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Student FAQs

Fall 2021 Course Delivery (Updated October 4, 2021)

Will Fall 2021 classes be in-person or remote?

This Fall, we will welcome our second cohort of Lincoln Alexander School of Law students. The University has announced that this fall semester, it will require all students, faculty, staff, contractors and visitors coming to campus to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status. Those who have not been fully vaccinated, or do not want to disclose their vaccination status will be required to be tested in order to come to campus.

We are planning for the fall semester to be a period of transition in which the number of on-campus classes and activities will increase in order to be prepared for a full return to all activities on campus in January 2022. In order to provide a safe on campus environment for our students, faculty and staff we encourage all those who can safely get the vaccine to be fully immunized before the start of the school year or shortly thereafter.

Remote Courses:
Most of our classes will be offered fully remotely (synchronously and asynchronously via zoom, pre-recorded lectures, podcasts, online activities, etc.). This includes our First Year “Law and Legal Methods Intensive,” and our Second Year “Coding Intensive.

In Person Courses:
Unlike last fall, we are fortunate to be able to offer several of our classes in-person. They will be taught in a variety of ways (Hyflex/Hybrid- synchronous with some students in-person and some students remote via zoom; In person classes with recorded lectures available to students taking the class remotely; A combination of synchronous and asynchronous classes, etc.). For first year students, we hope to offer at least one section of each of your five courses in person. For second year students, a number of electives and mandatory courses will be offered in person. Details about the course delivery will be provided on each course syllabus.

Specific information about remote and on-campus opportunities will be communicated to students before classes start. Of course, we will continue to monitor the situation carefully and plan accordingly.

When do Fall classes begin?

Classes will begin with our First and Second Year intensive courses, “Law and Legal Methods” and “Technology Innovation” on Monday, August 30th. These intensives will be conducted remotely.

Will there be additional spaces made available at the law school for me to attend remote classes?

Yes. In order to help students take advantage of in-person classes, and recognizing that each student will have a combination of in-person and remote classes, certain classrooms have been designated for students to take their classes from at different times. Signage regarding classroom availability have been posted in the law school space. . There will also be room in the Law Library for quiet study and for students to take online classes as long as headphones are used and doing so will not disturb others. We request that students should not use the seating in the hallways and common space to attend virtual classes, as these spaces are meant for socializing.

What if public health guidelines don’t permit in-person activities this Fall?

The safety and well being of our community is top priority, as we continue to follow the advice and direction of government and health authorities. There is reason to be optimistic. The situation in Ontario and in Toronto is more promising than it has been since the beginning of the pandemic. We will continue to track vaccination rates and progress reports, external link, opens in new window and follow all directives and regulations from the provincial and federal governments, local health agencies, and the province’s “Roadmap to Reopen”, external link, opens in new window framework.

It is possible that at some point during the semester some courses that are scheduled to take place in-person will have to be moved online.

Specific information about remote and on-campus opportunities will be communicated to students before classes start. Of course, we will continue to monitor the situation carefully and plan accordingly. We will adjust course delivery in response to any new public health guidelines.

PLEASE NOTE:
In order to facilitate a safe and healthy return to campus, we strongly urge all our students, faculty and staff to follow health protocols and get vaccinated if it is safe for them to do so. Ryerson University will require individuals to submit proof of vaccination. While the university will share more details about this process and implementation in the coming days, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to download the RyersonSafe app in preparation.

Individuals who require an exemption from the requirement for vaccination for reasons related to protected grounds under Ontario's Human Rights Code or for medical reasons may be permitted to attend campus, subject to regular testing requirements and other health and safety measures that may be implemented by the university.

If I have to attend classes remotely in the fall, what sort of impact will this have on my overall law school experience?

During this period of transition, whether students choose to attend classes in-person or remotely, we will provide a robust academic program that follows an innovative curriculum with plenty of extracurricular activities to support it. 

We will continue to provide remote access to all classes. And we will arrange for safe opportunities for students to join us for voluntary on-campus activities and programming with appropriate protocols in place. 

We will provide an enriching program to all of our students whether or not they are able to come to campus. 

PLEASE NOTE: In order to facilitate a safe and healthy return to campus, we encourage all our students, faculty and staff to follow health protocols and get vaccinated if it is safe for them to do so.

How will I be able to connect to the faculty, staff and other students?

Faculty and staff at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law will connect with students in several different ways, in large and small groups, and provide a variety of enriching experiences.

We recognize that social connections with classmates and other members of the law school community are important and we have developed ways to introduce students to each other and to faculty and staff to provide a rewarding academic and collegial environment. If permitted and with appropriate protocols in place, we hope to offer opportunities for students to use our lecture halls, meeting rooms, library facilities and other common spaces for a variety of purposes including studying and viewing online classes together with classmates. We are also planning for professional development and networking opportunities on campus and remotely. Participation in on-campus activities would not be required and would be purely voluntary. We will also set up opportunities for students to participate in programming online.

