Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Degree Programs 

School of Law

Department Overview


Kellye Y. Testy

Associate Deans

Steve Calandrillo
Penny A. Hazelton
Mary Hotchkiss
Peter Nicolas

Assistant Dean

Naomi Sanchez

Interim Assistant Dean

Stephanie Cox

Established in 1889, the School of Law is a member of the Association of American Law Schools and is on the American Bar Association's list of approved law schools. Graduates of the School are prepared to practice law anywhere in the United States. Additional information about the School is contained in the current School of Law catalog.

Facilities and Services

The School of Law, housed in William Gates Hall since 2003, is equipped with classroom, clinical, library, lounge, and office facilities. Eleven classrooms are equipped for multi-media presentations, wireless internet connection, and assistive-listening systems.

The Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library is among the largest university law collections on the West Coast. The collection currently contains more than 450,000 bound volumes and volume equivalents of microform. In addition to the extensive main collection, it houses important materials that support the Asian, marine, sustainable international development, and tax law graduate programs and serves as a federal depository for selected United States government documents. The library is equipped with the latest in microreaders and printers in order to make full use of the growing microform collection. The library is a subscriber to LEXIS, WESTLAW, the Western Library Network, and other research databases.

Juris Doctor Program

The Juris Doctor (JD) degree is conferred upon a student who has met the residence requirements, consisting of nine quarters of at least 12 credits each, and has earned at least 135 credits satisfactory to the School of Law.

As with most law schools in the United States, the first-year courses are required and are designed to introduce students to basic legal skills, foundational subject matter, and the variety of public and private processes with which the profession is concerned. Those courses deal with contracts, torts, property, civil procedure, criminal law, constitutional law, and basic legal skills.

Except for a required course in professional responsibility, the public service requirement, and an advanced writing project requirement, courses in the second and third years are elective. Therefore, a student may choose a program designed to suit his or her interests and needs. JD candidates are required to perform 60 hours of public-service legal work during the second or third year.


New students may enter the School of Law only in autumn quarter. For first-year students, instruction begins earlier than for upper-class students. Students must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university prior to commencing the study of law.

All applicants are required to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and to register for the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS). Registration packets and test information are available at most law schools and from Law School Admission Council, Box 2000, Newtown, PA 18940-0998.

No specific prelaw course is required or recommended, and the School of Law subscribes to the remarks set forth on prelaw preparation in The Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools (2000 Edition). Applications for admission to the next entering class must be postmarked no later than January 15. To be assured of consideration, an applicant must have complete credentials, including the LSDAS report, filed in the School of Law by February 1. An application fee (at this writing, $50) also is required.

Transfer Applicants

Students who have completed at least one year at a member school of the Association of American Law Schools may apply for admission with advanced standing, with credit for no more than one year of such work. A student who has completed or expects to complete at least two years of work at a member school of the Association of American Law Schools and who expects to graduate from that member school may apply to this school for admission as a non-degree candidate.

Applicants should request application forms and instructions from the admissions office in time to permit filing of all application materials by July 10.

Applications are considered only if vacancies exist. Selection is based on evidence either (1) that the candidate can produce above-average work at this law school, or (2) that the candidate will contribute to the diversity of the student body.

Students working on law degrees to be conferred by the University have priority over non-degree candidates in the selection of courses. This policy is in accordance with the general University policy on the registration of nonmatriculated students.

Financial Aid

Students in need of financial assistance may receive University aid, School of Law aid, federal loans, or aid from all these sources. To be considered for aid, applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 28. FAFSAs are available in December at most college financial aid offices, or may be obtained by writing or calling the Office of Student Financial Aid, 105 Schmitz Hall, Box 355880, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, (206) 543-6101, Applicants for admission should not wait until they have been admitted before applying for financial aid.

School of Law grants are awarded primarily on the basis of financial need, although scholarship or other factors may be considered for certain awards. Inquiries concerning School of Law aid should be addressed to Financial Aid Coordinator, School of Law, William Gates Hall, Box 353020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-3020;


A more detailed statement on admission policy and application procedure is available from the School of Law. Requests for application materials and the University law school bulletin should be addressed to Law School Admissions, William Gates Hall, Box 353020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-4617;; (206) 543-4078.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
William Gates Hall, Box 353020
(206) 543-4937

In addition to the professional law program leading to the Juris Doctor degree, the law faculty offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Laws (LLM) in Asian and Comparative Law, the law of sustainable international development, intellectual property law and policy, and taxation. The School of Law offers the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Asian and Comparative Law only.

Master of Laws

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum B or 3.00 GPA in the most recent two years of study.
  2. U.S. applicants must have completed their first degree in law (JD or equivalent) at a school accredited by the American Bar Association.
  3. International students must have a first degree in law (LLB, BLaw) or equivalent and a minimum TOEFL score of 580or 237 (TOEFLC).

Degree Requirements, Asian and Comparative Law

36 credits, as follows:

  1. Required courses: LAW B 551, LAW 600, LAW B 550; two courses in Asian and comparative law
  2. Elective courses: Additional courses, chosen in consultation with adviser, to bring total credits to 36.

Degree Requirements, Intellectual Property Law and Policy

40 credits, to include:

  1. Required core courses: LAW P 501, LAW P 510
  2. Additional requirement for students not trained in the common law system: LAW P 503
  3. At least 16 additional credits drawn from a list of approved elective courses.
  4. Research project and thesis

Degree Requirements, Law of Sustainable International Development

40 credits, as follows:

  1. 15 credits in Law School classes. The remaining 25 credits may be earned in any other departments of the University. Sustainable international development students are required to take courses in at least three departments other than the Law School.
  2. Writing and Research Requirement: Completion of a research paper is required and is generally satisfied by LAW B 578.
  3. LAW A 545

Degree Requirements, Taxation

36 credits, as follows:

  1. Required courses: LAW T 501, LAW T 502, LAW T 503, LAW T 504, LAW T 510, LAW T 511
  2. Core electives: Two of the following courses: LAW T 515, LAW T 516, LAW T 521, LAW T 530
  3. Electives: Additional courses, chosen in consultation with adviser, to reach 36 credits for degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Admission to the PhD program is limited to exceptional scholar-lawyers who are fluent in English and in another language. Prospective PhD students must normally complete the LLM program before being accepted as PhD students. The School does, however, welcome applications from candidates with equivalent academic standing and a demonstrated capacity for advanced research and writing.

Degree Requirements

90 credits, to include:

  1. An LLM degree is counted toward the credit necessary for the PhD program.
  2. Doctoral thesis seminar (4 credits)
  3. Other coursework (26-29 credits): Coursework varies according to student's research interest areas and is determined in consultation with Supervising Committee
  4. Doctoral dissertation (27-30 credits)

Financial Aid

Scholarship funds for graduate students in law are quite limited. Inquiries should be made to Law School Graduate Admissions, William Gates Hall, Box 353020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195;; (206) 543-4937.


Requests for applications and program brochures for all School of Law LLM programs except the LLM in taxation, as well as information regarding application procedures, should be addressed to Law School Graduate Admissions, William Gates Hall, Box 353020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.;

Requests for applications and program brochures for the LLM in taxation should be addressed to Law School Graduate Tax Admissions, William Gates Hall, Box 353020, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195;