Georgetown University Law Center
|Georgetown University Law Center|
Seal of Georgetown University
|Motto||Law is but the means — Justice is the end|
|Parent school||Georgetown University|
|Parent endowment||$1.162 billion|
|Location||Washington, DC, United States
|Enrollment||1,860 JD, 441 LL.M, 17 SJD|
|Faculty||126 (ft), 159 (pt)|
|Bar pass rate||90.96%|
|ABA profile||ABA Profile|
Georgetown University Law Center (also known as Georgetown Law) is the law school of Georgetown University, located in Washington, D.C. Established in 1870, the Law Center offers J.D., LL.M., and S.J.D. degrees in law. As the second largest law school in the United States, Georgetown Law often touts the advantages of its wide range of program offerings and proximity to federal agencies and courts, including the Supreme Court.
- 1 Reputation and Ranking
- 2 History
- 3 Admissions
- 4 Employment
- 5 Costs
- 6 Campus
- 7 Curriculum
- 8 Clinics
- 9 Faculty
- 10 Publications
- 11 Notable alumni
- 12 Notes
- 13 External links
Reputation and Ranking
Georgetown Law has placed in U.S. News & World Report's top 14 (out of over 200) law schools every year since the inception of the magazine's law school rankings. In the 2014 edition, Georgetown was ranked the #13 law school in the nation overall and its part-time J.D. program was ranked #1. The school also ranked #1 in clinical programs, #3 in international law, #2 in tax law, #4 in trial advocacy, #7 in healthcare law, and #8 in environmental law. The 2014 QS World University Rankings list Georgetown as the 17th-best law school in the world and 8th-best in the United States. In its latest ranking, December 2014, Business Insider ranks Georgetown as the 7th best law school in the US.
In law professor Brian Leiter's most recent law school ranking, Georgetown ranked within the top ten law schools in selectivity, student quality, and Supreme Court clerkship placements respectively. Georgetown Law was ranked 5th in the 2010 Super Lawyers ranking, which measures the number of graduates from each law school who are voted Super Lawyers.
Georgetown Law consistently receives the most J.D. applications of any law school in the United States.
Opened as Georgetown Law School in 1870, Georgetown Law was the first law school run by a Jesuit institution within the United States. Georgetown Law has been separate from the main Georgetown campus (in the neighborhood of Georgetown) since 1890, when it moved near what is now Chinatown. The Law Center campus is located on New Jersey Avenue, several blocks north of the Capitol, and a few blocks due west of Union Station. The school added the Edward Bennett Williams Law Library in 1989 and the Gewirz Student Center in 1993, providing on-campus living for the first time. The "Campus Completion Project" finished in 2005 with the addition of the Hotung International Building and the Sport and Fitness Center.
The Georgetown Law School's original wall (or sign), is preserved on the quad of the present-day campus.
In 2010, Georgetown Law was the tenth most selective law schools in the United States, as measured by LSAT scores of the 2009 entering class. For the class entering in the fall of 2012, 2,296 out of 9,535 J.D. applicants (24%) were offered admission, with 575 matriculating. The 25th and 75th LSAT percentiles for the 2012 entering class were 165 and 170, respectively, with a median of 169. The 25th and 75th undergraduate GPA percentiles were 3.43 and 3.82, respectively, with a median of 3.72. In the 2012–2013 academic year, Georgetown Law had 1,671 full-time J.D. students and 261 part-time J.D. students.
Of the 645 graduates in the Georgetown Law class of 2013 (including both full- and part-time students), 467 (72.4%) held long-term, full-time positions that required bar exam passage (i.e., jobs as lawyers) and were not school-funded nine months after graduation. 600 graduates overall (93%) were employed, 6 graduates (0.9%) were pursuing a graduate degree, and 38 graduates (5.9%) were unemployed.
363 graduates (56.3%) were employed in the private sector, with 245 (38%) at law firms with over 250 attorneys. 238 graduates (36.9%) entered the public sector, with 89 (13.8%) employed by the government, 81 (12.6%) employed in public interest positions, 57 (8.8%) in federal or state clerkships, and 10 (1.6%) in academic positions. 83 graduates (12.9%) received funding from Georgetown Law for their positions.
The median reported starting salary for a 2013 graduate in the private sector was $160,000. The median reported starting salary for a 2013 graduate in the public sector (including government, public interest, and clerkship positions) was $57,408.
238 graduates (36.9%) in the class of 2013 were employed in Washington, DC, 144 (22.3%) in New York, and 45 (7%) in California. 12 (1.9%) were employed outside the United States.
