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As Seen by the Dean

photo of Dean Young

Enjoying Today, Envisioning Tomorrow

As I walk through the halls of the six renovated buildings which now comprise the GW Law School campus, it is obvious that we have grown tremendously and have made great progress in fulfilling our commitment to excellence in legal education. GW Law has great strengths and is taking enormous strides—positioning us to reach even greater heights in the years ahead. This last year has been without question the most satisfying year of my professional career, and one in which I take great pride. Let me share with you some of our accomplishments.


No class in the history of the school has better credentials than the class we brought in this fall. Compared to the previous year, the median GPA of those enrolled in the full-time program rose from 3.59 to 3.62, while the median LSAT remained the same at a record high of 165.

The clerkship hiring season is well under way, and students and alumni have been very successful in securing clerkships for the 2007-08 term. So far, 10 GW students and recent alumni have accepted federal appellate clerkships with the D.C. Circuit, 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, 7th Circuit, 9th Circuit, 10th Circuit, and 11th Circuit. One of our graduates, Jennifer Mascott, who currently is clerking for Judge Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit, will clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2008—the fourth GW graduate to clerk on the Supreme Court since 2003. (One of our alumni served among Chief Justice John Roberts’ first set of clerks on the Supreme Court.) An additional 10 students have secured federal district and other trial-level federal clerkships, and two students will clerk for state appellate courts.

Academic Programs

The Law School expanded its academic programs significantly during this last year to include three major initiatives. The first is a partnership between the Law School and the Indian Institute of Technology at Kharagpur, the first law school in India associated with one of its prestigious IIT institutions. We have come to call this partnership the India Project. The new law school located both in Calcutta and on the Kharagpur campus nearby specializes in the study of intellectual property law—a vitally important part of India’s economic future.

Second, thanks to substantial corporate funding, the Law School is now home to the Creative and Innovative Economy Center. This new center focuses on activities intended to improve the protection of intellectual property rights in the developing world. In this, the information age, this is a vitally important task for the many American industries that rely on intellectual property laws for the protection of their products. Just in the last six months, this center has hosted major receptions at the Cosmos Club, on Capitol Hill, and in Germany.

The third developing initiative is the Humphreys Complex Litigation Center. Professor Roger Trangsrud directs the center, which will study this important and controversial branch of civil litigation in the United States and how our state and federal courts should respond to the special challenges that managing such cases entail.


During the 2005-06 academic year, our faculty members wrote 41 books, 111 law review articles, 11 book reviews, and more than 85 articles in newspapers and other periodicals. Our scholars are routinely consulted for comment on major developments in their fields of expertise and several have become frequent contributors to our national media. We are fortunate to welcome three additional accomplished young scholars who also will fill important curricular needs at the Law School.


With the completion of renovation of faculty offices on the fourth floor of Stockton Hall, the Law School marks the culmination of its 10-year, major Law School Renovation Project. In addition, the Law School now occupies all but one floor of Lisner Hall and has renovated these five floors to include a dedicated student lounge. For the first time, there also will be a full-service food court located within the Law School complex.


Private support during the last year has been extraordinary. New major gift commitments from the Jacob Burns Foundation enabled the Law School to establish the Jacob Burns Professorship, providing us a fully endowed chair for the director of our clinical programs. By the way, this year marks the 35th anniversary of the clinical programs.


Our Office of Alumni Relations continues to work successfully to build new and stronger ties to our large alumni population, which stands about 20,000 strong. I appreciate meeting so many active alumni groups across the nation and around the world.

Frederick M. Lawrence
Dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law