What is the deadline to indicate whether I am able to attend in person?

Though our plans for the fall are still being developed, if you know that you will be unable to join us on campus for COVID-related reasons, you should contact us as soon as possible. There is no set deadline, but the information you provide will help us plan accordingly. Please send an email to law@ryerson.ca, and let us know your plans.

How will I know which courses are being offered synchronously and asynchronously?

Course delivery will vary among courses and involve synchronous and/or asynchronous teaching. Each professor will outline the mode of instruction in the course syllabus. The law school will use Ryerson’s learning management system D2L to post materials for students.

Will recordings of all lectures be made available?

Not necessarily. Faculty will be given the choice of conducting classes synchronously, asynchronously or some combination of both. For synchronous classes, all students will be expected to regularly attend at the scheduled time. Recordings of synchronous classes may be available, but are not guaranteed. Please check with each of your professors on whether they will be making lecture recordings available to students.

Will instructors hold online office hours?

The university has chosen Zoom to be the primary method of delivery for online courses. Each faculty member will determine how to conduct office hours. All students will be able to meet with their professors either in-person (assuming provincial guidelines allow in person meetings) or remotely.

Will fall term courses be pass/fail?

No. All courses will be fully graded.

How will the fall curriculum delivery accommodate students in different time zones?

We strongly encourage students to attend classes in-person. However, students who are planning to attend classes fully remotely should let us know as soon as possible if differences in time zones are likely to be an issue. We will do our best to accommodate different time zones.

How will I know whether there are any changes to course delivery methods?

Please monitor these FAQs as information will be updated as necessary and as frequently as possible.

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we do our best to build this ambitious new law school during a global pandemic. 

Students who are eligible will receive accommodations whether they attend classes in person or remotely.

Ryerson University provides academic accommodations for students with disabilities in accordance with the terms of the Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”). The University strives to make its academic programming accessible to all students.

Students requiring accommodations are encouraged to make arrangements with the Academic Accommodation Support team at Ryerson University. For more information, deadlines and documentation requirements, please visit Ryerson's Academic Accommodation Support page.

Should I plan to move to Toronto even if only some classes will be in person?

We encourage students to move to Toronto if possible, depending on each student’s own circumstances. Even though not all classes will be offered in person, we are planning opportunities to welcome students to use the law school facilities to study, take online classes, and participate in on campus programming. Consider what’s available for you at the law school and around campus including study spaces (including the law library), other law school spaces, clubs and other activities, and centralized student services.

In addition, keep in mind that a significant part of the law school experience happens outside the classroom and off-campus. With its downtown location, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law is close to the entertainment district, shopping, parks and recreation. Toronto is a world-class city providing an enriching environment, external link in which to study law and offering easy access to a vibrant legal community, the financial industry, a rapidly growing technology sector, and important opportunities to engage with those who have often been underserved by the legal community.

Please also note that our current goal is to resume all classes and other activities in person and on campus by January 2022, subject to public health guidelines. If this happens, it is essential that students be able to commute to the Ryerson University campus regularly.

Should I upgrade my computer/laptop? Are there minimum technical requirements?

The University has provided a list of equipment that you will need to attend classes remotely. Accordingly, you will require a computer and internet access to complete your courses. In general, instructors will be using the learning management system D2L, Zoom and Google suite to deliver courses. The minimum technology recommendations are as follows:

  • Operating System Windows 10 or MACOS X.
  • Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 20 GB of available storage space after all applications are installed.
  • Webcam (built-in or external)
  • Headset with microphone for improved audio quality and to reduce echo while speaking during webinars - if the computer has a good microphone earbuds may be used instead
  • Ability to connect external devices as needed including where necessary: webcam, headset and external storage devices
  • Web browser: Firefox or Google Chrome
  • Connectivity: Ethernet or WiFi; available USB port(s) to accommodate recommended accessories. High- speed broadband access (LAN, Cable or DSL) with a minimum download speed of 5Mbps is strongly recommended
  • Unlimited storage in Google Drive is available to all Ryerson students along with Google docs, spreadsheets, calendar, and slides. More information about these services is available on the G Suite at Ryerson University website
  • Microsoft Office is also available free from Microsoft to all Ryerson students. For more information please visit the Microsoft software page on the CCS website
  • More information about the minimum requirements can be found on Ryerson COVID-19 Information and Updates

Will Ryerson library or study spaces be made available for law students this upcoming semester?

The Law Library reading room will be open to students in September.

How can I get books from the library if I am not able to be on-campus?