As of 2011, Georgetown Law alumni account for the second highest number of partners at NLJ 100 firms. It is among the top ten feeder schools in eight of the ten largest legal markets in the United States by law job openings (New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, and San Diego), again giving it the second-widest reach of all law schools. The school performs especially strongly in its home market, producing the greatest number of NLJ 100 partners in Washington, DC.
A January 2011 New York Times article cited Georgetown Law as an example for "a number of law schools [which] hire their own graduates, some in hourly temp jobs that, as it turns out, coincide with the magical date" (February 15) for the employment statistics nine months after graduation, which forms "the most competitive category" of the U.S. News rankings and one of several that "seem open to abuse." It reported that Georgetown Law had created three temporary jobs in the admissions office for students "still seeking employment", to begin on February 1 and lasting six weeks. The school denied that it had created the jobs in order to count the unemployed graduates as employed within nine months of graduation. In what the NYT called "the oddest" of several different explanations offered by the school, the Assistant Dean of Career Services Gihan Fernando (now at American University) said the school had "lost track" of two of the three alums, even though they were still working at Georgetown.
The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Georgetown Law for the 2013-2014 academic year is $76,500. The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $293,362.
The Law Center is located in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, D.C. It is bounded by 2nd St. NW to the west, E St. NW to the south, 1st St. NW and New Jersey Avenue to the east, and Massachusetts Avenue to the north.
The campus consists of five buildings. Bernard P. McDonough Hall (1971, expanded in 1997) houses classrooms and Law Center offices and was designed by Edward Durrell Stone. The Edward Bennett Williams Law Library building (1989) houses most of the school's library collection and is one of the largest law libraries in the United States. The Eric E. Hotung International Law Center (2004) includes two floors of library space housing the international collection, and also contains classrooms, offices, and meeting rooms. The Bernard S. and Sarah M. Gewirz Student Center (1993) provides housing mostly for 1Ls. A four-level Sport and Fitness Center (2004) includes a pool, fitness facilities, and cafe, and connects the Hotung Building to the Gewirz Student Center.
The Georgetown Law Library supports the research and educational endeavors of the students and faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center. It is the second largest law school in the United States and as one of the premier research facilities for the study of law, the Law Library houses the nation's fourth largest law library collection and offers access to thousands of online publications.
The mission of the library is to support fully the research and educational endeavors of the students and faculty of the Georgetown University Law Center, by collecting, organizing, preserving, and disseminating legal and law related information in any form, by providing effective service and instructional programs, and by utilizing electronic information systems to provide access to new information products and services.
The collection is split into two buildings. The Edward Bennett Williams Law Library (1989) is named after Washington, D.C. lawyer Edward Bennett Williams, an alumnus of the Law Center and founder of the prestigious litigation firm Williams & Connolly. It houses the Law Center's United States law collection, the Law Center Archives, and the National Equal Justice Library. The Williams library building consists of five floors of collection and study space and provides office space for most of the Law Center's law journals on the Law Library's first level.
The John Wolff International and Comparative Law Library (2004) is named after John Wolff, a long-serving member of the adjunct faculty and supporter of the Law Center's international law programs. The library is located on two floors inside the Eric E. Hotung building. It houses the international, foreign, and comparative law collections of the Georgetown University Law Center. Wolff Library collects primary and secondary law materials from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, and South Africa. English translations of primary and secondary legal materials from other jurisdictions and compilations of foreign law on special topics are also included.
In addition to foreign law, the Wolff Library maintains an extensive collection of public and private international law, focusing on international trade, international environmental law, human rights, arbitration, tax and treaty law. The collection also includes documentation from many international organizations, including the International Court of Justice, the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization.
Georgetown Law's J.D. program can be completed over three years of full-time day study or four years of part-time evening study. The school offers several LL.M. programs in specific areas, most notably tax law, as well as a general LL.M. curriculum for lawyers educated outside the United States. Georgetown launched a Master of Studies in Law (M.S.L.) degree program for professional journalists in the 2007–08 academic year. It also offers the highest doctoral degree in law (J.S.D.).
Students are offered the choice of two tracks for their first year of study. "Curriculum A" is a traditional law curriculum similar to that taught at most schools, including courses in contracts, constitutional law, torts, property, criminal procedure, civil procedure, and legal research and writing. Four-fifths of the day students at Georgetown receive instruction under the standard program (sections 1, 2, 4, and 5).
"Curriculum B" is a more interdisciplinary, theoretical approach to legal study, covering an equal or wider scope of material but heavily influenced by the critical legal studies movement. The Curriculum B courses are Bargain, Exchange and Liability (contracts and torts), Democracy and Coercion (constitutional law and criminal procedure), Government Processes (administrative law), Legal Justice (jurisprudence), Legal Practice (legal research and writing), Legal Process and Society (civil procedure), and Property in Time (property). One-fifth of the full-time JD students receive instruction in the alternative Curriculum B program (Section 3).
