George Mason University School of Law Profile, Arlington, Virginia |

George Mason University School of Law

Rank 41


3301 Fairfax Drive,

Arlington, VA 22201









Overview 4

The Arlington Campus of George Mason University emerged in 1979 when the Virginia General Assembly established the George Mason University School of Law, merging it with the International School of Law, which was housed in the old Kann's department store building in Virginia Square. The following year, the university established graduate and continuing education programs in the same building.

In 1999, the School of Law relocated to a new building, a 150,000 square-foot educational facility, located nearby on the Arlington Campus. That building is the first of a three-phase plan designed to develop the 5.2 acre site. A new 256,000 square-foot classroom building, Founders Hall, opened in January 2011 and is used primarily to house the School of Public Policy and auxiliary university services.

Course offerings in Arlington focus on law, economics, and public policy. There are also two non-law academic and research centers located on the Arlington Campus: the Mercatus Center, and the Institute for Humane Studies.

Student-Faculty Ratio 5


Admission Criteria 6

25th-75th Percentile 158-164 3.35-3.75
Median* 162 3.66

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the 2016 entering class.

Director of admissions Alison Price
Application deadline April 1

Law School Admissions details based on 2016 data.

*Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics 7

Approximate number of applications 2323
Number accepted 614
Percentage accepted 26.4%

The above admission details are based on 2016 data.

Law School Cost 8

Tuition and fees Full-time: $25,351 per year (in-state)
$40,737 per year (out-of-state)
Tuition and fees Full-time: $905 per credit (in-state)
$1,455 per credit (out-of-state)
Room and board $16,928
Books $1,368
Miscellaneous expenses $5,612

Class Ranking and Grades 9

Upon completion of a course, students are graded on an A+* through F scale unless the faculty has designated the course as a CR/NC course, or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs specifically authorizes a grade other than one on the A+* through F scale. When so authorized, CR indicates work equivalent to a C or better on the A+* through F scale. The grade of NC indicates work that falls below the equivalent of a C on the A+* through F scale and does not qualify for credit towards the Juris Doctor degree.

Quality points are awarded as follows:

Letter Points
A+* 4.33
A+ 4.33
A 4.00
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.00
D- 0.67
F 0.00

Other grades and notations which may be found on student transcripts, but which are excluded from grade point average calculation, include:

  • CR Credit
  • NC No credit
  • IN Incomplete
  • AU Audit (no credit granted)
  • W Withdrawn

A student may complete assigned work, including a final examination, after the end of the semester only if the student has first received the written permission of the instructor and the Director, Student Academic Affairs. If permission has been granted to complete the missed work, the temporary notation in lieu of grade, “IN”, is entered and is replaced by the appropriate grade upon completion of that work. If permission is not granted to complete the late work, the student receives an “F” or “NC”, whichever applies. Late work must be completed according to a timetable approved in writing by the instructor and the Director, Student Academic Affairs.

Passing Grades

All School of Law grades on the letter scale except "F" are passing, and credit is earned for the work completed with such grades. Credit is also awarded for grades of "CR." Graded credit earned elsewhere is eligible for credit at the School of Law only if it was earned with a grade of "C" or better, and such credit is treated as ungraded in computing grade point averages at the School of Law. Neither academic credit nor residence credit is awarded for work receiving an "F" or "NC."


"W" is entered in lieu of a grade as a final academic disposition of a course upon withdrawal approved in writing by the Director, Student Academic Affairs.

Grade Normalization (Curve)10

Mandatory Curves

  1. The mean grade for all required courses listed in AR 3-3.2 (exclusive of Introduction to Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis, Trial-Level Writing, Appellate Writing, and Legal Drafting), may range from 3.20 to 3.30.
  2. Mean grade ranges for Introduction to Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis, Trial-Level Writing, Appellate Writing, and Legal Drafting, will be established by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  3. The mean grade for upper level elective courses with 50 or more students may range from 3.15 to 3.35.
  4. The mean grade for upper level elective courses with fewer than 50 students may range from 3.05 to 3.45.
  5. Faculty members may not submit grades in which the mean is outside the designated range without first submitting a written justification to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and obtaining written permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Honors 11

Those eligible for the Juris Doctor degree shall be considered for honors according to the following criteria.

Honor Percentage of Class Receiving
Summa Cum Laude The top one percent of the class are eligible to be considered for this honor. Those eligible include those whose grades are within this range either at the end of their penultimate semester or at the end of their final semester. This honor is awarded only at the discretion of the Academic Standing and Student Affairs Committee, which solicits faculty input about individual candidates and then applies the following standard:

Through demonstrated analytical ability, clarity of written expression, and maturity of judgment, this student has exhibited the capacity eventually to assume an important leadership position in our profession.
magna cum laude Absent special circumstances (as determined by the Academic Standing and Student Affairs Committee on the basis of faculty input), the top ten percent of the class (based on GPA either through the penultimate semester or the final semester) receive this honor. In doubtful cases, the Committee applies the following standard:

Through demonstrated analytical ability, clarity of written expression, and maturity of judgment, this student has shown the promise of a distinguished career at the bar.
Cum laude Absent special circumstances (as determined by the Academic Standing and Student Affairs Committee on the basis of faculty input), the top twenty percent of the class (based on GPA through the penultimate semester) and the top twenty-five percent of the class (based on GPA through the final semester) receive this honor.

