As students, faculty and staff prepare for the spring 2020 quarter, UW Law has announced several important updates and changes to spring classes and winter grading policies.


In alignment with University policies, UW Law will offer the entire spring 2020 quarter by remote instruction.

The quarter will begin as planned Monday, March 30. Over the quarter’s full 11 weeks, there will be no in-person instruction.

After much deliberation, UW Law faculty voted to shift grading for all spring quarter courses to credit/no credit. Among the UW’s many colleges and schools, this change in grading applies only to UW Law. This decision is made in step with peer institutions nationally who have made similar changes for spring terms.

“The situation continues to evolve, but please know that your well-being and success have been at the forefront of every conversation by administration, faculty and staff,” said Mario L. Barnes, UW School of Law Toni Rembe Dean and professor of law, in an email to students. “We appreciate the flexibility and resilience you’ve shown during this difficult time.”

In addition, the Gallagher Law Library has joined other UW libraries in offering remote services only. The library will no longer offer in-person services to UW Law faculty, staff and students. The library team is working to provide electronic course reserve options.

Clinical law courses will continue throughout the quarter, but students’ class and case participation will shift due to the current public health crisis. More information regarding specific courses will be shared as it becomes available.

Law school administration — including Anna Endter, associate dean for students, and Jessica West, assistant dean of academic success programs — are available to offer support, answer questions and provide more information as the situation continues to develop.


UW Law has been working the University and administration to identify a winter grading approach that accurately reflects students’ work and takes into account the evolving health crisis.

To this end, UW Law faculty have revisited winter grading policies and approved a number of key changes.

The period by which 2L, 3L and graduate students elect to receive satisfactory/not satisfactory credit for elective courses only is hereby reopened. Students must indicate their preferences for satisfactory/not satisfactory credit through an online form that is now available through this Thursday, March 26.

Letter grades must be given for all required courses. Because all first-year courses are required, this option is not available to 1L students.

The University has waived fees associated with satisfactory/not satisfactory elections. All requests will be reviewed, and students will be notified of any issues with individual requests.

More information about grading policies for the J.D. program and graduate programs is available online.

Together, we will come out of this stronger, both as individuals and as a community.

Additionally, the Order of the Coif has suspended its restrictions on satisfactory/not satisfactory credit through the end of this academic year for the Class of 2020. Students who elect satisfactory/not satisfactory will still be considered for Order of the Coif if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

“We realize that this isn’t a perfect solution, and these changes don’t fully mitigate the unusual and extraordinary pressures [students] are under,” Barnes said. “However, we hope it offers some relief.”

Faculty are working on an approach for spring quarter that will best support students while aligning with the University’s policies and accreditation requirements. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

“We look forward to working with you next quarter,” Barnes said. “Together, we will come out of this stronger, both as individuals and as a community.”

Additional facts and resources related to novel coronavirus and COVID-19 are available at