George Mason University School of Law
|George Mason University School of Law|
Hazel Hall, George Mason University School of Law
|Established||July 1, 1979|
|Type||ABA-accredited School of Law|
|Dean||Daniel D. Polsby|
|Location||Arlington, Virginia, USA|
George Mason University School of Law (Mason Law or GMUSL) is the law school of George Mason University, a state university in Virginia, United States. The law school is located in Arlington, thirteen miles east of the university's main campus in Fairfax.
George Mason University School of Law was authorized by the Virginia General Assembly in March 1979 and was founded on July 1, 1979. The American Bar Association provisionally approved the school in the fall of 1980 and granted full approval in 1986.
Because of its advantageous location and growing reputation, George Mason University School of Law is a selective institution. The law school received 5,092 applications for fall 2008 J.D. admission and made offers of admission to twenty percent of those applicants. George Mason has 717 students in its J.D., LL.M., and J.M. programs. The median LSAT score among those offered admission to the full-time program for the fall 2011 entering J.D. class was 164 and the median GPA was 3.72. Over 15% of the students in the first-year class hold graduate degrees including Ph.D.s. Merit-based scholarships are offered to the most qualified applicants and average $12,000 per year, which is sufficient to cover the majority of the tuition for in-state students.
Tuition costs $20,556 for in-state students and $39,220 for non-residents, exclusive of books, and other costs.1 The first-time bar passage rate for all graduates is 93.2%, one of the highest of any Virginia law school.2
- 39th-best law school – The 2012 publication of U.S. News and World Report 3
- 21st – Scholarly impact of the faculty based on per capita citations to faculty scholarship.4
- 24th-best intellectual property law program.5
- 33rd – Student quality based on 75th-percentile LSAT scores.6
GMUSL is somewhat distinctive in offering a wide variety of intensive law tracks, each of which requires that approximately one-third of the credits for graduation be completed in the track, and law concentrations, which are elective specializations and have a less restrictive credit requirement as compared to the track program.7 The law tracks include Corporate and Securities Law, Intellectual Property Law, Litigation Law and Regulatory Law. The International Business Law track was offered until the fall of 2005.
The law concentrations include Antitrust Law, Communications Law, Corporate and Securities Law, Criminal Law, Homeland & National Security Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, Legal and Economic Theory, Litigation Law, Personal Law, Regulatory Law, Tax Law, and Technology Law.8
Also, the school boasts a rigorous Legal Research, Writing and Analysis (LRWA) curriculum. Mason Law requires its students to complete four semesters (two years) of LRWA coursework. Students acquire the necessary skills for trial and appellate practice. The first-year LRWA curriculum is taught by third-year (and fourth-year evening) law students under the guidance of full-time faculty. During the first semester, students learn how to conduct legal research and write a predictive memorandum, while during the second semester, students compete in intramural oral arguments while producing both predictive and persuasive memoranda. The second year of LRWA is taught by legal practitioners, and consists of Appellate Writing and Legal Drafting. Student transcripts bear a separate grade-point average (GPA) for LRWA and writing-intensive coursework in addition to the overall GPA. Students must successfully complete 89 credits to graduate.
In addition to two semesters (2 credits per semester) of LRWA, the first-year curriculum is filled with foundation courses. First-year day students cover the following legal foundation courses: Torts (4 credits), Contracts (5 credits), Property (4 credits), Civil Procedure (4 credits), Legislation and Statutory Interpretation (2 credits), and Criminal Law (3 credits). In addition, every student is required to complete one semester of "Economic Foundations of Legal Studies," a basic economics course taught by distinguished economists. First-year students may not take any electives.
The first-year students are graded according to a mandatory 3.25 curve.
In their second year of study, day students must complete a 4-credit Constitutional Law course and complete an additional 4 credits of LRWA. Students may select from a variety of upper-level electives in addition to these requirements.
The primary factors considered in the admissions process are performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and undergraduate grade point average. The admissions committee also considers the difficulty of undergraduate major, undergraduate institution, possession of advanced degrees, writing ability (as indicated in the LSAT writing sample and in the personal statement), recommendations, extracurricular activities, employment experience, demonstrated commitment to public and community service, leadership skills and experience, history of overcoming personal or professional challenges, and other factors.
The School of Law follows a rolling admissions process and starts making admission decisions in January, ending in May. Students must use the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) to submit their LSAT scores, college transcripts and letters of recommendation.
The George Mason Law Library has a collection of electronic and print materials providing access to legal treatises, journals, and databases. Non-legal materials are available through the GMU University Libraries. It is a selective depository for U.S. Government documents and it provides interlibrary lending services with other academic libraries.9 which enables students and faculty to borrow materials from major academic libraries. The library occupies four levels of the law school building. Its 300 study carrels and tables are wired with electrical and network connections, and a wireless network is available. The library also operates 2 computer labs with a variety of software. The library employs 13 full-time staff members, including 6 librarians with degrees in law and library science and 3 technology specialists.10
- George Mason Law Review ISSN 1088-5625
- George Mason Civil Rights Law Journal11
- Faculty Working Papers
- Journal of International Commercial Law
- National Security Law Journal12
- The Green Bag
- The Journal of Law, Economics & Policy13
- Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers
- Domestic Relations Legal Clinic
- Legal Clinic
- Law and Mental Illness Clinic
- Immigration Legal Clinic
- Legal Clinic - Practical Preparation Of GMU Patent Applications
- Regulatory Clinic
- George Mason University School of Law: Admissions: Financing Your Legal Education
- George Mason University School of Law: Current News
- Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings - Top 35 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact, 2007
- Mason Gazette: Latest U.S. News Ranking Elevates Law, Computer Science, Education
- Brian Leiter's Law Schools Ranked by Student (Numerical) Quality, 2007
- Law Tracks - George Mason Law
- Concentrations (Elective Specializations) - George Mason Law
- InterLibrary Lending Services
- staff members
- Civil Rights Law Journal ISSN 1049-4766
- National Security Law Journal
- Journal of Law, Economics & Policy ISSN 1553-4367
- George Mason University School of Law
- Law Library Homepage
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: George Mason University Law Library