Howard Law Statement to Students Regarding COVID-19-related Operations

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Dear Students,

Please carefully review the HU Communications and the email from Dean Holley-Walker from earlier today. Moreover, this email will be on the TWEN site (Office of Academic Affairs). Sign up! This TWEN page is an important resource, especially if we are having connectivity difficulties with the Howard Law website. Ms. Witty will also ensure this message appears on the Howard Law website. If you have any IT questions, the Howard Law IT Help Desk can be reached at and 806-8013. Moreover, below this message, I have copied a message from Professor Alayan regarding library services.

As you read, it is estimated that we are likely to remain in a remote instructional format for the remainder of the semester. Fortunately, we are well into our preparations for this big shift. Please be assured that all of us in the Howard Law community are working very hard every day to ensure that our academic programming continues and in compliance with our accrediting bodies.

I repeat information from my March 11 message to you here.

When we return from spring break:

  1. Your courses will virtually meet at their regularly scheduled time and day.
  2. Attendance is mandatory. Your professor will communicate with you the method in which attendance will be logged.
  3. Professors will notify students how virtual office hours will be conducted.

This is very important! All academic policies remain in place. All students remain subject to the Academic Code of Conduct. Importantly, the ABA requires accredited law schools to maintain the consistent provision of our academic program, which includes attendance enforcement and classroom instruction. 

Other important follow-ups:

Rest assured that we are in close communications regarding the important things happening for the rest of the semester. I will let you know as soon as possible regarding:

1. Registration dates for Fall 2020 (including 1L registration);

2. Registration dates for Summer 2020;

3. Academic advising for Fall 2020;

4. Final exams;

5. Grades;

A decision on the above items will likely be announced sometime after spring break. No decisions on the above have yet been made. Please note: anything regarding final decisions about the above issues that you may have heard is not true.

6. Commencement. At this time, President Frederick has indicated that Commencement is going forward as planned. Final decisions will be made and communicated to us all as soon as possible.

I am thinking of all of you, your family and loved ones. Please reach out to friends and loved ones during this time and lean on each other (virtually, of course) for guidance and support.

Take great care and have a safe spring break,

Dean Olivares

Mariela Olivares
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor of Law
Howard University School of Law
2900 Van Ness St. NW
Washington D.C. 20008



View my research on my SSRN Author page:


Message from Professor Alayan regarding library services below

Based on recent communications from main campus, the law library building will close as scheduled at 6:00 pm this evening and will remain physically closed until further notice.  The law library’s physical collection will be unavailable, including all print monographs, serials, special collections, and physical equipment.  As usual, reference services are suspended during spring break (3/14 – 3/22).  Beginning Monday, March 23, all reference services and research consultations will resume as scheduled, but they will be managed remotely.  We encourage all faculty, staff, and students to centralize questions and requests using email.  We will update our website to reflect these changes, and encourage you to consult it as needed  Because other campuses and libraries across the country are undergoing or considering similar shifts in operations, we encourage you to call in advance to confirm access before attempting to visit another library as an alternative.


For students who rely on library course reserve materials to complete required readings for classes, we have reached out to the major academic publishers who have offered temporary electronic access.  Please note that each publisher has outlined different procedures to expedite access. 

· Carolina Press: ask your professor to reach out to to distribute time-limited ebook access (codes will expire June 1)

· West Academic: students should call 877-888-1330 to initiate a request for electronic access to casebooks as a replacement on a complimentary basis through June 1

· Lexis: students should call 800-833-9844 to see if their casebook is eligible

While the physical collection will be unavailable, our digital content can be accessed off-campus.  Users currently discover electronic content primarily through the Library Catalog and Legal Databases.  The catalog is maintained through a consortial relationship with other Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) members.  This system is stable, and we should feel confident that access will remain uninterrupted.  Access to the catalog will ensure library users can expect the same level of resource discovery they currently experience.  Library staff are prepared to provide increased remote support for users unfamiliar with navigating the catalog and other resources independently off campus. 

In the event that students, staff, or faculty have questions about tools or technology (e.g., apps) that may help transition users to working off campus, don’t hesitate to reach out using email.  We may be able to recommend a solution or alternative that meets your needs.  The Howard University School of Law Library staff are committed to supporting the pedagogical and research needs of the HUSL community during this unpredictable time and wish you and you loved ones all the best in health and safety.


Thank you!