FAQs - Fall 2020 Term -Graduate Studies of the Faculty of Law

Email: etudgrad@uottawa.ca

Website: llmphd.uottawa.ca


Will the Office of Graduate Studies be open this fall for in-person meetings?

No. Our top priority is the health and well-being of students, staff and professors. At the moment, physical distancing measures do not support meetings. We encourage you to contact us by email and, a Zoom meeting, Teams meeting or, a phone call can be set up with one of our academic agents.


Will the Faculty of Law be holding in-person classes this Fall?

All classes for all years will be available via distance and online format, for the entire Fall 2020 semester. If public health authorities permit, we will consider holding in-person gatherings, including classes, but we emphasize that we will not be holding classes that will be exclusively in-person during the Fall 2020 semester.


Will we be starting at a distance or online and then moving to in-person when the restrictions are relaxed?

For the Fall 2020 semester, all classes at the Faculty of Laws will be delivered via distance and online format for the entire semester. It may be possible later in the term to have in-person gatherings, depending on public health restrictions. However, any course that starts via distance or online will continue to provide a distance option for all students. Moreover, any decision whether or not to return to in-person teaching, if permitted, will be the decision of the individual instructor.


Do I have to reside in Ottawa to attend class?

No. You do not have to reside in Ottawa for the Fall 2020 semester. You will not be required to attend any in-person classes or meetings during the Fall 2020 semester at the Faculty of Law.


Will I have access to campus libraries?

The University will follow public health guidelines and applicable legislation regarding social gatherings and the opening of workplaces. It is not clear when the libraries will be open for in-person use by students. All students have and will continue to have online access to the library’s digital collections. To stay up to date with the services offered, please consult the library's web page):

· Curbside pick up is available (until September 8) for library items that are not online. You can locate an item in the library catalog (Omni) and place a request. After receiving an email notification, the item can be picked up at the Morisset Library (at the entrance to the library).

· This service will be replaced on September 9 by a contactless pick up: the requested documents can be picked up in front of the MRT 141 lounge at the Morisset Library.

· For printed book chapters, journal articles and microform documents, the Library offers a scanning service on request.

· Home delivery service: Starting September 21, 2020, the Library will offer free home delivery of materials from its print collection to those living in Canada outside of the National Capital Region of Ottawa. -Gatineau.

· Due to the Library's closure, it is now possible to access more than 860,000 printed Library books online through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service. When you find a title in the Library Catalog (Omni) with “HathiTrust Reserved” as the location, you can log into HathiTrust and follow the detailed steps to view the book.

Resource training sessions will be offered soon. The virtual meetings will take place between 11:30 am and 1 pm. More details to come on the Brian Dickson Law Library website

• Lexis Advance Quicklaw (English): Sept. 28.

• Lexis Advance Quicklaw (French): Oct. 1

• WestlawNext Canada (English): Sept. 29.

• WestlawNext Canada (French): Sept.

You also have access to a research assistance service via the following emails:

Nathalie Léonard: nleonard@uottawa.ca

Emily Benton: emily.benton@uottawa.ca


Will I be able to come to Fauteux or to campus to work if I want?

The University will follow public health guidelines and applicable legislation regarding social gatherings and the opening of workplaces. We are in the process of developing a plan to provide study space on campus and in Fauteux. More details will follow.


What will happen in January 2021?

We do not yet know the plans for January 2021 and beyond. We will follow the lead of public health authorities and the broader University community and will make decisions as early as we can. We will be in a better position to evaluate the January 2021 term and the Winter 2021 term in September 2020.


How will I buy my textbooks?

Professors are encouraged to rely on online resources and e-books where possible. Many publishers have e-versions of their textbooks available for purchase (e.g. Emond and Irwin Law). You can also order a hard copy directly from the publisher. Some texts may be available on commercial sites like Amazon. Your professor will provide you with the information you need on textbook purchases prior to the start of classes in September.


How will courses be delivered through distance and online formats?

We are working with our professors to transition to distance and online teaching and learning. Professors will use a variety of methods, depending on the pedagogical aim of their course and teaching style. Examples include synchronous lectures (“live” lectures that will occur at a scheduled class time) and asynchronous lectures (pre-recorded and available to be watched at the student’s convenience; narrated PowerPoint slides; etc.).


