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Since enrolling its first class in 1865, The George Washington University Law School has produced some of the finest minds across the spectrum of legal scholarship.
That tradition continues today, as GW Law graduates use the knowledge and skills they gain here to influence the critical legal conversations of our times. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools. The law school is located on the GW campus in the downtown neighborhood familiarly known as Foggy Bottom.
His goal was to educate future generations of civil servants and thereby forge a national identity based on "principles friendly to republican government and to the true and genuine liberties of mankind." He left in his will 50 shares of stock in the Potowmack Canal Company for the endowment of a university "to which the youth of fortune and talents from all parts thereof might be sent for the completion of their Education in all the branches of polite literature-in arts and Sciences-in acquiring knowledge in the principles of Politics & good Government."
The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the 2016 entering class.
|Director of admissions||Sophia Sim|
|Application deadline||March 1|
Law School Admissions details based on 2016 data.
|Approximate number of applications||6943|
The above admission details are based on 2016 data.
|Full-Time JD||Part-Time JD|
|Books and Supplies||$1,740||$1,300|
|Room and Board||$20,200||$20,200|
|Tuition and Fees||$58,520||$43,260*|
*Part-time JD students currently pay tuition at the 2017-2018 per-credit hour rate of $2,060.
Letter grades are given with numerical equivalents as follows:
Credit toward the J.D. degree is given for all grades between D and A+ (inclusive). A J.D. candidate who receives a grade of F or No Credit (NC) in a required course must retake that course from the same or a different instructor. Any student who retakes a required course and receives a grade of F or NC will be excluded from further study and may not graduate unless the student petitions for and receives the permission of the Academic Scholarship Committee. A J.D. candidate who receives a grade of F or NC in a non-required course may retake the course once, from the same or a different instructor. All failing and NC grades remain on the record. The cumulative average of a student includes all grades earned in courses evaluated on a letter-grade basis and taken at the Law School while a candidate for the degree.
The majority of courses are graded on a letter-grade basis, but for some courses (primarily those that are clinical or skills-oriented), the grade of Credit (CR) or No Credit (NC) is given or the following grading scale is used: Honors (H), Pass (P), Low Pass (LP), and No Credit (NC). For Honors, a student must do work of excellent quality, and no more than 25 percent of the class may earn this grade. For courses graded on a Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) or Honors, Pass, Low Pass, or No Credit (H/P/LP/NC) basis, NC is given for work that would receive a grade below C- were evaluation to be made using the letter grade scale.
A student who has been excused from taking a regularly scheduled examination or has been granted an extension of the deadline for a research paper is given the grade of I, Incomplete. (See Failure to Take an Examination, and Deadlines for Courses Graded on the Basis of Methods of Evaluation Other than In-Class Examinations, below.)
In the event of any inconsistency between statements by a course instructor or in an individual course syllabus, the deadlines, rules, and statements set forth in this Bulletin will govern.
No grade may be changed by an instructor after it has been posted or disclosed to a student unless there has been an arithmetic or administrative error that has been certified in writing as such by the instructor. A student has the right of faculty peer review of complaints of “prejudiced or capricious academic evaluation” under the regulations outlined in The George Washington University Guide to Students’ Rights and Responsibilities. To initiate such a review, the student must submit a letter and supporting documentation to the dean of students office by the last day of classes of the semester following the semester or summer session in which the grade for an examination, paper, or other work product was awarded. The student has the burden of making a prima facie case, with appropriate documentation, that the grade was prejudiced or capricious. Mere disagreement with the grade is not a sufficient basis for initiating a faculty peer review.
The Grade-Point Average
Academic achievement is computed in terms of the grade-point average, obtained by dividing the number of quality points by the number of credit hours for which the student has registered, both based on his or her record in this University.