Students in both curricula participate in a week-long introduction to international law between the fall and spring semesters.
Juris Doctor Programs
Georgetown has long been nationally recognized for its leadership in the field of clinical legal education. In 2015, U.S. News ranked Georgetown's Number One in the nation for Clinical Training, followed by New York University (2nd), American University (3rd), CUNY (4th), and Yale University (5th). Over 300 students typically participate in the program.
Georgetown's clinics are: Appellate Litigation Clinic, Center for Applied Legal Studies, The Community Justice Project, Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, Criminal Justice Clinic, D.C. Law Students in Court, D.C. Street Law Program, Domestic Violence Clinic, Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, Harrison Institute for Housing & Community Development Clinic, Harrison Institute for Public Law, Institute for Public Representation, International Women's Human Rights Clinic, and Juvenile Justice Clinic.
Appellate Litigation Clinic
Directed by Professor Steven H. Goldblatt, the Appellate Litigation Clinic operates akin to a small appellate litigation firm. It has had four cases reach the United States Supreme Court on grants of writs of certiorari. One such case was Wright v. West, 505 U.S. 277 (1992), considered in habeas corpus the question whether the de novo review standard for mixed questions of law and fact established in 1953 (the Brown v. Allen standard) should be overruled. Another was Smith v. Barry, 502 U.S. 244 (1992), which reversed a Fourth Circuit determination that the court did not have jurisdiction over an appeal because the defendant's pro se brief could not serve as a timely notice of appeal.
Center for Applied Legal Studies
CALS represents refugees seeking political asylum in the United States because of threatened persecution in their home countries. Students in CALS assume primary responsibility for the representation of these refugees, whose requests for asylum have already been rejected by the U.S. government.
The Center for Applied Legal Studies was founded in the 1980s by Philip Schrag. Until 1995, the Clinic heard cases in the field of consumer protection. Under the direction of Schrag and Andrew Schoenholtz, the Clinic began specializing in asylum claims, for both detained and non-detained applicants. In conjunction with their work for the Clinic, Schrag and Schoenholtz have written books about America's political asylum system, with the help of Clinic fellows and graduate students. The duo's most recent book, Lives in the Balance was published in 2014 and provides an empirical analysis of how Homeland Security decided asylum cases over a recent fourteen-year period. The group's work in human rights law has met praise from international organizations like the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The Center also hosts fellows, who learn how to teach law in a clinical setting. Recent holders of this fellowship include Andrea Goodman (1996–98), Michele Pistone (1997-99), Rebecca Story (1998-2000),Virgil Wiebe (1999-2001), Anna Marie Gallagher (2000–02), Regina Germain (2001-2003), Dina Francesca Haynes (2002-2004), Diane Uchimiya (2003-2005), Jaya Ramji-Nogales (2004-2006), Denise Gilman (2005–2007), Susan Benesch (2006-2008), Kate Aschenbrenner (2007-2009), Anjum Gupta (2008-2010), Alice Clapman (2009–2011), Geoffrey Heeren (2010-2012), Heidi Altman (2011-2013) and Laila Hlass (2012-2014).
DC Street Law Program
The DC Street Law Program, Directed by Professor Richard Roe, provides legal education to the DC population through two projects: the Street Law High Schools Clinic and the Street Law Community Clinic. Roe has directed the Street Law High Schools Clinic since 1983. In the program, students introduce local high school students to the basic structure of the legal system, including the relationship among legislatures, courts, and agencies, and how citizens, especially in their world, relate to the lawmaking processes of each branch of government.
