Fall 2020 Course Schedule FAQs

In response to the changing circumstances from the COVID-19 crisis, the law school has made several adjustments to the Fall 2020 schedule to account for social-distancing guidelines, academic program requirements, student and faculty health concerns, and many other factors.

Although social-distancing guidelines reduced classroom capacities, the revised schedule provides numerous opportunities for students to take classes on campus while allowing those who are unwilling or unable to be on campus due to health concerns to do so remotely to the maximum extent possible. Although these changes could not be helped, we realize that they are somewhat disruptive and have prepared this FAQ to address some common questions.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS REGARDING CHANGES TO AN EXISTING SCHEDULE

If a class is listed as “in-person” or “hybrid”, will students be required to attend classes on campus?

In-person classes are those that have sufficient classroom capacity to hold all enrolled students who wish to attend on campus, while hybrid classes will necessarily require at least a portion of the class to be online. Students in hybrid classes may choose to take the course all online or be in-person on a rotating basis (i.e., in a Monday/Wednesday class, some students would be in class on Mondays and others on Wednesdays). Additional information will be provided by your professor.

In classes where the mode of instruction requires some in-person interaction, the professor may require in-person learning (except in the case of personal or family emergencies) or encourage deferring the course (if possible) until a later semester. In most in-person or hybrid classes, however, students will have the option of attending only online. If you have questions about a specific class, please contact the professor directly.

If I take a class in-person, will I be able to change that if my personal situation changes?

All professors have been instructed to provide a remote option for students whose personal or family situation requires them to move to remote instruction. This may be synchronous (for example, by Zoom) or asynchronous (classes recorded for students who are unable to be on campus), depending on the professor.

Can a professor require students to attend office hours or other out-of-class meetings in-person?

No. Office hours, mandatory one-to-one or group meetings, or other conferences outside of class must be remote to ensure compliance with social-distancing guidelines. Professors may not require students to meet in-person outside of class. Violations of this rule should be reported directly to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs at stbrown2@buffalo.edu.

If I want to take one or more hybrid or in-person classes online, do I need to provide a doctor’s note or other documentation to demonstrate the medical necessity to do so?

No.

Will my class times change?

Many class times and, in some cases, class days have changed, and some classes may be in a different building on the North Campus. Although we have made every effort to minimize course conflicts and unnecessary disruptions, some conflicts were unavoidable.

What do I do if my scheduled classes conflict or no longer work with my schedule outside of the law school?

Although we have held your spots in the classes you registered for previously, University policy (and the HUB system) does not allow students to be registered in conflicting or overlapping classes.  This rule holds true even if the classes are online.

If two classes conflict, you will need to replace one of the classes with another class at a different time by using the drop/add options in HUB. Similarly, you may need to make these adjustments if a course now conflicts with your obligations outside of the law school.

3Ls and LL.M.s will be able to drop/add classes beginning July 20th. 2Ls will be able to do so beginning July 27th. Once your drop/add window opens, you may add and drop classes in HUB through September 8th, unless a later date is indicated.

What if I need classes that conflict in the fall to graduate or meet concentration or program requirements?

The most common conflicts that we anticipate involve at least one class that is offered every semester or in multiple sections this semester. If feasible, we recommend registering in another section this semester or deferring that class until the spring.

For concentration or program elective classes, we have attempted to make other electives that satisfy those requirements available at different times. We recommend discussing unique issues with your concentration or program director.

What if a class that I need to graduate is full?

If a class that you need to graduate is full and other sections or alternative courses that satisfy the graduation requirement are not available, please contact Records and Registration at law-records@buffalo.edu or 716-645-2060 for assistance.

What do I do if my in-person and remote classes are too close to provide adequate time for me to commute back-and-forth?

The law school has identified several spaces throughout the building that students can use consistent with applicable social-distancing guidelines. More information about the spaces that will be set aside for this purpose and the process for reserving them for specific times each week will be provided in advance of the fall semester.

How will this impact my previously-scheduled externship or other placement?

The adjusted schedule should not impact externships and similar placements. Like the university, however, many public and private organizations continue to evaluate their options as applicable guidance and rules change. If you have questions about a particular placement, please reach out to the placement contact or our internal placement staff.

Please note that the answers listed above are subject to change as the situation evolves.