Return to the Law School Building   

Seton Hall Law is eager and excited to welcome students, faculty and staff back for the Fall semester following the HyFlex schedule. Our return to the Law School will be somewhat different than what continuing students remember, but we are confident students will recognize the efforts made to build community and provide the best educational experience possible during these unprecedented times.

Building Use and Safety Guidelines

Building Access

The Law School building is open to students and employees, prospective students, graduates studying for the bar, Westlaw and LEXIS representatives, bar prep representatives, vendors who require access, CSJ clients, and delivery personnel (Permitted Entrants), but not to guests or alumni, whether for OCS, or to use the Rodino Center. In addition, we are suspending all building rentals or usage of the auditorium by friends of the Law School.

Personal Safety

Effective immediately, and until further notice, all individuals entering the Law School premises shall be required to produce identification. If a Seton Hall student or employee does not have any proof of identification in their possession, they must sign the log and state the reason(s) for their entrance into the Law School premises.

All students, faculty, employees, and visitors to the law school building must monitor their health daily for COVID-19 related symptoms. Students may download and use an App to help track and record symptoms. Details about the App will provided as they become available.

The symptoms that should be tracked and recorded are those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and are:

  1. Temperature of 100.3 or higher
  2. NEW cough
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. NEW loss of taste or smell
  5. Sore throat, congestion, or runny nose (excluding seasonal allergies)
  6. NEW unexplained fatigue
  7. Muscle or body ache
  8. NEW headache
  9. Nausea or vomiting
  10. Diarrhea
  11. Been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19

Anyone experiencing the above symptoms should not attempt to enter the Law School building until you have been evaluated by a health care provider. Students, faculty, employees and visitors should stay home when they do not feel well or, when appropriate, after learning that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, students are expected to adhere to the affirmations in the Seton Hall Pledge, which they must sign prior to beginning the Fall semester. Visitors must certify they have not been exposed to COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to their visit and are in good health at the time of their visit.

All Permitted Entrants must wear a face mask upon entry and at all times while in the Law School building. Masks must fully cover the mouth and nose. Masks may be removed for eating in designated spaces, outside while maintaining safe social distance, or in private space where the occupant is alone, such as an office with a closed door. Violations of the mask requirement could result in prosecution for an Honor Code violation or employment discipline. 

All Permitted Entrants must maintain a safe social distance. Seats in classrooms are socially distanced at six feet apart or they have protective plexiglass shields where the six-foot spacing cannot be maintained. Areas throughout the building have been taped off and/or furniture has been placed to enforce six-foot distance between students and between faculty and students. Offices have been evaluated and marked for a six-foot social distance between the occupant and their visitor.

Regular housekeeping practices will be performed in all public areas and classrooms, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the facility. Cleaning chemicals that are EPA-approved preventing emerging viral pathogens will be used to disinfect the building. Cleaning personnel schedules have been changed and augmented to accommodate the heightened cleaning timetable.

Hand sanitizing stations are available in common spaces and outside of classrooms.

Enforcement of Policies

Reports of any violations of the mandatory mask policy should be made to security personnel, who will offer the violator a mask. If the person declines to wear a mask, security personnel will evict the person from the building. Reports of violations of any other policy contained herein should be made through SHUL311, to Dean DeAlmeida (building, staff, administration) or to Dean Foerst (Faculty or student).

Using Building Spaces

Entrance: The revolving doors at the main entrance is locked for the foreseeable future. Of the remaining two doors, one is marked for entry, the other for exit. The side entrance to the Law School, located on McCarter Highway, is locked for the foreseeable future.

Moving around the building: At the entrance to each floor of the Law School, floorplans highlight foot traffic patterns that people are expected to follow. Clearly visible floor decals indicate the direction of travel. Hallways have clearly identified floor decals that direct the traffic flow in a certain direction. The width of the hallway determines whether it can be used for one-way or two-way foot traffic.

During this time all ramps will be designated as ‘one-way’ and should only be used to travel upward. To move to lower floors of the Law School, stairwells have been converted to ‘one-way’ and should be used to travel down to the lower floors of the building. Elevators may be used by permission only by those unable to walk the building. Individuals who need to use the elevators should request access in writing from Gerald Lenihan at [email protected].