The grade-point average is computed as follows: A+, 4.33; A, 4.0; A-, 3.66; B+, 3.33; B, 3.0; B-, 2.66; C+, 2.33; C, 2.0; C-, 1.66; D+, 1.3; D, 1.0; D-, .7; F, 0, for each credit hour for which the student has registered as a degree-seeking student. Although credit value for a course in which a grade of F is earned appears on the transcript for the purpose of calculating the grade-point average, no academic credit is awarded. In the case of a student who is allowed to repeat a course, the first grade received remains on the student’s record and is included in the grade-point average. Courses marked AU, CR, I, IPG, P, NP, R, W, or Z are not considered in determining the average, except courses marked with an I, which will be considered when a final grade is recorded. With the exception of Consortium courses, grades in courses taken at other institutions are not considered in computing the grade-point average.
Students of The George Washington University Law School are not supplied with individual class rankings. However, in lieu of specific rankings, students’ relative academic accomplishments are represented through two scholar designations.
Students in the top 1% to 15% of the class (based on cumulative GPA at the end of each semester) are designated “George Washington Scholars,” and students in the top 16% to 35% of the class (based on cumulative GPA at the end of each semester) are designated “Thurgood Marshall Scholars.”
Grade Representation Policy
|MINIMUM GRADE REQUIRED TO ATTAIN (Based on May 2015 graduating class)|
|Minimum grade required for graduation||1.667|
|Order of the Coif||The Order of the Coif, a national legal honor society, aims “to foster a spirit of careful study and to mark in a fitting manner those who have attained a high grade of scholarship.” The George Washington University chapter was established in 1926. Members are elected each year from the highest-ranking 10 percent of the graduating Juris Doctor candidates.|
|Highest Honors||The degree of Juris Doctor “With Highest Honors” is awarded to those students, not exceeding three percent of the graduating class, who have obtained the highest cumulative averages of at least 3.67.|
|High Honors||The degree of Juris Doctor “With High Honors” is awarded to those students with the highest cumulative averages of 3.33 or better. The number of students receiving degrees “With High Honors,” when added to the total number of students receiving degrees “With Highest Honors,” may not exceed 10 percent of the graduating class.|
|Honors||The degree of Juris Doctor “With Honors” is awarded to those students with the highest cumulative averages of 3.0 or better. The number of students receiving degrees “With Honors,” when added to the total number of students receiving degrees “With High Honors” and “With Highest Honors,” may not exceed 40 percent of the graduating class.|
|NAME OF AWARD||BASIS OF AWARD|
|Finnegan Prize in IP||Best publishable article in IP Law|
|George Washington Scholar||Top 1% to 15% of class each semester|
|Thurgood Marshall Scholar||Top 16% to 35% of class each semester|
|American Bankruptcy Institute Award||Excellence in debtor/creditor law|
|ABA Bureau of Nat'l Affairs Awards||Excellence in various areas of the law|
|Henry R. Berger Award||Excellence in tort law|
|Phi Delta Phi Award||Excellence in Professional Responsibility|
|Joel B. Rosenthal Commercial Law||Excellence in Commercial Law|
|Richard L. Teberg Award||Highest proficiency in securities law|
|Patricia A. Tobin Gov't Procurement||Excellence in government contracts|
|Jennie Hassler Walburn Award||Excellence in Civil Procedure|
|Imogen Williford Constitutional Law||Excellence in constitution law|
|Chris Bartok Mem'l Award in Patent||Excellence in patent law|
|Peter D. Rosenberg Prize||Excellence in patent and IP law|
|Ogden W. Fields Graduate Award||Highest proficiency in labor law|
|Lauren E. Seibel Memorial Award||Excellence in labor and employment law|
|Michael J. Avenatti Award||Excellence in pre-trial and trial advocacy|
|Jacob Burns Award||Winning team in Van Vleck competition|
|Cohen & Cohen Mock Trial Award||Winning team in Cohen & Cohen Competition|
|Judge Albert H. Grenadier Award||Jessup Int'l Moot Court Competition|
|Manuel and Ana Maria Benitez||Clinical excellence in Immigration Law|
|Community Legal Clinics Volunteer Service||Excellence in volunteering|
|John F. Evans||Achievement in Crim. Div. of Court Program|
|Richard C. Lewis Jr. Memorial Award||Work in clinics, humanity, and compassion|
The George Washington Law Review (Law Review), founded in 1931, is a student-published scholarly journal that examines legal issues of national significance. The Law Review publishes six issues a year and also publishes material on its online companion publication, Arguendo. Each issue typically contains scholarly articles, essays, and student notes. The Law Review also devotes one issue to the annual Law Review Symposium and one issue to the Annual Review of Administrative Law. The Law Review is staffed and run by GW Law JD students selected as a result of their academic achievements and their performance on the annual writing competition. LLM students are not eligible to participate.
