George Washington University

Established in 1865, The George Washington University Law School 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. The Law School is located on the GW campus in the downtown Washington, D.C., area familiarly known as Foggy Bottom.

The Law School 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—Lerner Hall, Stockton Hall, The Jacob Burns Law Library, 700 20th Street, and Stuart Hall—adjoin one another, have internal passageways, and function as one consolidated complex. In addition, the Law School has offices on two floors of Lisner Hall adjoining Stuart Hall. Three townhouses directly across from the main complex house the Community Legal Clinics, Student Bar Association, and student journal offices.

The Law School's attractive and comfortable classroom and moot court room facilities are some of the most technologically advanced in the country. Outside of the classroom, care has been taken to provide students with space for relaxation, informal meetings, and dining. A Faculty Conference Center hosts the many scholarly events planned throughout the school year. The Law School's administrative offices have been designed to be convenient and efficient in their delivery of student services.

The Jacob Burns Law Library is housed on six levels and offers a wide range of study areas including several large, comfortable reading rooms, a number of small conference rooms and study cubicles, and a lounge containing a leisure reading collection, magazines, and telephones.

The Library serves the students and faculty of the Law School by offering a wealth of legal and law-related information in a variety of formats. A collection strong in historical material has been integrated with automated resources to meet the needs of researchers in many specialized areas.

A staff of 37 librarians and support staff, a number of whom are trained in both law and information science, is the key to using the collection of more than 500,000 volumes and volume equivalents. The Library's sophisticated online catalog, JACOB, can be used both to locate materials within the facility and to access the online catalogs of neighboring institutions, including the Library of Congress. Emerging technology has been fully utilized with the development of a CD-ROM network that provides simultaneous access to a number of databases by multiple users and subscriptions to many web-based services. All of these electronic resources can be used from a variety of stations throughout the library. Two Windows-based computer labs can be used for word processing, access to LEXIS and WESTLAW, and e-mail. Additional terminals dedicated to the use of LEXIS, WESTLAW, and e-mail are available, as well as multiple stations for linking notebook computers to the GW network.

The collection itself, while broad-based, focuses on Anglo-American resources and is particularly strong in the areas of environmental law, intellectual property, government procurement and federal practice, tax law, and labor law. A large international and comparative law collection focuses on the areas of human rights, law of the sea, commercial transactions, intellectual property, and environmental law.

The Library attempts to collect materials in a variety of related areas such as history, economics, and political science for individuals conducting interdisciplinary research. In addition, the excellent collections of the University's two other libraries, the Gelman Library and the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, are both within a few blocks of the Law School.

In addition to 27 amphitheater, seminar, and computer lab classrooms, the Law School's teaching facilities include three fully equipped moot court rooms. Moot court rooms are used for a variety of purposes including instruction in trial advocacy and to hold trials for skills competitions such as those sponsored by the Moot Court and Mock Trial Boards.

The Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, the largest of the three, was redesigned in 2002 in partnership with the National Center for State Courts to showcase the development and implementation of next-generation courtroom technology and serve as NCSC's Courtroom Demonstration Center and Classroom. This unique facility gives GW Law students, as well as lawyers and judges from the U.S. and around the world, the opportunity to explore the ways in which technology can be used to enhance litigation practice.

A second moot court room in Stuart Hall is another example of innovative classroom design. The white board/black board panels at the front of the room slide into recessed pockets to reveal a judges bench, allowing the room to be used both for traditional classes and to teach trial advocacy.

The Law School's third moot court room is housed in the Legal Clinics building.

One of the great strengths of GW Law is the richness of its curriculum. It offers students the opportunity to sample a broad array of areas of the law and to design a program of study that fits their individual interests and career plans.

The Law School offers more than 240 different elective courses. In addition to introductory level and more advanced courses in a variety of fields, there are some highly specialized areas of the curriculum that allow students to gain considerable expertise in a field. Those specialized areas include international law, environmental law, intellectual property law, and government regulation and constitutional law. In addition to traditionally taught classes, there are a number of simulation courses that teach skills such as drafting, trial and appellate advocacy, negotiations, and mediation, as well as over a dozen different clinical programs in which students learn skills while working directly with clients. A recent example is a seminar in which a small group of students worked to propose to the U.S. Sentencing Commission appropriate sentencing guidelines for environmental crimes.

To teach some of its more specialized courses, the Law School calls upon experts in the field who are at the forefront in their areas of law to teach on an adjunct basis. They come from private practice, all branches of government, the corporate sector, and non-profit organizations. For example, a high level official with The World Bank teaches the International Banking course; the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia teaches Crime Lab; and the Deputy Chief of Staff, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, teaches Legislative Analysis and Drafting.

School name:George Washington UniversityLaw School
Address:2000 H Street, NW
Zip & city:DC 20052 District of Columbia

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