will result in increased loan eligibility that you can use. There are no grants or scholarship increases for computer costs.

How will student groups operate?

  • We have a variety of Student Organizations and Publications supported by the Law School and managed by the Law Student Services office and our Student Bar Association.
  • They have maintained a strong schedule of online speakers, social gatherings, and other events to enrich your law school experience. They are planning this summer for an active year.