The Impact of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 on Operations at Bucerius Law School

Following closure of the Law School campus on March 12, 2020, Bucerius has implemented numerous digital solutions to continue its operations remotely, including student instruction and assessment. Excluding a handful of employees performing critical functions, no other activities are taking place on campus; virtually all staff members are working remotely.

We hope to answer all your questions regarding Law School operations in the FAQs below and will update this information to reflect new developments. Should any questions remain unanswered, please contact the ​head of the relevant department​ or, when in doubt, Jonathan Schramm, Executive Assistant to the CEO.

We look forward to hearing from you and, after the situation has improved, to welcoming you on campus!

#BuceriusStaysHome #FlattenTheCurve

No anniversary celebration at Bucerius in 2020

We will move our anniversary celebration from 2020 to June 10, 2021 as a result of SARS-COV-2/COVID-19.

International programs beginning in autumn to take place as scheduled

Bucerius Law School is closely monitoring the developing SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 situation and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.

In the interest of safety and with regard to the uncertainties created by the global impact of the virus, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Summer Programs.

At this time, we anticipate hosting the Master of Law and Business and International Exchange Program as scheduled. We are continuing to assess applications as usual, so please submit your application before the regular deadlines published on the program pages.

During the final week of April, we will analyze the situation, review state and federal guidelines made available at that time and provide an update of our summer and fall plans. Should we have to postpone or cancel any of the programs at a later stage, all registered applicants will be notified at once.

Stay up to date by signing up for our Prospective Student Mailing Lists:

General

Yes, though only for ​short​ visits. Until further notice, the building is accessible ONLY via

  • the main courtyard entrance
  • ​the entrance to the Coffee Lounge
  • ​the side entrance to the library

and is restricted to individuals with a valid Bucerius ID card.

If only we knew! We are monitoring developments closely and exchanging regulary in video conferences with all department heads. For the moment, we have canceled ALL on-campus events until April 13, 2020. Unfortunately, we fear that this time period will have to be extended. Once regulatory frameworks permit and the health risk for students, faculty and members of the administrative staff has returned to a normal level, we will reopen campus. We of course hope that this day will come sooner than later but are aware of our responsibility in ensuring the health and safety of both the Law School Family and greater Hamburg community—we therefore elect to avoid any unnecessary risk. Until then, a few employees will hold down the fort so that campus will remain virtually empty but not completely deserted.

Working remotely, the Bucerius Event Team is in close contact with all clients who have planned on-campus events for the coming year. Many events—particularly those planned between March and May—are tentatively being postponed until autumn of the current year or even 2021. As new event inquiries reach us, we are responding with great flexibility to accommodate demands of the current situation and are making use of the opportunity to advance our analogue and digital offerings. All non-curricular events that had been scheduled to take place on-campus until (and including) April 13, 2020 have been canceled. In case additional cancellations become necessary, registered participants will be informed immediately via email.

Please refer to our event calendar for information about the status of all non-curricular events. If in doubt, contact the respective event organizer. Should you have any questions about your planned event, please be in touch with the Bucerius Even Team:

Thekla Sielmann or Miriam Jobst (tel. +49 40 30706 217)

or with Maike Lütkens directly.

Contact with benefactors is continuing to take place via email, telephone and the occasional video conference. Many of our patrons are themselves working remotely and busy organizing situational adaptations within their own law firms and companies. The spring meeting of the ZEIT Foundation to discuss continued funding of Bucerius Law School was carried out via video conference for the first time. As would normally be the case, Andrea Leuck-Baumanns remains the primary point of contact for our friends and benefactors.

The ​Law Clinic​ quickly made the switch to a virtual platform. As a result, individuals seeking advice in pressing legal matters can still find assistance. Affiliated social counseling centers may turn to the Law Clinic Team with requests for advising. A large proportion of student legal advisors and attorneys have offered to hold consultations via Zoom. A round of thanks to everyone helping to ensure access to the Law despite the situation prompted by SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19.

