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Arizona Law "New Safe Return" Plan: 6.0 INSTRUCTION

Guidelines for the College of Law's new safe return to campus


Arizona Law will continue to deliver high quality instruction across a range of courses, clinics, and externships. This Plan’s goal is to maintain the highest standards for teaching and learning while mitigating the risk of COVID-19. Arizona Law will promote flexible teaching and learning modalities to accomplish this goal. The Plan integrates the strong foundation Arizona Law has built for remote learning opportunities over the past several years with the rich on-campus learning environment that is core to Arizona Law. In doing so, this Plan seeks to respect the significant challenges students and faculty face in returning to campus.

This Plan adopts UArizona Guidance from two different sources: 1) COVID-19 Adjusted Teaching Models (aka Teaching & Learning Guidelines (6/15/2020) (Appendix C); and 2) and UArizona Four Class Formats.

Arizona Law currently offers over 250 courses in Spring 2021. (See Appendix D for Spring 2021 course schedule and current enrollment data.) 132 of these courses are in the JD curriculum. The remaining courses are part of the BA in Law and Masters in Law curriculums.


The JD curriculum is standardized in the 1L year. In the Spring semester, every 1L student takes Property; Criminal Procedure; Constitutional Law I; Legal Research, Analysis, and Communication; Preparing to Practice; and one elective. 


Second- and third-year JD students have significant flexibility in their schedules. Upper-level courses include large doctrinal courses, smaller specialty courses, simulation and skills-based courses (e.g., Basic Trial Advocacy and Advanced Legal Writing), clinics, and externships.


There are approximately 125 upper-level JD courses being offered during Spring 2020. The majority of these courses have enrollments of 20 students or fewer. Only four upper-level courses have an enrollment of 40 or more: Business Organizations (55 students), Freedom of Speech and Expression (53 students), Immigration Law (49 students), and Secured Transactions (45 students). 

Assuming a full reopening of campus in Spring 2021, Arizona Law shall:

  1. Following UA guidance, and pursuant to section 5.2 above, Arizona Law will work with faculty to designate courses based on modality of instruction, either in-person, flex in-person, live online, or fully asynchronous online.

MILESTONE: By July 15, 2020, and after consultation with faculty members (see section 5.2), the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will provide the Registrar a list of classes that will be taught fully remotely, for purposes of room and course scheduling.

  1. Following UA guidance to reduce density on campus and Provost Folks’s example of staggered, alternate weeks of in-person instruction as a way to achieve that goal while maximizing safe opportunities for in-person instruction models and further developing pedagogically effective online lessons, Arizona Law will adopt a Red/Blue Team schedule:
  • Each JD class, as well as the MLS, LLM, and SJD students, will be divided in half, into a Red Team and a Blue Team. While all students will have the option to attend classes remotely, the Red and Blue Teams will alternate weeks when they are permitted to attend classes in-person.
  • In the alternate weeks, the students will be required to attend class remotely and remain off campus. Exceptions may be granted in limited cases by the COVID Task Force or the Dean’s Office.
  • Weeks will begin on Sunday and run through Saturday for purposes of defining “alternating weeks.”
  • This staggered schedule reduces campus density, promotes physical distancing in the classroom, and has the added advantage of leveraging the latency period of the virus.
  • MILESTONE: By August 1, 2020, Red/Blue teams will be assigned.
  1. Encourage flexible, hybrid methods of course delivery
  • Encourage all faculty to consider incorporating other approaches to teaching, consistent with this general plan, which would incorporate in-person and online components in a manner that: 1) reduces the number of students physically present at one time; 2) leverages the respective strengths of the online and in-person format; and, 3) ensures students’ accountability for course material. For example, a course could include pre-recorded introductory lectures, asynchronous small group work on problems, and in-person sessions to discuss and debrief. In tandem, these approaches could deliver a high-quality, interactive experience in which in-person interactions of a proportion of a class occur when they are of the greatest pedagogical value.
  • Provide support for faculty to develop and transition to new models of delivering instruction remotely.
  1. Encourage faculty members to hold office hours using a mixture of in-person, Zoom, and phone. When possible, faculty members should consider holding individual student meetings in the Arizona Law courtyard.
  2. Replace Spring 2021 spring break with five Reading/Wellness Days throughout the semester. The Spring 2021 Academic Calendar is available here:
  3. Require faculty to administer exams remotely in the fall semester so that students do not have to return to campus for exams.
  4. Develop teaching succession plans in the event a faculty member becomes ill or cannot work. Faculty members should contact the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs as soon as possible if they anticipate that disruptions related to COVID-19 will prevent them from fulfilling their teaching duties.
  5. Encourage all faculty to prepare in advance for a return to fully online course delivery on short notice. 

JD classrooms are located in three different Arizona Law buildings: the Law Commons building, the outer building (Rooms 160, 164, and 168), and Rountree Hall. A full list of the classrooms and seating capacity is provided in Appendix E. Arizona Law floor plans are provided in Appendix F.

The main Arizona Law Commons building has 10 classrooms, including several classrooms within the library.

The outer building contains three large classrooms, two with a capacity of 104 and a third with a capacity of 208, prior to the pandemic. These three classrooms are accessible directly from Arizona Law courtyard.

Rountree Hall has four classrooms, two reserved primarily for clinics and two reserved primarily for the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program.

Finally, a small number of additional rooms can function as classrooms, including the faculty lounge, the Sullivan Conference room, and even sections of the lobby area in the main Arizona Law building.

