In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./M.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in economics), J.D./M.P.P. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Policy), and J.D./Ph.D. (Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy in economics).
The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, intellectual property law, international law, litigation, securities law, tax law, patent law, regulatory law, technology law, legal and economic theory, personal law, and international business law. Clinics are limited to upper-level students, and are worth 3 credits. Seminars, taken in the second, third, or fourth year, consist of a minimum of 2 upper-level courses in which substantial papers are required or there is a satisfaction of track thesis requirement. Internships are limited to upper-level students and are worth 2 to 3 credits, up to a maximum of 4 credits. The Law and Economics Center administers a series of interdisciplinary symposia, lectures, and conferences devoted to current topics in law and economics. The National Center for Technology and Law also hosts conferences and programs. There is a University of Hamburg (Germany) exchange program in Law and Economics. Tutorial programs consist of Fundamental Skills Saturday sessions, and day long spring session for students in academic jeopardy. Minority programs include the L. Douglas Wilder Seminar Series. Special interest groups include GLBT forums and panels and J. Reuban Clark Law Society Conference sponsorship. The most widely taken electives are Evidence, Administrative Law, and Business Associations.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 89 total credits, of which 40 are for required courses. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.15 in the required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Contracts I and II, Criminal Law, Economic Foundations of Legal Studies, Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis I and II, Property, the Founders’ Constitution, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a minimum of 2 upper-level courses in which substantial papers are required, Appellate Writing and Legal Drafting, Constitutional Law I, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students is presented during the first week of school. The program lasts 1 day and consists of presentations by the administration, legal writing classes, and small group meetings with faculty and student advisers.
In order to graduate, candidates must have a GPA of 2.15 and have completed the upper-division writing requirement.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 6078 applied, 1232 were accepted, and 267 enrolled. Twenty-one transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 90; the median GPA was 3.47 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 44; the highest was 99.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, class rank, and GPA. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is April 1. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a personal statement, LSDAS Report (transcripts must be submitted directly to LSAC), a nonrefundable application fee of $35, 2 letters of recommendation, and a 500-word personal statement. Notification of the admissions decision is December through April. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is February. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 71% of current law students receive some form of aid. The average annual amount of aid from all sources combined, including scholarships, loans, and work contracts, is $20,463. Awards are based on merit. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is March 1. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application between the time of acceptance and the first day of school.
About 40% of the student body are women; 17%, minorities; 4%, African American; 8%, Asian American; 5%, Hispanic; and 1%, Native American. The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 47. About 30% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 14% have a graduate degree, and 60% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 1% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 97% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the George Mason University Law Review, Civil Rights Law Journal, Federal Circuit Bar Journal, Journal of Law, Economics and Policy, and the newspaper The Docket. The school sponsors several in-house competitions each year, and sends teams to numerous national and regional competitions. Other competitions include the Law and Economics competition, Trial Advocacy Association Competition, and the Mediation Advocacy Competition. Law student organizations include the Business Law Society, National Security Law Society, and the Intellectual Property Law Society. Local chapters of national associations include the Student Bar Association, Association for Public Interest Law, and the Black Law Students Association. Campus clubs and other organizations include local chapters of the ABA-Law Student Division, Phi Delta Phi (Lewis Powell Inn), and Phi Alpha Delta (George Mason Chapter).
The law school operates on a traditional semester basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. For part-time students, courses are offered evenings only and must be completed within 4 years. New full- and part-time students are admitted in the fall. There is an 8-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.