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University of Washington School of Law: Benefits and Statistics

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Benefits of Choosing University of Washington School of Law
  • Entry Based on Academic Performance—According to the 2008 BCG Attorney Search Guide to America's Top 50 Law Schools, the University of Washington has an average GPA for the entering class that is in the top ten among the top-fifty law schools in the United States. However, it does not appear in the list of schools that have ten highest LSAT cutoff scores, showing that this school focuses more on past academic performance for entry than a high LSAT score. This could be a huge bonus for a student who has performed well in college, but perhaps didn’t get as high of an LSAT score as he or she had hoped.
  • New Law Building—The UW School of Law has a new law building, the William H. Gates Hall, completed in the fall of 2003. The new building holds classrooms; a student lounge; a coffee/snack kiosk; locker areas; offices for faculty, administration, and student organizations; and the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library. Having such a building offers everything the students need in a small area, saving them travel time.
  • Library—UW School of Law boasts one of the finest law libraries in the country, the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library. With the collection including more than 525,000 volumes, the Gallagher Law Library is one of the largest university law collections west of the Mississippi. Law students are also granted access to the university’s other seventeen libraries, which hold a total of more than six million volumes. In addition to its printed materials, the law library subscribes to such computerized databases as LEXIS-NEXIS and WESTLAW. With all this to offer, law students have nearly unlimited access to research materials.
  • Classes in Specialized Areas of Interest—With a staff of 57 full-time professors who have individual interests, the law school is able to offer classes in myriad specialized areas. These include, but are not limited to labor law, tax law, international law, environmental and water law, family law, real property law, laws concerning business organization, commercial law, constitutional law, the law of sex and race discrimination, American Indian law, intellectual property, and health law, as well as legal history, legal philosophy, and law and social science. Students can choose classes in any of these areas to create their own specialized law education.
  • Small Student Body and Classes—Because the ratio of available admissions to number of applications every year, the university is able to ensure an outstanding student body. Each entering class of J.D. students is about 180 strong. The student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 11:1 allows small classes and interaction between students and faculty. In addition to this, the university encourages faculty members to have an open-door policy to make it easier and less formidable for students to come to them with any questions they have. All graduates of the law school leave with an education and degree that leaves them well prepared to practice law anywhere in the United States.
  • Hands-On Experience—Along with the solid legal education the UW School of Law offers, it also requires students to serve a minimum of 60 hours of public service before graduation. Says the law school, “We believe the best way to educate future lawyers and leaders is to provide them with a strong foundation in legal theory, and the opportunity to experience the law first-hand. We also believe that the law is a calling in the spirit of public service, and that professional responsibility is a quality that can be learned only through experience and dialogue. For these reasons, the School of Law provides a variety of opportunities for students to serve the broader community.”
  • Centers—In order to give students ample opportunity to complete the mandatory 60 hours of community service, the law school has several centers students may work in, according to where their interests lie. These centers include the Asian Law Center, the Center for Advanced Study and Research on Intellectual Property, the Native American Law Center, and the Shidler Center for Law, Commerce & Technology.
  • Externships—In addition to the experience they gain in their community service, students can complete externships, for credit, with judges, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, state courts and private law firms working on pro bono matters. Because externships usually last about three months, they can be done during a semester or summer break. The Olympia Quarter Fellows Program, though very competitive, is a great opportunity for second- and third-year students to be placed in high-level externships in the state’s capitol during winter quarter.
Learn the 10 Factors That Matter to Big Firms More Than Where You Went to Law School

General Statistics for the 2007–8 Academic Year
  • Residential tuition: $17,846 Non-residential tuition: $26,231
  • Median GPA for incoming students 3.63
  • Median LSAT score for incoming students 162
  • Employment rate for 2006 graduates 99.4%

About Harrison Barnes
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University of Washington School of Law


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