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University of Washington (School of Law)

The University of Washington School of Law, located in Seattle, was first organized in 1899 and is fully accredited. The current law building, William H. Gates Hall, was completed and occupied in September of 2003 and is located on the Northwest corner of the main University campus. The building houses classrooms, student lounge, a coffee/snack kiosk, locker areas, the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library, and offices for faculty, administration, and student organizations. Financial aid, registration, and career service functions are run primarily as in-house operations. The building itself is fully accessible to persons in wheelchairs and is equipped with braille identifiers. William H. Gates Hall is a designated non-smoking area.

The Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library is one of the finest law libraries in the country. Its collection is among the largest university law collections on the West Coast and currently numbers more than 525,000 volumes. In addition to an extensive research collection, it supports the Asian Law, Law of Sustainable Development, and Tax graduate programs and serves as a federal depository for selected U.S. government documents. Law students also have access to the seventeen other libraries of the University, which hold more than six million additional volumes. Access is provided to all UW collections. The law library subscribes to computerized databases, such as LEXIS-NEXIS and WESTLAW. CD-ROM technology and full Internet accessibility is a growing part of the library's broad-based access to legal and non-legal information resources. A highly-trained staff of 38 facilitates access to a wide variety of legal information needs and services.

The law school has wireless internet access available throughout the entire building and outlets are available for each classroom seat to power laptops and other portable electronic devices. Classrooms are equipped with a wide range of audio/visual equipment including CD/DVD players and recording equipment. Podiums are wired for internet access and most have built-in computers. The law school Computer Labs contain 28 PCs for general use. All computers have ethernet access to Internet resources, the UW libraries and law library catalog, and the LEXIS-NEXIS and WESTLAW legal databases.

Despite its status as a state university law school, the University of Washington does not place undue emphasis on Washington State law in its instruction. Courses are designed to provide a broad view of the American legal system. At the same time, faculty members frequently mention or describe the Washington view on a particular issue as an illustration or a point of departure for a broad-ranging discussion.

Graduates of the school are well prepared to practice law anywhere in the United States. Each fall, an entering class of about 165 J.D. students begins the study of law. There is an excellent ratio of students to faculty (approximately 13:1), with many small classes and the opportunity for close student-faculty contact. Faculty members generally have an open-door policy to encourage contact and informal discussions with students. Because of the high number of applications received each year, the University of Washington School of Law is able to select an outstanding student body. Our students are not only academically excellent, but also have diverse personal, educational, and (in many cases) professional backgrounds, which creates a varied and stimulating intellectual atmosphere. All students take a full-time course load; the School of Law does not have a part-time or evening division.

Studying law at a top-ranking American law school is a demanding and challenging experience. At the University of Washington, students are constantly being invited by their teachers and peers to rethink and defend their conceptions of the law and its relation to social problems. First-year students are often surprised to learn that their principal objective is not to "learn the law" but rather to develop the intellectual tools and skills necessary to work with the law as professionals. Great emphasis is placed upon gaining experience in analyzing cases, statutes, and other legal materials, and in synthesizing from these materials general notions of the structure and operation of the legal system.

The University of Washington School of Law is fortunate to have an outstanding faculty. Each of the 47 full-time professors has varied interests and, as a result, the law school is able to offer classes in a number of specialized areas. Among the areas of specialization represented are labor law, tax law, international law, environmental and water law, family law, real property law, laws concerning business organization, commercial law, constitutional law, the law of sex and race discrimination, American Indian law, intellectual property, and health law. In addition, there are several faculty members specifically interested in questions of legal history, legal philosophy, and law and social science. All of these areas of interest are reflected in the School's curriculum.

The University of Washington School of Law is committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and public service.
The teaching - emphasizing small classes and an accessible faculty - provides a solid foundation in legal doctrine, research skills, and lawyering skills through clinical and simulated programs. The curriculum also develops jurisprudential, interdisciplinary, comparative, and multicultural perspectives on law and legal institutions. The School capitalizes on the resources of other academic units of the University and the unique opportunities of the Pacific Northwest to offer graduate programs which also enhance the J.D.program in Asian and Comparative Law, Tax Law, Law of Sustainable International Development, Law Librarianship, and concentration tracks in Dispute Resolution, Asian Law, International and Comparative Law, Environmental Law, Health Law and Intellectual Property Law. Under consideration is the development of training and research programs in Native American Legal Studies and Intellectual Property Law.

