George Washington University Law School, or GW Law, is located in Washington, D.C. and has over 1,700 students. GW Law is best known for having one of the largest selections of courses in the nation, with over 275 elective courses. The school was founded in 1865, and its position in the country’s capital helps students gain experience with some of the best lawyers and judges practicing today. Although class sizes are not the smallest in terms of other top-tier law schools, the student to faculty ratio is not outrageously big either.
Students at GW Law have a selection of dual degrees that includes a J.D. /M.B.A. or a J.D. /M.A. in History or International Affairs. Advanced degrees are also offered in Master of Laws in Environmental Law, Business and Finance Law, and Litigation and Dispute Resolution among many others. The most popular law specializations at GW Law include Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, and International Law. First-year students are required to take the following classes: Torts, Property, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, and Contracts. All students must also take mandatory courses in Legal Writing and Research and an Advocacy class. This last course focuses on pretrial motions, appellate briefs, and the practicing of professional responsibility and ethics. There are also more than 12 clinics for students to participate in, including cases involving immigration law, domestic violence advocacy, small business development, and consumer mediation. Pro bono opportunities can be found through programs like the Gulf Recovery Network or the Animal Welfare Project.
There are plenty of prospects for students to gain hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Many take part in externships in the Outside Placement program, where they can work for federal judges or government agencies like the Department of Justice or the Securities and Exchange Commission. Students can also practice their trial skills with the Moot Court Board and Mock Trial Board, which hold several competitions every year. More than 400 students become involved annually in one of the seven journals on campus. Some of the well-respected publications include the “George Washington International Law Review” and the “Federal Circuit Bar Journal.” Individuals looking for activities outside the law profession can also participate in some of the 60 student-run organizations at GW Law.
Because of the wide array of opportunities, graduates are ready to face the world once they’ve received their law degree. Renowned professors and the chance to take part in competitive externships also help GW Law students become prepared to take on the responsibilities of a practicing lawyer. Students interested in living in the bustling nation’s capital should look into all GW Law has to offer.