As we confront the Coronavirus pandemic, there is a good deal for which McGeorge alumni can be proud this spring. One point of pride is that on March 9-11, McGeorge successfully completed an America Bar Association (ABA) onsite inspection of its JD program as part of our regular re-accreditation process. The onsite inspection is a major milestone for law schools in which the ABA site team visits classes, speaks with students and professors, evaluates facilities, reviews law school finances, and much else besides. Although the official written report will not be released for several months, the inspection team, which consisted of several professors and one judge, expressed how impressed it was with our students, staff, professors, alumni, campus, and academic program.
Regarding a different accomplishment, these past weeks, McGeorge has been successfully navigating the challenges of operating an educational enterprise during this health crisis, and our staff and faculty have responded admirably. Within three weeks of learning that the spread of the Coronavirus would likely force us to deliver courses remotely, we transitioned more than 80 in-person courses to online formats to deliver the last third of the spring semester. Through the creativity, energy, and dedication of staff and professors, we continue to deliver all University and Law School services remotely. Also, because we cannot gather for our traditional May graduation, we are producing a virtual celebration to honor our graduates’ accomplishments this spring and then will conduct an in-person graduation at a later date when it is safe to do so.
Finally, in anticipation that California’s shelter in place orders would negatively impact many of our students’ finances because they, or the people who support them, would lose jobs or suffer from reduced work hours, we promptly created two new resources for our students, the Virtual Food Pantry and the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. The Virtual Food Pantry allows students to receive a $100 electronic gift certificate to a local grocery store up to twice per semester. The COVID-19 Emergency Fund allows students to apply for up to $1,000 in grant money to pay for basic needs like rent, medical supplies, and food if they have been financially harmed as a consequence of the pandemic. Between the two funds, McGeorge, through fundraising and its own contributions, has provided thus far more than $30,000 in financial assistance to over 100 students. If you would like to donate to either of these funds, you may do so here: Virtual Food Pantry and the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.
We hope that you and your loved ones remain safe and well during this world health crisis. Know that your law school continues its educational mission during these challenging times, as it has done for nearly 100 years.
— Interim Dean Michael Colatrella Jr.