George Mason University School of Law

George Mason University School of Law

George Mason University School of Law (Mason Law or GMUSL) is the law school of George Mason University, a state university in the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. It is not located at the university's main campus in Fairfax, but is instead located in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington at coord|38|53|6|N|77|6|0|W|type:edu, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. infobox University
name= George Mason University School of Law
established= 1972
type= ABA-accredited School of Law
campus= Urban
city= Arlington
state= Virginia
country= USA
Dean= Daniel D. Polsby
Mean LSAT= 165
Mean Undergraduate GPA = 3.57
# of Applicants = 6019
# of Admission Offers = 916


Mason Law is among the nation's top and youngest law schools, and places a large number of its graduates in Washington, D.C. firms and government agencies. The School of Law is nationally recognized for its law and economics curriculum,Fact|date=January 2008 and as a pioneer in specialized J.D. programs in such areas of concentration as Corporate and Securities Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, Litigation Law, Legal and Economic Theory, Personal Law, Regulatory Law and Tax Law.Fact|date=January 2008

The school was founded in 1972 as the International School of Law, a private institution in Washington, D.C. In 1979, GMU acquired the school, which by that time had obtained provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association, and moved it to Arlington. It earned full ABA accreditation in 1981.

George Mason University has a distinguished record in the field of law and economics.Fact|date=January 2008 The school is home to one third of the scholars who have been recognized as "founding fathers" of law and economics (Palgrave, 1998). Additionally, the university boasts two Nobel Prize economists: James M. Buchanan (1986) and Vernon L. Smith (2002).Fact|date=January 2008

Because of its advantageous location and growing reputation, George Mason University School of Law is a selective institution. The law school received 5,665 applications for fall 2006 JD admission and made offers of admission to 1,116 individuals. 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 fall 2007 entering J.D. class was 164 and the median GPA was 3.62. 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 $16,716 for in-state students and $28,352 for non-residents, exclusive of books, and other costs. [ [ George Mason University School of Law: Admissions: Financing Your Legal Education] ] The first-time bar passage rate for all graduates is 93.2%, the highest of any Virginia law school [ [ George Mason University School of Law: Current News ] ] . 96.2% of all graduates are employed within 6 months of graduation.Fact|date=January 2008


*25th best law school. [ [ The Consus Group - Rankings - Law Schools] ]
*38th best law school - The 2009 publication of "U.S. News and World Report" ranks Mason Law the 38th among the "Top 100" American law schools. [ [ America's Best Graduate Schools 2009: Top Law Schools] ]
*14th - Law school selectivity. [ [ The Consus Group - Selectivity Rankings - Law Schools] ]
*21st - Scholarly impact of the faculty based on per capita citations to faculty scholarship. [ [ Brian Leiter's Law School Rankings - Top 35 Law Faculties Based on Scholarly Impact, 2007] ]
*24th best [ intellectual property law program] . [ [ Mason Gazette: Latest U.S. News Ranking Elevates Law, Computer Science, Education] ]
*33rd - Student quality based on 75th percentile LSAT scores. [ [ Brian Leiter's Law Schools Ranked by Student (Numerical) Quality, 2007] ]


GMUSL is somewhat unique 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 sequences, which have a less restrictive credit requirement as compared to the track program [ [ Law Tracks, Sequences, Specialty Programs, Clinics, & Exchange Program] ] . 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 [ sequences] include Corporate and Securities Law, Criminal Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, Litigation Law, Legal and Economic Theory, Personal Law, Regulatory Law and Tax Law.

Also, the school boasts a rigorous Legal Research, Writing and Analysis (LRWA) curriculum. Mason Law requires its students to complete 4 semesters (2 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 distinguished 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.

First year curriculum

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) 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 and a course entitled "The Founders' Constitution," which provides an introduction to constitutional thought and jurisprudence. First-year students may not take any electives.

The first year students are graded according to a mandatory 2.9 curve (2.95 for LRWA).

econd year curriculum

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.

Admissions process

The admissions process at the School of Law is competitive and selective. In 2005, Mason Law was ranked 14th in law school selectivity, which is comparable with older institutions such as Georgetown (10th) and Virginia (13th) and ahead of Washington and Lee (25th), William and Mary (26th) and George Washington (29th) [ [ The Consus Group - Selectivity Rankings - Law Schools] ] . 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.


* [ George Mason Law Review]
* [ Civil Rights Law Journal]
* [ Faculty Working Papers]
* [ Federal Circuit Bar Journal (FCBJ)] - The Federal Circuit Bar Journal will be moving to another law school effective Fall 2008.
* [ Journal of Law, Economics & Policy (JLEP)]
* [ Supreme Court Economic Review]
* [ The Green Bag]


* [ 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]

tudent Organizations

* [ Alternative Dispute Resolution Society]
* [ American Bar Association/Law Student Division (ABA/LSD)]
* [ American Civil Liberties Union - GMU Chapter]
* [ American Constitution Society]
* [ American Inn of Court]
* [ Asian Pacific American Law Students Association]
* [ Association for Public Interest Law]
* [ Black Law Students Association (BLSA)]
* [ Business Law Society]
* [ Christian Legal Society]
* [ Civil Rights Law Journal]
* [ The Docket]
* [ Environmental Law Society (ELS)]
* [ Federal Circuit Bar Journal]
* [ Federalist Society]
* [ Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Law Association (GALLA)]
* [ George Mason Law Review]
* [ Hispanic Law Students Association]
* [ Honor Committee]
* [ Intellectual Property Law Society]
* [ International Law Society]
* [ J. Reuben Clark Law Society]
* [ Jewish Law Students Association]
* [ Journal of Law, Economics & Policy]
* [ Law Students for the Second Amendment]
* [ Mason Law Republicans]
* [ Mason Law Sports and Entertainment Association]
* [ Moot Court Board]
* [ Muslim Law Student Association]
* [ National Security Law Society]
* [ Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International]
* [ Phi Delta Phi (Lewis F. Powell Inn)]
* [ Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)]
* [ Student Bar Association]
* [ Trial Advocacy Association]
* [ VBA - Pro Bono Society]
* [ Women's Law Association]

External links

* [ George Mason University School of Law website]


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