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Georgetown Law began modestly in the 19th century when the directors of Georgetown University recommended the establishment of a separate department to train lawyers. It was the first law school created by a Jesuit institution of higher learning in the United States.
In the fall of 1870, with high expectations and a tenuous financial structure, Georgetown’s law school enrolled 25 students from 12 states and Cuba. The course of study required two years of evening classes. The LL.M. program began in 1878 and enrolled its first international student from the Philippines – in 1903. Though the law school weathered heavy financial storms and other worries, the vision of its early leaders, the reputation of the faculty, and the record of the first graduating class helped to build a strong foundation that would see it through the next century and beyond.
In 1890, construction began on a new law school building at 506 E Street, N.W. After 80 years in its Victorian quarters, the Law Center moved to 600 New Jersey Avenue following the construction of Bernard P. McDonough Hall in 1971. The Edward Bennett Williams Law Library, built in 1989, provided seating for 1,270 users. The 1993 dedication of the Bernard S. and Sarah M. Gewirz Student Center added a residence hall to the campus along with a childcare facility.
The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the 2015 entering class.
|Director of admissions||Andy Cornblatt, Dean & Associate VP|
|Application deadline||March 1|
Law School Admissions details based on 2016 data.
|Approximate number of applications||8776|
The above admission details are based on 2016 data.
|Tuition and fees Full-time:||$57,576 per year
$39,064 per year
|Room and board||$20,412|
The Law Center faculty awards the grades of A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, and F. Some courses available to upper class students are graded under the pass/fail option described below. Grades of AP and AF are entered administratively, as described below.
The following numerical equivalents are assigned to each letter grade:
An A+ grade is only awarded in recognition of truly extraordinary academic performance in a Law Center class. Even the best paper or examination in a course might not receive an A+. A P grade, whether earned in a mandatory pass/fail course or in a course in which an upperclass student has elected the pass/fail option, is not factored into the student’s grade point average.
An AF (Administrative F) indicates a failing grade entered in administratively and not by a course professor. The AF is given where the student failed to take the course examination or complete other course requirements. It is factored into a student’s grade point average as an F. An AP (Administrative Pass) is also entered administratively and indicates that the student passed the course but did not stop writing before the time allowed for the examination expired. An AP is not factored into the student’s grade point average but allows the student to earn the allotted credits. Students receive an AF and AP in the instances set forth in the Attendance, Examinations, and Written Work section of this chapter and in the Student Disciplinary Code, Section 402 (Administrative Sanctions) provided in the Conduct Policies chapter of this Handbook.
Grade Point Average
A student’s cumulative grade point average is computed by multiplying the numerical equivalent of each letter grade by the credit value of the course, adding the results together, and then dividing the total by the total number of credits. In computing a student’s grade point average, computations are carried to two decimal places. Each student’s grade point average is computed at the end of each semester.
While the cumulative grade point average is based upon all of the student’s Law Center grades, the annual grade point average is based only upon a student’s Law Center grades for one academic year. The academic year begins with the Summer session and ends with the following Spring semester. In calculating the student’s grade point average, the Law Center will include the credits for any course in which the student received an F or AF, even when the student has successfully retaken the course.
The grading processes for examination courses are anonymous and are designed to be as fair as possible. Faculty are asked to submit grades approximately four weeks after the end of an examination period. Students may access their grades through MyAccess. Grades will not be released for any student who has an outstanding student account balance or an administrative hold on the student’s account. The Law Center will not release grades over the telephone, even to the student, out of concern for students’ privacy.
The pass/fail option is intended to encourage students to be adventurous in their course selection and not be deterred from taking a course out of concern for their grade point averages. Upper class J.D. students are permitted to take a maximum of 7 credits pass/fail in elective courses that are available on a pass/fail basis. Mandatory pass/fail courses (e.g., Week One courses) and the pass/fail components of experiential course offerings (e.g., field placements in practicum courses and externships) do not count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit. In other words, the 7-credit ceiling applies only to classroom courses that students elect to take on a pass/fail basis. Courses taken on a mandatory pass/fail basis in an approved study-abroad program or at another ABA-approved law school (e.g., while the student is a visiting student), also do not count against the 7-credit ceiling.
