Information for the UVA Law Community on Returning to Grounds

Information for the UVA Law Community on Returning to Grounds

The University and Law School are preparing to offer in-person classes on Grounds again in the fall, following the move to online courses last spring due to the national COVID-19 outbreak. UVA Law plans to offer a mix of in-person and online courses during the fall semester, with all classes available online for enrolled students who choose to attend remotely.

Like the University, the Law School’s fall semester will start on schedule in August and will conclude in-person classes prior to Thanksgiving. Information on plans for classes and facilities will be announced to the UVA Law community as they develop.

Currently, employees are generally conducting work from home, and the Law School building is locked. Those who enter the Law School must wear face coverings when around other people and follow social distancing guidelines. Please consult the University Return to Grounds website for the latest guidance and updates. When classes resume, employees will work at the Law School on a limited basis, often on a rotation schedule with others in the same department.

As planning for the fall coalesces, the Law School and the University are acting to protect the health, safety and welfare of all the members of our community. Thank you for your assistance, understanding and patience as we work together to continue the mission of the Law School.

How to Contact the Law School

With most staff currently working remotely, the best way to contact the Law School during this time is via email. The directory has email addresses for Law School departments and staff, including faculty. If you are unsure whom to contact, please email our Communications Office at

Health Protocols and Safety

UVA Law community members and visitors who are in the Law School building are required to use face coverings and practice social distancing in accordance with University guidelines. Every student, faculty and staff member who will be on Grounds this fall will have to meet certain health and safety requirements designed to keep members of the UVA and broader community safe. Key parts of the plan include social distancing, the wearing of face coverings, encouragement of frequent hand-washing, and enhanced cleaning of the environment. Students must submit a negative COVID-19 test before returning to Grounds. Students and employees planning to return to Grounds must complete online training before the fall semester begins, and will be expected to complete a daily check of symptoms related to COVID-19 through the HOOS Health Check app or website.

In keeping with University guidelines, the Law School will require social distancing in common spaces, including classrooms and study spaces. All students and employees are required to follow the University’s policy on face coverings, and the University will provide two cloth face coverings to every student and employee, as well as guidance on their appropriate maintenance. The school will act in accordance with the University’s testing, tracing, monitoring, quarantine and isolation procedures.

The Law School instituted enhanced cleaning protocols at the onset of the outbreak. In advance of the return to classes, the school is modifying classrooms, lounges and study areas — including the Law Library — to allow for social distancing. Hand-sanitizing and wipe stations are now placed throughout the building. The school will be undertaking additional measures as appropriate to promote the health and safety of the community. 

Fall Semester Courses and Schedule

The Law School plans to begin the semester as usual with orientation events occurring in mid-August, first-year classes beginning on August 19, and upper-level classes starting on August 26. Like the rest of the University, the Law School will not hold fall break in order to conclude in-person classes prior to Thanksgiving. The University hopes that this schedule will reduce travel and thus protect the health of the community.

January Term and Spring Semester Schedule

January term classes will take place as scheduled, mostly during January 19-22. Monday, January 18, is a University holiday in observance of MLK Jr. Day. Spring semester classes — a mix of hybrid and in-person classes and Zoom-only classes — will begin January 25. Students may take all of their classes online if they choose.
3. Spring Break will take place on five days spread throughout the spring semester, with the dates to be determined.

Events at the Law School

On-site events, workshops and gatherings are currently not being held at the Law School. 


The Law School’s exterior doors are now locked around the clock. The Law Library is not currently physically accessible to students, faculty or others, with the exception of essential library employees. If you have a need for library support, please email, and the library staff will provide remote assistance. Housekeeping maintains a heightened cleaning regimen throughout the building. The Sidley Austin Café and Greenberry’s Coffee Bar will reopen the week of Aug. 17. Their hours will remain the same as before. The Stone Dining Room will be closed because buffet-style food service is not permitted under current Virginia Department of Health guidelines (Details). 

Graduation and Law Alumni Weekend

The Class of 2020’s in-person commencement activities have been rescheduled to May 28-30, 2021. The Law School would participate in Final Exercises on the Lawn at 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 30, 2021. More

Like graduation, Law Alumni Weekend has also been rescheduled. The Law School Foundation will host a “grand reunion” combining the 2020 reunion classes with the 2021 reunion classes May 14-16, 2021. If you have questions or concerns, contact alumnievents@law.virginia.eduMore

Staffing, Essential Functions and Remote Work

Faculty and staff/administrators are currently working from home, with some staff performing essential functions on site to continue Law School operations. As the fall semester begins, departments will have some in-person office coverage during business hours, with specific hours posted on the Law School directory. The University has offered additional guidance on returning to work as in-person classes resume in the fall.

Meetings, Counseling Sessions and Office Hours

Meetings, counseling sessions or office hours with students are being conducted entirely using email, Zoom, online chat, phone or other electronic options. On-site meetings among essential employees are being conducted using electronic options whenever possible.