Classrooms: All learning spaces have been modified to allow for social distancing between students and between students and faculty. This was achieved through several modifications: moving furniture to provide more distance between occupants; installing plexiglass shields between fixed seating to create safe personal space; installing plexiglass shields between teaching podiums and student seating; and creating new learning space in large open areas with appropriately spaced furniture. Below is information about accessing and moving about each space. Seating arrangements are discussed in a separate section.

The DeCotiis and Gibbons Moot Courtroom doors are marked for entry and exit. Furniture for both rooms is placed to allow for social distancing.

Seminar rooms 71 -75 should be entered and exited through appropriately designated ‘one-way’ doors.

Students should enter the lecture rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Law School from the top/back of the room. When exiting the room, the professor will dismiss students through the lower doors; lower rows first, followed by the subsequent rows, until the rooms is emptied. If students need to leave during class, students in the row should stand, exit the row, and allow the student to exit, following the same process upon the student’s return.

The Larson Auditorium will be used for classes this semester. Students should enter the auditorium on the 3rd floor. When exiting the room, students should file out one row at a time through the lower doors– either to Café Deni or the 2nd floor.

Library: Floor markings designate where students should walk when traveling through the floors of the library. Paths have been established that travel around the core of each of the floors in which students can branch off to their desired location. Furniture has been spaced to follow social distancing guidelines and plexiglass dividers have been installed at tables that host multiple students but fall short of the pre-determined safe distance.

Study Rooms: Social distancing guidelines will not allow for more than one person in a study room at a time.

The Rodino Center will continue to make study rooms available to individuals using the existing Study Room Reservation software. Reservations will be limited to morning and afternoon reservation periods begin and end at a specified time for all rooms. Time will be blocked off between use to allow for cleaning of all rooms. Students will still be able to reserve study rooms 7 days in advance, but will be limited in the number of times they can reserve a room each week to help ensure equity and access to as many students as possible. Cleaning supplies will be available in each room for students to use in addition to the regular cleaning procedures. This policy will be reevaluated and adjusted as needed.

Faculty/Administrative Offices: All departments are staffing offices on staggered schedules and are complying with requests to reduce capacity in the building. As such, students should set up appointments to meet with Law School personnel via Zoom, Teams, or phone.

Restrooms: Automatic paper towel dispensers and flushometers were added to all restrooms. In addition, non-touch hardware was installed on all lavatory doors. For bathrooms with more than three stalls, students should only occupy every-other stall and sink. Bathrooms with three stalls or fewer are now single use facilities with occupancy signs on the outside of the door.

Chapel: The St. Thomas More Chapel is open for private prayer whenever the building is open, and available to all current members of the Seton Hall Law School community. Beginning August 25, Mass will be celebrated on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:40 p.m. Seating capacity in the chapel has been reduced to allow for appropriate distancing in compliance with the Archdiocesan guidelines. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, guests, including alumni, will not be permitted to attend Mass or use the chapel for private prayer.

Multi-Faith Prayer Room: The Multi-Faith Prayer Room is open and will be cleaned daily during the academic year. A “Vacant/Occupied” sign has been installed on the outside of the door to indicate whether you may enter. Only one occupant at a time is permitted.

Student Lounge: Students should enter and exit through different, appropriately marked ‘one-way’ doors.

Parking Garage: Monthly parking applications and payment are available online. All applications must be completed online, no walk-ins will be accepted. Key cards will be delivered to and distributed by Law School security.

Daily Parking transactions can be processed without touching any services. Exit lanes have contactless credit card processing units. Pay station surfaces are sanitized regularly.

Schiff Courtyard: The Schiff Courtyard has seating for approximately 25 people, placed at safe social distance. Students should enter and exit the Courtyard through appropriately marked ‘one-way’ doors.

Cafeteria: The main entrance of the cafeteria (located to the right of the security desk), is the ‘one-way’ door leading patrons into the seating area. Floor decals will direct patrons into the serving area where they can purchase pre-made food items. Tables and chairs have been arranged and must be kept at the prescribed safe distance. Patrons will exit the cafeteria through the side door that is also designated as ‘one-way’.

