Gonzaga University School of Law
|Gonzaga University School of Law|
|Motto||Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam|
|Parent school||Gonzaga University|
|Dean||Jane B. Korn|
|Location||Spokane, Washington, USA
|Faculty||69 (Full- and part-time)|
|Bar pass rate||85.7%|
|ABA profile||Gonzaga Law Profile|
The Gonzaga University School of Law (also known as Gonzaga Law or GU Law) is the professional school for the study of law at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, USA. Established in 1912, the law school is viewed as a strong institution in the Pacific Northwest. The school is a private, Jesuit institution, fully accredited by the American Bar Association, and a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Gonzaga Law has also received national recognition as supporting one of the most innovative law school curricula in the U.S. The school was one of ten schools awarded a Diversity Matters Award from the Law School Admissions Council for its diversity outreach efforts in 2013.
The current Gonzaga University School of Law building was completed in May 2000, and is situated on the Spokane River on the southern edge of the Gonzaga University campus, and also contains the large Chastek Law Library. The library houses more than 380,000 volumes and is part of the Federal Depository Library Program. The school's location in Spokane, the largest city in the Inland Northwest, allows students to take advantage of internships with private firms, and government and not-for-profit agencies, along with opportunities with both federal and state judges, as Spokane is home to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington.
- 1 History
- 2 Admissions
- 3 Rankings
- 4 Bar passage rates
- 5 Post-graduation employment
- 6 Degrees and curriculum
- 7 Clinic program
- 8 Centers and institutes
- 9 Journals
- 10 Noted People
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Gonzaga University was established in 1887, and by 1912, the leadership of the University desired the creation of a law school program. Founded on the motto “A First Class Law School, or None at All,” Gonzaga University School of Law opened its doors on October 1, 1912. Two classrooms on the third floor of the Administration Building were provided for the law school. The school’s first dean was Edward J. Cannon. In June 1915, Gonzaga University School of Law graduated its first law class of 13 students.
During the first half of the 20th century, the law school continued to expand its enrollment and curriculum, and by the 1960s, the school had outgrown its facilities. Gonzaga University President Father John Leary, S.J., acquired a nearby vacant grade school in July 1962 for the law school. The former Webster School was originally built in 1901, was the victim of a fire in 1945, and was subsequently restored as a trade school. The former Webster School would house the law school for the next thirty-eight years.
In the 1970s, the law school experienced explosive growth, and the law school building underwent several renovations. By the 1990s, the law school occupied the old Webster school along with several adjacent buildings. Under Dean John Clute, fundraising was begun to build a new law school building. The class of 2000 was the last to graduate from the old law building. In late May 2000, the new Gonzaga University School of Law building, located on the banks of the Spokane River, opened its doors. The new building is 104,000 square feet (9,700 m2), and was completed at a cost of $18.5 million.
Students from outside of the state of Washington comprised 53 percent of the entering class, and 1L students hailed from 14 states, and 61 undergraduate colleges and universities. Underrepresented ethnic minorities comprised 23 percent of the 1L class. In 2013, PreLaw magazine named GU Law the #3 Top School for Latter-day Saint students and the #8 Most Devout Catholic Law School.
The U.S. News & World Report law school rankings placed Gonzaga Law at 107 in the U.S. in 2014. In 2014, The National Jurist listed Gonzaga Law in the top 36 schools for practical legal training (an A- rating). The Princeton Review listed Gonzaga Law in the "Best 169 Law Schools" list again for 2014. (The list does not provide a final comprehensive ranking of schools overall.)
Gonzaga Law was ranked the 58th best law school in the U.S., according to the U.S. News & World Report 2011 survey of highly regarded American law firms, included in U.S. News' 2012 edition of the book "Best Graduate Schools." In 2009, the National Jurist ranked Gonzaga Law among the 65 best value law schools in the U.S.
