When the Faculty of Law at the Université de Montréal resumed classes this fall, most classes were online. However, a small number of classes were taught in person. In addition, several first-year courses used a hybrid format, with some proportion of students attending in person, on a rotating basis. Professors who adopted this hybrid format reported that in-person attendance was below capacity, raising questions about whether the effort to offer such a format had been worthwhile.
In any event, at the end of September 2020, due to an increase in covid cases, the government of Quebec announced a tightening of sanitary measures in Montreal and some other regions of the province. In response, the Faculty of Law has moved all courses online, except for a few clinical programs that can be offered in person with appropriate physical distancing. Around the same time, the University confirmed expectations that the winter 2021 semester would be “essentially” online.
Instructors at the Université de Montréal law faculty have benefitted from considerable freedom in terms of the design of their online classes. Moreover, although faculty members are encouraged to work from home, they have retained access to their offices throughout the pandemic. The law library also fully reopened toward the end of the summer, although due to the new sanitary measures it has returned to a “curbside pickup” protocol. Many faculty members appreciate the possibility of access to books, printing facililities, and a quiet workspace, while of course respecting public health guidelines. Although the campus is largely deserted, a handful of professors are present in their offices on any given day.