Café Deni: Café Deni can be accessed through the main entrance door past the ground floor elevators. Decals on the floor identify appropriate spacing for patrons while they wait to be served. Seating in the Café is limited to ensure social distancing guidelines can be followed.

Food Services

All food for purchase will be only be available as individually wrapped “grab and go” options. In-person payment will be made with a credit or debit card only – no cash. To reduce lines and congestion at busy times of the day, students will be able to pre-order and pay for their food through an App. F&B Catering will share details of the App the week before classes begin.

If bringing meals from home, please pack food accordingly. There will be no access to refrigerators for storing food or microwaves for reheating.

Students should only eat in the cafeteria, Café Deni, the Atrium, the Schiff Courtyard or the patio in front of the school. Food is not permitted in classrooms or the Rodino Center. Faculty and administration may eat in their offices.

Academics

Classroom Conduct: If you are attending class in person, you must wear your mask and adhere to social distancing throughout class.  Professors have been instructed not to start a class unless all students are wearing a mask. No food or drinks, except water sipped through a straw, is allowed in the classroom.

If you are attending class remotely, you are required to keep your camera on during class.

To avoid distractions, maintain professionalism, and protect privacy, students are strongly urged to use one of the Seton Hall Law branded backgrounds when on Zoom or Teams. In order to enable contract tracing, seating in all in-person classes will be assigned this semester.

Because there are assigned seats and social distancing guidelines must be followed, late entry to a classroom will not be permitted.

Since all classrooms will be sanitized between each use, the rooms may not be used for study space when they are not occupied by a class. Students should use the common spaces or the Rodino Center to study. If a student believes they may have left something behind during a class, they can check the lost and found at the security desk.

Students may not approach the podium to speak to a professor before or after class.  Faculty have been instructed they must meet with students remotely (via Zoom, Teams, Skype etc.) In addition to office hours, faculty have been asked to schedule regular post-class calls for any student to join and clear up any questions or concerns relating to that day’s class.

Attendance: The existing attendance policy will remain in effect. However, instead of a hard-copy sign-in sheet distributed in class, students will be responsible for certifying their attendance electronically for each class session.  For purposes of this policy, students who arrive in class (either in person or remotely) more than 10 minutes after the start time, or who leave class before the official end time (except for short bathroom breaks) may not certify that they were present in class.  False certifications of attendance will be treated as an honor code violation.

A student who is registered to attend classes in-person is generally expected to come to class in person. If a student becomes unable due to health reasons to attend in-person they may attend remotely without being considered absent.  If attending remotely, once present, students must participate with their camera on. Attending class remotely via telephone or teleconferencing will not be sufficient for being marked present in class, even when doing so is due to technology issues. Students should notify their professor via email if they normally attend in-person and need to attend remotely.  If a student needs to attend remotely for an extended period of time he/she should contact Dean Cascarano.

Late to Class: Please note that in order to comport with social distancing guidelines, a student who is registered to attend class in person may not enter the classroom late; if a student arrives late they should contact Sharon Carone at 973-642-8707 to be directed to an open room (if possible) from which they can attend the class session remotely. For attendance purposes, you should let your professor know you attended class remotely.

Recording Policy: All class sessions will be recorded using either Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate.  Professors must ensure that the recording function is turned on before each class begins.  All students enrolled in the class will automatically have access to the recordings during the semester.  Students may not copy or share these recordings.  In addition, students may not make, copy, or share their own recordings of classes in any format (audio, video, screen captures, etc.).

The one exception to the policy stated above is that professors who are teaching from classrooms in the law school that are set up to record classes automatically may turn off the Teams or Collaborate recording function during student presentations or simulations.  Students should be aware that the presentations and simulations will still be recorded using the classroom-based technology, but those recordings will not be accessible to other students in the class.  This option is not available to professors who are teaching from outside the law school building.

Between Class: The cafeteria, Café Deni, Atrium, Schiff Garden, and picnic tables in front of the building are dedicated as the primary places for students to go before and between classes. Furniture in these common spaces has been arranged to enforce social distancing. Disinfecting wipes are available for students who wish to wipe down furniture prior to its use.