Notable current faculty include:
- Charles F. Abernathy, Professor of civil rights and comparative law
- Lama Abu-Odeh, Palestinian-American scholar of Islamic law, family law, and feminism
- Randy Barnett, Libertarian constitutional law scholar, author of The Structure of Liberty and Restoring the Lost Constitution, 2008 Guggenheim Fellow
- Paul Butler, Professor of criminal law and civil rights, expert on jury nullification
- Rosa Brooks, Professor of national security, military, and international law, columnist for Foreign Policy
- Sheryll D. Cashin, Professor of civil rights and housing law
- Julie E. Cohen, Professor of copyright, intellectual property, and privacy law
- David D. Cole, Professor of first amendment and criminal procedure law
- Peter Edelman, former Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Lawrence O. Gostin, Professor of public health law
- Vicki C. Jackson, Constitutional scholar and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel
- Neal Katyal, Former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, Professor of national security law
- Marty Lederman, Deputy Assistant Attorney General the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel
- Naomi Mezey, Professor of law and culture
- Eleanor Holmes Norton, Delegate representing Washington, DC in the U.S. House of Representatives
- Victoria F. Nourse, Chief Counsel to Vice President Joe Biden and principal author of the Violence Against Women Act
- Gary Peller, Prominent member of critical legal studies and critical race theory movements
- Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, former attorney-advisor at the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice
- Daniel Tarullo, Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- Louis Michael Seidman, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Constitutional Law, significant proponent of the critical legal studies movement
- Howard Shelanski, Former Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
- Abbe Smith, Criminal Defense Attorney and Director of the Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic
- William M. Treanor, Dean of Georgetown University Law Center, former dean of Fordham University School of Law, noted constitutional law expert
- Rebecca Tushnet, Professor of copyright, trademark, intellectual property, and first amendment law, noted for her scholarship on fanfiction
- David Vladeck, Former Director the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission
- Robin West, Frederick J. Haas Professor of Law and Philosophy, proponent of feminist legal theory and the law and literature movement
Georgetown University Law Center publishes thirteen student-run law journals, two peer-reviewed law journals, and a weekly student-run newspaper, the Georgetown Law Weekly. The journals are:
- American Criminal Law Review
- Food and Drug Law Journal
- Georgetown Environmental Law Review
- Georgetown Immigration Law Journal
- Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law
- Georgetown Journal of International Law
- Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives
- Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy
- Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
- Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy
- Georgetown Law Journal
- Journal of National Security Law and Policy
- The Tax Lawyer
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- Ian C. Ballon, LL.M. '88, Professor of Law at Stanford University
- Robert J. Cottrol, Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School
- Nora Demleitner, LL.M. 1994, Former Dean of the Washington and Lee University School of Law
- Noura Erakat, LL.M. 2012, Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law
- Kary Antholis, '89, President of HBO Miniseries and Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker
- Denise Bode, LL.M., CEO of the American Wind Energy Association
- David G. Bradley, '83, Founder of the Advisory Board Company and owner of the Atlantic Media Company
- Joe Garagiola, Jr., '75, Senior Vice President for Standards and On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball (2011 – present), Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks (1997 – 2005)
- Thomas E. Leavey, 1923, Co-founder of Farmers Insurance, Co-founder of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation
- Douglas Leeds, '96, CEO of Ask.com (2010 – present)
- Mark Murphy, '88, President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers (2007 – present)
- Carmen Policy, '66, President and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers (1991 - 1999), President and CEO of the Cleveland Browns (1999 - 2004)
- Thomas Schlafly, '77, President and Co-founder of the Saint Louis Brewery
- Michael Slive, LL.M. '66, Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference
- Van P. Smith, '55, Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Automobile Association
- Mark Weinberger, LL.M., Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young LLP 2013 – present, former Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury
- Horace M. Albright, 1916, Director of the National Park Service (1929 - 1933)
- Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, '87, U.S. Ambassador to Portugal (1994 - 1997)
- Robert C. Bonner, '66, Commissioner of the United States Customs and Border Protection (2001 - 2005), Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (1990 - 1993), Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (1989), U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California (1984 - 1989)
- Bradford P. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of Labor (2007 - 2009)
- George Cortelyou, 1895, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1907–1909), U.S. Postmaster General (1905 – 1907), U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Labor (1903 – 1904)
- John Dean, '65, White House Counsel (1970 - 1973), convicted of involvement in the Watergate Scandal