Many core legal materials are available electronically through the Library and the Law Library staff are available to assist you with accessing these materials online. For books that are only available in print, students will be able to submit a curbside or document delivery request. More information around a new personal librarian program will be forthcoming.

Will I have to show proof of vaccination to be on campus this Fall?

To protect the health and safety of community members on campus and to comply with the recommendations from public health authorities and the provincial government’s mandate, Ryerson University, like other post-secondary institutions in Ontario, will require individuals to submit proof of vaccination. Students can submit proof of vaccination using the RyersonSafe App or by visiting Ryerson's COVID-19 vaccinations updates.

Individuals who require an exemption from the requirement for vaccination for reasons related to protected grounds under Ontario's Human Rights Code or for medical reasons may be permitted to attend campus, subject to regular testing requirements and other health and safety measures that may be implemented by the university. For more information, please visit Ryerson's COVID-19 vaccinations updates.

Will I need to wear a mask in class?

The safety and wellbeing of our community is our highest priority. The university continues to follow directives from the provincial and federal governments and local health agencies regarding measures that are required to keep our community safe. Until provincial regulations change, students are required to wear masks at all times in classrooms and other designated areas. Students will be expected to take other necessary precautions and follow measures for ensuring a safe and healthy environment.

Masks will be required to be worn on campus in enclosed spaces.

In keeping with current public health recommendations and in support of the City of Toronto’s mask bylaw, external link, Ryerson University will be implementing a Face Mask Policy. The policy outlines that:

  • A Mask or Face Covering must be worn in enclosed spaces where the public is permitted entry.
  • A Mask or Face Covering must be worn in all other enclosed spaces unless designated or prescribed by the university.

The following individuals are exempt from the Mask or Face Covering requirement:

  • persons with an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a Mask or Face Covering;
  • persons who are unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance; and
  • persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a Mask or Face Covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Proof of exemption for any of these circumstances will not be required.

What happens if I need to self-quarantine?

We will work to ensure that all classes can accommodate remote attendance even if there is an in-person component available. We will expect self-quarantining students to attend class remotely.  

Will university fees vary according to attendance?

No, fees will not be adjusted according to attendance.

Will financial aid program support vary based on remote or in-person attendance?

No, financial aid will not vary.  

Do I qualify for government financial aid?

The Lincoln Alexander School of Law is OSAP-eligible. OSAP is open to Ontario residents who are Canadian citizens, Permanent Residents, or Protected Persons. Please visit Ryerson's Student Financial Assistance (SFA) website for more details about  how to apply for OSAP.

If your home province is outside of Ontario (and you are a Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident, or Protected Person), you may qualify for out-of-province funding. Please visit Ryerson's SFA website for more details about out-of-province funding opportunities.

Does Ryerson provide any funding support for students facing unforeseen financial challenges?

Ryerson has a centralized platform to apply for over 1,300 awards, scholarships, and bursaries - AwardSpring., external link Students fill out a profile and are automatically matched to funding opportunities based on numerous criteria, including academic merit, extra-curricular involvement, and financial need.  

What activities can I participate in outside of the classroom?

There are a wide variety of activities that students can participate in outside of the classroom, including our mooting program, skills-based competitions, mentorship programs, clinical opportunities, student government and more! Details on each can be found below.

Mooting Program

What is a moot?

A moot is a simulated court experience. Students get an opportunity to act in the role of an advocate and enhance their oral advocacy skills in front of a panel of moot judges. Students most often are faced with an appeal and act as either the appellants or respondents in teams of two. Moots always involve oral submissions to the Court and may also include a written submission, also known as a factum.

What moots can I participate in as a first year student?

First year students at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law must participate in 1 mandatory moot as part of Jur 100 Legal Research and Writing’s course. First year students also have the opportunity to participate in 1 optional moot in the winter semester. This allows students to get a taste of oral advocacy in their legal education and what it feels like to argue in Court.

What moots can I participate in as an upper year student?

Upper year students have 1 optional moot which they can participate in the fall semester, the annual McCarthy Tétrault Cup. The McCarthy Tétrault Cup also acts as a try out for the Lincoln Alexander School of Law’s competitive mooting teams. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law will participate in 5 competitive moots. Details of these moots will be announced shortly.

Skills-Based Competitions

What is a skills-based competition?

A skills competition is similar to a moot, in that it is a simulation. However, instead of students participating as an appellant or respondent in Court, students will practice lawyering and advocacy skills that often arise out of the courtroom environment. These include negotiation competitions and client consultation competitions.

Which skills-based competitions can I participate in during my first year?

First year students can participate in the fall semester Ryerson Cup. The Ryerson Cup is used as a try out for the Lincoln Alexander School of Law’s competitive skills teams. First year students can be selected to participate in competitive skills competitions.

