March 02, 2021 Legal Education

Difficulties of pandemic should be acknowledged in law school transcript, students say

By Stephanie Francis Ward
Students at the University of Minnesota Law School are asking that the pandemic be mentioned in their transcripts for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Students at the University of Minnesota Law School are asking that the pandemic be mentioned in their transcripts for the 2020-2021 academic year.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on many student population groups, and law students at the University of Minnesota Law School are asking that it be mentioned in the transcript for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Shantal Pai, a third-year law student, drafted a petition for the notation in November, the Minnesota Daily reports.

“Being a person of color in law is already difficult, but then to add a pandemic that makes it harder to be a person of color is a challenge that we need to reckon with as a profession—and part of [this process] was to force a conversation about that,” she told the campus newspaper.

The law school’s quartile statement, which separates students into four groups based on grade-point averages, already has a statement about the pandemic. But the document is only distributed to employers who do recruiting through the school, according to the article.

Faculty and the law school’s educational policy committee have approved the proposal, and it next goes to the University Law Council, an elected student group, for review and feedback. The university’s office of the registrar has final approval on the proposal.