Dear Alumni and Friends:
My message to you today, and this issue of In Summary, was originally slated to go out last week, but I thought under the circumstances it was more important to share my thoughts on the killing of George Floyd and the racial justice protests that are gripping our community and country. I would still like to provide a few updates on where the law school stands as we look forward to beginning a new academic year this fall despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, I am pleased to report encouraging news regarding our enrollment. We are on pace to exceed our goal of enrolling 200 first-year students, with a large number opting to begin in the summer Criminal Law class. Our admission team deserves kudos for skillfully adapting their recruiting process to a virtual environment, which included holding our Spring Visit Day in early April entirely online. Although we're still several weeks away from finalizing the incoming class, I'm reasonably optimistic that we'll find ourselves in a good place as the fall semester begins.
Second, President Sundborg has announced that Seattle University plans to welcome students to a reopened campus this fall. This is heartening, as our faculty, staff, and students are anxious to return to Sullivan Hall. At the same time, there is much to do before we can safely hold in-person classes. Both at the university and within the law school, working groups of faculty and staff are developing protocols and procedures, as well as preparing for a range of teaching scenarios. As of now, we plan to offer a mix of online and in-person instruction, with limits on the number of students in each class to ensure adequate physical distancing. Although the law school will adhere to its normal start date of Aug. 24, all in-person classes will end just before Thanksgiving and exams will be conducted virtually. That way, students won't need to return to campus until January, thus reducing the risk of virus transmission.
Third, I ask you to please keep our stellar Seattle U Law students and graduates in mind as you plan your hiring for the coming year. To help you safely connect with them, the Center for Professional Development (CPD) has designed a virtual Fall Interview Program. Please join us on Tuesday, June 23 at 11 a.m. for a Zoom information session about this new program.
In addition to our traditional Spring Interview Program, which we hope to be able to offer on campus, we have added a new winter program to be held over the last two weeks in January in order to give employers maximum flexibility as you determine your hiring needs. As always, our CPD staff stands ready and able to assist you, and our students are ready to hit the ground running.
I've been inspired as I've witnessed our law school community come together to meet the COVID-19 crisis. I look forward to a time when we are able to welcome our alumni back to Sullivan Hall to connect, celebrate, and reminisce. In the meantime, please stay safe, and take good care of yourselves and your loved ones.