The faculty is continually engaged in academic and professional research about law, legal institutions, and the role of law in society, at the state, national, and international levels. The School contributes to the practice and teaching of law by disseminating the results of that scholarship.

The School has a responsibility to serve the public by enhancing public understanding of the law, serving the profession through continuing legal education and law reform activities, and providing legal services to the indigent.

The School strives to nurture an open, collegial, and diverse community of faculty, students, staff, and administration. It seeks to sustain close involvement with the legal community and the alumni.

A University of Washington Law School education, in the foregoing setting, prepares graduates to be responsible members and leaders of the legal profession and of the broader community, dedicated to the highest standards of ethics, excellence, and professionalism.

Each of our 59 professors has distinct experience and expertise, allowing the law school to offer more than 100 courses and seminars in specialized areas of law. Our faculty not only teaches the law, but the intellectual tools and skills necessary to a successful legal career. Great emphasis is placed upon gaining experience in analyzing cases, statutes, and other legal materials, and in synthesizing from these materials general notions of the structure and operation of the legal system.

First-year students enter only in the Autumn quarter and will complete the following set of required courses:
* Basic Legal Skills
* Civil Procedure
* Constitutional Law
* Contracts
* Criminal Law
* Property
* Torts
Enrollment in these important courses is arranged so that each student will take at least one of them in a small section of approximately 30 students. Small sections provide opportunities for more individual expression by the student, a closer teacher-student relationship, and greater opportunities for writing and testing. The course in Basic Legal Skills introduces students to essential professional skills—writing, research and oral advocacy—by means of exercises that simulate the work of practicing attorneys.

Enrollment in the program is full-time only. Because of the heavy course load, first-year students are strongly discouraged from attempting to work on even a part-time basis.

Although first-year J.D. courses are prescribed, 2Ls and 3Ls may design a program suited to their goals and interests.Students have the opportunity of either sampling classes across a broad section of the curriculum or emphasizing a particular course of study. Students should be mindful to prepare for the subjects tested on the state bar exam that they intend to take. J.D. candidates in upper-level courses also may take selected courses along with Ph.D. and LL.M. students, most of who are already practicing professionals.

A student must complete the following requirements during their second and third years to graduate:

* 90 more credits hours (assuming the completion of 45 credits during the first year), for a total of 135 credit hours.
* 6 more quarters of at least 12 credits per quarter (each quarter meeting this criteria is known as a residence quarter).
* 60 hours of public service legal work which may be satisfied by
o completing any approved Clinical Program;
o completing a public service externship that carries at
least two credits; or,
o completing the Street Law course.
* Professional responsibility course
* Advanced writing assignment

Practice Skills Courses
Success in the legal field requires refined practical skills in addition to theoretical knowledge. We offer a variety of courses and co-curricular activities to help students develop these skills. Research courses, public-interest law clinics, moot course opportunitites, and judicial, agency or public-interest externships all help to develop competencies in interviewing, counseling, negotiation, legal drafting, alternative dispute resolution, and trial and appellate advocacy.

While most J.D. students seek a general legal education, some want a more advanced understanding of a specialized field of law. To support this, the law school offers students the ability to earn a joint degree with virtually any school on campus or concentrate their studies in one of six fields.

Concentration Tracks
To help students create a highly individualized law degree, one that makes them eminently qualified for a future career, J.D. students may elect to specialize in one of six subject areas:

* Asian Law
* Dispute Resolution
* Environmental Law
* Health Law
* Intellectual Property
* International and Comparative Law

Concurrent Degrees
We encourage students to take full advantage of the UW's unique position as a leading research institution. To that end, students may develop a program leading to a J.D. and master's degree in any of 100 disciplines of the UW Graduate School. Among the most popular concurrent degrees are law and public affairs, law and business, and law and international studies.

The Law School also offers postgraduate programs on both a part-time and full-time basis that lead to degrees in four specialized areas:
* Ph.D. and LL.M. in Asian & Comparative Law
* LL.M. in Intellectual Property Law and Policy
* LL.M. in Law of Sustainable International Development
* LL.M. in Taxation

At the UW School of Law we believe the best way to educate future lawyers and leaders is to provide them with a strong foundation in legal theory, and the opportunity to experience the law first-hand. We also believe that the law is a calling in the spirit of public service, and that professional responsibility is a quality that can be learned only through experience and dialogue. For these reasons, the School of Law provides a variety of opportunities for students to serve the broader community. In fact, we require a minimum commitment of 60 hours of public service from every student before he or she graduates.

