Dear Members of the Cornell Law School Community:

By now you have no doubt had a chance to read President Pollack’s message, notifying the Cornell community that, effective at 5 p.m., all Ithaca-based instruction will cease. Cornell Law School’s Ithaca-based instruction will also cease at 5 p.m. today.

Because the Law School operates under distinctive regulatory and professional constraints imposed by our accrediting and licensing authorities that do not affect the rest of the Cornell community in the same way, our upcoming calendar will differ in certain respects from what President Pollack announced for the rest of the Ithaca campus.

In the interim, Cornell Law students are encouraged to return to their permanent addresses and prepare to transition to online instruction as soon as practicable. For many Law students, Ithaca is their permanent address. For others, such as our international students, returning home may not be feasible or consistent with your continued academic and professional progress. As we indicated in our previous communications, we ask you to use your best judgment about where to reside as you continue your education online, taking into account your need for reliable Internet access.

Even for Law students who remain in Ithaca, access to the Cornell campus, including the Law School buildings, will change dramatically after this weekend, as we seek to comply with the university’s instructions regarding social distancing in response to the coronavirus. Although Law School operations will continue, the Law School will be shifting to new modes of operation in order to permit faculty and staff to engage in social distancing.

No doubt you have many questions. The situation has been changing rapidly. We will be working hard to provide you with answers as best we can within a rapidly changing environment. We will be updating the FAQs on the Law School’s coronavirus information page to reflect these new developments. Please continue to check that website in the coming days for up-to-date information about university and Law School operations.

Needless to say, we are in truly uncharted territory, none of it ideal. Our school, and indeed our entire world, is confronting a challenge that none of us have ever experienced. We will get through this challenge together, as a community, by supporting one another and by demonstrating the patience, grace, and ingenuity that have always characterized this Law School’s students, faculty, and staff.

Best wishes,

Eduardo M. Peñalver
Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law
Cornell Law School
Myron Taylor Hall