In response to changing norms in law school operations resulting from Covid-19 restrictions, Boston College Law School Dean Vincent Rougeau has announced new protocols and timetables for the bar exam and on-campus job interviews, and the establishment of an emergency fund for students experiencing serious financial hardship. He also noted that the University has cancelled all May Commencement ceremonies, and that efforts are being made to find alternative ways to celebrate students’ achievements.
According to Executive Director Marilyn Wellington and the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners, July bar exams have been rescheduled for September 8-10, or September 29 – October 1, 2020. The Massachusetts administration of the Uniform Bar Exam will be held on September 30 and October 1, 2020 for standard test-takers, and from September 30 – October 3, 2020 for test-takers sitting for the exam with accommodations requiring double-time.
Anticipated changes to the legal market and legal recruiting landscape over the coming months led to the postponement of BC Law’s Summer On-Campus Interview (OCI) program, and all affiliated BC Law led off-campus programs, until early in the 2021 spring semester. “We believe this timing will allow employers the opportunity to evaluate their hiring needs and allow our students to be competitive with peer schools for summer and post-grad positions,” Dean Rougeau said in his announcement. “I am confident that this move is in alignment with current market trends among law schools and legal employers who traditionally participate in OCI. Nearly all the T-14 schools, and many in the top 50, have already rescheduled.”
On the financial assistance front, BC Law has created a $25,000 Student Emergency Relief Fund and applied for an additional $25,000 grant from the Law Student Emergency Relief Program, recently announced by AccessLex Institute President and CEO Christopher Chapman. These funds will enable the Law School “to work as quickly as possible to respond to requests for assistance,” said Dean Rougeau.
Concerning commencement, he cited a letter to the Boston College community from President William P. Leahy, SJ, cancelling graduation exercises and promising that “University leaders will be considering ways of celebrating achievements of graduate and professional students earning degrees this year.”
Dean Rougeau is arranging for a webinar to provide details and get feedback from students on these matters.
All pandemic-related announcements can be found on the Law School’s Coronavirus Updates page.