About the UW School of Law
Leaders for the Global Common GoodSM
Scholarly Discovery | Ethical Advocacy | Inspired Teaching | Generous Public
The Vision: To shape and define just and sustainable laws and policies through scholarly
discovery, ethical advocacy, inspired teaching and generous public service.
The University of Washington School of Law aspires to be the best public law school
in the nation and one of the world’s most respected centers for interdisciplinary
The Mission: To serve and educate our students to be leaders for the global
Read our full Vision and Identity Statement
Our students are asked to rethink and defend their conceptions of the law and its relation to
social problems. First-year students are often surprised to learn that their principal
objective is not to "learn the law" but rather to develop the intellectual
tools and skills necessary to work as professionals. They gain experience
in analyzing cases, statutes, and other legal materials, thereby learning the structure
and operation of the legal system.
Despite its status as a state university law school, we
offer courses that provide a broad view of the American legal system. Although
faculty members may present the Washington view on a particular issue as an illustration
for a broad-ranging discussion, graduates of the school are well prepared to practice
law anywhere in the United States.
Each fall, an entering class of about 180 J.D. students begins the study of law.
The high number of applications received each year allows the School of Law to select
an exceptional student body. Our students are academically sound and culturally
diverse. Their educational and professional backgrounds create a stimulating intellectual
All students take a full-time course load; the School of Law does not have a part-time
or evening division.
The University of Washington School of Law offers a student-to-faculty
ratio of 10:1.
Faculty areas of specialization include labor law, tax law, international law, environmental
and water law, family law, real property law, laws concerning business organization,
commercial law, constitutional law, the law of sex and race discrimination, American
Indian law, intellectual property, and health law.
In addition, there are several faculty members specifically interested in questions
of legal history, legal philosophy, and law and social science. These interests
are reflected in the School's
The Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library houses a collection of more than 650,000
volumes establishing it as one of the largest university law collections on the
In addition to an extensive research collection, it supports the
Sustainable International Development Law, and Tax graduate programs and serves as a federal
depository for selected U.S. government documents. CD-ROM technology and full
Internet accessibility is a growing part of the library's broad-based access
to information resources. A highly-trained staff of 38 facilitates access to a wide
variety of legal information needs and services.
Law students also have access to the seventeen other libraries of the University
William H. Gates Hall opened in September 2003. The building houses classrooms,
student lounge, a coffee/snack kiosk, locker areas, the Marian Gould Gallagher Law
Library, and faculty, administration and student organization offices. The building
itself is fully accessible to people with disabilities and is equipped with Braille
The law school offers:
- wireless internet access throughout the building
- outlets in each classroom seat.
- classrooms equipped with audio/visual equipment including CD/DVD players and
- podiums wired for internet access (most with built-in computers)and
- computer labs with 28 PCs for general use.