First and foremost, I hope that you are – and will remain – healthy and safe during this challenging time.
As you may know, earlier this month The University of Alabama commenced limited operations on campus to mitigate the risk and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision benefits each member of our community and our loved ones, but continuing operations in a way that promotes safety requires adaptability and creativity.
Beginning today, our classes have resumed after an extended two-week Spring Break. We are teaching those classes online. They will remain online for the remainder of the semester. Next month, we will administer examinations, also online. Because of the unprecedented challenges that the virus has created, all of this semester’s courses will be graded on a Pass/D/Fail grading scale. Much of the legal academy is moving to a similar scale for this semester. I believe it is an appropriate response to the circumstances that schools across the country are facing.
Many of you have been a part of our strategic planning initiative. For this, I thank you. The initiative is important, and we shall complete this work to set Alabama Law’s course for the future. I want to let you know, however, that we are pausing the initiative until we are in a better position to collectively move forward. Expect more news on this front in the months ahead.
We will be doing our part to protect the health of all members of the Alabama Law community. But you should know that we will continue to carry out our primary mission – educating our students so that they may obtain their degrees, pursue their careers in law, and become outstanding members of a noble profession. Today, we might not be executing this mission in our classrooms. But Alabama Law has always been more than bricks and mortar. It is about an ethic of community, relationships, support, and achievement. This ethos animates everything we do. It has not changed, nor will it.
Our nation needs lawyers now, and it will need lawyers in the days after this virus has passed. Consistent with our best traditions, the lawyers who have graduated from Alabama Law will help to fill that need.
Thank you for supporting our Law School. Please take care of yourself. Look after your loved ones. Be good to one another. These are small things. But they are important, especially as we navigate together toward calmer waters.