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The George Washington University Law School

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The George Washington University Law School
Parent school The George Washington University
Established 1865
School type Private non-profit
Dean Paul Schiff Berman
Location Washington, DC, US
Faculty 96 (full time)
205 (part time)
(See List)
USNWR ranking 20
Bar pass rate 93.98%
LSAT 75th% 168
Median LSAT 167
LSAT 25th% 162
Undergrad. GPA 75th% 3.87
Median Undergrad. GPA 3.79
Undergrad. GPA 25th% 3.39
Volumes in law library 600,000
Annual tuition $43,999
ABA profile link
Outlines 0 (See List)
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The George Washington University Law School is located in Washington, DC

The George Washington University Law School, commonly referred to as GW Law, was founded in 1865 and is the oldest law school in the District of Columbia. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools. It is located on the campus of The George Washington University at the corner of 20th and H Streets in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.


Though it would be decades before George Washington’s namesake university would be established by an Act of Congress, the George Washington University Law School—founded in 1825, closed in 1826 due to financial difficulty, and then reorganized in 1865—was the first law school in the District of Columbia.

In 1865, the president of Columbian College (now The George Washington University) facilitated the purchase of a building owned by Trinity Church for the purpose of holding law classes. In 1867, the school graduated its first class, who represented twenty two of the then thirty seven states.

The Master of Laws degree program was adopted by the school in 1877.

In 1900, the school was one of the founding members of the Association of American Law Schools.


The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools. The school currently has about 1,860 degree candidates: 1,260 full-time, 290 part-time, and over 300 post-J.D. candidates.

In addition to the juris doctor degree, GW Law offers the following joint degrees:

  • J.D./M.B.A.
  • J.D./M.P.A.
  • J.D./M.P.P.
  • J.D./M.A. in History with a concentration in U.S. Legal History, Women’s Studies, Public Policy with a concentration in Women’s Studies, and Master of Public Policy
  • J.D./M.A. in International Affairs: Science, Technology, and Public Policy; Security Policy Studies; Asian Studies; Latin American Studies; European and Eurasian Studies; International Development Studies; and International Trade and Investment Policy
  • J.D/M.P.H.

The following advanced degrees are offered:

Academic reputation

GW Law was tied for 22nd in the 2008 Law School Rankings of U.S. News & World Report. It previously had been ranked 19th and 20th in that publication's 2007 and 2006 issues, respectively. In its specialties categories, U.S. News ranked GW Law 3rd in intellectual property law, 8th in international law, 12th in environmental law, and 23rd in clinical training. The law school is the highest-ranked graduate program of its parent institution, The George Washington University.

In 2007, the National Law Journal ranked GW Law among the top 20 law schools that place the highest percentage of graduates in top American law firms.

Academic Recognition for Students

Students are not supplied with individual class rankings; instead, the school recognizes their relative academic performance with two scholar designations. [1] The top 1%-15% of the class is designated George Washington Scholars. The top 16%-35% of the class is designated Thurgood Marshall Scholars.

Location and facilities

GW Law is located in the heart of Washington's Foggy Bottom neighborhood, across the street from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund headquarters, and a few blocks away from the State Department and the White House.

The Jacob Burns Law Library holds a research collection of more than 500,000 volumes.

In 2000, the law school began a major building and renovation scheme to create an integrated, modern learning facility. The school continues to expand into attached buildings along perimeters of the University Yard. The Law School currently occupies nine buildings on the main campus of The George Washington University. The Law School's main complex comprises five buildings located on two sides of the University Yard, the central open space of GW's urban campus. Renovated extensively between 2001 and 2003, these buildings adjoin one another, have internal passageways, and function as one consolidated complex. Three townhouses directly across from the main complex house the Community Legal Clinics, Student Bar Association, and student journal offices.

Notable alumni

Notable alumni of The George Washington University Law School include:

Notable faculty


External links