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Fall 2020

Student FAQs

Will classes be in person or remote?

September marks the launch of the Faculty of Law and the official welcoming of our inaugural class. Ryerson will continue to have only essential staff and services until our government and public health agencies have told us it is safe to open and that the safety and well-being of our entire community can be assured. Though the situation could change at any time, the plan for the law school is to offer our academic program primarily online and remotely while arranging for opportunities for voluntary on-campus activities and programming with appropriate protocols in place. Specific information about remote and on-campus opportunities will be communicated to students before classes start.

Classes will begin with our Ryerson Law School intensive on Wednesday, September 2nd. The intensive will be conducted remotely.  

If Ryerson law delivers a hybrid curriculum model, will students be provided with a choice to attend classes in-person or remotely?

There will be very limited opportunities for hybrid course delivery as classes will be taught remotely with few exceptions. The law school is committed to addressing the concerns and honouring the choices of its students, faculty, and staff members while providing an outstanding learning environment. There will be a balance of regular on campus and online student activities. We encourage students to take advantage of these opportunities but no student will be required to come to campus.

Will the fall intensive be delivered online or in-person?

The Ryerson Law School intensive begins on September 2, and will be delivered remotely.

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

The new law school has built a robust institutional structure that offers an innovative curriculum with plenty of extracurricular activities to support it. We will seek ways to provide safe opportunities for students to join us in person and online to help build our community. We will endeavor to provide an enriching program whether or not a student is able to come to campus. As we have done in our extended online orientation, the Faculty of Law will connect with you 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. With appropriate protocols in place, we plan to offer opportunities for students to use our lecture halls, meeting rooms, library facilities and other common spaces for a variety of purposes including viewing online classes together with classmates. We will provide student study spaces, support student clubs, and where possible, hold individual and small-group office hours. We are also planning for professional development and networking opportunities on campus and remotely. We are working on ways for students to socialize on campus over breakfast, coffee, or tea, and on finding other ways for students, faculty, staff, and members of the legal profession to engage with each other. Participation in on-campus activities is not required and is purely voluntary. We will also set up opportunities for students to socialize online for those who are unable to come to campus.

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

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. This information will help us plan accordingly. Please send an email to law@ryerson.ca, opens in new window and let us know your plans.

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

Course delivery will involve a mix of synchronous and 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?

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.  

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 or remotely.

Will fall term courses be pass/fail?

No. At this time, we are planning for all courses to be fully graded.

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

The Faculty of Law will be offering a mix of synchronous and asynchronous virtual/online courses. Students should let us know as soon as possible if differences in time zones are likely to be an issue.

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.

Should I plan to move to Toronto even if I don’t think I will be able to attend classes in person?  

The law school is located in a central area of Toronto that is close to the entertainment district, shopping, parks and recreation, and to law firms and the courts. If students are already planning to move to Toronto we encourage them to still do so. A significant part of the law school experience happens outside the classroom and off-campus. Toronto is a world-class city and provides an enriching environment in which to study law.

You should also consider what other opportunities might be available for you at Ryerson including study spaces in the law library, other law school spaces, or clubs and other activities. However, we plan to provide an enriching academic and extracurricular program for everyone, including those who are unable to be on campus.

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 is expected to be open to students in September. While the reading room will normally have 110 study spaces, to ensure that physical distancing and other health and safety protocols can be observed, we expect to be able to accommodate no more than 30 students at a time. Students will be able to book study spaces online.

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.

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 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. We ask that students come to campus prepared to wear masks 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.

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.   

The ongoing health crisis has created a financial burden on me and my family. Is Ryerson providing any support for students facing these unforeseen challenges?

The Office of the Registrar is administering the Ryerson Student Relief Fund to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit Ryerson Student Relief Fund: Financial Assistance and Awards for more information.

Will there be an orientation for first-year students?

Yes, our team has put together an exciting orientation program that begins the week of July 20, 2020. Throughout the summer we will engage you in a variety of remote sessions to provide opportunities to meet your classmates and the Ryerson Law team. These sessions will also allow you to begin developing your networking and legal skills. Our goal is to ensure that Ryerson Law provides a robust experience for each of you whether that experience is online, in-person or a combination of both.  

Will orientation sessions be recorded?

Yes, we plan to record all sessions except the ‘meet and greet’ sessions. Recorded sessions will be made available to students. Please visit our website.

Is it compulsory to attend orientation?  

Your attendance at orientation is not compulsory but we strongly encourage you to attend as many sessions as possible. Orientation will provide you with an opportunity to get to know the faculty, staff and your fellow classmates.

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

The Career Development & Professional Placement Office (CDPPO) in the Faculty 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.

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

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