Miami Law Coronavirus FAQs

The Bricks

Updated as of April 3rd

As you are aware, the University has recently announced that Spring break has been extended by one week. Classes are set to resume on Monday, 3/23 and will move to an online delivery for the remainder of the semester.

In alignment with the recent announcement from University of Miami Administration, Miami Law is open but with many services operating remotely effective immediately. Miami Law plans to resume normal in-person and on-campus operations pending public health guidance and direction from University of Miami officials.

Until then, here’s how you can access Miami Law services and departments as well as get answers/guidance for some questions you may have during this time.

Read prior messages about Coronavirus/COVID-19 from Dean Varona here.

FAQs Content

Note: Questions beginning with an * have been updated within the past 24 hours.

 

 

 IT/AUDIO VISUAL

As the law school moves to an online delivery for the remainder of the semester, the specific format and delivery platform will be determined by each faculty member. Please keep an eye on your law school email for further direction. Some individual conferences and clinic supervision meetings may continue during Spring Break in a virtual setting. You will be contacted directly by your faculty or supervisors if this applies to you. LL.M. students should follow the individualized direction of their Coordinators and Program Directors.

 

 STUDENT SUPPORT

Student Affairs
Contact the Dean for Students for matters related to student life at Miami Law, including personal and administrative issues. The Dean of Students and the entire Student Affairs team is accessible and working remotely at present. The email account deanofstudents@law.miami.edu is staffed by Patty Santana, who is staffing our "virtual front desk." Dean Stearns, Dean VanderWyden, Amy Perez, Vanessa Kuljis, and Jessie Howell are all meeting with students by phone, Skype, Zoom or other platforms as needed.

 

 

 ADMITTED STUDENTS

University of Miami School of law is operating virtually, but that does not mean we are not here to answer your questions. Please feel free to reach out to us through an array of options.

 

 CAREER DEVELOPMENT OFFICE

The Miami Law community continues to closely monitor the developments related to COVID-19. Our priority is the safety and well-being of our students and staff. For this reason, the Career Development Office has temporarily suspended all in-person services including career advising. Instead, all career advising will now take place either by phone or virtually using Zoom or BlueJeans meetings, beginning March 17, 2020.

 

 

 FACULTY & STAFF

As we continue to monitor COVID-19 and the related public health guidelines, the well-being of our community remains our priority. These are extraordinary times, so we are implementing temporary exceptions to our policies to encourage social distancing and minimize the number of people on campus.

Please refer to the University’s central page for important faculty & staff updates: https://coronavirus.miami.edu/information-for/faculty-and-staff/index.html

 

 LAW SCHOOL FACILITIES

The University of Miami and School of Law continue to remain open but with many services operating remotely effective immediately.

 

 LAW SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION

The Administration remains open and available with many teams offering the ability to meet remotely using tools, including Zoom, Bluejeans or by phone. Contact the team or individual you need directly using our online directory https://www.law.miami.edu/directory.

 


 

ACADEMIC SERVICES

When will classes resume?

Classes are set to resume on Monday, 3/23 and will move to an online delivery for the remainder of the semester. The specific format and delivery platform will be determined by each faculty member. Please keep an eye on your law school email for further direction. Some individual conferences and clinic supervision meetings may continue during Spring Break in a virtual setting. You will be contacted directly by your faculty or supervisors if this applies to you.

LL.M. students should follow the individualized direction of their Coordinators and Program Directors.

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How will students and faculty access classes?

Students and faculty will use the online learning platform as determined by each faculty member. It may be Zoom, BlueJeans, AdobeConnect or other similar platforms. These are all web-based platforms. Students will receive links to the platforms from their professors.

Some courses may be delivered synchronously (at the same time as the scheduled class) and others will be recorded and delivered asynchronously (students can watch the lecture at a time they choose). Even if your professor chooses synchronous delivery, we have asked that she record her lectures as a backup for students who have challenges connecting to the internet. Each faculty member may implement additional requirements around the video content. Follow the direction of each faculty member.

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Are there any helpful tips as students transition to online classes?

