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Law Schools

BCLS Cancels Commencement

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Commencement for 2020 BCLS graduates has been cancelled indefinitely.

Written by:

Lawwly Contributor

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Dean Rougeau addressed members of the Boston College Law community in one on April 3rd, 2020 with details on the Massachusetts Bar Exam and another on April 7th, 2020 with details on cancellation of graduation for the Class of 2020.


According to the email, jurisdictions, including Massachusetts, that will postpone the administration of the July 2020 bar examination will be able to administer the exam on September 8-10 or September 29-October 1, 2020.


For Massachusetts, however, the announcement stated that early September administration schedule is unavailable because of a lack of a proper available venue. Instead, the Massachusetts exam will be administered at the Hynes Convention Center and the Western New England University in Springfield on September 30 and October 1, 2020.


Further, alternative means for testing applicants for the Massachusetts bar admission will be “devised and announced”.


The dean promised students to follow up with more details and invited 3L students at the school to join a webinar to discuss the topic. This webinar is one of a series of webinars offered to students in the wake of many cancellations of school events.


The Boston-based law school has already instituted mandatory pass-fail of classes and moved all law classes online. Commencement for the 3L class has been cancelled as well.


The dean stated: “I know this is disappointing to you and your families, as it is to us. We are already considering other ways we might celebrate the graduating class of 2020… and will send details on that soon.” 


Many students have been displaced as a result of the school closing down. On April 7th, 2020, the dean announced the creation of a BC Law Student Emergency Relief Fund. The fund will grant up to $1,000 to each student experiencing serious financial hardship.

As of April 7th, only $25,000 has been allocated to support students, despite the school saving upwards of $100,000 and more in expenses by cancelling the Class of 2020's graduation commencement. 


Additionally, the fund will only fund very specific expenses, such as unexpected medical, mental health or dental costs not covered by insurance, temporary assistance with food insecurity, temporary housing assistance caused by COVID-19 which could include additional rent, security deposit, short-term hotel costs incurred to relocate, quarantine or isolate, for personal safety, etc., costs of additional equipment, software or services to complete educational requirements via remote learning, unplanned travel expenses to receive medical care, self-quarantine or isolate, unplanned or additional childcare or family care costs necessary to complete classwork, safety-related needs such as change of locks, legal assistance, etc., and other costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be considered by the committee.

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