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Dear HLS Students,

We are writing to share information about efforts underway at Harvard Law School to plan for a return to campus in the fall, to the extent permitted by evolving federal, state, local, and University public health guidance. We are excited by the prospect that we might soon be together again, and our staff and faculty have been engaged for some time in the complex planning necessary for us to return in a safe and healthy manner.

We are actively planning our 2021-22 academic program, with a focus on offering as much of it on campus as possible. Work is well underway planning for multiple scenarios given the dynamic public health environment. These include current public health guidelines with 6 ft. distancing and the newly reduced 3 ft. distancing recently announced by the CDC and adopted by Massachusetts for K-12 schools. Density in our buildings, traffic flow, and cleaning turnover time are also all being factored into our class scheduling. And our Student Services teams are thoughtfully planning the return to campus of student life, including, to the fullest extent possible, the resumption of residential life and on-campus extracurricular activities and advising. Through all of these efforts, we remain focused on constructing a plan with sufficient flexibility to allow us nimbly to adjust as circumstances in the fall dictate.

As we begin to make our way back to campus, please know that the health and safety of our community will remain our first priority. While we have been away, our Facilities Management team has worked to upgrade heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems across campus to ensure that all systems meet the recently enhanced CDC recommendations for air filtration and exchange. We are also developing plans for meeting heightened cleaning protocols and will have hand cleanser, sanitizing stations, and masks available throughout all of our facilities. In addition, we will be installing ample signage to help guide traffic flow patterns in and out of classrooms, common areas, restrooms, and other locations to avoid congestion and to meet social distancing guidelines. As with all of our return-to-campus planning, we are keeping a close eye on CDC and state and local guidance and are prepared to adjust our plans as the public health situation evolves. We will share additional details as they become available in the coming weeks and months.

Again, we are grateful for your remarkable courage, resilience, and perseverance in the face of enormous challenges this past year, and wish you all the best as you complete the remainder of the spring term.


John Manning
Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law

L. Tracee Whitley
Dean for Administration