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Caruso School of Law COVID-19 Updates

The Caruso School of Law is implementing plans to address COVID-19 for the fall 2020 semester in coordination with the Pepperdine Restoration Plan. Additional information will be shared by the school as it becomes available.



What classes will be offered in Fall 2020?

The current fall course schedule is here.

Will all classes be offered online?

Yes—all Fall 2020 courses will be offered online for the entire semester.

How do I access links to my online classes?

  • Courses (powered by Sakai) will be how you access Zoom links, so please become familiar with this platform. You access this service using the same credentials you use for your WaveNet and Email access.
  • Some courses offered through Straus (but not all) will be taught through Pepperdine's online program platform 2PEP. Students who are enrolled in classes that will utilize 2PEP will receive instructions regarding how to access that platform one week before the class begins.


Can I share a Zoom session link with others?

Treat the Zoom session as a private event and share the Zoom meeting link only with the intended participants. Participants should not share the link publicly or with others who do not need to be in the meeting. Participants are also advised to not post the meeting link in social public forums. Faculty are encouraged to post the meeting link in their institutional learning management system for students to access.


What do I need to know about participating in classes via Zoom?

Please review these policies related to Online Student Etiquette.

Will class attendance be taken?

Yes, attendance will be taken. For online classes, "attendance" means being online for the duration of the class meeting. Failure to Zoom in for the entire duration of class counts as an absence for the course. Watching a recording in lieu of attending an online class by zoom counts as an absence for the course. Please refer to section 5.11 of the Academic Policy for more information.

Will professors hold office hours? 

Yes, each professor will be asked to have office hours.

How will Fall 2020 final examinations be taken?

  • All fall final exams will be administered online. However, if campus is open, you will have the option to take final exams on campus (e.g., in the library, seminar rooms, etc.). We are continuously working on programs and policies to ensure the integrity of final examinations.
  • Here is the current fall 2020 final examination schedule. 

What if I anticipate that I will have technical and/or internet needs during the fall semester?

If you have technological needs for Fall 2020, please fill out this form by September 1, 2020. If needs arise after that time, please contact Dean Goodno.

What books do I need for my fall 2020 courses?

You can access course book lists from the bookstore. You can buy new and used books from many different sources.

Students will receive FREE BASIC SHIPPING on all fall textbook orders on the Pepperdine bookstore website, through September 4, 2020 (no need to enter a code or do anything other than select basic shipping) .

What classes will be offered in Spring 2021?

Here is a list of the classes that we are planning to offer in the spring. Because of the many uncertainties with COVID-19, we are unable to  release a full spring schedule. We do not yet know on what days (M/W or T/Th) or in which modality (on-campus or online) those courses will be offered. At least one section of each required course will be offered this spring. We will do our best to minimize the conflicts between upper division required courses, but to avoid any possible issues, 3L's should do their best to take remaining required courses in the fall.


What should students with accommodations do?

Students with accommodations should contact the Office of Student Accessibility.


How will courses be graded this academic year?

All courses will be governed by the relevant Academic Policy. That means the grading policies (including the mandatory curve) outlined in the Academic Policy applies to all classes. Letter grades subject to the curve will be given for all graded courses. Consistent with Section 6.31(E) of the Academic Policy, you may be able to retroactively opt to pass/fail up to two elective courses.

Are there any changes to school policies or requirements?

What academic advising resources are available?

  • Review this document for numerous academic resources that can help you plan your academic schedule.
  • Here is the recording from the July 2020 zoom Q&A academic advising session.

How is the law school preparing for the best technology and pedagogy to support course modalities?

Our faculty and staff are being trained on technology and pedagogy throughout the summer. Teaching assistants will assist with online classroom management. Our faculty have been provided upgraded technology as well.

How is the law school preparing its students for taking online courses?

  • Training videos and documentation are provided for students.
  • For training on how to use iClickers, please watch this video.
  • Students can access additional resources for online training here.


I am a 2L or 3L, can I take a leave of absence for a semester or academic year?

Yes. Some of you, for any number of reasons, may decide that a semester or year off from law school is in your best interest. Contact Dean Goodno who can help you with the process.


I am an international student, who should I contact about housing, visas, etc?

International students should contact the Office of International Student Services to seek further guidance.

How do I stay informed?

  • Continually monitor your emails for law school and University communications.
  • Live and archived viewing for each of these special briefings are available on the President's Briefing website.
  • The University will continue to keep the community informed on COVID-19 developments as new information becomes available. The latest updates can be found on the University's COVID-19 website and Emergency Information Page.
  Financial Aid

Will tuition remain the same for fall 2020?

