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George Mason University School of Law


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Overview

After being established in 1972 as the International School of Law, George Mason University School of Law became a part of George Mason University in 1979. It offers two programs: a full-time day program and a part-time evening program. Students at the school are prepared to succeed in a broad spectrum of careers in law. Although the school offers a number of organized specialization choices, it is not compulsory for students to specialize in their legal studies. George Mason University School of Law requires that students pursue a general course of study first, choosing electives later as their interests develop.

The specialization choices at the law school ensure that graduates can acquire in-depth knowledge in specific legal fields. The law school offers different programs like Corporate and Securities Law Concentration, Criminal Law Concentration, Homeland and National Security Law Concentration, Intellectual Property Law Concentration, International Business Law Concentration, Legal and Economic Theory Concentration, Litigation Law Concentration, Personal Law Concentration, Regulatory Law Concentration, Tax Law Concentration, and Technology Law Concentration. The program provides students with the necessary skills to succeed in today’s radically evolving legal environment.

The law school has integrated disciplines particularly elementary microeconomic theory and some basic mathematical and financial skills, including an ability to analyze financial data into law and economics-oriented curriculum.

Students can acquire advanced knowledge in particular substantive areas of the law through George Mason University’s specialty law tracks. They may choose to pursue specialty tracks at the end of their first year of study in patent law, litigation law, or regulatory law.

George Mason University School of Law also offers the program in law and economics. This program introduces students to legal methods along with economic and quantitative tools, stressing the application of the non legal methods in legal contexts.

The George Mason University School of Law Library is an academic research center that supports the information needs of the faculty and students of the law school.

Student-Faculty Ratio 14.9:1

Admission Criteria

 

LSAT

GPA

25th-75th Percentile

157-165

3.27-3.78

Median

The above LSAT and GPA data pertain to the fall 2011 entering class.
Medians have been calculated by averaging the 25th- and 75th-percentile values released by the law schools and have been rounded up to the nearest whole number for LSAT scores and to the nearest one-hundredth for GPAs.

Admission Statistics

Approximate number of applications

4,092

Number accepted

996

Percentage accepted

24.3%

The above admission details are based on fall 2011 data.

Class Ranking and Grades

Students are numerically ranked, based upon cumulative GPAs at the end of the fall and spring semesters after grades for all classes have been reported and recorded. Rankings are done only in combined class groups as follows: 1D/1E; 2D/2E/3E; and 3D/4E. Rank information is posted for each group and includes a listing of numerical ranks, as well as a summary of GPA ranges and rank percentages. Class rank is added to a student’s transcript only if requested and is shown both numerically and by percentile. Final class rankings for the graduating class -- which includes December, May, and July graduates for the academic year -- are done after summer term grades have been recorded. Each graduate is then mailed an individual rank statement and summary. Final ranks are not posted at the law school.

Upon the completion of a course, matriculated students are graded on an A+ through F scale or CR and NC scale or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs specifically authorizes a grade other than one on the A+ through F scale. A grade of CR indicates work equivalent to C or better on the A+ through F scale. The grade of NC indicates work that falls below the equivalent of a C on the A+ through F scale and does not qualify for credit toward the Juris Doctor degree.

George Mason University School of Law’s letter grading system corresponds to the following point values:

A+

4.33

A

4.00

A-

3.67

B+

3.33

B

3.00

B-

2.67

C+

2.33

C

2.00

C-

1.67

D+

1.33

D

1.00

D-

0.67

F

0.00

The law school also uses the following designations in evaluating course performance:
  • CR (Credit)
  • NC (No Credit)
  • IN (Incomplete)
  • W (Withdrawal)
  • Au (Audit—no credit granted)
If a student fails to complete assigned work on schedule, including the final examination, the grade assigned will determine whether the student may later complete the missed work. If permission has been granted to complete the missed work, the temporary notation IN is entered in lieu of a grade, and will be replaced by the appropriate grade upon completion of the work. If permission is not granted to complete the late work, the student will receive a grade of F or NC, whichever is applicable.

Grade normalization (Curve)

A student’s cumulative average is calculated by dividing the total number of quality points earned by the total number of quality hours (i.e., credit hours for which grades A+ through F have been given).

The mean grade for all required courses, exclusive of introduction to legal research, writing, analysis, trial-level writing, appellate writing, and legal drafting, may range from 3.20 to 3.30.

The mean grade ranges for introduction to legal research, writing, and analysis, trial-level writing, appellate writing, and legal drafting are established by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

The mean grade for upper-level elective courses with 50 or more students may range from 3.15 to 3.35. The mean grade for upper-level elective courses with fewer than 50 students may range from 3.05 to 3.45.

