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Dear Incoming Fordham Law Student, 

I know you have been eager to learn our plans for the fall. The public health situation is evolving, and thus our plans are subject to change as needed, but our current intention is to open our building on a very limited basis. This letter will give you a sense of what to expect, and we will continue to be in touch over the summer with many more details. 

Academic Plan
We have made the decision to hold all classes for part-time 1Ls online for the fall semester. We know that some of you are eager to begin law school classes in-person, but public health concerns sharply limit our ability to offer in-person classes. You are welcome to use the building to study. If physical distancing continues in the spring, we are committed to offering some in-person classes for part-time 1L students at that time, and we look forward to returning to a full in-person program as soon as possible. 

We will also ensure that you have many opportunities to interact with both your professors and your classmates outside of class. 

Student Services

You will have access to the full range of student services, including the Career Planning Center, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Financial Aid Office, with most of the services offered remotely. 

Safety Plan
This fall will be unlike any other. Your health and safety are our first priority, and each member of our community will play a role in keeping us all as safe as possible. Building on the University's plan, we will have multiple strategies to protect everyone's health. 

The cornerstone of our approach is an understanding that everyone entering the building will need to change their behavior to protect the health of everyone in our community. We will use a variety of tools to mitigate risk, including a daily screening protocol, required face coverings for everyone in the building, physical distance in all our spaces, and testing and contact tracing. 

Mandatory Quarantine
As you may have seen, Governor Cuomo is requiring a 14-day quarantine period for people arriving in New York from certain states. If you are affected by this order, please plan ahead and come to New York at least two weeks in advance of your first trip into the building.

The mandatory Law School orientation program for part-time 1Ls will begin on August 13 and will be held entirely online. You will receive more specific information in the coming weeks, but please plan to be available to attend all of orientation. The first day of classes for the fall semester is August 26.

Future Communications
You will be hearing from us a lot in the coming weeks.  We will need additional information from you, and we will be sending you lots of details about classes and our safety measures. Please check your inbox regularly.

Finally, I want to take a moment to reflect and say that I am so very grateful for the hard work, resilience, and flexibility I have personally witnessed each and every day from our students, faculty, and staff. Although it has been challenging, it has also been a time filled with tremendous opportunities, and I am so energized to see us seizing and capitalizing on those opportunities to move our school – and ultimately our profession – forward. 

Matthew Diller
Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law
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