- Charles H. Fahy, 1914, U.S. Solicitor General (1941 - 1945), Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1950 - 1979)
- Lee A. Feinstein, U.S. Ambassador to Poland (2009 - 2012), Principal Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff of the U.S. Department of State (1995 - 2001)
- Douglas Feith, '78, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (2001 - 2005)
- Laurie S. Fulton, '89, U.S. Ambassador to Denmark (2009 - 2013)
- Mark Gitenstein, '72, U.S. Ambassador to Romania (2009 - 2012), former Chief Counsel to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary during the Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination
- Avril Haines, '01, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2013–present)
- Mickey Kantor, '68, U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1996 – 1997)
- Jacob Lew, '83, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (2013 – present), White House Chief of Staff (2012 - 2013), Director of the Office of Management and Budget (2010 - 2012)
- Beth Nolan, '80, White House Counsel (1999 - 2001), Senior Vice President and General Counsel at George Washington University (2007 – present)
- John Podesta, '76, White House Chief of Staff (1998 - 2001), President of Center for American Progress (2001 - 2013)
- Michael Powell, '93, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (2001 - 2005)
- Jack Quinn, '75, White House Counsel (1995 - 1997)
- Francis Rooney, '78, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See (2005 – 2008)
- Kathryn Ruemmler, '96, White House Counsel (2011 - 2014)
- Barbara D. Underwood, '69, Acting United States Solicitor General (2001), New York Solicitor General (2007 – present)
- Christine A. Varney, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division for the Obama Administration and Federal Trade Commissioner for the Clinton Administration
Members of U.S. Congress
- Bob Barr, '87, U.S. Representative from Georgia (1995 – 2003), United States Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate (2008)
- George A. Bartlett, 1894, U.S. Representative from Nevada (1907 - 1911)
- Herbert H. Bateman, '56, U.S. Representative from Virginia (1983 - 2000)
- Robert Bauman, '64, U.S. Representative from Maryland (1973 - 1981)
- Alan Bible, '34, U.S. Senator from Nevada (1954 - 1974)
- Coleman Livingston Blease, 1889, U.S. Senator from South Carolina (1925 - 1931), Governor of South Carolina (1911 - 1915)
- J. Caleb Boggs, '37, U.S. Senator from Delaware (1961 – 1973); Governor of Delaware (1953 – 1960); U.S. Representative from Delaware (1947 – 53)
- Bruce Faulkner Caputo, '71, U.S. Representative from New York (1977 - 1979)
- Dennis Chavez, 1920, U.S. Senator from New Mexico (1935 – 1962)
- David Cicilline, '86, U.S. Representative from Rhode Island (2011 – present), first openly gay mayor of a U.S. state capitol (Providence)
- Hansen Clarke, '87, U.S. Representative from Michigan (2011–2013)
- Charles R. Clason, 1914, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts (1937 - 1949)
- L. Gary Clemente, '31, U.S. Representative from New York (1949 - 1953)
- Charles F. Curry, Jr., 1912, U.S. Representative from California (1931 - 1933)
- John Delaney, U.S. Representative from Maryland (2013 – present)
- John Dingell, '52, U.S. Representative from Michigan (1955 – present)
- John J. Douglass, 1896, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts (1925 - 1933)
- Robert Drinan, '50, U.S. Representative from Massachusetts (1971 - 1973)
- Richard Durbin, '69, U.S. Senator from Illinois (1997 – present), Senate Democratic Whip (2005 – present)
- John A. Durkin, '65, U.S. Senator from New Hampshire (1975 - 1980)
- Clarence D. Van Duzer, 1893, U.S. Representative from Nevada (1903 - 1907)
- Lane Evans, '78, U.S. Representative from Illinois (1983 – 2007)
- Martin Frost, '70, U.S. Representative from Texas (1979 - 2005)
- Mazie Hirono, '78, U.S. Senator from Hawaii (2013 – present), U.S. Representative from Hawaii (2007 - 2013), Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii (1994 - 2003)
- Steny Hoyer, '66, U.S. Representative from Maryland (1981 – present, House Majority Leader (2007 – 2011), House Democratic Whip (2011 - present)
- Michael L. Igoe, 1908, U.S. Representative from Illinois (1935), U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois (1935 - 1939), Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1939 - 1965)
- James Robert Jones, '64, U.S. Representative from Oklahoma (1983 - 1987), U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (1993 - 1997)
- Bill Jefferson, LL.M. '95, U.S. Representative from Louisiana (1991 - 2009)
- Mark Kirk, '92, U.S. Senator from Illinois (2010 – present)
- Anne McLane Kuster, '84, U.S. Representative from New Hampshire (2013–present)
- John W. Langley, U.S. Representative from Kentucky (1907 - 1926)
- Edward L. Leahy, 1908, U.S. Senator (1949 - 1950), Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island (1951 - 1953)
- Patrick Leahy, '64, U.S. Senator from Vermont (1975 – present), President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate (2012 – present), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (2007 – present)
- George Swinton Legare, 1893, U.S. Representative from South Carolina (1903 - 1913)
- Dan Lungren, '71, U.S. Representative from California (2005 - 2013)
- George Mitchell, '61, U.S. Senator from Maine (1980 - 1995), Senate Majority Leader (1989 – 1995), United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland (1995 - 2001), Chairman of the Board of The Walt Disney Company (2004 - 2006), U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace (2009 - 2011), Author of the Mitchell Report on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (2001) and Mitchell Report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball (2007)
- Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, '97, U.S. Representative from South Dakota (2004 - 2010)
