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Welcome Back from Dean Barton


It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 2020-21 academic year. During this past year we have witnessed our world change drastically. I am confident we will persevere and get through these challenges because we are strategic and prepared. But more importantly, we will navigate these waters successfully because we are resilient and we care deeply about all of you. Now more than ever, society needs skilled lawyers who advocate with integrity and compassion, and who are committed to lead in our ongoing quest for justice. We are delighted you are here and ready to start the academic year.

This academic year will look and feel different. As you know, we must implement a variety of health safeguards to keep everyone safe. Many events will be held virtually. Face coverings will be mandatory for everyone everywhere on campus. Each student will need to take personal responsibility and consistently adhere to social distancing, engage in frequent handwashing, wear face masks, and follow other CDC guidelines. This is not about just protecting your own health. We must be diligent in our efforts to protect the health of others in our community.

Our Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor Tara Willke, will follow up this message with more details about our academic schedule and a list of frequently asked questions about classes. We have developed a plan to allow for maximum flexibility while maintaining the highest standards of pedagogy. We will hold several Zoom Town Hall meetings for first year, upper level, and evening students in early August so that you can ask questions of me and our faculty.

I would like to close by acknowledging the uncertainty of the weeks and months ahead. The changing conditions of COVID-19 may require us to modify our academic plans during the semester and throughout the year. We will continue to communicate as conditions evolve. There is no doubt that our next year together is going to be unique, but the faculty, staff and I are committed to providing with you the very best educational experience possible. Together, we are strong and resilient and we will successfully navigate these uncertain times. Please know we are here for you and do not hesitate to reach out with any concerns.

My very best wishes for a productive and fulfilling academic year!


Dean April Barton

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