Assistant Dean Sowle’s Announcements, November 22 - November 26, 2021

Teaching Evaluations. Teaching evaluations will be done online through the local Web for Students system for all classes, except for clinical classes; we will contact clinical students separately about submitting evaluations. (Please note: Legal Writing 1 evaluations will be done in January.)  The forms are available now and will remain online through the last day of classes, Friday, December 3.  Once you log into Web for Students, click on the appropriate link(s) in the lefthand menu. (There are specialized forms for Legal Writing 3 and 4; all other classes are under the General Course Evaluations link.)

Teaching evaluations are anonymous and will not be available to professors until grades are turned in. Instructors will review the responses to improve the quality of their instruction and courses. The evaluations are also considered as one important factor in tenure, promotion, and compensation decisions for full-time faculty and are used as a factor in determining the effectiveness of part-time instructors.

Thanksgiving Break.  Thanksgiving break runs from Thursday, November 25, through Sunday, November 28. The library will close at 3:00pm on Wednesday, November 24; the building will close at 10:00pm. The building and the library will be closed Thursday through Sunday. Classes resume on Monday, November 29.

Class Schedule After Thanksgiving. Please note the following dates for the closing period of the semester:

Monday, November 29 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Monday classes meet (Labor Day make-up)
Tuesday, November 30 . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Tuesday classes meet (Rosh Hashanah make-up)
Wednesday, December 1. . . . . . . . . . . .  Thursday classes meet (Yom Kippur make-up)
Thursday, December 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thursday classes meet (Thanksgiving make-up)
Friday, December 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Last day of classes: Friday classes meet (Thanksgiving eve make-up) 
  and Wednesday classes starting 4:00 & after meet (Yom Kippur eve. make-up)
Saturday, Dec. 4 - Tuesday, Dec. 7. . . . Read period
Wednesday, Dec. 8 - Friday, Dec. 17. . . Final exams


Pass/Fail Revocation Deadline. Students may revoke pass/fail elections and revert to standard letter grading through Thursday, December 2, 5:00pm. To revoke a pass/fail election, go to your Web for Students account and navigate to the appropriate link in the lefthand menu.

Update: Spring 2022 Semester. As with the current semester, classes in the Spring will mainly be in-person. We anticipate having a petition process again for students to request remote attendance if they have specific personal circumstances related to the COVID pandemic. This will include, but not be limited to, situations involving accommodations under the ADA.

We now plan on issuing the Spring schedule early next week (the week of November 29). My apologies for the delay (we had initially planned on issuing it this week, but some unexpected circumstances intervened). In the meantime, if you have any pressing questions about specific courses, feel free to email me at  Registration for Spring classes will take place shortly after the conclusion of the Fall exam period.

1L Your Way.  All first-year full-time students will be required to take Civil Procedure, Property, and Legal Writing 2 in the Spring. For their fourth course, they will either take Legislation, or one of the "1L Your Way" choices described below. Part-time day students and evening division students will begin taking electives next Fall (or this Summer if they elect to enroll for the optional Summer term). The final Spring schedule, with further details, will be issued prior to Spring registration in November.

Full-time first-year students will have three options in the Spring:

(1) Taking Legislation (a 3-credit required course).

(2) Taking one of several designated elective classes. The tentative list of classes includes Business Organizations (4 cr.), Criminal Procedure: Adjudicative Process (3 cr.), Employment Relationships (3 cr.), and Patent Law (3 cr.). (Please note that this list is subject to change.) Students may also petition to take other elective classes that fit their schedules; petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the professors teaching the courses. If you take an elective, you will be in class with upper-level students. 

(3) Taking the First Year Clinic option (3 credits; see the description below). Applications for Spring 2022 Clinic spots, including for first-year students, are available by clicking here.

First-year students who choose to take an elective or the First Year Clinic will be required to take Legislation in the Fall of their second year. To ensure that all full-time first-year students are assessed on a common set of courses, grades for Legislation or for an elective taken its place will not be considered in calculating Spring class ranks for first-year students or for purposes of probation and dismissals, Law Review selections, or merit scholarships for first-year students. (As noted below, the First Year Clinic option is graded pass/fail and thus won't count into students' GPA's for that reason.)

We may not be able to accommodate all first-year students who wish to take one of the designated electives or the First Year Clinic, although we are hopeful there will be sufficient spaces available for all interested students. If there are insufficient spaces, we will conduct a lottery to select the students.

First Year Clinic: The First Year Clinic option allows J.D. students at the beginning of their law school career to experience a clinical internship with one of the C-K Law Group in-house practices.  Students enrolled in the program become actual members of a clinic.  In addition to weekly section meetings with your supervising professor, there is a weekly plenary classroom session that covers lawyering activities that arise within real life law practice. The available practice areas include criminal defense, civil litigation, plaintiff’s employment law, family law, federal health litigation, immigration law, mediation, and tax law. Depending on the practice area and each professor's caseload at the time, students may be exposed to such activities as: legal and factual research, client interviews, document drafting, discovery review, administrative hearings and negotiations, trial team strategy sessions, court appearances, and motion calls. The First Year Clinic will be graded on a pass/fail basis only. First Year Clinic may only be taken for 3 credits (the 4-credit options are not available to first-year students). Only full-time first-year J.D. students are eligible.

COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for Fall 2021. The Law School's current policies and procedures for addressing the pandemic are available by clicking here. If you have any questions, please email me at

Classrooms for Remote Use. We have reserved rooms at the Law School for you to use if you won't have sufficient time to travel from home to school (or vice versa) in between your remote class and an on-site class you have the same day. These rooms will remain the same throughout the semester. Click here for the list (by course). Please note: You will each connect to class individually in Zoom and should have earphones or headphones with you.

Wearing Masks and Reporting Violations. In conformity with university policy and City of Chicago requirements, everyone is required to wear masks in the building, including in classrooms. For everyone's safety, please ensure that your mask is covering your mouth and your nose at all times.

You may remove your mask only while consuming food or beverages, which is permitted only in the cafeteria and in the recently-opened seating space on the 6th floor (just off the elevator lobby). We have set the tables in all of these spaces (including, now, the 3d floor cafeteria area) to maintain social distancing. Please do not move the seats or the tables in these areas. 

If you witness any member of the community violating these policies, and you do not feel comfortable requesting that the person put a mask on, please either email me or, if you prefer to remain anonymous, please complete this form and I will address the issue with the person. You should also contact me (or use the form) to report any other safety issues you observe in the building.

Counseling Services.  This is a reminder that the university provides counseling services free of charge for students. Click here for details on the available resources, including individual counseling through Skylight Counseling Services. In addition to resources available through the university, the Lawyers Assistance Program also provides assistance to law students. LAP provides free and confidential assistance to members of the Illinois legal community, including students, and can help you with issues of addiction, stress, anxiety, depression, focusing, worries about the character and fitness process, and having a successful first-year transition. Click here for more information about LAP and the services it provides.

Joke of the Week. An optimist sees a glass as half full.  A pessimist sees a glass that's half empty.  An engineer sees a glass that's twice as big as it needs to be.

Last Updated: 
Nov 22, 2021