Community Update: Latest News from Georgetown Law
I promised to update you regularly with news from the Law Center. As we grapple with the challenges of the pandemic, I am inspired by the ways in which this community has risen to the occasion. Below, I highlight a few examples that showcase the continued commitment to Georgetown Law’s mission, though there are many more. I also hope that you will take a moment to help with these important efforts below. My thanks to those who have already done so.
The semester is ending and students are taking their final exams. During my final seminar class last week, I spoke with the students about how much I have learned from them, especially given the dramatic changes to our lives. The virtual classroom experience created surprisingly tight bonds and intellectual growth despite the physical distance. You can read this story to hear more about our successes operating in this new environment.
The community is also staying connected through regular online sessions. We have had several faculty meetings where colleagues have been fully engaged in making decisions related to the pandemic, as well as finishing the annual work of various faculty committees. I have hosted other information sessions for our students, with topics ranging from careers and summer programs for LLMs and JDs to the ongoing work of our Centers and Institutes.
Yet much of what we envisioned for the next couple of months has changed – from canceled events to delayed commencement and bar exams. Summer and post-graduate employment is no exception. Despite excellent qualifications, many students have not yet found jobs or have lost existing offers. We are doing two things to address this.
The first is an initiative I emailed you about last week. Our Career and Alumni Offices are trying to help students identify employment opportunities; and we could use your help. If you have just five minutes, please respond to this survey.
The second is the creation of the Georgetown Law JD Summer Corps. Through the Summer Corps, we will offer opportunities with clinics, centers, and faculty members, eligible for funding through Georgetown Law’s Public Service Summer Grant. We hope for these positions to improve our students’ ability to have meaningful law-related employment this summer.
Community In Action
During these difficult times, it is important to celebrate where we can. I am proud to see how members of the community are helping those facing serious challenges.
A passionate group of first year students, led by Oge Maduike (L’22) and supported by Professor Rosa Brooks, banded together to create a platform for giving and receiving aid as well as information about local volunteer efforts: Georgetown Law Student COVID-19 Response Resource Guide.
Professor Heidi Li Feldman is helping connect law student volunteers with attorneys offering pro bono trusts and estate services to first responders via #Lawyers4FirstResponders.
Our faculty continues to be at the forefront of the global conversation. Professor Larry Gostin invited Harvard’s Ashish Jha to discuss COVID-19: Global Lessons the U.S. Should Learn Right Now. SALPAL Executive Director Meryl Chertoff organized a roundtable on COVID-19 vs. the Constitution: How Far Can Governors Go to Fight the Virus? Our social media channels also featured a recorded conversation between Indi Dutta-Gupta, co-executive director of the Center on Poverty & Inequality, and Professor Jamillah Bowman Williams, faculty director of the Workers’ Rights Institute on the impact of COVID-19 on workers.
This time has placed a tremendous strain on our resources and those of our students. Many in our community have generously contributed much-needed funding to the Student Emergency Fund, which expands the support we can give to students struggling to meet life’s basic necessities.
There is also increased need for financial aid for current and future students whose circumstances are now radically different. For that reason, on May 5 we will participate in #GivingTuesdayNow, a national day of giving in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are in a position to make a gift on that day, we appreciate and welcome your support.
Thank you again to all of you who have reached out. I appreciate you being in touch and sharing with me the challenges you are facing and even some of the blessings you have discovered in this crisis. I have never been more proud to be a part of the Georgetown Law community. Be well.
William M. Treanor
Dean and Executive Vice President
Paul Regis Dean Leadership Chair