Information for the UVA Law Community on Returning to Grounds

Information for the UVA Law Community on Returning to Grounds

The University and the Law School are offering a mix of in-person and online courses during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, with all classes available online for enrolled students who choose to attend remotely. Academic Calendar

Currently, the Law School building is locked. Those who enter the Law School or visit the University Grounds 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. 

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 many 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 on Law School and University Grounds are required to use face coverings and practice social distancing in accordance with University guidelines. Every student, faculty and staff member who is on Grounds this fall had 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 completed online training before the fall semester began, and are 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 requires social distancing in common spaces, including classrooms and study spaces. All students and employees must follow the University’s policy on face coverings; the University provided two cloth face coverings to every student and employee, as well as guidance on their appropriate maintenance. The school is acting 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. The school has modified 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 continue to undertake additional measures as appropriate to promote the health and safety of the community. 

Fall Semester Courses and Schedule

The Law School began the semester as usual with orientation events occurring in mid-August, with first-year classes beginning Aug. 19, and upper-level classes starting Aug. 26. Like the rest of the University, the Law School did 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. Fall classes will conclude before the Thanksgiving break.

January Term and Spring Semester Schedule

January term classes will take place as scheduled, mostly during Jan. 19-22. Monday, Jan. 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 Jan. 25. Students may take all of their classes online if they choose. Academic Calendar

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 reopened the week of Aug. 17. Their hours will remain the same as before. The Stone Dining Room is currently closed because buffet-style food service is not permitted under current Virginia Department of Health guidelines (Details). 

Graduation and Law Alumni Weekend

The University will make an announcement about plans for Final Exercises for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 by March 15, 2021.

Currently, the Class of 2020’s in-person commencement activities are scheduled for 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

The Law School Foundation plans to host a “grand reunion” combining the 2020 reunion classes with the 2021 reunion classes May 14-16, 2021, depending on the course of the pandemic. The foundation will make a decision regarding whether the reunion will be hosted in person no later than March 17. If you have questions or concerns, contact alumnievents@law.virginia.eduMore

Staffing, Essential Functions and Remote Work

Some faculty and staff/administrators are currently working from home, with some staff performing essential functions on site to continue Law School operations. Departments have in-person office coverage during business hours, with specific hours posted on the Law School directory.

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.