COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

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May 27, 2021

Dear Prospective Students,

We appreciate your interest in Southwestern Law School and would like to share some important information about COVID-19 vaccinations.

In the interest of the health and well-being of the Southwestern community, and in anticipation of a safe, full reopening of and return to campus for the fall 2021 semester and SCALE Periods 2 and 5, Southwestern has adopted the following policy. 

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement and Proof of Vaccination

All Southwestern students must receive an FDA approved/authorized SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (“COVID-19 vaccine”) and provide proof of complete vaccination (e.g., two shots for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, one shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

Proof of complete vaccination must be submitted by completing a form and uploading a copy of the front of a CDC vaccination card or certification from a medical provider.

Requesting a Medical or Religious Exemption

Individuals may seek an exemption from this vaccination requirement for medical reasons relating to their own health or due to sincerely-held religious beliefs, practices, or observances by submitting an exemption form.  Southwestern reserves the right to request additional information or documentation regarding requested exemptions.  

In response to a request for an exemption, Southwestern will engage in an interactive process to determine whether a request is appropriate and can be granted without posing an undue hardship on Southwestern, or a direct threat to the health or safety of the person making the request or others.

Declining for Personal Reasons

In addition, for as long as the COVID-19 vaccines are authorized only for emergency use and are not yet fully approved by the FDA, Southwestern will allow persons to affirmatively decline to be vaccinated for personal reasons by submitting a form.

Please be aware that once the FDA fully approves at least one of the COVID-19 vaccines, any exemption previously granted for a personal reason will no longer be valid.  At that point, the only exemptions that will be granted are those for medical or religious reasons.  Note: The FDA is currently reviewing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for full U.S. approval.

Additional Information About Requests for Exemptions

Any student granted an exemption for any reason may be required—as a condition of being on campus—to use additional protective equipment, undergo frequent testing, or take other actions as directed by Southwestern in the interests of the health and safety of our community.

The mode of participation/attendance in classes and school activities – i.e., online or on-campus – for students granted an exemption is being assessed by Southwestern and will be communicated to the community in the coming weeks.

Please note that Southwestern will keep requests for exemptions and proof of vaccination information confidential and only share this information with those who have a business need to know.  

Vaccination Policy for Faculty, Staff, and Others Interacting with Students

All Southwestern faculty (including adjunct faculty), staff, coaches, volunteers, contractors, and others who interact with Southwestern students are also subject to a COVID-19 vaccination requirement. 

Best,

Dean Susan Prager, Vice Dean Anahid Gharakhanian, & Vice Dean Dov Waisman