As we go through this transition together, we would like to offer some guidance on how to set yourself up for success with online classes. Some of you already have experience with online classes, but for some of us, this format is new. Either way, we will all need to lean into our self-directed learning skills—students and faculty alike. Luckily, many of the same habits that served you well for traditional classroom learning will also serve you well with online learning. We encourage you to read the tips below and take advantage of the next few days to make any necessary adjustments before online classes begin on Monday, March 23.

You are still in school
This is more of a reminder for your friends and family than it is for you. For those that live with others, they may be tempted to expect more from you since you are not going to campus. Remind them that you are still in school and have the same academic commitments you previously had.

Keep a schedule
Even though you are not physically in a classroom, that does not change the amount of time it takes to do well in law school. You will still “attend” just as many class-time hours and will still need to devote as many hours outside of class. One difference some of you may experience is if you had a long commute. If that is the case, think back to all those times you thought to yourself, “If I only had more time for outlining and practice.” Now you do, so use it productively. Time management is still an important skill, whether the class is online or on-campus.

Minimize distractions
With online learning, potential distractions are everywhere—on your computer, on your phone, and in your surroundings. Some of you have made the choice to not use a laptop during class time. This new format will require you to use a laptop or some other device to access lectures. Using a laptop comes with its own set of temptations. Be mindful and avoid doing other activities on your computer during class. Then there is your personal space. A pile of dirty dishes is never as tempting as when you have important work to complete! In your home, set up a space you will use for “attending” class. Keep it organized and if possible, keep it separate from other common areas.

Stay focused and engaged during class lectures
This can be a bit more challenging because there is more distance between you and your professor. Minimizing distractions will help, but you will need to prepare yourself to follow along with the lecture. Taking breaks between classes to move around also helps. Take class notes just as you would if you were sitting in a classroom. In other words, treat it as much as possible as if you were in class with the professor in front and surrounded by your classmates. Practicing active participation and holding yourself accountable for your own success will help you stay on track.

Some tips for attending synchronous (live) online classes:

  • Mute your mic when you are not talking. This will lead to a better audio experience for all participants.
  • Everything the camera can capture will be on display for all participants to see. Make sure they are seeing what you want them to see. Use the same etiquette that you would during a live class.
  • In a traditional classroom setting, professors can often tell if a student seems confused by material. In an online class, it is difficult to pick up on these same non-verbal cues. Reach out to your professors for help if you need it.

We are here to support your academic success! Let us know how we can help.

University of Miami School of Law
This was adapted from guidance originally written by Natalie Rodriguez, Assistant Dean of Academic Success at Southwestern Law School, and shared with her permission.

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How will students and faculty meet for office hours?

Faculty members will be strongly encouraged to provide the opportunity for online office hours through the video platform of their choice or through phone call/conference call.

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Will the academic calendar change as a result of the extended Spring break?

The academic calendar will not change as a result of the extended Spring break, although some deadlines may need to be adjusted. Missed class time will be completed via video lecture or conferencing as determined by each faculty member. For those enrolled in short courses, each is in the process of being transitioned to an online learning environment. There may be slight adjustments to the course schedule. Please keep an eye out for an email from the Law Registrar’s Office regarding any changes.

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What about students and faculty in clinics and practica?

Because clinics have ongoing cases and professional obligations to clients, clinic/practicum work and supervision will resume on March 16. There will be no classes during the extended spring break. Supervision will be conducted remotely, if possible. There may be circumstances in which students have to come into the Clinic, but otherwise students should do their clinic work from home. Accommodations will be made for those who cannot come to campus, although their cases may require it. Individual clinic faculty have contacted students with specific continuity plans and logistics for each clinic. It is important that students stay in close contact with their clinic supervisor during this period of remote work. Our goal is to abide by our ethical obligations to our clients, while working within the University’s parameters to protect the health and safety of our community.

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What about students in externships?

Students are not required to physically go to their externship field placements during the extended spring break. They should, however, use the extended spring break to speak to their supervisors about work plans for the next few weeks. Miami Law has asked field placement supervisors to make arrangements for externs to work remotely if possible or, in the alternative, to assign students a research or writing project related to the office’s work. If neither is feasible, Miami Law will assign students a project to fulfill the field placement hours requirement for the next few weeks. Externship students will receive further instructions from the Externship Program via email and TWEN.