In the 2021-2022 academic year, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law will be participating in 3 competitive skills competitions. Details of these competitions will be released shortly.

Which skills-based competitions can I participate in as an upper year student?

Upper year students can participate in the fall semester Ryerson Cup, The Ryerson Cup is used as a try out for the Lincoln Alexander School of Law’s competitive skills teams. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the Lincoln Alexander School of Law will be participating in 3 competitive skills competitions. Details of these competitions will be released shortly.

Mentorship

What mentorship opportunities are available to me as a first year and as an upper year student?

There are a number of mentoring opportunities available to both 1L and 2L students this year, including both peer-to-peer mentorship, health & wellness mentorship and mentorship with practitioners in the field. The full details of these opportunities can be found in the Student Handbook or under the Mentor tab in D2L “Faculty of Law - Level Up”. If you have any specific questions about mentoring opportunities, please feel free to contact Margaret Seko, at mseko@ryerson.ca, opens in new window.

Clinical and Volunteer Opportunities

What clinical opportunities are available at Lincoln Alexander Law? Are they available to both first year students and upper year students?

There are a number of clinical and volunteer opportunities available to both 1L and 2L students this year, in partnership with various organizations and law firms. The full details of these opportunities were sent to all students by email on September 10, 2021 and can also be found on the D2L “Faculty of Law - Level Up” Announcements page. If you have any questions about clinical opportunities, please feel free to contact Khalid Janmohamed, Director of Legal Clinic Programs, at khalidj@ryerson.ca, opens in new window.

As more opportunities come up throughout the academic year, they will be made available to students through the weekly newsletter and through D2L.

Will I receive academic credit for participating in a legal clinic?

This year, clinical opportunities are being offered to provide students with opportunities to engage in practical legal experiences. We are not able to offer credit for clinical opportunities this year, but are hoping to do so in future years.

Student Government

How can I become involved in student government?

The Lincoln Alexander Law Students’ Society, external link (LALSS) is the student government at Lincoln Alexander Law elected to represent students’ interests and foster community. There are a number of ways for students to become involved with the LALSS during their time in law school:

  • Year Representatives: in the fall, each cohort elects three representatives to serve on the LALSS Academic and Social Committees.
  • Executives: in the spring, the LALSS holds its executive elections for the leadership team that will serve during the following academic year.
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Representatives: One member from each equity-seeking association is chosen each year to serve on an advisory EDI Council that works with the VP Equity. Learn more about associations here, external link.

How do I join a club or association at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law?

Every Organization has their own membership requirements. Some Organizations may require you to register for a mailing list or join a group chat, while others may require you to attend a general meeting before you can become a member. You can visit the LALSS Student Organizations Directory here, external link to contact Organizations directly and ask them about their membership requirements. Alternatively, you can fill out this form, external link and LALSS will pass your contact information to the Organizations that you are interested in joining.

How do I start a club or association at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law?

LALSS accepts new Organization applications from September 1 - October 31 annually. The application consists of a form and some supplementary documentation which can all be found on LALSS' website. There are slightly different requirements if you are trying to start a club as opposed to an association. For more information about the specific requirements, please read through the "New Organization Info Sheet" on LALSS website, external link.*

*Please note that only current Lincoln Alexander students with a valid University email will be able to view the informational sheet and application forms.

What types of student career and job supports will be in place?

The Career Development & Professional Placement Office (CDPPO) at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law will provide law students with services to help them explore various career path options. In addition, the CDPPO will provide guidance for students to identify and secure professional placement opportunities that will fulfill the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) requirement. The CDPPO team will help law students connect with employers and legal professionals through career fairs, panels, workshops, networking events, hiring processes, job postings and on-campus interviews. The CDPPO will also provide law students with one-on-one coaching and career advice as well as application review and interview preparation.

As a result of COVID-19 student networking, outreach and professional development sessions will be encouraged and supported using online tools including Zoom, LinkedIn, CDPPO Portal etc. and will include one-on-one coaching, mock interviews and application review.

In addition, during COVID-19, traditional on-campus hiring processes will continue to utilize online platforms. Interviews will be conducted online for all law students across various schools.

What is the Faculty of Law doing to ensure that students have access to placement opportunities to fulfill the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) requirement?

Students are required to actively engage in identifying and securing their professional placement role in order to complete the Integrated Practice Curriculum (IPC) requirement at Ryerson Law. Students are encouraged to conduct active outreach and networking utilizing the resources offered by the Career Development and Professional Placement Office (CDPPO).

As part of its mission, the CDPPO will also be actively reaching out across the legal industry to educate potential employers and to encourage them to post opportunities as they become available. Students should not rely solely on these postings in order to fulfill their professional placement requirement.