Published: April 1, 2020
Dean Jim Anaya

Dear Colorado Law alumni and friends,

I hope you are all staying healthy and safe. The COVID-19 virus has affected us all, in both common and in highly personalized ways. I know the challenges we face are numerous and varied, on top of the health risks posed by the virus. I’m writing to let you know how Colorado Law is continuing with our mission amid the crisis.

Most importantly, classes continue, although remotely. Only a handful of critical-services staff are occasionally in the law school building, and the Wise Law Library is closed. Thanks to the foresight of our great staff, the law school started preparing for remote classes significantly in advance of when it became necessary. It's truly inspiring to see how our students, faculty, and staff have adapted to the remote education and working environment, quickly learning and now adeptly using Zoom technology for classes, meetings, and extracurricular events such as the upcoming Rothgerber Conference. Zoom has also even allowed for social interaction to continue to some extent, with virtual happy hours and other get-togethers on the rise.

We owe a large debt of gratitude to our terrific IT team, led by Jon Sibray, for enabling us with the technology and know-how to keep going as we have.

To be sure, the transition to remote learning has not been without difficulties for our students, and we are aware that those difficulties fall harder on some than on others. Undoubtedly, because of individual circumstances, many of our students experience or will face impediments to learning or performing well on exams, to varying degrees. In light of this reality, and after a great deal of discussion involving faculty and students, Colorado Law has abandoned letter grading for this semester, as have many if not most law schools in the country. Instead, at Colorado Law all courses this semester will be graded on a Credit/No-Credit basis.

In order to provide targeted responses to individual student needs, the law school continues to provide the usual counseling services remotely and, as a special measure, has established Colorado Law Cares, a community exchange that pairs volunteers in our community with those in need of assistance.

Regrettably, the CU Boulder campus has canceled all in-person commencement activities that were to take place in May, including the law school's Class of 2020 commencement ceremony. I understand the disappointment that comes from this decision for our 3Ls, their families, and others. The present situation is truly a regrettable one and has made for some difficult choices. We are working on plans for a virtual, livestreamed ceremony that will celebrate the Class of 2020 while respecting current constraints. More information about the remote ceremony will be shared as soon as it is available.

I am exceedingly proud and appreciative of our students, faculty, and staff, and of the care they have shown for each other during this time. It has been remarkable to see the creativity, resilience, and dedication within our community as we’ve quickly adapted to the current circumstances.

The campus and law school are deeply concerned with the personal and academic well-being of students during this trying and uncertain time, and many of you have asked what you can do help. I offer a few suggestions:

  • Write a note of encouragement to our soon to be graduating 3Ls. Click here to leave a message for the Class of 2020.
    • At the top of the page, click "Add to Board."
    • Type your message in the box and click “Post.” Consider including words of encouragement to help 3Ls through this hard time, advice for the next phase of their lives and careers, or congratulatory wishes. Please note your graduation year!
    • Please submit your message by May 6.
  • Help our Career Development Office in its efforts to serve students in their career and professional development. There are many ways you can help students virtually, including by conducting mock interviews and hosting networking video meetings. Sign up here. If you or your organization have job opportunities for students this summer or fall that we don't already know about, we would love to hear about them as well. Please contact Marci Fulton.

Thank you for your support of our students and the law school. While we don’t know all that the future will bring for the law school or for our students and graduates, we are grateful to be able to count on the backing of a caring community of which you are an important part. These are certainly trying times, but together we will get through them.

Be well,

S. James Anaya
Dean and University Distinguished Professor