Sun, Mar 15, 2020 6:48 PM

Dear Wake Forest Law students,

I write to give you some idea of how we will be proceeding going forward in light of the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. Please know that student health and safety is our top priority, followed closely by your education. Therefore, with that prioritization, proper and necessary measures involve remote classes, prohibiting gatherings, etc. This is an unprecedented situation and your patience has been and continues to be greatly appreciated.

Quality of Education

All of your faculty are being trained on best practices for remote learning, and you will receive the same personalized attention that makes Wake Forest Law such a unique community. You chose Wake Forest because you recognize the quality of our dedicated teacher-scholars, the personal faculty-student relationship and having a cohesive and committed community. We have extensive experience in online teaching, and we are small and nimble. Indeed, we are spending time thinking not only about how we meet these challenges but also how we can create opportunities for even more learning as we face this pandemic together. I realize, though, you may have specific questions and I will attempt to answer them the best I can given considerable uncertainty about the future.


  • Are my classes going to be offered at the same time as they were before the remote teaching requirement? It depends. Some professors will continue class at the regular time, meeting via WebEx.  Others will provide you with pre-recorded videos accompanied by additional assignments and exercises. Each professor will email you to let you know how the remote course will be conducted.
  • Do I need to download any software? The campus Information Systems office has put together a resource page with links and tips for remote learning. Your professor will send information on which systems they will use for your remote class sessions.
  • How do I know how to log on to the live class? Your professor will send you information on how to log on, what time, etc.
  • Does a professor have the option to organize the class on campus? No. All classes are required to be held remotely, no matter how many students are registered.
  • What about oral arguments in LAWR?  These oral arguments will be done remotely.  The details will be provided by your professor.
  • How can courses that require in-person activity, are clinics or externships continue during the all-remote classes, and how will students be given the opportunity to make up for these experiential credits before they graduate? This is being handled on a case-by-case basis by each professor. Additional opportunities for experiential credit will be developed and offered over the next few weeks.
  • Can professors lead off-campus trips/field work? Due to the recommended social distancing measures, professors cannot hold classes in person and must move to remote delivery. With these measures in place professors should not organize off campus field trips/field work.
  • Do we know if classes will be held in person again in the summer? We do not yet know about summer session, but your summer registration will proceed as planned on Monday, March 16.


  • What will happen for mid-term reviews or reviews of paper drafts? We will use virtual/remote methods to hold reviews for mid-terms or papers.
  • Can grading be adjusted (for instance, to make up for participation points) and/or can there be other support or adjustments made for performance negatively impacted by online classes, etc? Grading and assignments will be adjusted on a case-by-case basis as determined by your grading professor. You will be hearing from your professors about how distance learning will affect their grading practices. If you have specific questions, reach out to your professor.
  • Could this disruption affect accreditation? Accommodations are being made at the national regulatory level to ensure that accreditation is not affected.

Interaction with Professors

  • How will office hours work? Will professors be required to host a certain number of office hours online? What about TAs? Professors will have office hours remotely, and you may make appointments to have a remote one-on-one conversation with your professor. Look for more information on how to schedule this from your professor.
  • How will I work with TAs? TAs will also offer remote access so you may continue to work with them.
  • Will professors be restricted from travelling domestically and internationally to and from Wake Forest? Wake Forest has asked faculty and staff to halt travel plans during this pandemic. Should that change, we will share more information.

Looking ahead

  • If the COVID-19 situation improves within the next month, is there a potential that Wake Forest will return to in-person classes through the end of the semester? The University has decided that classes will remain remote until the end of the semester regardless of how the outbreak progresses. With many students currently at home, it could be a hardship to require them to travel back for in-person classes after leaving Winston-Salem.
  • What happens to newly accepted or continuing students? Will there be an Admitted Students Day for admitted students? We are currently planning to host a virtual Admitted Students Day.
  • Will Fall registration occur? Yes. If you have not heard from your faculty advisor, reach out to that person or another faculty member you think would be a good fit for you. The faculty is committed to giving you advice in your course selection.
  • Are the hooding ceremony and Commencement cancelled?  These decisions are still pending. We remain hopeful this containment will allow us to proceed with a live ceremony.  As soon as we know, you will be alerted.


  • What is going to happen with the Office of Career and Professional Development? How do we get interview prep done? Hear about jobs, etc?  The OCPD office and alumni relations team will still offer services and resources. These will also be delivered remotely. We will share more information as it becomes available.
  • How might the Law School assist us in navigating this situation to find employment opportunities? I will reach out to alumni to help with networking for our students. Lawyers are problem solvers and crisis managers.  This situation means new systems will need to be developed and navigated. Do not assume that COVID-19 will result in a downturn in legal jobs.

International Students (anything related to Visa, OPT, CPT)

  • What will happen to our Visa status if international students leave the country in this urgent circumstance? Students currently sponsored on the F-1 or J-1 visa through WFU can refer to the FAQ’s posted on the International Students and Scholars Office’s website:

Please let me know if there are questions you might have that are not addressed here. Things are changing daily, if not hourly, and I will attempt to make sure you are fully apprised.

Stay well,


Jane H. Aiken
Dean, Wake Forest School of Law
P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109