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What about students in Litigation Skills and other experiential courses?

Litigation Skills and other experiential courses will be migrating to an online format. Students will receive instructions from their faculty about these courses.

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What about LComm assignments?

The deadline for students in all JD LComm sections to submit the appellate brief is extended to Monday April 6 at 10 pm. The deadline for submission of research reports/mandatory memos that were originally due during the extended spring break will be extended to the week of March 23. All 1L students will receive a separate email with the revised deadline for research reports, and additional information about remote teaching and any revisions to the LComm assignments for the rest of the semester.

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Will the Dean’s Fellow program be impacted?

The Dean’s Fellow Program will pause temporarily, to give everyone time to adjust to the new online class routine. Most sessions will pause during the first week of online classes (March 23-27). Sessions will resume in online format during the week of March 30. Your Dean’s Fellows will contact you via the official class lists with more information. The Writing Dean’s Fellows are still available to help with skill development and writing samples, through remote conferencing. If you need assistance from a Writing Dean’s Fellow, please contact Supervising Writing Dean’s Fellow, Glenn Marks (ghm29@law.miami.edu).

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How will final exams and assessments be handled?

Please stay posted for more details on final exam procedures.

Exams currently scheduled between now and the end of the semester will be moved to an online take-home exam format. More information will be provided to those classes via email from the law registrar.

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What about services for our international students with F-1 status?

Effective March 16, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in-person services are temporarily suspended until further notice. Please stay updated here: https://coronavirus.miami.edu/information-for/students/index.html

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Will our LL.M. Programs follow the same schedule?

LL.M. Programs will follow the same general schedule except as specified by your Program Coordinator or Program Director.

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What about pass/fail for the Upper Level Electives?

We have extended the deadline for current pass/fail option for upper level electives to April 13. Students in eligible upper level courses that wish to make the pass/fail election should use this form.

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What If I want to drop a course?

Our goal with academic continuity has been to make all courses available in an online format so that you can complete all your classes this semester. Students sometimes ask about dropping a class after the end of the add/drop period. We typically permit this but place a “W” on the transcript to signify the withdrawal. If because of family or medical emergency you want to drop a class please reach out to the Dean of Students to discuss the situation.

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IT/AUDIO VISUAL

What different platforms will be used for online classes?

BlueJeans, Zoom, Blackboard, TWEN, Lexis Classroom, Blackboard, Email

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What is the difference between a synchronous class and an asynchronous class?

Synchronous classes resemble traditional on-campus classes in that students must be (virtually) present at the same time. Though they are conducted over the Internet, synchronous courses occur in real-time. Classes typically occur at their regularly scheduled times and students must sign onto their virtual learning platform on schedule.

Asynchronous classes do not require the students to log into the virtual classroom at a specified time. Lectures are pre-recorded and students can view them and complete their coursework on their own schedules.

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What training materials are available for faculty and staff?

There are a number of training documents and tutorials available on the Miami Law website at https://www.law.miami.edu/iml/technology-facilities-hr/online-collaboration-tools

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What equipment do I need to participate in an online course as a faculty member? As a student?

You will need a desktop computer, a laptop or a tablet. Your device will need to be equipped with either a built-in or an attached webcam and microphone. You should use a headset or earbuds with a microphone to prevent audio feedback. Webcams and headsets can be purchased online or at an electronics store.

What equipment do I need to participate in an online course as a student? You will need a computer, tablet or smartphone with a webcam, and a headset or earbuds with a microphone.

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Is there an ideal internet connection I should have to participate in a class online? How can I test my internet speed?

Internet Speed will be very important for online classes. If you have slow internet service, you will find that it takes a long time to down/upload content. Video performance will lag too, making it difficult to watch. We recommend internet speeds of 6-10 Mbps speed or higher. A broadband connection is recommended.

You may test your internet connection by visiting https://www.speedtest.net/. The higher your download/upload results, the better your video performance will be.