How can I familiarize myself with the tools used by my professors for distance and online education?

Most professors will use Brightspace. We invite you to login to your Brightspace account to find information about each courses. We strongly suggest you consult the section for students on the Teaching and Learning Support Service (TLSS) website for more information, resources and contact information for assistance.

Some of your professors will also use platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Adobe Connect. Youtube is generally a good resource, since the platforms used are not unique to uOttawa, so students can find hundreds of mini tutorials on Teams, Zoom, Adobe Connect, etc.


Do I have to attend online lectures?

Yes. Students are expected to attend all assigned lectures and watch all assigned material. Professors will communicate attendance policies in their syllabi.


Will I have the chance to participate in class?

Yes. Distance learning platforms have “chat” features or other options that allow students to raise their hand and participate orally as you would in person or by sending in written questions. You will have the chance to ask questions as you would in person and you will often have additional ways to participate through distance and online courses.


How will I be evaluated and graded for the Fall 2020 semester?

All evaluation in Fall 2020 will be online. This includes assignment distribution and return, tests, oral advocacy, student presentations, final examinations. No in-person evaluation will take place.

Grading will be on an alphanumeric scheme and the Graduate Studies Grading Guidelines will apply.


What if I cannot regularly attend online classes because of childcare or other responsibilities?

In the coming weeks, we will provide you with more information about accommodation requests. Please note that students will be expected to attend class but may be given excused absences in some circumstances.


What if I have unreliable internet service?

In general, students are responsible for their own technology and internet connection. In the coming weeks, we will provide you with more information about accommodation requests. Issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.


Will student clubs continue to operate?

The Graduate Studies in Law Student Association (GSLEDD) will be working to create a vibrant online community for students. More information will follow. For more details, keep an eye on the GSLEED Facebook page


Will there be any change in tuition or ancillary fees?

There will be no change to tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year. We plan to continue to deliver high-quality education in the Fall 2020 but in a different format. We will continue to provide academic, and career and professional development support through distance formats.

Ancillary fees are set by the University. You may choose to opt out of some of them by logging in your uoZone portal. More information on fees can be found on the University fees webpage.


What if I live in the Ottawa area and want to meet with other students or my professor?

Our top priority is the health and well-being of our students. At the moment, physical distancing measures do not support meetings between individuals who do not reside in the same household. If restrictions are eased, students are of course welcome and encouraged to make social arrangements with other students. Meetings with professors will depend entirely on the professor.

For the Fall 2020 semester, no meetings will be required, and no evaluation or grading will depend on any in-person meetings.


Other law schools are saying they may move to in-person classes if allowed. Why didn’t uOttawa take that approach?

Our primary concern is the health and well-being of our students, staff and faculty. We fully respect the advice of public health experts and government officials who warn that physical distancing measures will be in place for the foreseeable future. We recognize that times are uncertain and made the decision to offer a concrete plan to our students. Our plan allows students to choose to remain in their place of primary residence and not incur rental and other costs of moving to Ottawa for the Fall 2020 term. Given that we have no date yet as to when physical distancing measures will be relaxed, we decided that the economic impact of uncertainty should not be borne by our students.

We will be as relieved as our students once restrictions are eased. The return to campus will be a moment of true celebration.


How will you make sure that my education isn’t compromised by an online model? Will professors receive training on how to deliver online courses?

We have a committee of experts on online teaching models that is preparing our Faculty. Many professors already have considerable experience in online teaching environments. We are sharing best practices and taking advantage of all available training. Tech support will be added to make sure that courses run with few glitches.

Professors are prepared to offer courses that are just as challenging and interesting as they would be in person.


Will I have access to the University gym to work out?

The University will follow public health guidelines and applicable legislation regarding social gatherings and the opening of workplaces. We will probably not know more about the reopening of the University's sports facilities before the end of the summer.


I already signed a lease for September 2020. Can I cancel it?

We cannot give you legal advice about your lease or any other matter. All uOttawa students can get legal advice through the University of Ottawa Community Clinic.

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