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 Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Dean of Students, 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 are generally expected to attend their courses synchronously—that is, at the time that the course is being offered—whether in the classroom or online. If, however, a student is residing in a time zone that makes it so that he or she cannot realistically attend virtual classes in real time, and instead plans to view recordings of class sessions, the student should contact the professor(s) directly via email to seek approval to attend class asynchronously and develop an individualized plan for class participation that demonstrates engagement with course material as class sessions occur. Faculty are asked to anticipate this outreach and respond to students in a timely manner. 

  • 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 to request a room for a make-up class and to request a recording of your class. If you have questions about meeting times, please contact Christy Pastore, Director of Registration Services and Student Records. 
  • 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 Yadira Ramos-Herbert, Dean of Students.
  • Students who request academic accommodations on the grounds of disability should be referred to Jennifer Braden, Assistant Director of Academic Counseling and Student Support.
  • 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 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 to reserve a classroom.