Cornell Law Scoops

Scoops Issue

April 27, 2020

This Week’s Events

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Updates

Cornell officials are proactively working with local and state public health organizations to monitor this concern and to protect the health and well-being of the Cornell community. Please bookmark and continue to monitor the following resource websites for updated and relevant information: 

Official Announcements

Dean Peñalver's Office Hours for Students 

Dean Peñalver will be holding office hours via Zoom for students on Monday afternoons, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Students wishing to speak with the Dean, may sign up in advance with Becca Johnson by e-mail (

Law School Registrar Announcements

Practice Exam: A practice take-home exam will be given this spring semester. This is not an actual exam; however, we encouraged to take the practice exam, but you are not required to do so. This will allow you to see how the actual exam will work. You will receive an email on April 13 and will remain open through April 29.

Final Exam Dates: Final exams begin on Thursday, April 30, and end on Monday, May 11. The spring 2020 exam schedule can be found online.(

Exam Instructions: Each exam will be available beginning at 12:00 a.m. Eastern (Ithaca time) on the date scheduled. The exam must be completed and uploaded using Exam4 within the designated number of hours (set by the professor and noted on the exam), but in any event no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern (Ithaca time) on the exam date. A failure to satisfy this requirement will result in a student’s exam not being accepted. If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact BEFORE the exam period begins.

For illustration, suppose an exam is to be given on Thursday, April 30, and it is scheduled for 3 hours. That means that a student may download the exam at any time after 12:00 a.m., Ithaca time, on April 30 and she must upload her response to the Registrar upon the earlier of (i) 3 hours after she downloaded the exam and (ii) 11:59 p.m., Ithaca time, on April 30th. For example, a student in Beijing may choose to start the exam at 12 a.m. Ithaca time on April 30th, or 12 p.m. in Beijing, and must upload the exam no later than 3 a.m. Ithaca time or 3 p.m. in Beijing

Survey on Grading System Change. Please consider completing this anonymous survey concerning grading system changes in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Law students and faculty throughout the country are receiving the survey, which asks what considerations went into the choice of grading scheme as well as how the changes affect students. The survey is anonymous and will be reported anonymously. You may complete the survey by clicking on this link:

Law School Course Pre-registration for Fall 2020
Current 1Ls and 2Ls: Online pre-registration for fall 2020 Law School courses will take place in early summer. You will be notified by email to your Cornell NetID email account when the pre-registration site is available. Instructions and details for online Law School course pre-registration, updated course offerings, registration forms, and degree requirements will be available online.

Spring Term Grades
Spring term grades are tentatively expected to be available on Student Center on Friday, June 12.

Summer Email Address
1Ls and 2Ls: We will be using your Cornell NetID email address to communicate with you during the summer. 3Ls and LLMs: We will continue to use your NetID email address if we need to contact you over the summer. For information on the forwarding service after graduation, please visit the Cornell Alumni Office site:

Unofficial transcripts ( available from the Law School Registrar's Office (written request required). Please remember that we ask you to make this request 24 hours in advance of your need for the materials. Official transcripts ( available at the University Registrar's Office in B7 Day Hall.

Release of Information
A reminder to all students: Students asking faculty members to write recommendations will need to complete a release form with the Law School Registrar's Office if the faculty member wishes to view the student's record.

Diploma Mailing Address
Diploma mailing for graduates is handled by the Office of the University Registrar, not the law school. Please note it is your responsibility to maintain your home address in Student Center, which is where your diploma will be mailed.

Bar Exam Information

The “July 2020” New York examination will be rescheduled to WEDNESDAY-THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9-10, 2020. The application period for the rescheduled examination is presently scheduled to open on May 5, 2020 at 12:00 AM and to close on May 30, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

Additional information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the July 2020 bar exam is available on NCBE's website at:

Law Library Announcements

Cornell Law Library Robert Cantwell Prize for Exemplary Student Research
The Law Library invites 2Ls, 3Ls, LLMs, and JSDs to submit scholarly research papers to be considered for the annual Cantwell Prize for Exemplary Student Research. Eligible works include, but are not limited to, (1) papers written for a class and (2) notes or other scholarly articles written for law reviews and law journals. First prize is $500, second prize is $250, and both winners will be invited to publish their papers in the digital collection Scholarship@Cornell Law. For more on eligibility, submission procedure, and selection criteria, please visit: Application Deadline: May 4, 2020

Leaving Ithaca but still have library books?  
Books from all Cornell libraries can be returned to the book drops at Olin Library (walk-up book drop) and the Library Annex (drive-up book drop).  Directions to either library can be found at

Getting research help
Research librarians are available to help you with your research and to answer your questions about library resources. Please direct inquiries and Zoom consultation requests to

State bar exam requirements
Keep checking back for updated information on bar exams and requirements ( across the 50 states and DC.

