Campbell's law school faces special challenge planning for fall classes in small downtown Raleigh campus

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- One of the things that makes Campbell University's law school attractive to aspiring attorneys is that it's relatively small.

But that intimate setting caused problems when trying to plan for classes during a pandemic.

"In terms of how we do operations, the stress on our students, our faculty, it is unique unlike anything that we have seen," Dan Tilly told ABC11.

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Tilly is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Campbell's Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law in downtown Raleigh.

He and the rest of the school's staff have spent the past few months responding to the will of students who were surveyed for their opinions about classes should be conducted for fall semester.

"The overwhelming response from our Campbell law students has been, 'We want to return in-seat,'" he said. "Obviously they want to do it in a way that is as safe as possible."

But with their small campus and the need to limit classrooms to half their capacity for social distancing Campbell law staffers knew there just wasn't enough room in their building.

They found what they needed right across the street at their neighbor The Church of the Good Shepherd.

The Episcopal church's fellowship hall will provide the space to hold in-person classes, according to Tilly.

"It has opened up a significant opportunity for our students to have a very large space that is open where we can teach them in a distanced environment," said Tilly.
But the law school also realizes there are students who for various reasons including health cannot attend in-person classes.

So those classes will also be available online.

"So that remote participants can be watching the class, taking notes in the class. We have a learning system online that allows for virtual students to raise their hands, to ask questions in chat," Tilly said.

And when classes start on Aug. 17, there will also be a mask requirement and an expectation that students will not come to campus if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms.

"That is something that we are going to discourage and need our student partners to take seriously and we trust that they will," Tilley said adding that no matter the pandemic's twists and turns Campbell law will do what it takes to pursue its mission.

"That is to, to develop great lawyers for clients in need," Tilly noted.

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