Law Schools Cancel Classes for Election Day

Photo by Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Some law schools want to make sure voters turn out for this year’s presidential election cycle.

Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law just became the latest school to announce that classes are cancelled on Nov. 8, when American voters will have to decide between Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

The announcement came after two campus groups — American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the conservative Federalist Society — pushed law school administrators to make the decision.

The National Law Journal caught up with one of the leaders behind the movement:

“It seemed pretty absurd to a couple of us that a law school would essentially turn a blind eye to the democratic process and keep students and professors from the polls,” said third-year Northwestern student Beau Tremitiere, who is a leader of the campus’ American Constitution Society chapter.

Tremitiere said he has missed class on previous election days in order to serve as a poll monitor — always with the support of his professors — but hopes more students and faculty will get involved without having to worry about missing class. Canceling classes on election day will also help the law school’s many international students better understand the U.S. democratic process, he added.

So far, the so-called “Day of Civic Service” is also being observed by a small group of other law schools. This includes Liberty University School of Law, the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, and the Alexander Blewett II School of Law at the University of Montana, according to a list compiled by the NLJ.

It’s not a ground-swelling, and we still haven’t seen top law schools like Yale and Harvard announce cancelled classes. Could it happen? Let us know what you think in the comments below or writing to us at