Online learning resources
We continue to expand our collection of e-books, so a book you could not find last week may be there now. See this page ( for help finding online materials. Also, remember to check our guide on online learning strategies ( to help you get the most out of virtual instruction.

New Law Library Newsletter
Keywords, a new library email newsletter was launched Wednesday April 15, to help keep the library and students connected. Send us your feedback by emailing 

Externship Information 

Any student interested in an externship for the 2020-2021 academic year or the Pro Bono Scholars program for Spring 2021 should contact Michaela Azemi, Director of Pro Bono Services & Externships, directly by email at

Campus/Community Resources

Lawyer to Lawyer Roundtable Support Discussion 

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the current state of the world and the practice of law feels like it is changing minute by minute, leaving many lawyers uneasy, anxious, and unsure. If you are experiencing these feelings, you are not alone.

Join other lawyers, law students and judges from across the state in a free and confidential support group being held on Thursdays at 4pm via Zoom, . The group will be facilitated by Libby Coreno, Chair of the Attorney Wellbeing Committee and Kerry O'hara, PsyD. Each group session will be loosely organized under a theme for discussion. All participants will be given the opportunity to share if they wish, with supportive discussion to follow.

This group is a support and discussion group. It is not a 12-step recovery group nor a therapeutic group. Its purpose is to discuss and share concerns, while connecting and supporting others in the profession.

Registration is not required, and participation is free. All group meetings are confidential. If you have any questions, please email Stacey Whiteley, Lawyer Assistance Director,

Wellness Corner 

Cornellians Making a Difference During a Difficult Time
To help curb loneliness and isolation during the pandemic, three Cornell students developed an app to help make a "Quarantine Buddy" and connect people of all ages from around the world as we are all social distancing. Read more about their accomplishment here:

Resources for Student Parents
Remember, we are all in this together, and you are not alone. Work towards progress, not perfection. To help with that, the Office of Work/Life in the Division of Human Resources has created a newsletter to connect faculty, staff, students, and retirees to Cornell-sponsored family-friendly events, activities, workshops, and services. The newsletter is distributed twice a month and provides links and activities to keep you and your children engaged, as well as updates on new virtual activities at Cornell in which you can participate. Learn more and sign up for the newsletter at, an online wellness resource with guided meditations and more, has made several of its features free. Learn more here.

Let's Talk 
Let's Talk services are suspended for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester.
You can speak with a licensed therapist from ProtoCall, a 24/7 support team of mental health professionals, any time by calling 607-255-5155 (#2).

Let's Meditate 
Let’s Meditate is a free, guided, mindfulness meditation series sponsored by Cornell Health, in collaboration with numerous campus partners.

During this unprecedented time of Coronavirus and social distancing protocol meditation sessions will be held virtually via Zoom meeting links. Check the website for schedule information:

Free Meditation Resources for NY residents is also available by visiting:

Academic Support

Office Hours Week of April 27 - Use the Zoom link for access: ( or on Academic Support Canvas page or email me for the link):

Monday: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Or by appointment through April 29:

Get Things Done.  You made it to the end of classes!  Bravo.  Now’s your chance to show what you’ve learned.  You need to make good use of your time between now and exams.  You might be concerned about how to do that under these unusual circumstances.  I’ve added a webinar on the 1L Academic Support Canvas page about taking online exams, but here’s a summary of things to consider:

Neutralize Distractions.  Silence your phone.  Use earplugs. Let family/friends/roommates know when you need time alone to study.  Try to find the quietest time to study—for me, that’s early in the morning when everyone is asleep. You won’t have a proctor to make sure that everyone is quiet during your exams.  You need to make sure you prepare for that now. 

Schedule Life Tasks.  You still need to eat, sleep, exercise, and wash clothes.  Schedule time in your study schedule for those things. 

Focus on Practice.  Would you want the first time a new doctor performed a surgery to be on you, as long as she had her casebook next to her?  I know I wouldn’t.  Give me the surgeon who has performed the procedure lots of times before performing it on me.  Your exams are similar.  Sure, the grading scale is different now and, depending on your professor’s directives, you might have access to your outline or book.  But you still need to know the law inside and out, and only rely on your materials to look up something when you forget.  The professor doesn’t grade your “perfect” outline, and, like a surgeon who has never done a surgery, having the perfect outline or your book next to you doesn’t help you at all with the task you are tested on—explaining how to solve legal problems. So be sure to practice the things that will be tested—writing actual exam answers—instead of spending all of your time creating a color-coded outline.  If you haven’t practiced answering an actual exam question yet, I highly recommend you do so.  The APAs and I are happy to review your sample exam answers from the list on the Canvas page under the “Exams” module.

