Antonin Scalia Law School

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Antonin Scalia Law School
Hazel Hall, George Mason University School of Law
Hazel Hall, Antonin Scalia Law School
Type ABA-accredited School of Law
Established July 1, 1979
Dean Henry N. Butler
Students 496
Location Arlington, Virginia, USA
Campus Urban

Antonin Scalia Law School (previously known as the George Mason University School of Law)[1] 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.

The school has 496 students in its J.D., LL.M., JD/MBA, and JD/MPP programs. The median LSAT score among those offered admission to the full-time program for the fall 2015 entering J.D. class was 161 and the median GPA was 3.59. Students in the first-year class hold 26 advanced degrees including Ph.D.s.[2] The first-time bar passage rate for first time takers on the Virginia bar exam for July 2015 was 77.78%, seventh place among Virginia's eight law schools.[3]

On March 31, 2016, the Board of Visitors approved renaming the school after the late United States Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. The name change followed gifts of $20 million from an anonymous donor and an additional $10 million from the Charles Koch Foundation conditioned on the renaming, and was announced as requiring approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.[4] The name change became effective on May 17, 2016.[5]



The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) for the 2015-2016 academic year at Mason Law 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.[9] The Law School Transparency estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $188,965 for residents, and $248,292 for non-residents.[10] 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.[11]

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 late December and continuing in May, June, and July. Students must use the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) to submit their LSAT scores, college transcripts, and letters of recommendation.[12]


Mason Law 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.[13] The law tracks include Litigation Law, Patent Law, and Regulatory Law.[14]

The law concentrations include Antitrust Law, Communications Law, Corporate and Securities Law, Criminal Law, Homeland & National Security Law, Immigration Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, Legal and Economic Theory, Litigation Law, Personal Law, Regulatory Law, Tax Law, and Technology Law.[15]

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 (5 credits total) 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 ABA-required disclosures, 56% of the Class of 2014 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation. Ten months after graduation, 84% of the Class of 2014 was employed in or about to begin full-time jobs requiring bar passage or jobs for which a J.D. provides an advantage.[16] George Mason's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 16.8%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2014 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[17]

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,[18] which enables students and faculty to borrow materials from major academic libraries. The library occupies four levels of the law school building. It has 14 study rooms, 70 carrel seats, and 196 table seats wired with electrical and network connections, and a wireless network is available. The library also operates 2 computer labs with a variety of software.[19] The library employs 16 full-time staff members, including 6 librarians with degrees in law and library science and 3 technology specialists.[20]


Clinics and externships[edit]

  • Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Clinic
  • Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic (MVETS)[27]
  • Domestic Relations Supervised Externship & Legal Clinic
  • Law and Mental Illness Legal Clinic
  • Practical Preparation of Patent Applications
  • Supreme Court Clinic
  • Supervised Externship - Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Capitol Hill Supervised Externship
  • Virginia Practice Supervised Externship
  • Regulatory Comments Legal Practicum

Student organizations[edit]

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Society
  • American Constitution Society
  • American Inn of Court
  • Black Law Students Association
  • Business Law Society
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Communications Law Association
  • Environmental Law Society
  • Federalist Society
  • Honor Committee
  • Immigration Law Society
  • Intellectual Property Law Society
  • International Law Society
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Jewish Law Students Association
  • Latino/a Law Student Association
  • Law Students for Reproductive Justice
  • Mason Law Democrats
  • Mason Law Sports and Entertainment Association
  • Military Law Society
  • Moot Court Board
  • Muslim Law Student Association
  • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International
  • Phi Delta Phi (Lewis F. Powell Inn)
  • Running Along the Potomac
  • Student Bar Association
  • Thomas More Society
  • Trial Advocacy Association
  • VBA Pro Bono Society
  • Women's Law Association


  1. ^ Name change to Antonin Scalia School of Law: Name change to Antonin Scalia Law School:
  2. ^ Profile of the Fall 2015 Entering Class
  3. ^ PASS RATES - July 2015 Virginia Bar Examination
  4. ^ Svrluga, Susan (March 31, 2016). "George Mason law school to be renamed the Antonin Scalia School of Law". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Best Law Schools 2016
  7. ^ Scholarly Impact of Law School Faculties in 2015: Updating the Leiter Score Ranking for the Top Third
  8. ^ Best Law Schools 2016
  9. ^ Tuition and Costs
  10. ^ George Mason University Profile, Class of 2014
  11. ^ Visitors Freeze George Mason Law Tuition
  12. ^ FAQs: First Year JD Admissions
  13. ^ JD Tracks and Concentrations
  14. ^ Tracks
  15. ^ Concentrations (Elective Specializations)
  16. ^ Employment Summary for 2014 Graduates
  17. ^ George Mason University Profile, Class of 2014
  18. ^ Borrowing from Other Libraries
  19. ^ About the Library
  20. ^ Law Library Staff Directory
  21. ^ George Mason Law Review
  22. ^ Civil Rights Law Journal
  23. ^ Journal of International Commercial Law
  24. ^ National Security Law Journal
  25. ^ Journal of Law, Economics & Policy
  26. ^ Faculty Working Papers
  27. ^ Mason Veterans and Servicemembers Legal Clinic

External links[edit]

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