Please note: Due to the current greatly increased use of the Internet for online teaching and business operations, you may experience latency in your Internet connection and/or your virtual classroom platform as they support a significantly greater volume of traffic than usual. Internet connection speed in specific locations may be periodically impacted based on the number of people there who are simultaneously accessing high bandwidth resources.

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Who should law faculty, staff or students contact for IT support regarding online learning platforms?

For student support, please contact the Student Technology Help Desk (STHD) at 305-284-5297 or via email at sthd@miami.edu.

Faculty and Staff may contact the following:

Law School A/V at 305-284-3801 or via email at av@law.miami.edu.

Ellen Greenfield at 305-284-3744 or via email at egreenfi@law.miami.edu.

Ryan Erickson at 305-284-3103 or via email at rerickson@law.miami.edu.

Jose Marcos at 305-284-8053 or via email at jmarcos@law.miami.edu.

Andrea Tejera at 305-284-3065 or via email at atejera@law.miami.edu.

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STUDENT SUPPORT

What if I am ill?

Please contact Student Health at studenthealth@miami.edu or 305-284-9100. Please reach out first by email or phone before coming to campus.

You should then contact our office at deanofstudents@law.miami.edu .We can help advise you as to academic accommodations as per our guidelines on medical and family emergencies. If needed, we will address absence policies, exam scheduling, and assignment deadlines on a case by case basis.

The UM Counseling Center continues to provide services via Telephone or Telemed as described here.

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I have been in an impacted area; do I need to self-quarantine? Who should I contact?

Any member of the University community who travels to or from any Level 3 country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. Students returning from these countries or areas must contact Student Health Service at studenthealth@miami.edu.

Please also refer to the University’s travel guidance page here: https://coronavirus.miami.edu/travel-guidance/index.html

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What about access to the University’s Counseling Centers, Career Centers, Wellness Centers or other Campus Life information?

All the information and updates you need is located under Campus Life Information on the University’s page here: https://coronavirus.miami.edu/information-for/students/index.html

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What if I have questions about the Bar Exam or the Bar Application?

Please contact Dean VanderWyden for questions relating to the upcoming Bar Exam and for questions pertaining to finalizing the Bar Application process: wvander@law.miami.edu

Reference is made to the updates from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, and to the National Conference of Bar Examiners. These sites are updated regularly.

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What if I have emergency financial or other needs?

Please contact deanofstudents@law.miami.edu

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What about Commencement?

We recognize how important commencement is for you, your classmates, and loved ones. However, following guidance from state and federal agencies to suspend large events and promote social distancing due to COVID-19, undergraduate, graduate, and law May 2020 commencement ceremonies will be postponed until December 2020.

See the full update from Vice President for Student Affairs Pat Whitely

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What about Student Organization Elections?

Dean Stearns, Farah Barquero and Gloria Garcia are in contact with all student leaders, and working to ensure that elections for student organizations will be held online.

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What if I want to drop to part-time or take a leave of absence?

Our goal with academic continuity has been to make all courses available in an online format so that you can complete all your classes this semester. However, if as a result of illness, or family emergency or other hardship, you wish to drop to part-time or take a leave of absence, we will work with you. We would ensure that you would not pay tuition again when repeating the dropped courses. (You would likely have a W on the transcript in this instance as required by Federal Financial Aid regulations but this does not impact your GPA in any way).

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Will we be reimbursed for parking permits?

Student parking permit costs will be prorated to March 25, 2020, and a credit will be issued to the student account. Students whose vehicles remain on campus will not receive a credit/refund and those vehicles may continue to utilize on-campus parking without receiving a citation through the start of the Fall 2020 semester. (Parking questions: parking.gables@miami.edu)

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LAW LIBRARY

What are the law library's hours?

The Law Library is closed until further notice. Please continue to monitor the Law Library contact and hours page for updates here: https://www.law.miami.edu/iml/library/library-contact-and-hours

We will still provide virtual reference services for law school faculty, students and staff. From 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.

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What if I need access to paper formats?

Law School faculty, students, and staff should contact reference if you need access to print formats of material in the law library, and we will work out an appropriate delivery method.

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What about e-book access?