Upperclass J.D. students are eligible to use the pass/fail option for upperclass electives at the Law Center, the Center for Transnational Legal Studies, and the London Summer Program, and for cross-listed Law Center graduate courses that are available for pass/fail. Students sign up for the pass/fail option online and receive instructions on how to do so from the Office of the Registrar.
The following is the faculty-approved recommended curve for all first-year and upper-level examination courses.
*Because the target percentage of grades of B- and below is a range, rather than a specific number, the target percentage of B grades can increase by one percent for every percent below 10 percent that a faculty member decides to award grades of B- and below.
|Dean’s List||J.D. students whose annual grade point averages place them in the top one-third of their class at the Law Center will have their transcripts marked “Dean’s List” for the appropriate academic year. All candidates for the J.D. degree at the Law Center are eligible for the Dean’s List provided they completed, during the academic year, at least 24 credits at the Law Center if enrolled in the full-time program, or 16 credits at the Law Center if enrolled in the part-time program. Students who transfer from one program to the other during an academic year must earn a minimum of 12 credits for the semester in which they are a full-time student, and a minimum of 8 credits for the semester in which they are a part-time student, to be eligible for Dean’s List. Joint degree students, concurrent degree students, and students who study abroad during one semester of the academic year are eligible for Dean’s List recognition, based solely on their J.D. courses taken at the Law Center, if they complete at least 16 graded J.D. credits at the Law Center during the academic year and maintain full-time status in their joint or concurrent degree program, if applicable. Students earning fewer than the minimum number of credits are not eligible for the Dean’s List in an academic year. Courses taken at the Law Center in the preceding Summer session or in the Law Center’s Graduate Programs are included in the calculation of a student’s annual grade point average and count toward the required minimum number of credits for Dean’s List eligibility.
Dean’s List eligibility is computed separately for first-year, upperclass, and graduating students. For the first-year class, the Dean’s List is calculated separately for each of the six firstyear sections. The Dean’s List for first-year students consists of the students whose annual grade point averages place them in the top one-third of their particular first-year section after the Spring semester.
The upperclass Dean’s List is calculated separately in two groups. The first group consists of students in their final year of law school. The second group consists of all other upperclass students.
|Diplomas With Honors||Students who meet the academic standards set by the faculty may be awarded the J.D. degree with honors and their diplomas will be marked cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude, as appropriate.
The degree cum laude is awarded to students whose cumulative grade point averages place them in the top one-third of those graduating, and the degree magna cum laude, to the top 10%.
The J.D. degree summa cum laude is the highest academic honor that the faculty can bestow upon a graduating student. There is no cumulative grade point average that automatically entitles a student to that honor. Instead, the J.D. degree summa cum laude is granted at the sole discretion of the faculty. To be eligible for consideration for the award of summa cum laude, a graduate must have completed at least 71 credits at the Law Center and have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.70/4.00.
