In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. and Ph.D in Asian law. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 15 quarter credits may be applied. (Joint degree programs can be set up with 90 other graduate programs at the school).
The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, international law, labor law, litigation, securities law, tax law, and torts and insurance. In addition, clinics open to second- and third-year students for 7 or 8 credits are available in mediation, child advocacy, unemployment, criminal law, low-income taxpayer, immigration, refugee and immigrant advocacy law, and Indian law. Seminars earning 3 to 6 credits and internships worth 1 to 15 credits are also open to second- and third-year students. Also available are independent research programs earning 1 to 6 credits. The most widely taken electives are Trial Advocacy, Payment Systems, and Evidence.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 135 quarters, of which 49 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Basic Legal Skills, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of 60 hours of pro bono legal work, Advanced Writing, and Professional Responsibility. The required orientation program for first-year students is 8 days (4 days per week for 2 weeks prior to first regular class day).
In order to graduate, candidates must have completed the upper-division writing requirement and 9 quarters in residence.
In the fall 2007 first-year class, 2585 applied, 587 were accepted, and 183 enrolled. Three transfers enrolled. The median LSAT percentile of the most recent first-year class was 87; the median GPA was 3.63 on a scale of 4.0. The lowest LSAT percentile accepted was 149; the highest was 179.
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and take the LSAT. The most important admission factors include LSAT results, GPA, and academic achievement. No specific undergraduate courses are required. Candidates are not interviewed.
The application deadline for fall entry is January 15. Applicants should submit an application form, LSAT results, transcripts, a nonrefundable application fee of $50, 2 optional letters of recommendation, a dean’s certificate, and a personal statement. Notification of the admissions decision is April 1. The latest acceptable LSAT test date for fall entry is December. The law school uses the LSDAS.
About 85% 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 $30,000. Awards are based on need. Required financial statement is the FAFSA. The aid application deadline for fall entry is February 28. Special funds for minority or disadvantaged students include scholarships that are available from the school’s privately donated scholarship funds. Scholarships are awarded based on demonstrated financial need. First-year students are notified about their financial aid application in late spring for on-time applicants who have been admitted.
About 59% of the student body are women; 21%, minorities; 2%, African American; 12%, Asian American; 4%, Hispanic; and 2%, Native American. The majority of students come from Washington (76%). The average age of entering students is 25; age range is 20 to 51. About 20% of students enter directly from undergraduate school, 16% have a graduate degree, and 70% have worked full-time prior to entering law school. About 2% drop out after the first year for academic or personal reasons; 98% remain to receive a law degree.
Students edit the Washington Law Review, Pacific Rim and Policy Journal, and the Shidler Journal of Law, Commerce, and Technology. Moot court competitions include the Jessup and International Jessup. Law student organizations include the Student Bar Association, Women’s Law Caucus, and Minority Law Students Association. Other organizations include International Law Society, Innocence Project Northwest, and Public Interest Law Association. Local chapters of national associations include the ABA Law Student Division, ACLU, and Federalist Society.
The law school operates on a quarter basis. Courses for full-time students are offered days only and must be completed within 3 years. There is no part-time program. New students are admitted in the fall. There is a 2- 4-week summer session. Transferable summer courses are offered.