Download Full Text (2.7 MB)

Download Front Matter (87 KB)

Download Table of Contents (164 KB)

Download Foreword (127 KB)

Download Introduction (130 KB)

Download 1. Covid-19 and Prisoners’ Rights (211 KB)

Download 2. Linked Fate: Justice and the Criminal Legal System During the COVID-19 Pandemic (213 KB)

Download 3. Immigration in the Time of COVID-19 (171 KB)

Download 4. COVID-19 and the Law: Elections (179 KB)

Download 5. The New “Essential”: Rethinking Social Goods in the Wake of COVID-19 (174 KB)

Download 6. Public Health Law Tools: A Brief Guide (134 KB)

Download 7. Child Welfare and COVID-19: An Unexpected Opportunity for Systemic Change (161 KB)

Download 8. Emergency Exemptions From Environmental Laws (128 KB)

Download 9. Privacy and Pandemics (189 KB)

Download 10. COVID-19 and LGBT Rights (202 KB)

Download 11. How to Help Small Businesses Survive COVID-19 (213 KB)

Download 12. Bankruptcy’s Role in the COVID-19 Crisis (207 KB)

Download 13. COVID-19 as a Force Majeure in Corporate Transactions (477 KB)

Download 14. A Comparative Perspective on Commercial Contracts and the Impact of COVID-19: Change of Circumstances, Force Majeure, or What? (191 KB)

Download 15. Dispute Resolution in Pandemic Circumstances (153 KB)

Download 16. Driver for Contactless Payments (150 KB)

Download Appendix 1: COVID Legal Alerts from Top 20 Law Firms + CPRBLOG Organized by TOC (236 KB)

Download Appendix 2: New York-Based Legal Information (131 KB)

Download Appendix 3: Rules Regarding Medical Labs Running COVID-19 Tests (111 KB)

Download Appendix 4: Additional Resources (148 KB)

Publication Date



The COVID-19 crisis has ended and upended lives around the globe. In addition to killing over 160,000 people, more than 35,000 in the United States alone, its secondary effects have been as devastating. These secondary effects pose fundamental challenges to the rules that govern our social, political, and economic lives. These rules are the domain of lawyers. Law in the Time of COVID-19 is the product of a joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools.

This volume offers guidance for thinking about some the most pressing legal issues the pandemic has raised, especially (though not exclusively) for law in the United States: from the rights of prison inmates who live under conditions that make them exceptionally vulnerable to the highly contagious virus to the options for contracting parties who now face circumstances that make it impossible for them to live up to their past commitments. The book does not give legal advice. Instead, it identifies critical legal issues that affect many peoples’ lives, offers fresh perspectives for thinking about those issues, and provides guidance to legislatures and policy makers about the legal challenges ahead.


Bankruptcy Law | Business Organizations Law | Civil Rights and Discrimination | Commercial Law | Contracts | Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Disability Law | Disaster Law | Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | Education Law | Election Law | Environmental Law | Family Law | Health Law and Policy | Housing Law | Human Rights Law | Immigration Law | Juvenile Law | Labor and Employment Law | Law | Law and Economics | Law and Society | Privacy Law | Public Law and Legal Theory | Sexuality and the Law | Social Welfare Law


Columbia Law School


New York, NY


Center on Global Legal Transformation

Law in the Time of COVID-19

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