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George Mason University (School of Law)




George Mason University, established as a branch of the University of Virginia in 1957, gained independent university status in 1972 by act of the Virginia General Assembly. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.

The university is a living memorial to George Mason, the Virginia patriot and statesman who is best known for having drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights on which the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution is based.

In 1972, Dean John W. Brabner-Smith founded the International School of Law in Washington, D.C. The school later moved to Arlington, Virginia, where it became George Mason University School of Law in 1979 by act of the Virginia General Assembly. It is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

During the past decade, the law school has been in the forefront of curricular innovation. Recognizing the rapid changes that are occurring in legal practice and the legal profession, George Mason has been a pioneer in providing its students with three core competencies that are often neglected at more traditional institutions: the legal application of economic tools and methods, intensive development of legal writing skills, and specialized substantive preparation for practice. Our intellectual property law curriculum has gained national recognition. Our unique curriculum gives our students correspondingly unique advantages in today's competitive employment market.

In January 1999, George Mason University School of Law moved to a new 240,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art educational facility. The building includes four floors of classroom, library, and administrative space, as well as two levels of interior parking.

George Mason University School of Law is located just a few miles from downtown Washington, D.C., the nexus for the creation of the world’s most important legislation and jurisprudence. Metropolitan Washington offers students access to hundreds of opportunities and legal resources of tremendous scope and depth:

* Outstanding instruction from faculty and guest lecturers with significant experience in governmental and public policy organizations such as the White House, the Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

* Year-round employment opportunities with major executive branch agencies (such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of State, and the Federal Communications Commission), congressional commissions and federal agencies, and the hundreds of private law firms located in the Washington, D.C., area.

George Mason is an equal opportunity and affirmative action institution committed to the principle that access to study or employment opportunities afforded by the university, including all benefits and privileges, be accorded to each person-student, faculty, staff member, or applicant for employment or admission-on the basis of individual merit without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, sex, or age (except where sex or age is a bona fide occupational qualification). George Mason shall maintain a continuing affirmative action program to promote equal opportunity and to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices in every phase of university operations. Furthermore, affirmative action will be taken to ensure that opportunities afforded by the university are fully available to persons with disabilities, women, Vietnam veterans, and minorities. The university will make every reasonable accommodation to enable students or employees with disabilities to undertake work or study for which they qualify.

The Arlington campus began in 1979 when the Virginia General Assembly established the George Mason University School of Law which located in the old Kann's department store in Virginia Square. The following year, the university established graduate and continuing education programs in the same building. In 1999, the School of Law relocated to a brand new building, a 240,000 square foot, state-of-the-art educational facility. The new law school building is the first of a three-phase plan designed to develop the 5.2 acre site.

Course offerings in Arlington focus on law, economics, and public policy. There are also three non-law academic and research centers located in the Law School building: James M. Buchanan Center, the Mercatus Center, and the Institute for Humane Studies. The Arlington Campus will continue to grow, bringing new graduate programs to serve the rapidly expanding Northern Virginia high- tech corridor.

George Mason University School of Law offers an unparalleled opportunity to study law from an interdisciplinary perspective at the doorstep of Washington, D.C. Many dozens of our alumni work on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in government. Many hundreds more are in private practice in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and in law firms across the country. Our program is one of the most rigorous in the country, with Legal Research and Writing as a requirement both in first and second years and Economic Foundations of Legal Studies as a required first semester course. The law school was founded as the International School of Law in 1972 and became a part of George Mason University in 1979. Though it has been in existence for only a few decades, the School of Law is now recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 40 law schools in the United States, with a faculty that is ranked 23rd nationally in professional stature and productivity by the New Educational Quality Ranking of U.S. Law Schools.

George Mason School of Law is the only state university law school that is located inside the Capital Beltway. It offers the highest value proposition of any law school in the National Capital Region, especially for residents of Virginia, but also for non-residents. In 2004, George Mason was named one of the "best value" public law schools in the nation by the National Jurist.

We’re proud of having a tough program with no soft spots. We offer both full-time day and part-time evening study and unlike many other law school programs, the day and evening programs stand on equal footing, as the courses taught in the day and evening divisions are identical. We are looking for people who want the challenge of mastering new material from new points of view. With a total of more than 5,300 applications for fall 2003 admission to our law school and an acceptance rate of less than ten percent, we are one of the most selective law schools in America. The diversity and breadth of our student body make it one of the best in the country. Our students are prepared for success in a broad cross-section of careers in law. And because of our reasonable tuition rates, no matter where they go when they leave George Mason, our students will be free of the crushing debt that most law grads take with them into their post-graduate lives.

Although George Mason offers a number of structured specialization options, students are not required to specialize in their legal studies. Many students enter law school without a clearly defined area of interest. Those students may pursue a general course of study, choosing electives as their interests develop.

The George Mason University School of Law Library is an academic research center that supports the information needs of the faculty and students of the School of Law. All users agree to abide by the following policies and regulations:

ACCESS: The Law Library is maintained primarily for use by George Mason University law students and law faculty. The library is also open to the general public. ALL visitors must sign in and may be asked to present a picture ID. Persons who are using the library for activities other than research or educational purposes will be asked to leave.

CIRCULATION: The Law Library is first and foremost an academic research library with the goal of having legal research materials available for use within the library. In order to provide full access to the collection and to prevent the loss of books, most library materials do not circulate outside of the library. See Patron Check-Out Privileges for a complete list of patron categories, check-out policies, and loan periods. GMU Students interested in working at the circulation desk should review the page for Student Employment Opportunities in the GMU Law Library.

LIBRARY CATALOG & ONLINE DATABASES : Several public computer workstations, which are located across from the Circulation Desk, provide access to the library's online catalog, the GMU Email system, and the Index to Legal Periodicals. Computers with access to government documents databases are located outside of the Reference Office. The Law Library is only able to support the School of Law faculty, students, & staff with Internet assistance and access.

LEXIS & WESTLAW: Lexis and Westlaw are provided to GMUSL through a special educational contract. Use is limited to George Mason University law students and law faculty doing research for educational purposes.



School name:George Mason UniversitySchool of Law
Address:3301 Fairfax Drive
Zip & city:VA 22201 Virginia
Phone:703-993-8000
Web:http://www.gmu.edu/departments/law
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