Law schools around the world are coming up with new and innovative ways to deal with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. And the University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce School of Law is no different. Not only does the school offer a host of online courses, but it is also now proactively addressing any concerns or difficulties prospective applicants are facing.
In an email interview, the school’s Associate Director of Admissions, Sarah Dorner discusses some of the most common problems LL.M. applicants are facing, and how her team is addressing these concerns.
What impact has the coronavirus had on your institution?
We are currently learning and working remotely. We’re different from other law schools in that we embraced online learning years ago. As a technology-forward law school, the switch to online education was easy and we have been able to fully function as an online law school without much extra work or training.
Many of our programs are already online including our Hybrid JD, and our LLM, Master’s, and graduate programs in intellectual property and international criminal law and justice. Since many of our professors already teach online, the infrastructure for online learning was in place. We hope to serve as a model for other law schools.
Are there any changes being planned for the academic year 2020-21 that I, as an LLM candidate, should be aware of?
We are hopeful that the situation will improve in time for students to arrive this fall. But we are a flexible law school and have plans so students can begin their LLM online and then join us in person when it is safe to do so. We remain mindful of the ever-evolving situation here in the US and around the world, and are exploring all possible options.
Due to the closure of their law schools, some Indian applicants might be unable to send their official transcripts in time – what options do such applicants have?
We understand that many universities have closed, making it hard for students to access their official transcripts. We do all we can to be flexible and help students navigate this challenge. At the same time, assessing students’ academic records is a critical part of our application review process.
Given the situation, Franklin Pierce is happy to use unofficial copies of transcripts that students submit to our office via email to make an admission decision. Before beginning classes in the fall, students will need to have their universities send official transcripts to our office.
Another common problem applicants face is with respect to the recommendation letters – some recommenders are finding it difficult to send scanned copies of their letters.
Hearing from your professors and/or employers helps us better understand your ability to be successful in the legal classroom and in the workplace. Given the current circumstances, we are happy to accept letters from your references via email.
We understand flexibility is critical right now, so please reach out if you want to discuss your individual situation and we will work with you to find a solution!
Are there any waivers when it comes to English requirements?
We require the TOEFL or IELTS exam for students from countries where English is not the native language. This requirement is waived for students who provide proof that they received their undergraduate degree from a school where English was the language of instruction.
ETS has developed a Special Home Edition of the TOEFL exam to meet the needs of students who cannot access a test center due to public health concerns. This is a great option to consider!
Please let us know if this option does not fit for you, and you have exhausted all other options. We will schedule a video call with a member of our faculty and an admissions officer to assess your level of English language ability.
(This post, with a different headline, was first published here)