|Order of the Coif, Georgetown Chapter||The Order of the Coif was established in 1912 to recognize graduating students who achieved an exemplary cumulative grade point average. Graduating students whose cumulative grade point averages place them in the top 10% of the class are elected to membership in the Order, the national law school honor society for the encouragement of scholarship and advancement of ethical standards in the legal profession. To be eligible for consideration for Order of the Coif, a graduate must have completed at least 64 graded credits at the Law Center (effective beginning in the 2013–2014 academic year, graded credits earned at a transfer student’s previous law school are counted toward this minimum credit requirement).|
|Graduation Honors Policy For Transfer/Visitor Students||Graduation honors for students who transfer to Georgetown Law after their first year of law school or who visit another institution will be based solely on the grades earned at the Law Center.|
|ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in Health Care Law|
|ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in Intellectual Property Law|
|ABA/BNA Award for Excellence in Labor & Employment Law|
|American Bankruptcy Institute Medal of Excellence|
|Thomas Bradbury Chetwood, SJ Prize|
|The Joyce Chiang Memorial Award|
|The Jeffrey Crandall Award|
|Kathleen Stowe Dixon Visiting Student|
|Georgetown University Alumni Club of DC Award|
|The Kappa Beta Pi Prize|
|The Milton A. Kaufman Prize|
|The Charles A. Keigwin Award|
|John F. Kennedy Labor Law Award|
|The Francis Lucey, SJ Award|
|The George Brent Mickum III Prize|
|Vincent G. Panati Memorial Award|
|Bettina E. Pruckmayr Memorial Award|
|The Leon Robbin Patent Award|
|The Sewall Key Prize|
|CALI Excellence for Future Award|
The American Criminal Law Review is the nation's premier journal of criminal law. The ACLR is published by the students of Georgetown Law. The ACLR was first published in 1962 by the University of Southern California Law School in conjunction with the American Bar Association. The ABA moved the publication to the University of Kansas Law School the following year and changed its title to the American Criminal Law Quarterly ("ACLQ"). As an ABA publication, the ACLQ concentrated on a practitioner's approach to the criminal law.
The Georgetown Law Journal Annual Review of Criminal Procedure (ARCP) is the "must-have" reference guide for criminal law practitioners. It is a complete summary of recent decisions in federal criminal procedure, reaching over 1,000 pages in volume! The ARCP( formerly known as the Criminal Procedure Project) has been hailed as "the most important and widely used law review publication in the U.S" The ARCP provides readers with objective, concise and accurate overview of the criminal procedure in the United States Supreme Court and each of the 12 Federal Circuit Courts.
The Food and Drug Law Journal (FDLJ) has led the academic and practical discussions of the law regarding food, drugs, cosmetics, biologics, and medical devices for seventy years. Published quarterly by the not-for-profit and non-partisan Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI), the peer-reviewed FDLJ is the only forum exclusively dedicated to food, drugs, and related areas. From the Third Circuit to the Supreme Court, jurists have cited and relied upon its scholarship in order to understand this complicated and expanding area of law. Similarly, professors, practitioners, physicians, and policymakers rely on the FDLJ for insight into how the law has changed, and where the law is heading.
The Georgetown Environmental Law Review (GELR) is widely recognized as a leading quarterly publication of thought-provoking scholarly commentary and practical analysis of both international and domestic environmental law. Environmental issues do not recognize political boundaries, nor do they respect territorial integrity. Attempts to confront and resolve global and transboundary environmental problems have created the need for a legal forum to provide analyses of these issues. GELR was created to meet this need.
The Georgetown Immigration Law Journal is a scholarly publication that is dedicated to the advancement of legal knowledge in the field of immigration law. The Journal is published quarterly and is dedicated to exploring and critically analyzing international and domestic events as they shape the field of immigration law. Each issue features articles by scholars and legal practitioners, as well as a significant number of student notes and a section reviewing current developments in immigration. Immigration law permeates a wide number of other substantive areas including constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, labor law, and international law. Recent world events have increased awareness among the legal community of the importance of immigration law, with issues ranging from the meaning of citizenship to multi-national corporate concerns about employing foreign persons. As a result, expertise in immigration law is required by both individuals seeking citizenship and big business attracting skilled workers.
The Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law is in its eighteenth year of publication. The mission of the Journal is to explore the impact of gender, sexuality, and race on both the theory and practice of law. The Journal complements a long tradition of feminist scholarship and advocacy at the Law Center. As you may know, Georgetown established the first sex discrimination clinic in the country. The Law Center also boasts one of the nation's most prestigious feminist legal faculties. The Journal seeks to complement the critical work being done by existing feminist journals while expanding inquiries into the intersection between gender, sexuality, and race. To that end, we have developed a unique publication that integrates cutting-edge scholarship and practical applications into each of the three distinct issues that make up each volume, including an Annual Review of Gender and Sexuality Law and a biannual Symposium Issue. For more information on the three issues published by the Journal or the Journal's mission, please see the respective sections of this website.
