Since enrolling its first class in 1865, The George Washington University Law School has produced some of the finest minds across the spectrum of legal scholarship.
That tradition continues today, as GW Law graduates use the knowledge and skills they gain here to influence the critical legal conversations of our times. 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 neighborhood familiarly known as Foggy Bottom.
The main GW Law complex is located at 2000 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052.
At a Glance
Established in 1865, The George Washington University Law School is the oldest law school in Washington, DC. 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 neighborhood familiarly known as Foggy Bottom. The main GW Law complex is located at 2000 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052.
The law school has a total enrollment of about 2,000 students. Approximately 1,400 students are in the full-time division for the JD degree and 300 are enrolled in the part-time division. 300 students, many from abroad, are enrolled in graduate law degree programs.
The George Washington University Law School boasts more than 24,000 living alumni, of whom some 150 are judges serving on local, state, and federal benches, including 10 justices on State Supreme Courts. The Law School counts among prominent alumni the late John Foster Dulles, the late J. William Fulbright, and the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye (JD '52); former Attorney General William P. Barr (JD '77), former Treasury Secretary John W. Snow (JD '67), and U.S. Senator Harry Reid, (JD '64), three former Internal Revenue Service Commissioners, and many prominent leaders in business, industry, and government.
- JD full-time & part-time
- LLM in Business and Finance Law
- LLM in Energy and Environmental Law
- LLM in Environmental Law
- LLM in Government Procurement Law
- LLM in Government Procurement and Environmental Law
- LLM in Intellectual Property Law
- LLM in International and Comparative Law
- LLM in International Environmental Law
- LLM in Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- LLM in National Security Law & U.S. Foreign Relations Law
- General LLM
- SJD in various fields
Joint Degree Programs
- JD/Master of Business Administration
- JD/Master of Public Administration
- JD/Master of Public Policy
- MA in International Affairs
- MA in International Development Studies
- MA in International Trade and Investment Policy
- MA in International Science and Technology Policy
- MA in Security Policy Studies
- MA in Middle East Studies
- MA in Global Communication
- MA in Asian Studies
- MA in European and Eurasian Studies
- MA in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies
- JD/MA in Women's Studies
- JD/MA in Public Policy with a concentration in Women's Studies
- JD/MA in History with a concentration in U.S. Legal History
- JD/Master of Public Health
- LLM/Master of Public Health
- LLM/MA in History with a concentration in U.S. Legal History
In the early years of the Republic, when the nation's new capital was no more than a small collection of public buildings separated by pastureland, President George Washington advised Congress to establish a national university at the seat of government.
His goal was to educate future generations of civil servants and thereby forge a national identity based on "principles friendly to republican government and to the true and genuine liberties of mankind." He left in his will 50 shares of stock in the Potowmack Canal Company for the endowment of a university "to which the youth of fortune and talents from all parts thereof might be sent for the completion of their Education in all the branches of polite literature-in arts and Sciences-in acquiring knowledge in the principles of Politics & good Government."
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-established in 1865-was the first law school in the District of Columbia. Today, the School continues to embody the aspirations of the nation's first president.
Why GW Law?
Why should you choose GW Law? We'll give you five reasons, for starters.
Exceptional Legal Education
GW Law students are taught by world-class scholars and seasoned practitioners. With more than 275 elective courses, our students can undertake a broad but in-depth exploration of the law. We invest in each student's success through strong academic and personal support, which includes mentorship, networking, and one-on-one career counseling that emphasizes helping students find the area of the law best suited to their interests.
Ideal Location in Washington, D.C.
Our location in the heart of Washington, D.C., places our students at the center of the most dynamic legal and policy activity in the United States. The White House, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the U.S. State Department, Big Law on K Street, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit are within an easy walking distance of campus. A short ride on the Metro, which has a convenient station on campus, allows students to hear arguments at the Supreme Court in the morning and return for classes that afternoon.
Hands-on Learning Opportunities
Because of our proximity to nearby courts, firms, nonprofit, governmental and international agencies, our students benefit from year-round externships at these institutions. In addition, our adjunct faculty consists of leading practitioners from these neighboring institutions.
We're known for being a vibrant and engaging community, one where a Contracts professor can assist a student in a summer job hunt--even if that student is looking for a position in another area of the law. Our students exude collaboration, not competition, so they feel free to share class outlines or help each other prep for moot court competitions.
Master of Laws
The graduate programs at GW Law draw strength from their close relationship to the JD program. With the exception of the program in Litigation and Dispute Resolution, which is limited to LLM degree candidates, graduate law students take courses with JD students, and the resulting exchange of ideas is beneficial for both groups. Graduate students are able to combine traditionally taught courses with in-depth seminars, internships, skills training, and clinical experience for a comprehensive approach to legal education. Full-time faculty members in each specialized field provide instruction, academic advising, and thesis supervision.
All of GW’s graduate programs benefit from the law school's location in Washington, DC, which provides access to unparalleled academic opportunities as well as the many distinguished expert practitioners, government officials, and judges who teach on an adjunct basis.