1L Rotation Schedule: In order to reduce the number of students in a classroom at one time, the required 1L courses are split into sections (A, B, C, D) and then groups within each section (1, 2, 3). Only two groups per section will be on-campus at a time. Your professor will provide the schedule of rotation in your course syllabus. 

Assigned Seating: Student seating will be fixed in seating charts to facilitate contact tracing should that become necessary.  The processes by which seating occurs differs between One Ls and upper division students.

One Ls: Students in each section will be randomly assigned to available seats in each classroom. The randomly assigned seat will likely change based on the rotation schedule (ie., there will be three different seating charts). If possible, seats will be available to accommodate any medical accommodations that arise throughout the semester. Seat assignments will be distributed the week before classes begin.

Students who require priority/ADA accommodation seating will have that opportunity. Students should request such priority seating through Health Services in order to keep such information anonymous. Seats will be assigned based on recommendations from Health Services.

Students who have a seating need that does not fall into the category of ADA/medical need should reach out to Dean Cascarano prior to the start of the semester with requests or concerns. 

Upperclass Students: Upperclass students will also be required to sit in the seat they choose at the beginning of the semester. Students may sit in any of the available seats on any given days of class, up until the end of the add/drop period. At the end of the add/drop period, the professor will finalize the seating chart and it will be set for the remainder of the semester. If possible, seats will be made available to accommodate any medical accommodations that arise throughout the semester or any priority seating needs.

Students who require priority/ADA accommodation seating should request such priority seating through Health Services in order to keep such information anonymous. Seats will be assigned based on recommendations from Health Services.

Students who have a seating need that does not fall into the category of ADA/medical need should discuss this with Dean Cascarano, who will communicate to the professor if any changes to the seating chart are needed.  An opportunity for students to alert Dean Cascarano to a seating need will be provided to students in an email that will be sent out prior to the start of the semester in August.

Even before the seating charts are created, a student who leaves and returns to class prior to its conclusion must return to their original seat.  Once the seating charts are created, students must remain in their designated seat on the seating chart; for example, if a student must leave the room, the student must return to the designated seat and not just take an empty seat. 

IT Information: Everyone will be remote at some points during the semester.  As such, your technology and internet must be sufficient to enable you to attend class and take exams without interruption.  If you require additional financial support to accomplish this, please contact Assistant Dean Karen Sokol.

All students should make sure they have the proper Microsoft Apps installed on their home laptop or other device and that their home/offsite internet connectivity meets and hopefully exceeds the minimum requirements needed to maintain a good audio/video connection during a remote class or meeting in Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.  We strongly encourage you to do this as soon as possible, so that if you encounter any problems we will have enough time to fix them before classes begin.

Make sure you download and use the Microsoft Teams App rather than use the web Teams version.  The Teams app has more features and is not dependent on the browser settings or limitations, which makes it more stable. 

For your home/offsite network, you will need a steady and consistent connection to your device of 20mbs down 10mbs up with a latency or “ping” of under 35ms to keep a smooth video stream and prevent your audio from breaking up.  Please make sure this is the speed to your device and not just the speed your ISP delivers to your home.  Often your ISP can deliver this level of service or higher to your router, but fluctuations in the strength and clarity of your wireless signal or other devices on your network using bandwidth may prevent you from reaching and maintain the minimum speeds.

For best results, we strongly recommend you directly wire your device to your router with an ethernet cable.  This will avoid any fluctuations in wireless signal or interference from other devices on or near your network.  If direct wiring is not possible and your WIFI is slow or intermittent, please consider installing a WIFI extender to boost your signal.  Avoid using a phone hotspot as the stability of that signal is dependent on the wireless conditions in your area as well as current conditions on your Carrier, and latency speeds can fluctuate wildly.

To test the speed on your device, connect to your home network, open https://www.speedtest.net and click “Go”

Please perform this test multiple times to make sure you are maintaining a consistent speed, and test at different times during the day to see if conditions change.

If you are not reaching and maintaining the required minimum speeds please check our Tech Help webpage for troubleshooting tips.

If you have any difficulty adding the Teams App or testing your network please contact us at [email protected] or 973-642-8017 for assistance.