Students have a myriad of opportunities to apply what they have learned through our centers, summer externships and through public service in our clinical program. The public service requirement is fulfilled through externships, the Clinical Program, or through Street Law.

Students complete public-interest externships for classroom credit with judges, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, state courts and private law firms working on pro bono matters. Externships typically last three months and may be based with local, national or international organizations. Examples of participating organizations include the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, United States Department of Justice, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Northwest Intertribal Court System, Northwest Justice Project, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, International Justice Mission, International Labour Organization, and Oxfam.

The Olympia Quarter Fellows Program is a competitive program that places 2Ls and 3Ls in high-level externships in the state's capitol during winter quarter. Students gain valuable public policy and legal experience by working in the judicial, legislative or executive branches of state government. They also have an opportunity to develop relationships with alumni, government officials and faculty through program events.

Each year, our clinical law program enables more than 100 students to work with real clients on real cases. In close collaboration with faculty and practicing attorneys, students provide free legal representation or mediation services to low-income or indigent clients. Clinic students gain confidence, valuable insight, and hands-on experience, all while providing free legal services to underserved populations.

Street Law is a national program that teaches high school students the fundamentals of our legal system, legal process, and the principles and values that underlie our constitutional democracy. Taught by second- and third-year law students, Street Law provides an interactive forum through which young people can better understand the role law plays in their everyday lives. Each year, 24 law students teach more than 300 Seattle-area high school students, covering topics such as the court system, consumer law, criminal law, family law and landlord-tenant law.

The UW School of Law contributes to the body of legal knowledge through research and scholarship. Faculty and students work closely to develop their interests through our dynamic scholarly research centers and institutes. These centers provide a place for students and faculty to work together on challenging issues in collaboration with practitioners, constituent groups, the media and the general public.
* Asian Law Center
* Center for Advanced Study and Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP)
* Native American Law Center
* Shidler Center for Law, Commerce & Technology

The UW School of Law produces three student-edited journals that serve as valuable resources for legal scholars and practicing professionals, while enabling students to develop and refine research and writing skills:
* Washington Law Review
* Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal
* Shidler Journal of Law, Commerce & Technology

Law students may be notoriously busy with school, but that doesn’t mean life stops outside the classroom. Take an urban city, set it at the water’s edge and in the shadow of mountains and you have one of the most livable cities in the U.S. Combine the opportunities found in a major city with an active student body and the result is a vibrant community in which to participate academically and socially. Our community includes the university and the surrounding city, which are alive with intellectual, cultural and social possibilities.

Seattle’s diverse legal community provides UW law students with outstanding opportunities to learn about the many legal career options. Through our Professional Mentor, Peer Advisor, and Faculty Mentor programs, the law school pairs students with practicing professionals, law faculty and recent alumni. Mentors meet with their students throughout the academic year to offer guidance and encouragement, facilitate networking opportunities and share specialized knowledge. Experience has shown that the mentor/mentee relationship can influence a student’s decision to attend law school, and the academic and professional choices they ultimately make.

Throughout the year nearly 40 law student organizations host panels and engage in public-interest legal work, publish periodicals and scholarly journals, and provide a forum for students, faculty and alumni to interact around specific legal issues and interests. Some of the most popular annual events include the First Year Appellate Advocacy Competition hosted by the Moot Court Honor Board; the annual PILA auction, which funds grants for students to pursue work in public interest; and a legal lecture series hosted by the Black Law Students Association.

At the UW School of Law, we provide more than an exemplary education and valuable field experience. We also provide the job preparation tools and post-graduate network and services to ensure success beyond your academic experience. As a result, we have one of the nation’s highest employment ratings. For the class of 2004 more than 99% of all graduates were employed nine months after graduation.

A post-graduate clerkship is an excellent way to start a law career. Law clerks sharpen their research and writing skills, are exposed to both sides of legal issues, and gain insight into the entire litigation process. Former law clerks are often able to obtain positions with high-profile legal employers, both public and private.

The CSC has a specialized career coach available to advise students about various courts and clerkship opportunities, as well as judicial externship opportunities. The CSC has instituted a centralized federal application process that takes place during the summer between a student’s second- and third-year of law school. This process informs students of important deadlines, advises students about the contents of a clerkship application, helps them research judges and courts, and provides students with mail merge files containing the names and addresses of all federal judges in the country and regional state court judges.

School name:University of WashingtonSchool of Law
Address:William H. Gates Hall
Zip & city:WA 98195-3020 Washington

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