Many entering first-year law students were planning to travel or work during the summer before beginning law school. For most, such plans had to be shelved when the coronavirus struck.
The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we live, with travel restrictions, business closures, social distancing rules, mask-wearing requirements and postponed elections - nearly every aspect of the government’s response has been subject to legal challenge.
This year’s incoming first-year law students at Case Western Reserve University had a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss the legal and ethical issues related to the coronavirus pandemic in a summer course offered at no cost prior to the start of their first year of law school. The course was taught online by CWRU School of Law Co-Dean Jessica Berg, JD, MPH, one of the nation’s leading health law experts. She is also a professor of bioethics and a professor of public health.
This marked the first time the law school offered a summer course to its incoming students and the topic couldn’t have been more timely — there is no set of legal, ethical or policy issues that are more on the minds of the public.
“This course was an opportunity for our incoming law students to explore legal and ethical issues related to the health crisis while getting to know the law school and their new classmates,” said Dean Berg. “While we have the ninth-ranked Health Law program in the nation, this wasn’t a course just for those interested in health law. These issues are relevant to everyone.”