GW Law School Fall 2003
A Magazine for Alumni and Friends

As Seen by the Dean

photo of Dean Young

Looking Forward

Studying law at The George Washington University Law School in the nation’s capital—particularly in a national election year—provides our students and faculty alike with frequent and valuable opportunities to observe and comment on issues of law, politics, and government from a unique perspective. As one of the nation’s premier law schools, we are dedicated to preparing our students for the practice of law in the 21st century.

Looking forward, GW Law School has a brighter future than it has ever had before. More than 12,000 highly qualified and outstanding applicants sought admission for the Class of 2007. To put this number in context, one out of every eight students who applied to any of the 189 law schools in this country, applied to GW. We had more than 23 applicants for each seat in the entering class. We rejected more applicants this year—9,323—than applied to any other law school in this country except one. I am also pleased to report that the students entering GW Law School this year are the most accomplished in the history of the school. With a median GPA of 3.62 and a median LSAT of 165, our 1Ls are among the best and the brightest national and international students. Women comprise 46 percent and members of minority groups are 27 percent of this extremely diverse group. Our new students are diligently learning to brief cases, to write legal memos, and to do both traditional and digital research. Our continuing students are participating in numerous regional and national moot court competitions and are serving on our four student-edited journals with excellent results. These talented students are one half of our successful law school equation. Internationally recognized and distinguished faculty members are the other half.

The GW Law School faculty remains among the best in the nation with a proven record of scholarship and academic excellence.

The GW Law School faculty remains among the best in the nation with a proven record of scholarship and academic excellence. In addition to numerous law review articles, op-ed pieces, and widely used law school casebooks, in the past year faculty members have written books on the reasonable man standard in criminal law, Brown v. Board of Education, and our changing notions of privacy in the age of technology. Last year we added eight new full-time faculty members to the Law School, more new teachers than any Law School in the nation. We are particularly pleased to have doubled our expertise and scholarship in international law with the unprecedented addition of three new members to our already outstanding international law faculty. The three are: Dinah Shelton, an accomplished expert in Human Rights who joins us from the Notre Dame Law School; Donald C. Clarke, a scholar of Chinese Law who joins us from the University of Washington School of Law; and Steve Charnovitz, an established specialist in trade law who joins us from law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. They give our Law School no less than five members of the current editorial board of the flagship international law journal, The American Journal of International Law; more than any other law school in the country

The GW Law School also is looking forward to the selection of a new dean. This selection is one of the most important tasks that we will be doing at the Law School this year. The Dean Search Committee and affiliated committees include alumni, students, faculty members, and staff members who are all committed to the goal of excellence in leadership and scholarship in our new Dean. The Dean Search Committee is currently interviewing candidates. The committee expects to bring candidates to campus in January and February for multiday interviews with all relevant constituencies, and it looks forward to presenting three approved candidates to the University President for his consideration by March. We anticipate the new Dean will be selected by the University President in April in time to assume his or her new duties by the summer of 2005. The Law School remains strong during its time of transition and is solidly positioned for the tasks ahead.

Our enormously successful building program since 2000 has resulted in a dramatically improved physical plant with superior architectural design, totaling 240,000 square feet in renovated space and 28,000 square feet in new construction. The renovations have also given us a history—historical displays now show the history of the Law School and its moot courts and showcase some of our programs and alumni. The new Law School complex is not only much larger than in years past, but it has also been transformed into a technologically advanced learning environment. GW Law School provides cutting-edge digital and computing resources in its library and classrooms to meet student and faculty needs, including wireless access throughout the facility and interactive classroom technology. None of this would have been possible without our dedicated faculty and committed alumni who in recent years have enthusiastically and generously supported the Law School with their time, talent, and giving.

The GW Law School alumni are in fact the quintessential measure of our success. Their professional careers are as varied as they are successful. They are employed in major law firms, multinational corporations, federal and state government agencies, and public interest organizations across the nation. I am grateful to our dedicated alumni who every year invest their valuable time, expertise, and financial resources to support the legal education and future of our students. Without this indispensable alumni support, GW Law School could not fulfill its mission of educating outstanding lawyers and leaders for the 21st century.

On a personal note, I want to say that I am thrilled to serve as the Law School’s interim dean this year. Although I have been part of this faculty and this school for 22 years, it was not until I took this job that I fully appreciated how large and supportive an alumni group, how skilled and dedicated a staff, and how talented a faculty make up the GW Law community. I am very proud to be part of such an extended family, and I hope you are, too.

Roger H. Trangsrud
Interim Dean and Professor of Law; Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law

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