Facilities and Services
The Law Library serves the students and faculty of the law school by offering a wealth of legal and law-related information in a variety of formats. A collection strong in historical material has been integrated with online resources to meet the needs of researchers in many specialized areas. The Library itself, housed on six levels, offers a wide range of study areas, including several large, comfortable reading rooms, and a number of small conference rooms and study cubicles.
A staff of 40 librarians and support staff, a number of whom are trained in both law and information science, is the key to using the collection of more than 600,000 volumes and volume equivalents. The Library’s sophisticated online catalog, JACOB, can be used both to locate materials within the facility and to access the online catalogs of neighboring institutions, including the Library of Congress. Emerging technology has been fully utilized by providing access to many web-based services. All of these electronic resources can be used from a variety of stations throughout the library. Two computer labs can be used for word processing, access to legal databases and e-mail. Additional terminals dedicated to the use of e-mail are available, as well as a wireless network for linking notebook computers to the GW network.
The collection itself, while broad-based, focuses on Anglo-American resources and is particularly strong in the areas of environmental law, intellectual property, government procurement and federal practice, tax law, and labor law. A large international and comparative law collection focuses on the areas of human rights, law of the sea, commercial transactions, intellectual property, and environmental law. The Library also houses one of the largest collections of rare legal materials in the United States, with emphasis placed on early international and European law.
The Library attempts to collect materials in a variety of related areas such as history, economics, and political science for individuals conducting interdisciplinary research. In addition, the excellent collections of the University’s two other libraries, the Gelman Library, and the Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library, are both within a few blocks of the law school.
The Center for Professional Development and Career Strategy provides individual and group counseling for all aspects of the career development and job search process. Students, recent graduates, and prospective employers are served through a variety of programs and resources, including a database with thousands of job postings, newsletters of current career information, interview and recruiting programs, an alumni network, and counseling and workshops on job application materials, interview skills, and job search strategy. In addition, the Career Center offers presentations throughout the year on legal and alternative career topics and employment options.
Supplemental Legal Education
Members of the Bar who wish to keep abreast of current developments in the law may register for any of the courses in the law school on a noncredit basis as Supplemental Legal Education students. Specific courses are open to non-lawyers whose special qualifications justify their registration. Such students do not take examinations in courses and no grades are recorded for their work.
A simplified admission and registration procedure is used and must be completed on or before the last day of regular registration for the appropriate semester. Supplemental Legal Education students pay only the tuition fee on a credit-hour basis. They may not participate in student activities or benefit from the medical privileges of the University. (Supplemental Legal Education registrations are subject to cancellation if courses are filled by regularly registered students).
The Columbia Plaza Housing Program provides GW Law students assistance in securing an apartment in Columbia Plaza, a privately owned, multi-building complex, by serving as a reference and guarantor. Columbia Plaza is located at 2400 Virginia Avenue, NW, adjacent to the GW campus. For more information about Columbia Plaza and other GW housing options, contact GW Housing Programs at 202.994.2552 or living.gwu.edu.
Law students typically choose to live in neighborhoods located in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Maryland. The University’s Off-Campus Housing Office posts a variety of local housing options for students, including efficiencies, apartments, and group houses. Prices for housing vary considerably and generally match those in other major metropolitan areas. Some students choose to live in the immediate vicinity in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, while others live in other parts of the city or in nearby suburbs and take advantage of the excellent public transportation system in the metropolitan area, which includes a Metro stop on campus.
Student Health Service
The Colonial Health Center Medical Services provides an outpatient clinic staffed by physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Students can be evaluated and treated for most medical problems. Psychiatrists are on staff to provide evaluation, referrals, and crisis intervention. Visits should be arranged by appointment; urgent problems may be seen on a walk-in basis if necessary. Additional charges for visits, lab work, and medication may apply. Health education and outreach programs on a variety of topics are provided throughout the year.
When the clinic is closed, students may call the after-hours medical advice line at 202.994.5300 or, for serious emergencies, students may go to the Emergency Room of the University Hospital for treatment. This arrangement is for emergency care only and all fees are the responsibility of the student, and students are urged to bring their insurance information with them.
Students must be currently enrolled on campus in the University to receive treatment. Students who so desire may engage physicians and nurses of their own choice, but these students will be responsible for all fees charged. The bills incurred from all services rendered outside the clinic (for example, x-ray work, laboratory work, and referrals to specialists or other outside physicians) are the responsibility of the student.
Health, Accident and Tuition Insurance
The University recommends that all students be covered by health and accident insurance. International students are required to have health insurance and will be automatically enrolled in a GW student health plan. International students may waive this requirement by providing proof of existing coverage.
The George Washington University participates in an elective tuition insurance program offered through A.W.G. Dewar, Inc.
The “Tuition Refund Plan” refunds a portion of the unused annual tuition and insured fees should the student need to withdraw for covered reasons. Tuition insurance must be purchased prior to the start of the academic year. Spring may only be purchased if the student was not registered in the prior fall semester.
It is the law in the District of Columbia that all students under the age of 26 have a record on file with the Health Center documenting immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella (two immunizations with the initial dose given after the first birthday or positive titers), varicella (chickenpox—by immunization, documented history of disease or positive titers), hepatitis B series, meningococcal vaccine (or meningitis waiver), and a current tetanus/diphtheria booster (within 10 years prior to the beginning of the semester). This requirement applies to all students regardless of their program of study or degree status. The University also requires students to be immunized against Covid-19, unless they obtain a religious or medical exemption. Full details of the vaccination requirement are available online. Students registering for the first time will be able to do so without complete records on file, but any subsequent registration will be blocked if this requirement has not been fulfilled.
University Disability Support Services
Disability Support Services (DSS), as part of the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement at GW, ensures equivalent access to the curricular programs for our students with documented disabilities, as well as those temporarily disabled by injury or illness. Accommodations available, designed to ameliorate the impact of the disability, offer reasonable and appropriate assistance to facilitate student participation in the academic arena. Services provided without charge to the student may include sign language interpreters, CART, the use of various assistive technologies and adaptive equipment, exam accommodations, and note-taking assistance. DSS does not provide content tutoring, although it may be available on a fee basis from other campus resources. The University also does not provide or pay for transportation services or personal attendant care.
The University and the GW Law Dean of Students Office work together to support law students with academic accommodations. Through a bifurcated approach, law students first request to register with the University and establish eligibility. Once students are registered with the University, law students work with designated staff in the law school Dean of Students Office, the office responsible for advising students and implementing academic accommodations. Both the process for a law student to register for and the implementation of accommodations differs greatly from undergraduate experience due to grading exams anonymously. Law students should not present a law professor with a letter of eligibility from DSS. For more information, law students may visit the Dean of Students webpage.
The Health Center Mental Health Services offers a broad range of services to help students with personal issues. Services include short-term individual therapy, group therapy, crisis services, academic skill enhancement, and psycho-educational workshops. All counseling services are confidential, and are not part of the student’s academic record. Telephone assessment and consultations, and referral assistance are also provided. The initial assessment is free. Counselors are available during business hours to answer student questions about services and campus resources, and for faculty to consult about students of concern or other issues. Counselors are available after hours for urgent consultations. Information, referrals, and emergency services are available 24/7 at 202.994.5300.