Attendance and Accommodations

  • Although the Law School does not expect you to take attendance at each class meeting, students are required by both Law School and bar admissions rules to attend classes regularly and punctually. Regular attendance is generally defined as 80% of class sessions, although you may establish stricter attendance requirements. Students who fail to meet this requirement may be held accountable through a lowered grade or, in extreme cases, through exclusion from the course.
  • Please notify Andrea Saavedra, Associate Dean of Student and Registration Services, if a student is absent from your class more than a few times. Repeated absence can be a sign of an underlying personal issue; in this case, notifying the administration will both allow the student to get assistance and mitigate the difficulty to you of assessing performance of someone who has missed class repeatedly.
  • Instructors in their discretion may require class participation and/or consider it a factor in grading; this is the norm in seminar classes. It is best practice to notify your students in writing, or through email or your online course description, if you choose to impose such requirements.

Students ill with COVID-19 or another infectious disease must not attend class during their mandated isolation period, and should not be penalized for missing class during this time. As for any illness of short duration, students isolating for 10 days or less should work directly with their instructors to develop a plan to receive instruction and complete course related work. Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for students who miss classes, assignments or exams due to necessary isolation related to an infectious disease diagnosis. Students who must be absent for longer than 10 days due to an infectious disease will need to provide appropriate medical documentation to Disability Services (DS). More complete guidance on illness-related absences can be found here

All classes will take place in person on campus. Students are expected to attend classes in person, in accordance with the attendance policy. Students may, as always, request individualized accommodations by contacting the University’s Office of Disability Services. International students facing uncertainty regarding their ability to be present on campus are instructed to contact Student Services.

We are committed to in-person instruction. Per University policy, Zoom and hybrid teaching is not allowed, not even for makeup classes. There are two exceptions: (1) faculty with Covid-19 who feel well enough to teach may teach via Zoom during their 5-day isolation period, and (2) guest speakers may join classes via Zoom. 


  • Pursuant to ABA Standard 310, faculty should typically expect to provide one classroom hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week for every point of academic credit offered. In addition, faculty should typically assign to students at least two hours (120 minutes) of out-of-class work per week for every point of academic credit offered. The ABA standard permits variance from this norm, as long as the total expectation is at least three hours of work per week (or 45 hours per semester) for every point of academic credit offered.
  • If you need to cancel a class, fall below the required minimum meetings, and cannot make up the time by extending other class sessions please arrange for a guest lecturer or a makeup class. (When scheduling makeup sessions, it is a good idea to ask your students which of your suggested times might be most convenient for them.  You can also have such sessions taped for the benefit of students who cannot attend). Please email [email protected] to request a room for a make-up class and [email protected] to request a recording of your class. If you have questions about meeting times, please contact Dean Andrea Saavedra.
  • Columbia University is dedicated to facilitating equal access to all educational resources, and to cultivating a campus culture that is sensitive and responsive to students' needs. Please endeavor to be flexible when students request accommodation for religious observance, health or family emergency, or similar circumstances. If you have questions about any specific requests, please contact Andrea Saavedra, Associate Dean of Student and Registration Services.
  • Columbia Law School is committed to the full inclusion of students with all abilities in the life of the University. The University’s ODS reviews student accommodation requests and informs the Law School of approved accommodations. Registration Services and Student Services then work with you to implement these required accommodations. For questions, please contact [email protected] and/or [email protected].
  • It is customary to record classes that are held on major religious holidays so that students are not disadvantaged by absence. If you would like to arrange to record your class please write to [email protected]. If you are unable to attend class for reasons of religious observance, please reschedule the class in consultation with the enrolled students and write to [email protected] to reserve a classroom.

Optional Syllabus Language. Some professors have found it useful to place language describing our accommodation policy in their syllabus. You can find sample language here. We encourage you to apply the policy flexibly to accommodate students who may have compelling medical and family issues.

Five Simple Ideas to Increase Disability Access. Professor Elizabeth Emens has prepared a guide with five simple ways that we can make the Law School community more welcoming and inclusive for people with disabilities. You can find this guide here.