We are working with vendors to provide e-book access where possible for casebooks. Contact Reference for the latest information on how to do this. (This is a fluid situation and vendors are trying to determine how to best proceed.)

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What virtual services will still be offered?

CALI Lessons: CALI has over 1,000 interactive lessons, covering many different subjects – from evidence to trademark.  For those who have not yet registered on CALI, the authorization code is available here.

West Academic Study Aids: West Academic Study Aids have many different series to help you supplement your understanding of class material as well as practice for exams and quizzes. It contains explanatory material, such as the nutshell and hornbook series, and it provides sample questions and answers with the exam pro series. If you miss hearing about the law, West Academic Study Aids includes the Sum and Substance Audio series, as well as the Law School Legends Audio. Right now I am listening to a riveting discussion on expert testimony.

Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library: The publisher Wolters Kluwer has given us access to the Wolters Kluwer Online Study Aid Library, which includes popular titles, such as the Examples & Explanations series, Glannon Guides, and the In Other Words audio and video series. 

Additionally, the library was able to arrange for temporary Bluebook Online access for the next 90 days.  If you need access to the Bluebook Online, please contact Robin Schard if you would like a redemption code.

In addition to the specific sites above, you continue to have access to all of our databases, e-books and e-journals (in uSearch, make sure you are searching “Everything”).

For any help with legal research, virtual reference services continue to be available Monday-Friday from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. (Virtual reference services include email, chat, or text options.)

Law School faculty, students, and staff should contact reference if you need access to print formats of material in the law library, and we will work out an appropriate delivery method.

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ADMITTED STUDENTS

How can I join a webinar to learn more about the Miami Law experience?

To join an upcoming webinar or view a recorded one, please visit our Pre-Law Webinars webpage.

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How can I get in touch with faculty, alumni or even a current student?

You can connect with our vast community - faculty, alumni or current students - via email: admissions@law.miami.edu.

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Can I schedule an appointment with an advisor?

It is easy to schedule an appointment with an advisor and reach out with any questions.

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CAREER DEVELOPMENT OFFICE

How will the CDO communicate with me the rest of the semester?

The CDO will continue to communicate with students via email (sent to the email address listed on students’ Symplicity account) and will also post updates on the Symplicity homepage.

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Will I be able to meet with my CDO advisor?

Yes. Your CDO advisor will remain available to provide career and professional development advising, including resume and cover letter review. Advisors can respond to inquiries by email. Moreover, telephonic and virtual appointments will also be available. Students should contact their CDO advisor directly with their questions and to schedule telephonic/virtual appointments. Unsure to whom you are assigned? Email cdo@law.miami.edu to request the name and email address of your CDO advisor.

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Is the CDO still conducting mock interviews?

Yes. The CDO will continue to conduct mock interviews when requested by students. These interviews will be conducted by telephone or virtually using Zoom or BlueJeans meetings. The CDO advisor conducting the mock interview will initiate the telephone call or video conference; students will be asked to provide their phone number when scheduling the mock interview.

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I had on campus interviews scheduled as part of Spring Recruiting. Will I still be able to interview?

Yes. The Spring Recruiting Program is still moving forward. In-person interviews have been canceled, but the CDO continues to work with employers to ensure that interviews are conducted remotely. Impacted employers or the CDO will contact students regarding future interview dates. Students should not contact employers directly about pending interviews unless specifically instructed by the CDO to do so. Whenever possible, employers will be encouraged to use Zoom or BlueJeans, two platforms for which Miami Law will provide online tutorials. Students are asked to be flexible as possible regarding the scheduling of interviews and the use of available platforms through which interviews are conducted.

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I am still looking for a summer job. Will the Spring Recruiting Program continue this semester?

Yes. As Spring Recruiting is largely administered online via Symplicity, the application process will continue as usual. Symplicity will remain accessible to students, without interruption. Spring Recruiting sessions will continue to be announced each Friday through mid-April. Students should continue to apply to opportunities of interest. Application materials will continue to be forwarded to employers via email – this process remains unchanged. What will be impacted are on campus interviews. The CDO is working with employers previously scheduled to conduct interviews on campus to ensure that interviews will take place remotely and as close to the original interview date as possible. Once the Spring Recruiting program ends in mid-April, all job opportunities will continue to be posted on the CDO’s Job Posting Database, also available on Symplicity.