The amount will remain $29,640 flat-rate for JD tuition for the fall 2020 semester. The Office of Financial Assistance will provide students with the financial aid resources needed to meet the in educational cost of attending law school.



What housing options are available on-campus during the fall semester?

  • Our ability to house students on campus is directly impacted by state and county restrictions. We are not presently permitted to reopen our Malibu campus for normal residential life. However, we expect to receive permission soon to house students who can demonstrate a compelling hardship which necessitates residing in on-campus housing this fall.
  • In the event the government's guidance changes during the semester, we may revisit our options for potentially broadening our on-campus housing availability.
  • Further action from students is not required. The Housing Contract Terms and Conditions are annulled for the fall 2020 semester. Students are not required to pay the balance.


What if I have compelling housing hardship and need on-campus housing this fall?


  • A limited number of students may be permitted to live on campus, if granted an exception due to compelling hardships. Students who want to appeal for an exception to live on campus beginning in mid-August may do so by completing this form. We expect to render decisions as soon as possible, depending on the timing of Governor Newsom's guidance. This will be a rolling acceptance process, and students should promptly submit a form as space is limited.
  • If you are permitted to live on campus, the Housing office will reactivate your fall housing contract. Graduate students will be placed in graduate housing and will be charged the standard fall rates. As students consider the possibility of living on campus, please note that basic services will be provided, but there will be no on-campus large gatherings or major events due to L.A. County Public Health guidance. Additionally, students will not be able to have guests in their room or building.


Will I receive a credit for on-campus housing?

Yes. Graduate students who have submitted the non-refundable prepayment for housing will receive a credit in this amount to their student account. The credit may be applied to existing or future balances. Alternatively, students may request a refund of a positive balance in their student account by contacting the Office of Student Accounts.


Will there be on-campus housing available in the spring?

  • We anticipate the return to on-campus housing occupancy for the spring 2021 semester. However, as we have all seen, guidance may direct us to limit the numbers of students residing on campus. If on-campus housing occupancy is restricted, housing contracts may be terminated for some students (possibly, graduate students, seniors, and juniors).
  • Pepperdine is hopeful that it will not be necessary to terminate any spring housing contracts. However, should the University need to act, Housing and Residence Life will inform each affected student as soon as possible and in advance of contract termination. Contract termination fees will not be assessed in this case.


What housing options are available off campus?

Off-Campus Housing opportunities are available and maintained by the Office of Admissions.


Do I have to do anything special to use Pepperdine's Zoom?

  • Yes. If you are a current Pepperdine University student, faculty, staff member, you are eligible for a Pepperdine Zoom account. You must sign up through pepperdine.zoom.us and use the SSO (single sign-on) option. If you are prompted for a "domain" enter Pepperdine.
  • With a Pepperdine Zoom Pro account you will have more features for your own meetings/study groups, etc. and your functional time limit for an online session goes from 40 minutes to 24 hours. You will have access to the same features your professors have when you use this account including breakout rooms, and when hosting your own sessions you will have the ability to manage participant video and audio participation.
  • Students, please remember that you will need to access any class Zoom meetings through Courses.

If I have technical difficulty logging into class, what do I do?

  • Test your computer with Zoom before class. Check out the audio and video settings.
  • If you have problems, the first thing to do is to completely shut down your computer and restart. Most computer problems are corrected with this remedy.
  • Before you begin your Zoom session, we strongly recommend that you shut down and turn off any and all extraneous applications, especially those using the camera, the microphone, or the speakers. Turn off Facebook and other social media apps. The only thing you should have running is your Chrome browser with minimal tabs open (two or three). Avoid news sites, sites with video, other things that require more bandwidth while using Zoom.
  • We recommend that you use a Google Suite app (especially Google Docs) for taking notes as it takes very little computer power to run and backs up automatically to the cloud.
  • If your troubleshooting attempts above do not yield results, please see this comprehensive support site from Zoom.
  • Note: you may find it valuable to acquire a USB headset for your Zoom classes. That will remove some variables with your computer's audio (mic and speakers).
  • Tech Support:
    • Please contact University Technology Support directly at 310.506.4357.
    • Secondarily, contact LawTech at support@law.pepperdine.edu with technical questions.
    • If you do not have a computer or way to connect to Zoom via the internet, please contact Dean Goodno.

