The George Washington University Law School Bulletin: 2022-2023

The Bulletin is GW Law's single official set of degree requirements, regulations, and rules applicable to a student matriculating in a given academic year, from their first semester of enrollment until all degree requirements have been fulfilled. Previous Bulletins have been archived on the website for student reference.




Portrait of Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew



A Message from Dean Matthew

Dear GW Law Students,

Welcome to the new online version of the George Washington University Law School Bulletin. The Bulletin is a compendium of information that law students need to navigate their academic lives. It has been published annually for the past 110 years. This year, for the first time, the Bulletin will be published online instead of in print. We have made this change in response to students' requests that we make academic information as accessible as possible. Though our Bulletin was a handsome book, which also appeared as a PDF online, we heard students request an interactive, searchable Bulletin.

In its new online form, the Bulletin will continue to perform the task of providing essential academic information to students. This will include information on the requirements for our various degree programs, information on different program areas and concentrations, and easy access to the University regulations and the academic integrity code to which all of us are bound.

We expect you to consult the Bulletin to plan your courses of study, ensure that you meet the requirements for graduation, and take care to comply with the Law School and University policies. As before, each year will have a new version of the Bulletin. We will archive previous issues to memorialize the requirements and policies that existed at different times. Of course, the Bulletin is just one part of the broader Law School website. Because it includes links to other sources of information important to our students, such as the page that contains information on courses and exams for the Fall 2022 semester, we aim to make this an indispensable and invaluable tool for you throughout your law school career.

Dean Scott Pagel, Director of the GW Law Library, was kind enough to provide me with a copy of the first Bulletin that we still have in our possession, published in 1912. Reading this reminded me that some aspects of the legal education have remained nearly unchanged for decades while other aspects have changed dramatically. As is true now, the first-year curriculum in 1912 included classes on Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts, as well as other classes that we still offer, such as Domestic Relations, Agency, and Criminal Procedure. The second-year curriculum, though, featured three different courses on equity, a reminder that the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are a relatively recent innovation. Students in 1912 were undergraduates who pursued the degree of Bachelor of Laws, and the elective third-year course on administrative law was offered only in the College of Political Science. A total of only 45 courses were offered, and that is double-counting courses that students could elect to take at different times in their legal careers.

The National University, which merged into GW Law and thus desegregated our law school in 1952, had its own analogue to the Bulletin. Its 1902 edition was able to fit the list of courses constituting the Program of Instruction on a single page. The Program of Instruction did include a suite of administrative law courses, including courses on government contracts and military tribunals that serve as antecedents to our successful programs in procurement and national security today. The Dean of the National University Law School taught two first-year courses, Blackstone's Commentaries and Contracts. I have always believed that a good law professor ought to be able to capably teach any course in the first-year curriculum, but I will admit that I would need quite a bit of preparation before I am ready to teach a course on Blackstone!

With this online edition of the Bulletin, we hope that we have compiled the most essential information for you, our students, while pointing you to the most important additional sources of information. We will continue to improve this online Bulletin over time. At the bottom of the Bulletin homepage, we have placed a link where you can provide feedback on the Bulletin. Our goal is to make this the most supportive tool possible to help you navigate your academic career at GW Law.