Faculty members may not submit grades for which the mean is outside the designated range without first submitting a written explanation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and obtaining written permission from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Honors

Honor

Percentage of Class Receiving

Number of Students

summa cum laude

Top 1%

2

magna cum laude

Top 10%

22

cum laude

Top 25%

57

Awards

Name of Award

Description

ALI-ABA Scholarship/Leadership Award

Merit-based

Ann Southard Murphy and Cornelius  Murphy Jr. Tuition Assistance Award

Merit-based

Banner & Witcoff Intellectual Property Law Scholarship

Merit-based

Benzinger Prize

Merit-based

Betty Southard Murphy Awards in  Constitutional Law and Labor Law

Merit-based

Curran & Whittington Scholarship in Trial Advocacy

Merit-based

Fairfax Bar Foundation Scholarship

Merit-based

Family Law Section of the VSB and VA Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Family Law Book Award

Merit-based

Giles Sutherland Rich Award for Excellence in the Study of IP Law

Merit-based

Law School Service Award

Merit-based

Dr. Lawrence Cranberg Scholarship Endowment in Science and the Law

Merit-based

LRWA Awards

Merit-based

Mary Fischer Doyle Public Service  Scholarship

Merit-based

Philip H. Dorsey, II Law Library  Scholarship Fund

Merit-based

Richard S. Murphy Prize

Merit-based

Scott C. Whitney Writing Prize 

Merit-based

VA Trial Lawyers  Advocacy Award

Merit-based

Journals

The George Mason Law Review is a student-edited law review that provides students with an excellent opportunity to develop research, writing, and editing skills. Students selected as editors of the review are required to have achieved excellent academic performance or gain admittance through a write-on competition. Manuscripts are also submitted for publication by practicing attorneys, and professors from across the country. It publishes four times per year.

The George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal, a student-run publication, is published three times a year by a board of editors comprised of select students at George Mason University School of Law. It publishes work from inside and outside the academy analyzing American civil rights issues.

Founded in 2008, the George Mason Journal of International Commercial Law (JICL) is a legal periodical focusing on the international commercial law. It provides international scholars and practitioners a forum to exchange, develop, and publish innovative ideas. A select group of student editors at the law school has published this journal and is one of the only legal-academic journals dedicated exclusively to the legal issues affecting international commerce.

The Journal of Law, economics & Policy is published twice per year and is run by students with the aim of providing innovative and stimulating articles to both academia and the legal community. One issue each year is devoted to a specialized symposium on an important question of legal and economic policy. The second annual issue is a peer-reviewed compendium of articles submitted by individual authors.

The Congressional Record, Fantasy Law edition is a new publication of The Green Bag. This publication is published by the law school. It is publishing materials that document league administration, rule changes, changes in measures of player performance, and scholarship relating to Fantasy law.

Moot Court

The George Mason University Moot Court Board provides second-year to fourth-year law students with a taste of practical appellate advocacy. It also helps students prepare for extramural competitions such as the National Moot Court Competition. The board sponsors two intramural competitions annually; the Upper Class Moot Court Competition takes place during the fall semester, and the First Year Moot Court Competition takes place during the spring semester.

Additionally, the Moot Court Board hosts the annual Henry G. Manne Moot Court Competition for Law and Economics. The Moot Court Board is the primary body that represents George Mason University School of Law in national moot court competitions.

Clinical Programs

Students provide legal assistance to clients under the supervision of Mason professors and supervisors. Students may participate in the same clinic for two semesters, subject to professor approval. George Mason University School of Law offers the following clinical programs:
  • The Clinic for Legal Assistance to Service Members and Veterans (CLASV)
  • The Domestic Relations Clinic
  • The Law and Mental Illness Clinic
  • The Practical Preparation of GMU Patent Applications Legal Clinic
  • The Supreme Court Clinic
Placement Facts
Starting Salaries (2010 Graduates employed Full-Time)

Private sector (25th-75th percentile)

$67,500-$150,000

Median in the private sector

$100,000

Median in public service

$61,734

Employment Details

Graduates known to be employed at graduation

89.6%

Graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation

96.4%

Areas of Legal Practice

Graduates employed In

Percentage

Law Firms

39.7%

Business and Industry

19.6%

Government

21.5%

Public Interest Organizations

3.7%

Judicial Clerkships

8.9%

Academia

6.5%

Unknown

0%

Externships/Internships

Externships

Under the supervision of Mason professors and field supervisors, the supervised externship programs are designed to allow students who have completed their first year of law school to perform substantive legal and legal policy work (unpaid) outside the classroom for academic credit. George Mason’s proximity to Washington, DC and location in vibrant Northern Virginia offers students a wide range of opportunities to work in the field. In addition, in the summer semester, students may work outside of the DC area for academic credit, subject to professor approval. All externship programs are pass/fail, and students earn 2 or 3 out-of-class credits for their field work, depending on the particular externship program.

The law school offers following programs:
  • Supervised Externship: Domestic Relations
  • Supervised Externship: Immigration Law
  • Supervised Externship: Virginia Practice
  • Supervised Externships - Fall, Spring, Summer
Student organizations
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
  • American Bar Association/Law Student Division
  • American Civil Liberties Union - GMU Chapter
  • American Constitution Society
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • Arab Law Students Association
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
  • Association for Public Interest Law
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Business Law Society
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Civil Rights Law Journal
  • Docket
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Federal Circuit Bar Journal
  • Federalist Society
  • Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Law Association
  • 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
  • JLEP (Journal of Law, Economics & Policy)
  • Journal of International Commercial Law
  • Law Students for the Second Amendment
  • Mason Law Democrats
  • 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
  • Student Bar Association
  • Thomas More Society
  • Trial Advocacy Association
  • VBA - Pro Bono Society
  • Women’s Law Association
References
  • http://law.gmu.edu/
  • http://premium.usnews.com/
  • http://www.georgemasonlawreview.org/
  • http://civilrightslawjournal.com/
  • http://www.law.gmu.edu/
  • http://jlep.net/
  • http://fantasylaw.org/
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