Bar passage rates
The school's bar passage rate consistently tops the ranking of any Washington law school. In February 2014, 85.7% of Gonzaga Law students taking the Washington bar exam (both first and non-first time takers), the highest rate of any Washington law school by 16%. In July 2013, 91% of Gonzaga Law students taking the Washington bar exam for the first time passed, while those taking out-of-state bar exams had an 89% passage rate. The Washington state average rate was 84.8% in July 2013. In February 2013, 80% of Gonzaga Law students taking the Washington bar exam for the first time passed, compared to the Washington state average of 58.7%.
According to numbers reported to the American Bar Association, 88% of the Class of 2013 had jobs nine months after graduating. According to U.S. News & World Report, 63.8% of the Class of 2011 had full-time jobs nine months after graduation—the highest rate of any law school in the pacific northwest.
Degrees and curriculum
The law school offers a traditional Juris Doctor (J.D.) program comprising 90 semester hours of credit that full-time students may complete in three years.
The first-year program contains six separate doctrinal courses totaling 22 credit hours, including four credit hours of Legal Research & Writing, and four credit hours split evenly between two new Skills and Professionalism Labs. The six doctrinal courses include Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, Torts, Criminal Law, and a new course titled Perspectives on the Law. During fall semester of the first year, students take a two-credit Skills and Professionalism Lab that uses the rules of Civil Procedure and the substantive law of Torts to teach them the skills they will need to be litigators. During spring semester, students take a two-credit Skills and Professionalism Lab that uses the substantive law of Contracts and Property to teach them the skills they will need to be transactional lawyers.
The second-year LR&W III and IV are reconstituted to build upon not only what students learned in their first-year LR&W classes, but also upon what they have covered in their two Skills and Professionalism Labs. In the spring semester of the second year, LR&W IV allows students to choose between four capstone writing options (Judicial Opinion Writing, Advanced Advocacy, Drafting for Litigation, and Transactional Drafting). Students are also expected to take doctrinal courses in Constitutional Law and Evidence.
The third-year curriculum includes a requirement that all students earn at least three credits in either the school's clinic or its externship program. The impetus behind this requirement is to assure that each student graduates with some experience in applying their classroom knowledge and simulated skill set in an actual law practice setting.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in the University Legal Assistance clinical programs, serve on one of the law school’s scholarly journals, audition for one of the law school's trial or moot court teams, or study abroad. Optional programs in the law school include the international law study abroad programs in Florence, Italy and Antigua, Guatemala. The Florence Summer Law Program affords students the ability to live in Italy on Gonzaga University's Florence campus for a summer, participate in a legal course of study, and travel to various sites in Europe. The Guatemala Inter-American Program is a truly bilingual and inter-cultural approach including law classes about Latin America taught in English and Spanish and bilingual field placements. These classes take place at Rafael Landívar University.
Students are also permitted to attend other ABA-approved law schools for a semester or longer if an area of legal study is not available at Gonzaga University.
Accelerated J.D. Program
The law school also offers a two-year Accelerated J.D. Program requiring consecutive year-round study and special admission.
The law school offers three joint-degree programs:
- J.D./MAcc. (Master of Accountancy) The MAcc. is traditionally ranked within the top accounting programs in the nation, ranking No. 14 in 2013.
- J.D./MBA (Master of Business Administration)
- J.D./MSW (Master of Social Work).
The law school opened one of the country's first legal clinics in 1974. Today, the law school is recognized in the Pacific Northwest for the Gonzaga Center for Law and Justice, a not-for-profit University Legal Assistance clinical program. Clinic students represent clients who are residents of the Spokane area, require legal representation, and who are without the means to hire a traditional lawyer. The structure of the Clinic is modeled after a large law firm, and the Clinic specializes in family law, elder law, civil rights, disability rights, and criminal defense. Students control their own case loads, and represent clients in court under the supervision of law school faculty, and with limited licenses to practice law. Students work 40 billable hours for each clinic credit hour.
The clinical programs available include:
- General Practice Clinic
- Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic
- Business Law Clinic
- Elder Law Clinic
- Federal Tax Clinic
- Federal Indian Law Clinic
- Environmental Public Interest Clinic
Centers and institutes
- Task Force on Race and the Criminal Justice System
- Commercial Law Center
- Institute for Law Teaching and Learning
- Center for Law in Public Service
The law school currently publishes two legal journals. Student staff members are selected based on a writing competition, editing competition, and first-year grades, or a publishable note or comment on a legal topic.