Honors determinations that are made prior to graduation will be announced at the commencement ceremony.

Awards 12

Scott C. Whitney Writing Prize merit-based
Professor Richard S. Murphy Prize merit-based
Professor Richard S. Murphy Scholarship merit-based
Mary Fischer Doyle Public Service Scholarship merit-based
Betty Southard Murphy Awards-Constitutional Law & Labor Law merit-based
Ann S. and Cornelius Murphy Jr. Tuition Assistance Award merit-based
Philip H. Dorsey II Law Library Scholarship Fund merit-based
LRWA Awards merit-based
Fairfax Bar Foundation Scholarship merit-based
VSB & VA Chapter of AAML Family Law Book Award merit-based
Giles Sutherland Rich Award - Excellence in Study of IP Law merit-based
VA Trial Lawyers Advocacy Award merit-based
Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt P.C. Scholarship merit-based
Dr. Lawrence Cranberg Scholarship Endowment - Science & Law merit-based
Banner & Witcoff IP Law Scholarship merit-based
Cloudigy Law Scholarship Fund merit-based
Sen. Leroy S. Bendheim Scholarship merit-based
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox IP Law Scholarship merit-based
Smolen Plevy Scholarship merit-based
GMU Law Alumni Association Scholarship merit-based
Robert A. Levy Fellowships in Law & Liberty merit-based
Venable Foundation Scholarship merit-based
Public Service Scholarship merit-based
Marc P. Katz Law Student Scholarship merit-based
Lorraine H. Cichowski Law Student Scholarship merit-based
The Curran and Whittington Scholarship in Trial Advocacy merit-based
School of Law Fellowship merit-based
The Antonin Scalia Scholarship for Academic Excellence merit-based
A. Linwood Holton, Jr. Leadership Scholarship merit-based
F.A. Hayek Law, Legislation, and Liberty Scholarship merit-based
Dean Daniel D. Polsby Award for Excellence in Leadership merit-based
Henry G. Manne Award for Excellence in Law and Economics merit-based
GMUSL Award for Excellence in Antitrust Law merit-based
Law School Community Service Award merit-based
Law School Pro Bono Award merit-based
Marketplace of Ideas Award merit-based

Journals 13-18

The George Mason University School of Law is home to the George Mason Law Review and four student-edited professional journals: the Civil Rights Law Journal; The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy; The Journal of International Commercial Law; and the National Security Law Journal. Students completing their first year of law school are eligible to apply for membership on the law review or one of the journals through participation in the Write-on competition.

The George Mason Law Review operates as a traditional, student-edited law review at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University. The Law Review succeeds both the George Mason Independent Law Review and the George Mason University Law Review, which merged in Fall 1995, pursuant to an agreement with the dean of the law school. The merger returns the school to the situation preceding Fall 1992, when the administration and students established two law reviews: the George Mason University Law Review, which published articles written by students of the law school; and the George Mason Independent Law Review, which maintained a traditional law review format by publishing both professional and student works.

The Civil Rights Law Journal is published three times a year by a Board of Editors comprised of select students at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia. The Board’s goal is to provide informative and innovative commentary on a wide variety of issues pertaining to civil rights that contribute to the legal community. The Civil Rights Law Journal serves as a forum for thought-provoking scholarly articles written by leading academics and experienced practitioners on current legal developments. The articles selected for publication each year promote a greater understanding of civil rights laws and precedent, serve as a catalyst for legal change and development, and provide a source of legal authority and analysis to the legal community.

The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy's mission is to publish and distribute four annual, innovative, thought-provoking journals on law, economics and policy. Each issue will comprise creative, original, ground-breaking articles that appeal to both academia and the practicing legal community.

The Journal represents a unique undertaking. It is the first student-run journal of law and economics in legal academia. The journal serves as an outlet for the experience and interests of George Mason law students, including our Levy Fellows, who are economics Ph.D.’s currently working on their J.D.’s. Most important, it is structured as a cooperative journal. Although student-edited, the journal is peer-reviewed, ensuring that the published articles are of the highest quality. One issue each year will be devoted to specialized symposia bearing on important questions of legal and economic policy. The second annual issue will be a peer-reviewed compendium of articles submitted by individual authors. The focus will be on the legal side of law and economics, an approach that we hope will de-emphasize technical mathematics while providing readers with greater access to economic insights about legal and policy issues.