The George Washington International Law Review, founded in 1966, is a student-published journal that presents articles and essays on public and private international financial development, comparative law, and public international law. The International Law Review is published quarterly. Additionally, the International Law Review annually publishes the Guide to International Legal Research. The Guide is an authoritative and comprehensive reference tool organized by geographic regions and substantive areas of international law. The International Law Review is staffed and run by GW Law JD students selected as a result of their academic achievements and their performance on the annual writing competition. LLM students are invited to become contributing members of the Guide by submitting their resume and a personal statement to the Editor-in-Chief at the beginning of the academic year. LLM student participation is voluntary and not for academic credit.
The American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal (AIPLA QJ), founded in 1972 and residing at GW Law since 1994, is the joint publication of the AIPLA, one of the largest private bars of intellectual property attorneys in the world, and the George Washington University Law School. The AIPLA QJ is published four times per year and is dedicated to presenting materials relating to intellectual property matters. With a readership of over 17,000 attorneys and IP professionals, AIPLA QJ is a leading journal for intellectual property and technology. Membership is open to GW Law JD students who are selected as a result of their academic achievements and their performance on the annual writing competition. LLM students with a background in either technology or IP related fields may participate as a Contributor to the AIPLA QJ. LLM students interested in applying must submit a resume, legal writing sample, and brief cover letter explaining their interest in the journal and why they will be a valuable addition to the journal to the Student Editor-in-Chief by the last day of Add/Drop for the fall semester. LLM student participation is voluntary and not for academic credit.
The Federal Circuit Bar Journal (FCBJ), as the official journal for the Federal Circuit Bar Association and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), is charged with providing meaningful, insightful and timely coverage of issues within the court's purview. The FCBJ is a national quarterly publication that carries a subscriber base of over three thousand judges, professors, attorneys, and law students. Membership is open to GW Law JD students who are selected as a result of their academic achievements and their performance on the annual writing competition. LLM students may participate on the FCBJ as advisors to students during the student notes writing process. Interested LLM students may contact the Managing Editor for information. LLM student participation is voluntary and not for academic credit.
The Federal Communications Law Journal (FCLJ) is the official journal of the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), the leading organization for communications lawyers and other professionals. In conjunction with the FCBA, the George Washington Law School publishes the FCLJ three times a year and features articles on a range of domestic and international issues in communications law by practitioners, Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, policymakers, and professors, as well as book reviews and student notes. The FCLJ is edited and managed by GW Law JD students selected as a result of their academic achievements and their performance on the annual writing competition. LLM students are not eligible to participate.
International Law in Domestic Courts (ILDC), founded in 2007 by Oxford University Press, is published online by Oxford University Press (OUP) and provides commentary on domestic judicial decisions involving international law issues from around the world. GW Law JD students are the exclusive rapporteurs for the United States and are joined by more than 70 professional rapporteurs from other countries. Rapporteurs identify and propose the cases, then write scholarly commentaries (akin to case notes) on the cases accepted for inclusion in the database. ILDC rapporteurs write about cases concerning international business law, family law, privileges and immunities, treaty law, environmental law, criminal law, foreign investment, human rights, humanitarian law, and all other subject areas of international law. OUP publishes ILDC’s work as part of the Oxford Reports on International Law, which has a subscribership composed of international law professors, attorneys, judges, and other scholars. Membership is open to GW Law JD students who are selected based on their performance in the annual writing competition, academic achievements, and interest in international law. Applicants must have taken international law, and preferably other related courses, while completing their JD. ILDC also welcomes applications from U.S. LLM students who have an interest and background in international law. Foreign LL.M students with a strong understanding of their home country’s domestic judicial system and an interest in international law are encouraged to submit applications to serve as a rapporteur for their home country. Applications can be submitted through ILDC, but foreign LLM students would work directly with OUP during their tenure at GW Law. LLM student participation is voluntary and not for academic credit.