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I am a 3L student graduating in May. Do I still need to complete my Professional Development Plan & Interview?

Yes. The requirement for graduating JD students to complete a Professional Development Plan online and conduct a Professional Development Interview (previously referred to as the exit interview) before leaving law school remains unchanged. The Professional Development Plan is available online. Professional Development Interviews already scheduled will be conducted by telephone at the scheduled time. The call will be initiated by the CDO to the number listed in the student’s Professional Development Plan. Students who have not yet scheduled their Professional Development Interview should email Alana Butin at a.butin@miami.edu and provide their general availability (for example: free on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.).

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I am participating in the Spring 2020 Externship Program. Where can I get updates about my course requirements and modifications due to COVID-19?

Current externs should refer to the Spring 2020 Externship Program TWEN page for all updates regarding their course requirements and modifications. Students may also contact Sajani Desai Granquist at sdesai@law.miami.edu with any questions about their externship field placements and requirements.

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LAW SCHOOL & EXTERNAL EVENTS

Which campus events/meetings have been canceled?

Effective Sunday, March 15, through Saturday, April 4, all campus events or meetings with confirmed or anticipated number of attendees to exceed 50, including external events, are canceled.

Any previously scheduled in-person Legal Theory Workshops hosted by Intellectual Life this Spring have been canceled, and will be rescheduled for the Fall semester. If you have questions about Intellectual Life events, please contact Vice Dean Lili Levi (llevi@law.miami.edu), Director of Professional and Intellectual Law Programming Hakim Lakhdar (hlakhdar@law.miami.edu), or Ms. Alina Hernandez (ahernandez@law.miami.edu).

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How do I know if my event has been canceled?

A cancelation notice via email was generated and sent directly to the contact person listed for your event. If for any reason you did not receive an email or you were not contacted by phone, please email events@law.miami.edu.

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FACULTY & STAFF

I am having trouble getting back to Miami, who should I contact?

For Faculty, please contact Vice Dean for Academic Affairs Andrew B. Dawson directly by email or phone. For Staff, please contact Director of Law School Human Resources Jorge Pineda directly or by email or phone at (305) 284-3076 or jpineda@law.miami.edu.

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I have been in an impacted area; do I need to self-quarantine? Who should I contact?

Any member of the University community who travels to or from a Level 3 country will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return. Staff, faculty members, or visiting scholars returning from these regions must contact UHealth Infection Control at 786-427-5018 prior to coming to campus. Please refer here for specific information and updates: https://coronavirus.miami.edu/travel-guidance/index.html

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Who do I contact if I need to travel?

All University-related international travel is prohibited. University-related domestic travel must receive prior approval by Dean Varona.

Please reference the University’s travel guidance page for updates: https://coronavirus.miami.edu/travel-guidance/index.html

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LAW SCHOOL FACILITIES

Will the law school and University facilities remain open?

For University Libraries, the Shalala Student Center, the Herbert Wellness Center, and Student Health Services facilities updates and operating hours, please check here: https://coronavirus.miami.edu/information-for/students/index.html

 The Law Library is closed until further notice.  Please continue to monitor the Law Library contact and hours page for updates here: https://www.law.miami.edu/iml/library/library-contact-and-hours

The University’s housekeeping services have increased the frequency and depth of cleaning and disinfection in all campus facilities. In addition, the University has placed additional hand-sanitizing stations throughout all campuses.

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Will any access to campus be restricted for students, faculty or staff?

Campus access is available at the moment; however, in accordance with CDC guidelines we strongly encourage social distancing and recommend minimizing the number of people on campus. Group meetings are limited to 10 individuals.

You can access campus to get to your lockers to retrieve books and materials at present.

Effective March 20, The Alma Jennings Student Lounge, the Shalala Student Center, and all Classrooms will be closed until further notice.

We are aware that various jurisdictions have issued shelter in place orders. Please monitor for updated news on the status of access to the University of Miami Coral Gables Campus.

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