COVID-19 Updates at Western Law


Dear Western Law community,

Our world has changed so much since the emergence of COVID-19. We have all experienced significant disruption in our personal, social, and academic lives, and the ground seems to be constantly shifting under our feet. I would like you to know we are here for you during this difficult time, and that we will continue to be over the coming weeks.

On this page, you'll find useful information as it pertains specifically to the Faculty of Law. The situation is evolving rapidly, and new updates will be posted as we go. I kindly ask that you pay close attention to this information, the information on Western's main COVID-19 page, and follow the advice of local health authorities.

We will get through this together. I wish you and your loved ones all the best in these distressing and uncertain times.

Yours truly,

Erika Chamberlain
Dean, Faculty of Law

  • All upper-year courses will be held online for the entirety of the Fall term. Most will also be held online for the Winter term, with the exception being small, skills-based and clinical courses that are best delivered in person.
  • The first-year program will take place in-person with physical distancing measures in place. This is possible due to our small group structure in year one.
  • No in-person events are currently scheduled.
  • The Law Building is closed, but staff and faculty continue to work remotely. Should you require assistance, please call 519-661-3346 from 10-2 PM on weekdays.
  • Community Legal Services is closed and is unable to accept new clients at this time. If you are an existing client, please call 519-661-3352 to request an appointment with Review Counsel, who will be assisting you virtually going forward.

If you require assistance, please call 519-661-3346 to speak with a member of our reception team during the following hours:

Monday-Friday: 10-2 PM
Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Please note: Assistance can only be provided over the phone.

Most Recent Update

Tuesday, May 26 at 11:00 AM

Dear upper-year students:

I hope that you are all staying healthy and safe, and are getting the chance to enjoy this more seasonable weather. 

I’m writing to provide you with an update about planning for the 2020-21 academic year. As I’m sure you are aware, higher education will look very different this fall than it has in the past. At Western Law, our planning process has taken into consideration the safety of our students and faculty, the ongoing requirements for physical distancing, and the significant limitations this will create for our use of space at the law school. We are also mindful that our incoming first-year students will need special attention so that they can adjust to the study of law and build connections to the law school. 

As a result, we have come to the difficult decision that all Fall Term courses for upper-year students will be delivered remotely. You will receive more details about individual courses during our course selection process in July. However, you can rest assured that our professors want to give you the best possible learning experience in the circumstances. Western Law is hiring a team of students to assist faculty with the migration to remote delivery and, while your courses will look different, you can expect the same challenging and engaging educational experience to which you have become accustomed.

It is likely that physical distancing guidelines will still be in place for the Winter Term. This means that most winter term courses for upper-year students will be delivered remotely as well. At this stage, we anticipate that possible exceptions might be the January Intensive Period for second-year students, and a small number of clinical and skills-based courses that are best delivered in person.

Some of you may also be curious about how external moots will be affected by the pandemic. So far, we have heard of two external moots that have been cancelled outright (Corporate Securities and Environmental Law), and others may be conducted virtually. From the law school’s perspective, we know that we will be using moot team selection procedures other than the usual Lerner’s Cup competition. We will provide more details as we are able.

All of us at Western Law are disappointed that we won’t be seeing our entire student body around the law building this fall. We will miss the energy, intellectual stimulation, and sense of fun that our students provide. Over the coming months, we will be working with the Student Legal Society and other student leaders to develop plans for maintaining the vital sense of community and connectedness that set the student experience at Western Law apart. 

We will be in regular communication with you over the coming weeks as our plans unfold. We are facing uncertainty in so many aspects of our lives, and we wanted to provide at least some clarity to you so that you can plan accordingly.

Yours truly,

Erika Chamberlain
Dean, Faculty of Law

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: We will continue to add questions and answers to this section as the COVID-19 situation unfolds.

Can I access the Law Building?

No. The Law Building is closed to JD students until further notice. If there are exceptional reasons that you need access to the building, please contact

Can I still use the Law Library?

The Law Library is physically closed. However, you can still access online resources and get virtual assistance from a law librarian.

I'm feeling overwhelmed. Can I still speak to the faculty's Wellness Counsellor?

Absolutely. We recognize this is a tough time for everyone and are pleased to share that our Wellness Counsellor is now offering phone appointments in place of in-person appointments. Please email to request a quick check-in or a full 1-hour treatment.

If you are experiencing a crisis and need assistance outside of your appointment time, please contact your nearest crisis centre.

I'm a future student. How does this affect me?

Our Admissions department continues to operate normally. Should anything change, we will be sure to let you know. More information for individuals with admission offers can be found here.

Is Western Law offering its Free LSAT Preparation Course for Low-Income and Indigenous Students this summer?

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 issues, we are not able to offer our LSAT preparation course this summer. We hope to offer the course during the Fall term instead. Please check our website again in July or August for additional updates or to register for the course.

Page last updated: May 29, 2020