The Public Contract Law Journal (PCLJ), produced jointly by the George Washington University Law School and the Section of Public Contract Law of the American Bar Association, is the premier journal read by practitioners in the field of government procurement law. The PCLJ is published quarterly and is edited and managed by JD students, selected as a result of their academic achievements and their performance on the annual writing competition, and LLM students enrolled in the program for Government Procurement Law. LLM students must participate in the annual ABA Section of Public Contract Law writing competition, or, at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief and faculty advisors, submit a writing sample related to public contract law. LLM student participation is voluntary and not for academic credit.
George Washington Journal of Energy and Environmental Law (JEEL) is produced in collaboration with the Environmental Law Institute and is published three times each year. JEEL focuses on legal issues related to next-generation energy production and distribution and on environmental and climate law issues related to the production of energy. Membership is open to GW Law JD students who are selected as a result of their academic achievements and their performance on the annual writing competition. LLM students may participate on JEEL. LLM students must submit a resume, writing sample, and a statement of interest to the Editor-in-Chief to be considered for membership. LLM student participation is voluntary and not for academic credit.
National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition
The National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition is the only veterans law competition in the United States. It is sponsored by the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims Bar Association, and the George Washington University Law School. Round are held at GW Law and the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
The National Veterans Law Moot Court Competition accepts up to two teams of two students from each ABA-approved law school that participates.
National Security Law Moot Court Competition
The National Security Law Moot Court Competition is hosted by the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. Contestants argue cutting edge national security issues before a distinguished panel of recognized experts in the field. Judges on the final panel have included federal appeals court and district court judges, former directors of the CIA and FBI, a former Solicitor General of the United States, and a former Acting Attorney General of the United States.
The National Security Law Moot Court Competition accepts two teams of two students from each ABA-approved law school that participates.
The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics were founded in 1971, and were dedicated in 1991 to acknowledge the generous support of Jacob Burns (LLB '24, Hon. LLC '70). A longtime trustee of the University, Burns (1902-1993) was renowned as a lawyer, artist, and philanthropist. GW Law is proud to honor this significant contribution to the "uplifting and maintenance of the legal profession," and his fearless advocacy of the principle of "equal justice under the law."
The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics vary considerably in purpose, duration, requirements, and duties. Despite their diversity, all the clinics create an exciting and supportive educational environment in which law students are provided the opportunity to develop lawyering skills and to gain insights into law and the legal profession while providing vital legal services to people who need them. The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics operate under the direction of Associate Dean Phyllis Goldfarb, The Jacob Burns Foundation Professor of Clinical Law.
Starting Salaries (2015 Graduates Employed Full-Time)
|Private sector (25th-75th percentile)||$138,750 - $160,000|
|Median in the private sector||$160,000|
|Median in public service||$60,000|
|Graduates known to be employed at graduation||58.9%|
|Graduates known to be employed ten months after graduation||76.6%|
Areas of Legal Practice
|Graduates Employed In||Percentage|
|Business and Industry||12.1%|
|Public Interest Organizations||9.5%|
The George Washington University Law School Field Placement Program provides students with the opportunity to work closely with judges or practicing lawyers as legal externs in governmental, public interest and private non-profit organizations while earning academic credit. The program is designed to enhance the educational experience of its students through exposure to the actual practice of law.
The primary educational objectives of the program are to provide students with the opportunity to gain experience in different substantive areas of law and legal process; to develop legal research, writing, interviewing, counseling and investigative skills; to deal with issues of professional responsibility in a real practice setting; and to engage in reflective lawyering.
Each student is supervised by a member of the law school faculty and is enrolled in a required co-requisite course. The student's externship experience also includes regular communication and feedback from an attorney field supervisor who is assigned to that student. On-site attorney supervision and instructional guidance through the law school's faculty combine to offer students a unique opportunity to gain practical experience and continue to build upon their law school education.