- Chris Van Hollen, '90, U.S. Representative from Maryland (2003 – present)
- Pete Visclosky, LL.M. '82, U.S. Representative from Indiana (1985 – present)
- James H. Webb, '75, U.S. Senator from Virginia (2007 - 2013), U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1987 - 1988), noted author
- Rick White, '80, U.S. Representative from Washington (1995 - 1999)
- Frank Wolf, '65, U.S. Representative from Virginia (1981 – 2015)
- Albert Wynn, '77, U.S. Representative from Maryland (1993 - 2008)
- Jerry Abramson, '71, Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky (2011 – present), Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky (1986 - 2011)
- Sam Arora, '10, Member of the Maryland House of Delegates (2011 - 2014)
- Jesus Borja, '74, Lieutenant Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands (1994 – 1998)
- Michael N. Castle, '64, Governor of Delaware (1985 - 1992), U.S. Representative from Delaware (1993 – 2011)
- David Catania, '94, Member of the D.C. City Council (1997–present)
- John Chiang, California State Controller (2007 – present)
- Sean Coffey, '87, Candidate for New York State Attorney General in 2010
- Peter Tali Coleman, '51, Governor of American Samoa (1956 – 1961, 1978 – 1985, 1989 – 1993)
- Barbara Comstock, Member of the Virginia House of Delegates (2010–present), Candidate for Virginia's 10th congressional district in 2014
- Mitch Daniels, '79, Governor of Indiana (2005 - 2013), Director of the Office of Management and Budget (2001 - 2003), President of Purdue University (2013 – present)
- Christopher Del Sesto, Governor of Rhode Island (1959 - 1961), Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court (1966 - 1973)
- Michael Delaney, '94, New Hampshire Attorney General (2009 - 2013)
- Ken Duncan, Master of Laws 1973, Louisiana state treasurer, 1996 to 2000
- John J. Easton, Jr., '70, Vermont Attorney General (1981-1985)
- Jim Graham, LL.M., Member of the D.C. City Council (1999–present)
- David Grosso, '01, Member of the D.C. City Council (2013–present)
- Derek Hodge, '71, Lieutenant Governor of the United States Virgin Islands (1987 – 1995)
- Brad Hutto, '81, Member of the South Carolina Senate, Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014
- Jeff Johnson, '92, Candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 2014, Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives (2001 - 2007)
- John Lynch, '84, Governor of New Hampshire (2005 - 2013)
- Terry McAuliffe, '84, Governor of Virginia (2014 – present), Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (2001 - 2005)
- Jim McGreevey, '81, Governor of New Jersey (2002 - 2004)
- Vincent Orange, LL.M. '88, Member of the D.C. City Council (1988–present)
- Clay Pell, '08, Candidate for Governor of Rhode Island in 2014
- James Patrick Rossiter, 1916, Mayor of Erie, Pennsylvania (1932 – 1936)
- Josh Shapiro, '02, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (2005 - 2012)
- Don Siegelman, '72, Governor of Alabama (1999 - 2003)
- Sheila Simon, '87, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois (2011 – present)
- John D. Spellman, '53, Governor of Washington (1981 - 1985)
- Daniel S. Sullivan, '93, Alaska Attorney General (2009 - 2010)
- Cyrus Vance, Jr., '82, New York County District Attorney (2010 – present)
- Robert Zirkin, '98, Member of the Maryland State Senate (2007–present)
- Jack Abramoff, '86, Lobbyist and businessman who was a central figure in a series of high-profile political scandals
- Gary Bauer, '73, President of the Family Research Council (1988 - 1999) and conservative activist
- Brian Concannon, '89, Founding Director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
- Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager for Barack Obama's 2012 presidential reelection campaign
- Sandra Fluke, '12, Women's rights activist
- John E. Jackson, '16, Louisiana Republican Party state chairman, 1929-1934 and national committeeman, 1934-1952; New Orleans lawyer
- John Sears, '63, Campaign manager for Ronald Reagan in 1976 and 1980
- Michael Steele, '91, Chairman of the Republican National Committee (2009 - 2011), Lieutenant Governor of Maryland (2003 - 2007)
- Caren Z. Turner, '85, Co-chairwoman of the super PAC Ready for Hillary
- Jesse Corcoran Adkins, LL.B. 1899, LL.M. 1900, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1930 – 1955)
- Thomas L. Ambro, '75, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2000 – present)
- Michael M. Anello, '68, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (2008 – present)
- Robert Armen, '73, Judge on the United States Tax Court
- William G. Bassler, '63, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (1991 - 2006)
- Walter Bastian, 1913, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1954 - 1975)
- Terrence G. Berg, '86, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (2012 – present)
- Francisco Besosa, '79, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (2006 – present)
- James K. Bredar, '82, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (2010 – present)
- Lynn J. Bush, '76, Judge on the United States Court of Federal Claims (1998–present)
- Richard C. Casey, '58, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (1997 - 2007)
- Thomas Clary, 1924, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (1950 - 1977)
- Robert N. Chatigny, '78, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut (2004 – present)
- David Chávez, 1922, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (1947 – 1950), Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court (1960 - 1968)
- Pamela K. Chen, '86, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (2013 – present)
- Carolyn Chiechi, JD '69, LL.M. '71, Judge on the United States Tax Court (1992 - 2007)
- Charles N. Clevert, Jr., '72, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (1996 – present)