Assuming a full reopening of campus in Spring 2021, Arizona Law shall:

  1. Maintain appropriate distancing within classrooms to minimize contact and transmission: To the extent possible, maintain at least six feet of space between all persons at all times.
  2. Require instructors and students to wear face coverings. See President Robbins July 13, 2020 Administrative Directive on the Use of Face Coverings. See, also, Section 14.0 of the Plan.
  3. Reduce congestion during class transitions:
  • Instructors holding classes in the courtyard classrooms are encouraged to keep the doors open during class, to the extent possible.
  • At a minimum, all classroom doors should be propped open at the beginning and end of class when students are entering and exiting.
  • To mitigate the congestion when exiting classes, professors should end class five minutes early. Professors are encouraged to dismiss the students in stages, by row or section. The lost classroom time will need to be made up with online instruction to comply with ABA guidelines.
  1. Provide adequate A/V equipment in each classroom:
  • The equipment must provide for students attending the class synchronously and asynchronously.
  • Ideally, for synchronous delivery, the professor and in-person students should be able to see and interact with the remote, synchronous students seamlessly.
  • Ensure that each class is recorded and promptly posted to D2L for students attending asynchronously.
  • Provide training for faculty, faculty support, library staff, etc., to minimize glitches.
  • Refine the system for contacting IT staff when glitches arise.  

To facilitate the access restriction, daily screening, and physical distancing measures discussed earlier, this Plan establishes the following rules governing the flow of traffic on the Arizona Law campus:

  1. Students will enter the Arizona Law campus at two designated entry points on the east and west ends of Arizona Law courtyard.
  2. Students who have completed the daily screening questionnaire and temperature check online -- likely the vast majority -- may proceed directly to classrooms, the library, the lobby, the student lockers, or offices for student organizations.
  3. Students who have not completed the daily screening questionnaire or temperature check must do so at the kiosk set up for this purpose before proceeding to their campus destinations.
  4. In areas and times with predictably high traffic, for example, at 9:00AM, 10:30AM, and 1:30PM when several classes start, and also when other classes end, students should maintain social distancing to the extent possible and avoid congregating.
  5. To aid in social distancing when students exit class, this Plan will make several changes to Arizona Law physical space. See Section 8.0.
  6. Marks on the floors will aid in flow, social distancing and reduce congestion.

Arizona Law hosts 13 in-house clinics. Each clinic incorporates both a classroom component and clinical casework. The Clinics will continue to maintain high-quality, client-centered representation, while also minimizing transmission and ensuring the health and safety of Arizona Law community and clinic clients.

Where applicable, Arizona Law follows UArizona Guidance for Experiential Learning (set of three documents, 6/21/2020) (Appendix G).

To foster these goals, this Plan establishes the following rules for the daily operations of Arizona Law clinics:

  1. No walk-ins will be permitted into the clinic offices in Rountree Hall.
  • Members of the Arizona Law community will continue to access Rountree Hall using CatCards.
  • Signs on each of the external doors will instruct all others that entrance into Rountree Hall is permitted only with advance arrangement and authorization by Arizona Law clinic faculty or staff. An intercom outside the west side, first floor entrance to Rountree will allow for communication with clinic administrative staff.
  1. In-person meetings with individuals from outside the Arizona Law community will be restricted:
  • All clinic meetings and interviews involving anyone other than Arizona Law faculty, students, or staff, must take place in Rountree Hall 102.
  • All members of the public coming for a prearranged meeting, including clinic clients, witnesses, and co-counsel, will enter through the west side, first floor door of Rountree and be subject to Arizona Law daily screening procedures, including temperature check. This screening may be completed online or at the kiosk set up for this purpose.
  • The door to RH102 will remain locked at all times that it is not in use. Clinic administrative staff will oversee access and only unlock the door as needed.
  • Client and other meetings in RH102 will be on a strict appointment system. Sufficient time will be left between meetings to allow for cleaning.
  • Social distancing must be maintained during meetings. RH102 has a maximum capacity of seven people with social distancing. Meetings requiring the in-person participation of eight or more people will take place at a location outside of Arizona Law.
  • Visitors will not be permitted to access facilities on the College of Law campus outside of their designated meeting place without permission.
  1.  Travel for case-related purposes will be minimized to the extent possible.
  • When possible without jeopardizing case needs, case-related travel will be postponed.
  • Students whose casework requires travel will follow all university, state, and federal guidelines for travel.
  1. Case Coverage: Clinic faculty will develop coverage plans to ensure continuous seamless representation in the event a faculty member or clinic student becomes ill.

In addition to in-house clinics, Arizona Law offers clinical and experiential learning opportunities through community partners.

Three offsite clinics provide students an immersive experience at the Attorney General’s Office, the Pima County Public Defender’s Office, and/or the Pima County Attorney’s Office. Arizona Law’s Externship program allows students to partner with outside attorneys and organizations, creating tailored experiential learning opportunities. Arizona Law’s Judicial Clerking program places students with local judges for academic term clerkships.

Students participating in clinical and experiential learning opportunities outside of Arizona Law should follow the policies and guidelines of the host organization as well as the UArizona Guidance for Experiential Learning (6/21/2020)(Appendix G).

The Bachelor of Arts in Law degree provides a core legal education at the undergraduate level. It includes a fully online degree path and an in-person degree path. For the 2020-2021 academic year, there are approximately 900 students enrolled in the BA Law program, with 200 participating in the fully online program.

In general, BA in Law students take Arizona Law courses during their Junior and Senior years. They frequently take one or two courses which are scheduled in the evening and taught by Arizona Law faculty. Some utilize the law library to study before and/or after their classes at Arizona Law.

Many BA classes and activities are held outside of the Arizona Law campus and will be subject to the rules governing the relevant facilities. To the extent that BA in Law students attend classes, participate in clinics, or have job responsibilities on the Arizona Law campus, they must conform with these rules and the access provisions contained in section 4.2