Bucerius Executive Education has been offering opportunities for blended and online learning since 2016. Activities and training sessions are bundled on the Bucerius Academy eLearning platform. In coordination with our partnering law firms and legal departments, events that had been planned across the country are being conducted online as webinars—working together with lecturers, Bucerius Executive Education is developing training concepts and strategies for their implementation. In addition, open certificate courses such as the Compliance Officer Certificate Program have been shifted to the Zoom platform; the final module, including the oral examination interview, has been successfully carried out as a webinar.

The Bucerius Executive Education Team is in contact with all participants and lecturers regarding their offers for continuing education in the legal profession. If you have any questions concerning your event, please do not hesitate to be in touch with your contact or directly with Patrick Schroer.

Jonathan Schramm​, Executive Assistant to the CEO, will be happy to address any inquiries that you may have regarding this topic. For all other questions, please feel free to contact our ​Press Office​.

Teaching and Research

Following the closure of our campus, we decided to transition to online instruction and were thus obliged to react quickly and, with equal agility, communicate information with and incorporate students into new models of learning. We are in close contact with student body representatives—to whom we offer our deepest gratitude for their outstanding support and dedication in the middle of their own exam period—and additionally relay updates to students via our website, intranet platform and email.

In the week from March 16-20, 2020, a total of 31 small group recitations belonging to the core curriculum were held on the video conference platform Zoom.

Since Monday, March 23, 2020, the preparation program for the First State Examination (Examensvorbereitungsprogramm), complete with lectures and small group recitations, has been offered via distance learning, once again using the Zoom platform. Each week, members of the cohort taking part in this program come together via video conference for a total of five lectures. In addition, a total of eight small group recitations are held each week.

The lectures and seminars of the General Studies Program (Studium Generale) slated to take place during the summer trimester will, until further notice, also be conducted via Zoom. As these events draw closer, students will be informed of procedural details and administrative steps that may become necessary.

Master program classes that are scheduled to begin in May will be taught online using the Zoom platform.

Following a mandate from local authorities, the library is currently closed to students.

During the spring trimester exam period, both written exercises (Übungen) and assessments (Klausuren) for the core curriculum were conducted using the web-based tool WISEflow. Digital supervision was carried out using Zoom: in this context, the only aspect of the examination being monitored was that one (single) person was in front of the screen at a time that no assistance was offered within the room itself. This procedure was carried out following consultation with the study and examination committee and student body representatives.

We are in close contact with our partner universities as well as students who already have been nominated to take part in a term abroad and are monitoring the current situation for the impact it will have on student mobility over the course of 2020. We are keenly interested in finding out if and how students belonging to the cohort who matriculated in 2018 will be impacted—unfortunately, the span of time that is planned for their mandatory term abroad will be upon us in a few months.

With our recently created Bucerius Alumni Mooting Center itself currently operating via email and Zoom, the majority of competitions scheduled for the spring and early summer have been canceled already, e.g., the Frankfurt Investment Arbitration Moot, Jessup Moot in Washington and the Vis Moot in Hong Kong and Vienna. This year, the Vis Moot, both in Hong Kong and Vienna, will be carried out online as a series of video conferences. Our team will take place in the virtual rounds for Vienna from April 2-9, 2020 and is currently using Zoom to prepare with numerous other teams for this new and extraordinary format.

A variety of different services and platforms are being used across the Law School landscape: from Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint, Zoom and our campus intranet platform to online learning environments such as PlayPosit that support the creation and sharing of interactive video lessons, myriad tools are available to students and can be selected to suit a variety of applications.

Students are of course also making use of private messenger services and social networks to exchange. From FaceTime sessions to group chats on WhatsApp, a wide range of platforms and outlets are being utilized.

We are working to ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, materials at our disposal are made available for students whose time has been spread thin by the current situation. We hope to provide timely access to resources that will enable asynchronous learning so that students, for example, who have been called upon to provide childcare or care for family members impacted by recent developments, will be to continue their studies with greater flexibility.

In addition, the IT Team and staff of the library are working diligently to ensure that digital resources and research tools, e.g., legal databases, will be accessible from off-campus locations.

Our efforts are divided into three areas:

First, our Zoom Taskforce is ensuring that a virtual seminar or lecture space will be made available to all lecturers wishing to make use of one. We have chosen the Zoom video conference platform in creating these spaces and will of course train all lecturers and staff so that they can maximize utility of this tool.