The Georgetown Journal of International Law is one of the nation's top resources for scholars and practitioners in the field of international law. Formerly known as Law and Policy in International Business, the Journal publishes an annual review and commentary on the U.S. Court of International Trade in the fall. In the final three issues of each volume, the Journal publishes a diverse range of material in the fields of public international law, private international law, transnational law, foreign relations law, and comparative law. In addition to its publications, the Journal sponsors an annual symposium on a topic of current prominence; recent topics have included Economic Sanctions, Corporate Responsibility and the Alien Tort Statute, International Cyberlaw, and Sovereign Wealth Funds.
The Georgetown Journal of Modern Critical Race Perspectives (MCRP) is one of Georgetown’s newest law journals and one of the few law journals in the country dedicated to legal scholarship on race and identity. We were founded in 2007 by an extraordinarily driven group of students who were inspired by their experiences with critical race theorists here at Georgetown and who saw the establishment of a race and identity law journal as a meaningful kind of activism. We produce two issues per year.
The Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy is published twice annually by students of Georgetown Law. GJLPP is a scholarly legal journal with a focus on conservative, libertarian, and natural law thought. Though the bulk of our content will either advocate or critique conservative, libertarian, or natural law positions, our Washington location allows us to stay abreast of all areas of law and public policy. We hope that practitioners, professors, judges, and students of all stripes will enjoy reading and submitting to GJLPP.
The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics was founded in 1987 by Father Robert Drinan. Before joining the faculty of Georgetown Law, Father Drinan served in the U.S. House of Representatives for ten years on behalf of the 4th District of Massachusetts. He dedicated his career to many human rights interests and legal causes, including the elevation of the stature of legal ethics as a discipline and in practice. Father Drinan passed away in January 2007.
The Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy is the nation's premier law journal on poverty issues. As part of its mission to bring an end to the desperate conditions afflicting so many in this wealthy nation, the Journal publishes articles from distinguished law professors and practitioners in poverty-related fields.
In addition, the Journal features student research, works from scholars in poverty-related disciplines, and the "voices" of persons living in poverty. The Journal's unique, comprehensive, and multidisciplinary approach to poverty issues and law represents a groundbreaking approach to scholarly publication. Consistent with its mission, the Journal is also actively involved in local community outreach and works with legal and social service organizations to provide assistance to those in need.
The Georgetown Law Journal is headquartered at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. and has published more than 500 issues since its inception, as well as the widely used Annual Review of Criminal Procedure (ARCP). The Journal is currently, and always has been, run by law students.
The Journal of National Security Law & Policy with an initial grant from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security. The Journal's mission, as defined by founding Editorial Board member, Dean Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, was "to provide a forum for the exchange of views between academics and practitioners as they search for the best ways to achieve the two values fundamental to our system of government and to the world's future, law and security." With stewardship by co-founding editors-in-chief, Stephen Dycus (Vermont Law School) and John Cary Sims (Pacific McGeorge), the Journal quickly established a reputation among peer-reviewed law journals for scholarly contribution and credible, sound policy analysis and recommendations.
The Tax Lawyer publishes four issues annually, including an issue of The State and Local Tax Lawyer. The Tax Lawyer and The State and Local Tax Lawyer are published by the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association with the assistance of the Georgetown University Law Center and its students.
The Moot Court Program is the centerpiece of the Supreme Court Institute's public service activities. These practice sessions allow attorneys to prepare for oral arguments before the Court. The Law Center has become the principal stop of many counsel seeking expert assistance in oral argument preparation prior to appearing before the Court. Nearly all of the cases heard by the Court each Term are mooted at Georgetown before a panel of "Justices" that includes law faculty and experienced Supreme Court advocates. While the SCI is especially interested in providing assistance to those attorneys who will be arguing at the Court for the first time, the Institute also holds moot courts for some of the nation's very best and most experienced Supreme Court advocates. Moots are provided as a public service to counsel at no charge on a non-partisan basis. Most moot courts take place in the Supreme Court Institute Moot Courtroom, located on the Law Center campus in the Hotung International Building, Room 2003.