If you find that you need help with your final study plan or you want to talk about exams, I am available until April 29 with extended office hours.  I am happy to help.  Don’t forget to breathe, eat well, and sleep.  Best of luck! 

Legal Careers

From the Career Services Office

If you would like to make an appointment with the Career Services Office, please email Lisa Carberry, Administrative Assistant,

From the Office of Public Service

The office of Public Service is thrilled to welcome Michaela Azemi to the Office of Public Service as our Director of Pro Bono Services and Externships.

To schedule an appointment with Ms. Azemi or Dean Akyea, use the online booking system at

From the Graduate Legal Studies Office 

For LL.M.s who would like to make a careers appointment, please use the following link:

or email Deirdre Hay, Director of Graduate Legal Studies Career Advising,

Positions Available

Please check Symplicity for announcements about open research assistant positions and other employment opportunities for summer 2020 with various Law School Offices.

Professor Chutkow seeks several law students to serve as Teaching Assistants for her undergraduate course, Constitutional Politics for fall 2020. The class meets MW, 2:55-4:10, however, specific TA duties will not include full class attendance. This course investigates the United States Supreme Court and its role in politics and government. It traces the development of constitutional doctrine, the growth of the Court’s institutional power, and the Court’s interaction with Congress, the president, and society. Discussed are major constitutional law decisions, their political contexts, and the social and behavioral factors that affect judges, justices, and federal court jurisprudence. TAs will conduct small section sessions, comment on papers, and meet with students. Please email your resume to Professor Chutkow at if you are interested.

The Office of Admissions and Financial Aid is looking to hire a Seasonal Admissions Recruiter!  
This position is from September-November 2020, includes all travel costs and salary. The recruiter does not need to live in Ithaca. If you are interested in this position or would like further details, please email Director Michael Cummings at If you love Cornell Law School and enjoy traveling, this may be a great position for you!

General Announcements

The Big Red Barn is Hiring 

This is a great opportunity to plan/execute high impact events, connect with other graduate students (from a variety of fields), and make additional money. Message for more information. Description of jobs:
Apply using this link:
Application Deadline: May 1, 2020

The FT Innovative Lawyers - Global Legal Hackathon Challenge 

The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers programme and the Global Legal Hackathon are honoured to invite Cornell University Law School to participate in the largest legal innovation event in history. There is no cost to participate, either for organizations or individuals. Inventions and intellectual property are 100% owned by the teams and participants that invent or contribute them. Organizations and individuals can register here,

2020 Robert Masur Fellowship in Civil Liberties

The fellowship is open to first-year law students who intend to carry out significant activities during the summer (in between their first and second year) in the areas of civil rights and/or civil liberties. Fellows each receive a $2,000 honorarium. Proposed activities may include a writing or research project, work with a public interest organization in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties, work on a civil rights or civil liberties law case under the supervision of a faculty member or lawyer, or any other work in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties. Please note that due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, remote projects will be considered. For more information, email or call 212-822-0263.
Application Deadline: April 27, 2020

The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation 27th Annual Brown Award 

The Award honors excellence in legal writing in American law schools. Any law student currently enrolled in an accredited law school in the United States seeking a J.D. or LL.B degree is eligible to submit a paper for the Award. Information about the award can be found at the following website:
Application Deadline: May 29, 2020

2020 James Boskey Dispute Resolution Essay Competition 

The American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution announces the opening of this year’s ABA James B. Boskey Law Student Essay Contest on Dispute Resolution. The winning writer is awarded $1000, and there is a possible opportunity to publish the paper. Email for instructions on how to submit the paper. 
Application Deadline: June 12, 2020

Labor and Employment Law Annual Law Student Writing Competition 

The ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers are pleased to announce their 2020 writing competition. This competition is open to articles written while the author is an active student at an accredited law school in the United States. Authors may not have graduated from law school prior to December 1, 2019. Graduate students in law school (LLM candidates) are not eligible. More information and details of the competition can be found on their website:
Application Deadline: June 15, 2020

FLDI's H. Thomas Austern Writing Competition 

The Austern Writing Competition is intended to encourage law students interested in the areas of law affecting FDA-regulated industries: food, drugs, animal drugs, biologics, cosmetics, diagnostics, dietary supplements, medical devices, veterinary devices, cannabis, or tobacco. For information on how to apply, visit the website: 
Application Deadline: June, 19, 2020

2020 Warren E. Burger Prize

The American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize is a writing competition designed to promote scholarship in the areas of professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence. Interested authors are asked to submit an original, unpublished essay of 10,000 to 20,000 words on a topic that addresses issues of legal excellence, civility, ethics, and professionalism. The author of the winning essay will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and be published in the South Carolina Law Review. Rules for the competition are available on the American Inns of Court website:
Application Deadline: July 1, 2020