(Reuters) - The University of California Berkeley School of Law is the latest top law school to announce fall classes will be held online, citing health concerns as the number of coronavirus cases in the United States continues to grow.
Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said Friday in post online that after weeks of efforts to develop a plan for safe, in-person fall classes, he determined “the best course – for the health of those in our community and for our educational program – is to have the Fall semester’s classes be online.”
He said online classes would provide “frankly a better education” than in-person courses because of the disruptions that restrictions on class sizes and rules around masks and quarantining would cause.
Tuition won’t be reduced because it would force the school to “cut courses and/or fire staff,” which would compromise students’ education, Chemerinsky said Friday in an email to Reuters.
Berkeley Law’s estimated annual tuition and fees for the 2020-2021 academic year are $54,856 for California residents and $57,516 for non-residents, according to its website.
Harvard Law School earlier this month became the first top-ranked U.S. law school to say its fall classes will be online because of the pandemic. It has also not dropped tuition, leading one law student to sue Harvard University on Monday.
Columbia Law School and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law have previously said they plan to conduct at least some fall classes in-person, if possible. Columbia is giving students and teachers the option to participate remotely.