At the same time, our recently founded Learning Innovation Lab is continuing its work in the creation and expansion of innovative teaching concepts and the production of instructional videos.

Beyond these tasks, the Lab is also offering direct assistance on short notice to lecturers as they prepare coursework for the coming term that may require additional planning or restructuring in being transformed for the digital world. This includes, for example, not only support for lecturers who do not feel comfortable with the platform, but also courses whose content enables instructional videos to be created in the development of a blended learning concept—that is, a combination of recorded video with real-time lectures conducted via Zoom.

Where possible and desired, we will also employ previously recorded lectures to serve as a preparatory tool or accompaniment to upcoming courses.

Members of the faculty meet each Wednesday in a virtual space to address matters such as student examination and discuss initial experiences with and best practices for using tools like Zoom in conducting classroom instruction.

Law School Administration & Management

Despite having had to close the campus, we have been able to continue teaching and research operations such that not all student positions have been impacted by the closure, an outcome for which we are incredibly fortunate! In situations where this is not the case and students are dependent upon the income from on-campus work, we would be glad to offer an advance to compensate for the current circumstances.

Immediately following the closure of campus, most employees began working remotely and, with incredible commitment, have supported the transition of Law School operations to the digital world.

Most of our colleagues are now equipped with the necessary hardware and software to make the most of their time in working remotely.
Bucerius Law School has thus been able to avoid turning to strategies such as reducing employee work hours. In cases where workload has seen a reduction, our employees have been able to make use of previously accrued overtime hours or vacation allowances carried over from the previous year. In addition, employees have been able to pool resources in supporting other departments for which recent developments have created additional work.

We offer our gratitude to sponsors who stand beside us—even in difficult times—and, above all, thank the ZEIT-Stiftung for its long-term, sustainable and unwavering commitment to our institution; it is through this generosity that all employee positions remain secure.

A large component of the Law School Spirit lies in social interactions that takes place on campus. With topic-focused video conferences a poor substitute for exchanges that would otherwise take place in the ​Fofftein​ (​our quaint staff kitchen)​ during group lunches in the cafeteria or in spontaneous hallway run-ins, we are implementing virtual after-work meet-ups to liven the mood and break up the monotony! This way, our staff can come together each week to chat about things beyond the workplace over a cup of coffee or a cold drink—a way to discuss a bit of this and that and rekindle bonds even when the campus lies dormant.

Applicants

Master of Law and Business

Yes! The application process for the Master of Law and Business continues as planned. The deadline for students requiring a visa to enter Germany for the purpose of studying has passed. Students who do not need a visa may continue to apply until May 15, 2020. Please refer to the master program website for details.

International Exchange Program

Yes! All partner universities have been informed of our intention to conduct the exchange program if possible. Applicants should follow the instructions posted here and given to them by their home institution.

LLB program

Students who are interested in applying for the LLB program may continue to apply. The selection process will be conducted virtually, if necessary.
How will I find out if there’s been a chance to the application or selection process?
We ask that all applicants register in their respective application portal. We will keep you informed of any changes as they are decided.

We ask that all applicants register in their respective application portal. We will keep you informed of any changes as they are decided.

Students wishing to attend a virtual info day for the Master of Law and Business should send an email to this address. The Master of Law and Business Team will be in touch to arrange individual online meetings.

A virtual open house for prospective LLB students was held on April 4, 2020. Participants received answers to their questions, a virtual tour and information about campus life and educational opportunities at Bucerius Law School. NB: As the LLB program is conducted in German and requires native speaker fluency, this open house was designed for a German-speaking audience. Bucerius Law School does not offer preparatory German courses.

A proof of language proficiency is a mandatory component of an application to the Master of Law and Business Program. If you cannot provide it at the time of application, please submit it as soon as possible. Please note that without a proof of language proficiency, we can at best issue a conditional admission that is contingent upon submission of such proof before the start of the program.

In some countries, ETS offers the option of taking the TOEFL from home.

Applicants for the LLB Program may also take the at home TOEFL or submit the score by the time of the oral selection process.

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