- John David Clifford, Jr., 1913, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine (1947 – 1956), U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine (1933 - 1947)
- John O. Colvin, LL.M. '78, Judge on the United States Tax Court (1998–present, Chief Judge 2006 - present)
- Patrick Anthony Conmy, '59, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota (1985 – present, Chief Judge 1985 - 1992)
- Julian Abele Cook, Jr., '57, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (1979 – present, Chief Judge 1989 - 1996)
- Virginia M. Hernandez Covington, '80, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (2004 – present)
- Ronald Davies, '30, Judge for U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota (1955 - 1985) who while on temporary assignment in Little Rock, Arkansas presided over the Little Rock Integration Crisis in 1957
- Robert N. Davis, '78, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (2004 – present)
- John T. Elfvin, '47, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York (1974 - 2009), U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York (1972 - 1975)
- Walter Heen, '55, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (1981), U.S. Attorney for the District of Hawaii
- John M. Facciola, '69, Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1997 – present)
- D. Michael Fisher, '69, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2003 – present), Attorney General of Pennsylvania (1997 - 2003)
- Arthur J. Gajarsa, '67, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (1997 - 2012)
- Marvin J. Garbis, LL.M. '62, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (1989–present)
- Ashley Mulgrave Gould, 1884, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1902 - 1921), U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (1901 - 1902)
- Thomas Hardiman, '90, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2007 – present)
- George J. Hazel, '99, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (2014 – present)
- Judith C. Herrera, '79, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico (2003 – present)
- William Hitz, 1900, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1931 - 1935)
- Michael Robert Hogan, '71, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (1991 - 2012, Chief Judge 1995 - 2002)
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- Ellen Lipton Hollander, '74, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (2010 – present)
- Jerome A. Holmes, '88, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (2006 – present)
- Jeffrey R. Howard, '81, Judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (2002 – present)
- Brian Anthony Jackson, LL.M. '00, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana (2010 – present)
- Kent A. Jordan, '84, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (2006 – present)
- Norma Johnson, '62, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1980 - 2003, Chief Judge 1997 - 2001), first African-American woman to serve as Chief Judge of a U.S. District Court
- Elaine D. Kaplan, '79, Judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (2013 – present), Acting Director of the U.S Office of Personnel Management (2013)
- Richmond Keech, LL.B. 1922, LL.M. 1923, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1947 - 1986, Chief Judge 1966)
- Charles B. Kornmann, '62, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, (1995 – present)
- Bruce E. Kasold, LL.M. '82, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (2003 – present)
- Paul Kilday, 1922, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (1961 – 1968)
- Mark R. Kravitz, '75, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut (2003 - 2012)
- Joseph Normand Laplante, '90, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire (2007–present)
- Bolitha James Laws, LL.B. 1913, LL.M. 1914, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1938 - 1958, Chief Judge 1945 - 1958)
- Joseph Patrick Lieb, 1924, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (1962 - 1971, Chief Judge 1966 - 1971)
- Richard Linn, '69, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (2000 – present)
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- Kiyo A. Matsumoto, '81, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (2008 – present)
- Roslynn R. Mauskopf, '82, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (2007 – present), U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York (2002 - 2007), Inspector General of the State of New York (1995 - 2002)
- Steven J. McAuliffe, '73, Judge on U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire (1992 – present), widower of astronaut Christa McAuliffe
- Joseph McGarraghy, 1921, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1965 - 1975)
- M. Margaret McKeown, '75, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1998–present), first female partner at Perkins Coie
- Sean J. McLaughlin, '80, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (1994 - 2013, Chief Judge 2013), General Counsel and Vice President of the Erie Insurance Group (2013 – present)
- Mildred Methvin, '76, United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Louisiana, based in Lafayette, 1983 to 2009
- Kimberly Ann Moore, '94, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (2006 – present)
- Frank Jerome Murray, 1929, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (1967 - 1995)
- Frank Herbert Norcross, 1894, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada (1928 - 1952), Justice of the Supreme Court of Nevada (1904 - 1916)
- Daniel William O'Donoghue, LL.B. 1899, LL.M. 1900, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1932 - 1948)
- Fred I. Parker, '65, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (1994 - 2003)
- Jaime Pieras, Jr., '48, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico (1982 - 2011)
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- Robert Renner, '49, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (1980 - 2005), U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota (1969 - 1977)
