Massachusetts School of Law Disaster Recovery Plan and IT Procedures
In the event of institutional closure, MSLAW will, at a minimum, observe the procedures stated in the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) document entitled, “Considerations When Closing an Institution of Higher Education”, as well as the closure guidelines of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for Independent schools, including the identification of another entity to preserve and safeguard student records so that those records will be available for students to obtain. Information for students and potential students about obtaining records from closed institutions can be found on the websites of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and NECHE.

In the event that MSLAW decides to discontinue its program before all enrolled students have completed their program of study, MSLAW will implement a teach-out plan in accordance with the requirements of its accreditor, NECHE.

NECHE’s policy on Teach-Out Plans and Teach-Out Agreement (PDF)

The IT Disaster Recovery Plan for the MSLAW sets the direction and priorities on how the MSLAW IT team will proactively protect MSLAW IT assets prior to a disaster; how best to operate during and after a disaster and how best to protect the mission critical services that will provide MSLAW with the best chance of moving forward as quickly and successfully as possible. MSLAW creates and manages large volumes of electronic information and data. Those records are vital to the continued operation of the business during a disaster. The impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking or malware could be significant. A plan for data backup and restoration of electronic information is essential. The MSLAW IT Infrastructure Team including its Infrastructure Emergency Response Team (IERT) is the group that supports this plan.

The IERT determines what servers, storage, networks, software licenses, business application, and databases are maintained and will be required for recovery such that downtime from a disaster is minimized.

Data Backups and Offsite Storage of System Backup Media
We have implemented robust enterprise wide backup solutions to include daily, weekly, and monthly data backup, archive and recovery that are an integral part of the IT disaster recovery plan. IT has developed a data backup strategy that begins with identifying and classifying the data to backup, which data must be archived offsite, selecting and implementing a robust backup solution, scheduling and conducting backups on a daily, weekly and monthly rhythm and periodically validating that the data backups have been accurately backed up with no corruption.

MSLAW Retention
MSLAW retains information in both hard and soft copy with full redundancy of that data. Off-site archiving is a necessity and it originates from the file and server rooms. Archived backups are stored off site in a secure environment. Data is retained on backup media and ultimately cycled through rotation for reuse.

Recovery Response Time
Recovery Response Time for MSLAW for data recovery is expected to be 30 minutes to hours depending on how much data needs to be recovered. System Recovery Time will range from one to three days depending on the extent of the problem. Servers and Workstations are backed up according to their use and extent of redundancy. Workstations are backed up to the extent that information is not maintained on the servers.

The campus network is fully backed up on a daily basis and while there is some redundancy with other networks, the system is not fully redundant for all users so there will be periods where the network is not accessible to all users for periods ranging from a few minutes to multiple hours.

The telephone system is partially redundant. In the event of a disaster, the MSLAW IT support personnel will assist with recovering the Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) system services and will coordinate with the system and support vendors.

Testing the Disaster Recovery Plan
The Infrastructure Emergency Response Team (IERT) is responsible for testing of the disaster recovery plan at least annually to ensure the viability of the plan. The Disaster Recovery Plan as well as the Financial Information Security Plan are available from Massachusetts School of Law’s Technology Director.