The George Mason Journal of International Commercial Law (JICL) is a legal periodical founded in 2008 to further the study of international commercial law while providing international scholars and practitioners a forum to exchange, develop, and publish innovative ideas. The Journal publishes scholarly, concise, and practical material from leading scholars and practitioners to provide a source of authority and analysis for the advancement of uniformity in the law underlying international commerce. Published by a select group of student editors at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia, JICL is uniquely dedicated to the legal issues affecting international commerce. This area of the law encompasses issues such as international sales and trade, anti-dumping measures, money-laundering, anti-terrorism measures, international privacy laws and consumer protection, international bribery, intellectual property and copyright law, international and government contracts, and much more. With the onset of globalization and the international nature of commercial transactions, complex issues arise that require thought and development.JICL is positioned to be at the forefront of these developments, tackling these issues and pioneering the discourse. More than just a journal, JICL is determined to be an outlet for scholarship and commercial thought. Moreover, the Journal is primarily published online, a medium effective in reaching the Journal’s international audience and reflective of its innovative approach to scholarship.

The National Security Law Journal (“NSLJ”) is a student-edited legal periodical published twice annually at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. We print timely, insightful scholarship on pressing matters that further the dynamic field of national security law, including topics relating to foreign affairs, intelligence, and national defense.

Moot Court 19-20

The Antonin Scalia Law School Moot Court Board (MCB) provides members with opportunities to develop skills in appellate advocacy. Board members represent ASLS in extramural moot court competitions nationwide.

The Board also assists non-member ASLS students in developing their written and oral skills. MCB members organize two annual intramural moot court competitions: the Upper Class Competition and the First Year Competition.

The mission of the ASLS Moot Court Board is to provide students with intellectually challenging opportunities to develop and refine their oral and written advocacy skills in the style of appellate-level legal argument. The Board provides ASLS with a competitive moot court program that enhances competitors’ competence, skills, and professionalism in all phases of appellate advocacy across diverse areas of law. The Board sponsors two intramural appellate competitions annually, the First Year Competition and the Upper Class Competition. Members of the Board represent ASLS at moot court competitions nationwide.

Clinical Programs 21

Through Mason’s clinics students provide legal assistance to clients under the supervision of Mason professors and supervisors. Students may participate in the same clinic for two semesters, subject to professor approval. Students also may enroll in more than one clinic during their time at Mason Law, subject to Academic Regulation 3.3-1.

George Mason University School of Law offers the following clinical programs:

  • Legal Clinic - Administrative Law Clinic
  • Legal Clinic - Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic
  • Legal Clinic - Law and Mental Illness
  • Legal Clinic - Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (MVETS)
  • Legal Clinic - Practical Preparation of Patent Applications
  • Legal Clinic - Supreme Court Clinic

Placement Facts 22

Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile) $56,950 - $102,719
Median in the private sector $70,000
Median in public service $59,246

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation 56.6%
Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation 63.6%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates Employed In Percentage
Law Firms 41.1%
Business and Industry 16.4%
Government 22.6%
Public Interest Organizations 4.1%
Judicial Clerkships 10.3%
Academia 5.5%
Unknown 0%

Externships/Internships 23


Under the supervision of Mason professors and field supervisors, the supervised externship programs are designed to allow students who have completed their first year of law school to perform substantive legal and legal policy work (unpaid) outside the classroom for academic credit. George Mason's proximity to Washington, D.C. and location in vibrant Northern Virginia offers students a wide range of opportunities to work in the field. In addition, in the summer semester, students may work outside of the D.C. area for academic credit, subject to professor approval. All externship programs are pass/fail and the credits awarded vary depending on the particular externship program.

The law school offers following programs:

  • Supervised Externship – Bankruptcy
  • Supervised Externships - Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Supervised Externship - Capitol Hill
  • Supervised Externship - Virginia Practice

Student Organizations 24

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
  • American Constitution Society
  • American Inn of Court
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Business Law Society
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Civil Rights Law Journal
  • Communications Law Association
  • Environmental Law Society (ELS)
  • Equality Alliance
  • Federalist Society
  • George Mason Law Review
  • Honor Committee
  • If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice
  • Immigration Law Society
  • Intellectual Property Law Society
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Journal of International Commercial Law (JICL)
  • Journal of Law, Economics & Policy
  • Latino/a Law Student Association
  • Mason Law Democrats
  • Mason Sports and Entertainment Law Association
  • Military Law Society (MLS)
  • Moot Court Board
  • Muslim Law Student Association
  • National Security Law Journal
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International
  • Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society (Lewis F. Powell Inn)
  • Running Along the Potomac
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Student Bar Association
  • The Docket
  • Thomas More Society
  • Trial Advocacy Association
  • VBA Pro Bono Society
  • Women's Law Association
  • Young Americans for Liberty