What if I have a bad internet connection? How should I join classes by Zoom? Can I call in?

You must use the Zoom app and connect via the Internet. See our guide for students here. We strongly recommend that students use a computer with a reliable internet connection for connecting to their Zoom class sessions. Telephone dial-in will not work for attending classes remotely. It is possible to connect using cell phone data to "tether" the phone's internet connection to a laptop or desktop computer. Check with your mobile phone provider for details on this feature. Learn more by reading this Android tether article or iPhone tether article.

More Zoom resources?

Please continue to check the LawTech.pepperdine.edu website for additional information and resources. Search for "Zoom" in the upper right corner search box. The support team will continue to add materials as needed.

What if I anticipate that I will have technical and/or internet needs during the fall semester?

If you have technological needs for Fall 2020, please fill out this form by September 1, 2020. If needs arise after that time, please contact Dean Goodno.

  Law Library

Is the law library open?

  • While the University campus is closed, the law library will be operating remotely and will be actively staffed from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday to answer any and all research questions and inquiries.
  • Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have and a staff member will contact you shortly.
  • For reference/research assistance, please email lawreference@pepperdine.edu or call 310.506.7591.
  • For circulation assistance, please email publicservices@law.pepperdine.edu or call 310.506.4643.

Are reserve materials available at the law library?

  • The law library will not be able to provide our usual reserve textbook service during the Fall 2020 semester. We are advising all students to purchase their own copies of textbooks or coordinate with a group of close friends or roommates.
  • While several publishers provided free access to electronic texts during the spring semester, that service has been discontinued by the publishers. Students may contact their respective publishers directly to purchase individual access.
  • If you have questions about reserve materials, please contact the reference librarians at lawreference@pepperdine.edu.


Can I still access online resources from off campus?

  Student Life


Can student groups still meet?

Student groups are important to the Pepperdine Caruso community! We hope that you will continue to hold meetings and take advantage of the flexibility that comes with meeting online. All students have access to Zoom and can create meeting links. If you need assistance in setting up these online meetings, please contact Jamie Domke.


Can student groups still hold events?

  • Student groups are encouraged to hold events on Zoom so that they can have events at optimal times and maximize attendance. The events team will be approving no more than THREE online events per day. The full Fall 2020 events policy is available here and you can submit an events request form here.
  • The events team has put together a Tips and Tricks document to help you with your online events! Please review it as you plan your events. If you need assistance in setting up online events, please contact Lauren Holm.


Will the law school administrative offices be open and available?

Administrative offices are open online. All of the staff remain available to meet with and support you by email and Zoom.

How does going online impact student health insurance?

  • Remote instruction may change students' need for Student Health Insurance. Please remember, all students enrolled in Malibu programs that would typically be on ground will receive and be billed for Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) unless they complete the waiver process, indicating they have other insurance.
  • Students covered under a US-based health insurance plan need to log onto the AHP Dashboard to waive this option if they do not plan to enroll in SHIP the Student Health Insurance Program.
  • The requirement for student health insurance does not apply to international students studying exclusively online in their home country.
  • If you have questions about this, please call the Student Health Center 310-506-4316.
  Career Development Office

Is the Career Development Office (CDO) going to be open and available to students?

  • Yes. The CDO will remain open and continue to operate virtually. All planned fall programming is moving forward, including the Fall Legal Interview Program, Mock Interview Program, as well as various practice area and career planning workshops. Additionally, your team of CDO counselors are all committed to continuing to provide their students with high-level, individualized career counseling and assistance. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time.
  • For more information about the Career Development Office, click here.

We know these are challenging times that may cause stress and uncertainty. Here are some resources to help:

  Experiential Learning

I am enrolled in the Externship course, am I required to work at my placement in person?

Externs will work at their field placements consistent with their field placements' policies and protocols for safety and health. If any extern cannot attend their field placement or externship for good faith reasons of their health, risk to themselves or their families, or disruptions at their placements, we will work with them creatively to identify alternatives and options, seeking to avoid changing units for which they have registered and protecting the best practices and governing standards for externships.


I am enrolled in a Clinic course, will I be required to meet with clients in person?

For clinical practice, we will pursue tech solutions and practical steps to avoid in-person exposure where practices permit it. When practice requires meeting with clients, attending court, or other in person work, we will use best practice to protect student safety. We will require masks and distancing, will be diligent in cleaning spaces, and will reduce time in person as much as we can to sustain a professionally responsible practice.