- Prof. Upendra D. Acharya - Executive Council for the Asian Society of International Law, Sr. Research Fellow at the Center of Teaching and Research of WTO Disputes
- Prof. Scott J. Burnham - Author of Drafting and Analyzing Contracts (Lexis-Nexis) and Contract Law for Dummies (Wiley), ALI member
- Prof. David K. DeWolf - Leading Washington expert on tort law; Author of Washington Tort Law & Practice and Washington Contract Law & Practice (Thomson Reuters)
- Prof. Jason Gillmer - Noted legal scholar on race, slavery, and civil rights, including issues of racial intimacy, racial identity, and racial and class ideology
- Prof. Gerry Hess - Author of What The Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press)
- Dean Jane B. Korn - Noted legal scholar on employment discrimination, particularly based on disability
- Prof. Keven H. Michels - Author of New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann), ALI member
- Prof. Stephen L. Sepinuck - Regent of the American College of Commercial Finance Lawyers, Chair of ABA's UCC Committee (2006-2009), ALI member
- Judge Debra L. Stephens - Washington State Supreme Court Associate Justice
- J. Stanley Webster (1912-1915) - former U.S. Representative, former Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, former Washington State Supreme Court Associate Justice
- Thomas S. Foley (1958-1959) - former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan
- Rosanna M. Peterson (1999-2010) - Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
The law school's alumni actively practice in all 50 states in the nation and include five current State Supreme Court justices, a former Governor of Washington, former U.S. Congressmen, a number of U.S. federal judges, and state attorneys general in several states. The current president of the Washington State Bar Association is also an alumnus.
- "Official ABA Data". Gonzaga University School of Law. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Gonzaga University | Best Law School | US News". Grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- Karen Dybis (Winter 2008). Most innovative Law Schools 13 (3). preLaw Magazine. p. 24. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Gonzaga Law School Diversity Outreach Efforts Earn National Recognition". Gonzaga University News Service. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "History". Gonzaga University School of Law. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Class Profile". Gonzaga University School of Law. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- Mike Stetz (Winter 2014). "Best law schools for the devout". PreLaw (National Jurist) 17 (3): 31. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- Mike Stetz (March 2014). Best Schools for Practical Training 23 (6). The National Jurist. p. 24. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Gonzaga University School of Law". Princetonreview.com. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "U.S. News & World Report Survey Ranks GU Law School 58th in Nation, MBA 93rd". Gonzaga University News Service. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- Jennifer Pohlman (September 2009). Best Value Law Schools 19 (1). National Jurist. p. 31. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Gonzaga Law Posts State’s Best February Bar Pass Rate". Gonzaga University School of Law. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Statistics of the Bar Examination". Gonzaga University School of Law. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Class of 2013 Reports Over 88% Employment 9 Months After Graduation". Gonzaga University School of Law. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "Northwest’s Best Employment Rate Helps GU Law Hold Steady Ranking". Gonzaga University School of Law. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- [dead link]
- Gonzaga University School of Law » Upendra D. Acharya
- Gonzaga University School of Law » Scott J. Burnham
- Gonzaga University School of Law » David K. DeWolf
- Gonzaga University School of Law » Jason A. Gillmer
- Gonzaga University School of Law » Gerry Hess
- Gonzaga University School of Law » Kevin H. Michels
- Gonzaga University School of Law » Stephen L. Sepinuck
- Gonzaga University School of Law » Debra Stephens
- "The Honorable Thomas S. Foley (’73) – Gonzaga University, We Are Zags". Gonzaga University Video Center. 2011-11-02. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
- "President Obama Nominates Rosanna M. Peterson to Serve on the District Court Bench" (Press release). The White House. October 13, 2009. Retrieved 2014-05-06.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gonzaga University School of Law.|
- Gonzaga University School of Law website.
- Gonzaga Center for Law and Justice description.
- Gonzaga Journal of International Law