1. I elected in-person instruction but want to attend class online some days. May I do that?

You must attend all courses based on your election of in-person or online instruction. If you elected in-person instruction and the class is offered in person, your faculty are expecting to see you in the Law School buildings for each class meeting. It is possible that some students who elected in-person instruction are taking classes that are only offered online. Your attendance will be driven by the course modality as noted on the course schedule. Faculty reserve the right to mark you absent if you have elected in-person instruction but do not attend in person unless there are unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control such as sickness, quarantine, or car trouble. If you miss class due to such unforeseeable circumstances, you should notify your instructor as soon as possible.*   *From the Student Handbook: Attendance During Public Health Emergency. Students who have elected in-person instruction must arrive in Ithaca in time to complete any required quarantine prior to the scheduled start of classes and are expected to attend courses inside the law school buildings, absent extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, such as required isolation due to the pandemic.

2. I elected online instruction but want to attend class in-person some days. May I?

If you elected online instruction, no seat has been reserved for you in the classroom and you are not able to attend classes in person. For contact tracing purposes, it is important that we know who is attending class in campus buildings.

3. I think the Registrar’s Office incorrectly recorded my modality election and now I’m not able to attend my classes in my preferred method. What should I do?

Once you selected your modality preference, the Registrar’s Office recorded that choice by date and time. If you believe your modality was incorrectly recorded, please contact the appropriate advising office for your degree program and we will work with the Registrar’s Office to investigate further.

4. Even if my modality was correctly recorded, I’d like to change it now. Why can’t I?

We reserved classroom seats and made other decisions, such as worked with faculty to develop rotation systems for hybrid courses, in reliance on your decision made by the opening of pre-registration deadline (January 6th). Further changes at this point, absent extraordinary circumstances beyond your control (i.e., quarantine/isolation, or visa issues), cause considerable disruption to your faculty who have planned relying on the choices you communicated, your fellow students who may have been denied a seat in the class, and staff who have to manually update each change.

5. I don’t recall making an instruction modality election or, if I did, I don’t recall what choice I made. How can I check?

As mentioned in my February 9th message, we understand that you received a lot of messages from both the University and the Law School. To remind you of the instruction modality election you made, IT and the Registrar’s Office have added a notation at the top of your course schedule.

6. I have confirmed my instruction modality election and would like to make a change. How can I do so?

If there are circumstances beyond your control that warrant a change at this point, you may petition the faculty Administrative Committee at Petitions must outline extraordinary circumstances upon which the requested change is based. If you elect to switch from online to in-person, please be aware that there is no guarantee a seat will be available in the classroom as seat availability was assessed based on the elections students made by January 6th and as confirmed before add/drop opened on February 3rd. Additionally, the Canvas page for each in-person course contains instructions for where to direct questions or concerns about instruction modality preference (

7. May I work with my instructor to change my instruction modality for their course from in-person to online or online to in-person or must I go through the Administrative Committee petition process?

Please do not contact your faculty directly seeking to make a change. Individual faculty members do not have jurisdiction to grant or deny your request. The faculty have collectively delegated these decisions to the Administrative Committee.

1. I am a 1L studying remotely and my classes are outside the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. May I take my courses asynchronously?

As outlined in the attendance policy in the Student Handbook*, all 1Ls must take all required courses synchronously, at the time they are offered. If there is an extraordinary hardship, you may petition the Administrative Committee to request asynchronous participation in your 1L elective course. You may petition the faculty Administrative Committee at Petitions must outline extraordinary circumstances upon which the requested change is based. *From the Student Handbook: Attendance During Public Health Emergency. 1L students electing online study are expected to take courses synchronously.

2. I am an upperlevel (LLM or JD) student and I would like to take my classes asynchronously on some days and synchronously on others. May I do that?

Upperlevel students may elect to take a course asynchronously if the course falls outside of the hours of 8 a.m.-8 p.m. in the student’s time zone.* If you participate in a course asynchronously, you are expected to do so for the balance of the term (unless, due to a visa issue, you will be joining us later in the term and switching to in-person instruction). You may not take courses asynchronously if the class is offered during the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in your time zone. Additionally, there are a small number of courses for which asynchronous attendance is not permitted, even if the class is offered outside of those hours in your time zone. This will be noted in the course description.
*From the student handbook: Attendance During Public Health Emergency: [At] any point at which online study is offered due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, students participating in upper level courses remotely will be expected to participate synchronously if the class falls between the hours of 8 A.M. and 8 P.M. in the time zone where they are located. Outside those hours, they may choose to participate either synchronously or asynchronously. In either case, attendance will be mandatory for all students participating remotely.

3. I don’t feel well and cannot attend class synchronously or asynchronously. What should I do?

Your health is our first priority. If you do not feel well, do not attend class. As professional school students, it is important to reach out to your professors to let them know you will be absent. If you miss 3 or more days of classes, please contact the advising office associated with your degree program.

4. I tested positive for COVID-19. Should I contact my professors? What support is available to help me remain current with classwork?

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, Cornell Health will connect you with the Dean of Students Office for temporary accommodations. The Dean of Students or appropriate advising office for your degree program will contact your professors, without disclosing your condition to protect your privacy, to arrange flexibility from course requirements. You do not need to contact your professors directly. By working with the advising offices, we will ensure that you receive consistent support and flexibility.


1. There appears to be a seat available in my classes and I’d like to attend in person. Why can’t I attend class in person if there is an empty seat?

Classroom capacity is strictly limited by public health protocols. It may appear that there are available seats in a class but there are a number of reasons that a seat assigned to a student may be empty on a given day such as isolation/quarantine, visa issues, and other reasons.