- James L. Robart, '73, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (2004 – present)
- K. Gary Sebelius, '74, Magistrate Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas (2003 – present), husband of former United States Secretary of Health and Human Services and Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebellius
- Patricia Seitz, '73, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (1998–present)
- Thomas Michael Shanahan, '59, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska (1993 - 2004), Justice of the Nebraska Supreme Court (1983 - 1993)
- Edward F. Shea, '70, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (1997 – present)
- Eugene Edward Siler, Jr., LL.M. '64, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1991–present)
- John Sirica, 1926, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1957 - 1974, Chief Judge 1971 - 1974), presided over the Watergate trials and named TIME magazine's Man of the Year in 1973
- John Lewis Smith, Jr., LL.B. '38, LL.M. '39, Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (1966 - 1992, Chief Judge 1981 - 1982)
- William E. Smith, '87, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, Chief Judge (2013 – present)
- Timothy C. Stanceu, '79, Judge on the U.S. Court of International Trade (2003 – present)
- George Clinton Sweeney, 1922, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (1935 - 1966, Chief Judge 1948 - 1965)
- Edward Allen Tamm, '30, Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1965 - 1985)
- Robert Timlin, '59, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (1994 – present)
- Roger W. Titus, '66, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (2003 – present)
- Ricardo M. Urbina, '70, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1994 – 2012)
- James A. Walsh, 1928, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (1952 - 1991, Chief Judge 1961 - 1972)
- David C. Westenhaver, 1886, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (1917 - 1928)
- Ashton Hilliard Williams, 1915, Judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of South Carolina (1952 - 1962)
- Douglas P. Woodlock, '75, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, (1986 – present)
- Jennifer Guerin Zipps, '90, Judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (2011 – present)
- Richard C. Bosson, '69, Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court (2002 – present)
- J. J. P. Corrigan, '25, Associate Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court (1969 - 1976)
- Robert E. Davis, '64, Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court (1993 – present), Chief Justice (2009 - 2010)
- Henry P. Hughes, 1927, Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court (1948 – 1951)
- Stephen P. Lamb, '75, Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor
- Bill Mims, LL.M. '86, Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia (2010 – present), Attorney General of Virginia (2009 - 2010)
- Gene Franchini, '60, Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court (1990 - 2002, Chief Justice 1997 – 1999)
- Rives Kistler, '81, Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court (2003–present), first openly gay state supreme court justice in the United States
- Vanessa Ruiz, Associate Judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals (1994 - 2011)
- Joseph T. Walsh, '54, Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court (1985- 2005)
- Robert A. Zarnoch, '74, Judge on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (2008 – present)
- Robert S. Bennett, '64, Senior Partner at Hogan Lovells who represented Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky hearings
- Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr., '65, Chairman of the law firm Patton Boggs
- Stephen L. Braga, '81, Lawyer known for his representation of Martin Tankleff and the West Memphis Three
- Brendan Sullivan, '67, Senior Partner at Williams & Connolly who represented Oliver North during the Iran-Contra affair
- Edward Bennett Williams, '44, Co-founder of Williams & Connolly, Owner and President of the Washington Redskins (1969 - 1979), Owner of the Baltimore Orioles (1980 - 1988)
- Joan Biskupic, '93, Editor in Charge, Legal Affairs for Reuters; author of several books on the Supreme Court
- Joyce Chiang, '95, Immigration and Naturalization Service attorney whose murder drew similarities to the murder of Chandra Levy
- James C. Duff, '81, President and CEO of the Newseum and Freedom Forum, Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (2006 - 2011)
- Savannah Guthrie, '02, Co-Anchor of The Today Show on NBC (2012 – present)
- Nancy Hogshead-Makar, '97, 1984 Summer Olympics swimming gold medalist and Professor of Law at Florida Coastal School of Law
- Herman "Ed" Hollis, 1927, FBI special agent involved in shootouts with John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson
- John Luessenhop, Director of Takers and Texas Chainsaw 3D
- Marilyn Milian, '84, Judge of The People's Court and former Judge on the Miami Circuit Court
- Walter Pincus, '01, Emmy, Pulitzer, and Polk award-winning national security journalist for the Washington Post
- Greta Van Susteren, JD '79, LL.M. '83, Anchor of On the Record on the Fox News Channel
- Lyndon B. Johnson, former President of the United States of America, in 1934
- Marjorie Rendell, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1997 – present), in 1971
- Ilana Rovner, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1992 – present), in 1964 and 1965
- Donald Rumsfeld, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, in 1957
- Alicia Florrick (née Cavanaugh), '94, lead character in The Good Wife
- Will Gardner, '94, lead character in The Good Wife
- Olivia Pope, lead character in Scandal
- Charlie Young, lead character in The West Wing
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