George Mason University School of Law

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George Mason University School of Law
Hazel Hall, George Mason University School of Law
Hazel Hall, George Mason University School of Law
Established July 1, 1979
Type ABA-accredited School of Law
Dean Henry N. Butler
Students 717
Location Arlington, Virginia, USA
Campus Urban

George Mason University School of Law (Mason Law or GMUSL) is the law school of George Mason University, a state university in Virginia, United States. The law school is located in Arlington, thirteen miles east of the university's main campus in Fairfax.

George Mason University School of Law was authorized by the Virginia General Assembly in March 1979 and was founded on July 1, 1979. The American Bar Association provisionally approved the school in the fall of 1980 and granted full approval in 1986.

George Mason has 717 students in its J.D., LL.M., and J.M. programs. The median LSAT score among those offered admission to the full-time program for the fall 2013 entering J.D. class was 161 and the median GPA was 3.55. 15% of the students in the first-year class hold graduate degrees including Ph.D.s.[1] The first-time bar passage rate for first time takers on the Virginia bar exam for July 2014 was 72.36%, sixth place among Virginia's eight law schools.[2]


  • 42nd-best law school – The 2015 publication of U.S. News and World Report [3]
  • 21st – Scholarly impact of the faculty based on per capita citations to faculty scholarship.[4]
  • 24th-best intellectual property law program.[5]
  • 33rd – Student quality based on 75th-percentile LSAT scores.[6]


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) for the 2013-2014 academic year at George Mason is $25,351 for in-state students attending full-time; the total cost of attendance for non-resident students attending full-time is $40,737.[7] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $188,965 for residents, and $248,292 for non-residents.[8] To combat the high cost of law school, George Mason's Board of Visitors voted in 2013 to freeze tuition through the 2016-2017 academic year.[9]

Admissions process[edit]

The primary factors considered in the admissions process are performance on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and undergraduate grade point average. The admissions committee also considers the difficulty of undergraduate major, undergraduate institution, possession of advanced degrees, writing ability (as indicated in the LSAT writing sample and in the personal statement), recommendations, extracurricular activities, employment experience, demonstrated commitment to public and community service, leadership skills and experience, history of overcoming personal or professional challenges, and other factors.

The School of Law follows a rolling admissions process and starts making admission decisions in January, ending in May. Students must use the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) to submit their LSAT scores, college transcripts and letters of recommendation.


GMUSL is somewhat distinctive in offering a wide variety of intensive law tracks, each of which requires that approximately one-third of the credits for graduation be completed in the track, and law concentrations, which are elective specializations and have a less restrictive credit requirement as compared to the track program.[10] The law tracks include Corporate and Securities Law, Intellectual Property Law, Litigation Law and Regulatory Law. The International Business Law track was offered until the fall of 2005.

The law concentrations include Antitrust Law, Communications Law, Corporate and Securities Law, Criminal Law, Homeland & National Security Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, Legal and Economic Theory, Litigation Law, Personal Law, Regulatory Law, Tax Law, and Technology Law.[11]

Also, the school boasts a rigorous Legal Research, Writing and Analysis (LRWA) curriculum. Mason Law requires its students to complete four semesters (two years) of LRWA coursework. Students acquire the necessary skills for trial and appellate practice. The first-year LRWA curriculum is taught by third-year (and fourth-year evening) law students under the guidance of full-time faculty. During the first semester, students learn how to conduct legal research and write a predictive memorandum, while during the second semester, students compete in intramural oral arguments while producing both predictive and persuasive memoranda. The second year of LRWA is taught by legal practitioners, and consists of Appellate Writing and Legal Drafting. Student transcripts bear a separate grade-point average (GPA) for LRWA and writing-intensive coursework in addition to the overall GPA. Students must successfully complete 89 credits to graduate.

First-year curriculum[edit]

In addition to two semesters (2 credits per semester) of LRWA, the first-year curriculum is filled with foundation courses. First-year day students cover the following legal foundation courses: Torts (4 credits), Contracts (5 credits), Property (4 credits), Civil Procedure (4 credits), Legislation and Statutory Interpretation (2 credits), and Criminal Law (3 credits). In addition, every student is required to complete one semester of "Economic Foundations of Legal Studies," a basic economics course taught by distinguished economists. First-year students may not take any electives.

The first-year students are graded according to a mandatory 3.25 curve.

Second-year curriculum[edit]

In their second year of study, day students must complete a 4-credit Constitutional Law course and complete an additional 4 credits of LRWA. Students may select from a variety of upper-level electives in addition to these requirements.


According to George Mason's official 2013 ABA-required disclosures, 51% of the Class of 2013 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[12] George Mason's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 22%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2013 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[13]

Law library[edit]

The George Mason Law Library has a collection of electronic and print materials providing access to legal treatises, journals, and databases. Non-legal materials are available through the GMU University Libraries. It is a selective depository for U.S. Government documents and it provides interlibrary lending services with other academic libraries.[14] which enables students and faculty to borrow materials from major academic libraries. The library occupies four levels of the law school building. Its 300 study carrels and tables are wired with electrical and network connections, and a wireless network is available. The library also operates 2 computer labs with a variety of software. The library employs 13 full-time staff members, including 6 librarians with degrees in law and library science and 3 technology specialists.[15]



  • Clinic for Legal Assistance to Servicemembers
  • Domestic Relations Legal Clinic
  • Legal Clinic
  • Law and Mental Illness Clinic
  • Immigration Legal Clinic
  • Legal Clinic - Practical Preparation Of GMU Patent Applications
  • Regulatory Clinic

Student organizations[edit]

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
  • American Bar Association/Law Student Division (ABA/LSD)
  • American Civil Liberties Union - GMU Chapter
  • American Constitution Society
  • American Inn of Court
  • Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
  • Association for Public Interest Law
  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
  • Business Law Society
  • Christian Legal Society
  • The Docket
  • Environmental Law Society (ELS)
  • Federalist Society
  • Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Law Association (GALLA)
  • Hispanic Law Students Association
  • Honor Committee
  • Intellectual Property Law Society
  • International Law Society
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Law Students for the Second Amendment
  • Mason Law Republicans
  • Mason Law Sports and Entertainment Association
  • Moot Court Board
  • Muslim Law Student Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International
  • Phi Delta Phi (Lewis F. Powell Inn)
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)
  • Student Bar Association
  • Trial Advocacy Association
  • VBA - Pro Bono Society
  • Women's Law Association


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°53′06″N 77°06′01″W / 38.88500°N 77.10028°W / 38.88500; -77.10028