For more than 50 years, Georgetown Law has operated the largest and most highly regarded in-house clinical program in the nation. Through this program, students learn the practical art of lawyering while providing quality legal representation to under-represented individuals and organizations. We offer 17 different clinics, and more than 300 students participate in this program every year.
In a clinical course, students represent real clients facing real legal challenges. They are responsible for all facets of their case and project work, collaborating closely with clinical faculty to ensure proper and complete representation. The students' experiences then become the subject of critical review and reflection. Through this process, students learn how to better evaluate their own legal work as well as the legal work performed by others. Every clinic student acquires valuable legal skills not accessible in the traditional classroom setting, and gains firsthand insight into the strategic and ethical dimensions of the legal profession.
Georgetown's clinics are very intensive; the typical student-to-teacher ratio is just five-to-one, and most students work between 25-35 hours each week on their clinical tasks. As a result, students receive focused, individualized attention from full-time faculty and graduate teaching fellows who can tailor their supervision to the students' specific needs and learning targets. Students are regularly pushed to accomplish more than they may think possible, but in a space where extensive support and a built-in safety net allows them to reach for those new goals.
Starting Salaries (2014 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$160,000 - $160,000|
|Median in the private sector||$160,000|
|Median in public service||$53,820|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||70.4%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||75.4%|
Areas of Legal Practice
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||7.7%|
|Public Interest Organizations||15.5%|
Welcome to the J.D. Externship Program! Externships provide Georgetown Law students with enriching opportunities to earn academic credit while "learning by doing." By virtue of our location in the nation's capital, the Externship Program has unparalleled access to an array of judicial, governmental, and nonprofit field placement settings.
Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, the J.D. Externship Program will implement significant changes to the program's seminar component and enrollment process!
Starting in fall, there will be an Externship I Seminar (for students participating in their first externship for credit) and an Externship II Seminar (for students participating in their second externship for credit). Both courses will be taught using a standardized curriculum focused on helping students develop professional skills that will assist them both in their externships and beyond in their future legal careers. These highly interactive seminars will provide students with multiple opportunities to practice professional lawyering skills and competencies that are universal across professional legal settings.
Externships offer students the opportunity to gain insight into the legal system by seeing law in action, and to gain a deeper understanding of an area of the law by integrating classroom work with real world experience. Externships also allow students to explore their professional objectives, to understand better an area of practice, and to enhance opportunities for public/community service.
The majority of LL.M. students are eligible to participate in the LL.M. Academic Externship Program. Students in the Two-Year LL.M. program may participate during the second year of their program. International students may participate in the Externship Program during their spring semester. By virtue of the fact that they receive an internship as part of their scholarship, COST Scholars are not permitted to do an externship for credit.
LL.M. students will receive two (2) credits that will be graded on a pass/fail basis, provided they meet all deadlines and complete program requirements. Although LL.M. students may participate in only one (1) “for-credit” externship during their LL.M. program, they are free to participate in as many non-credit internships as they can arrange and manage, assuming they have permission to work in the United States.
The academic externships are unpaid and must be located in the DC metropolitan area. The student's direct supervisor must be an attorney. Students cannot be working, or have worked for, the organization if the students wish to receive academic credit.
Organizations select their own for-credit extern(s), and select these externs based on their own hiring criteria. If the externship is at a for-profit entity, the student's work product and time cannot be billed to a client.
The Academic Externship credits do not count toward the specialization credit requirements for either the LL.M. degrees or the LL.M. certificate programs.
Investigative Internship Program
Recognizing the need for high quality representation for indigent criminal defendants, the Criminal Justice Clinic was founded in 1960. Our goal is to ensure that persons charged with criminal offenses have access to top-notch legal services. We provide them with energetic, innovative and dedicated attorneys. As part of the Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, Criminal Justice Clinic, and the Juvenile Justice Clinic, the Investigative Internship Program was founded in 1985 and continues today as an integral part of the success of our clinical program. Our Investigators work closely with clinic attorneys in all aspects of pre-trial preparation. In exchange for our interns' assistance, we offer a hands-on educational and working environment.