The Antonin Scalia Law School is located just a few miles from downtown Washington, D.C., the nexus for the creation of the world's most important legislation and jurisprudence.
During the past decade, the law school has been in the forefront of curricular innovation. Recognizing the rapid changes that are occurring in legal practice and the legal profession, Scalia Law has been a pioneer in providing its students with a unique curriculum that gives students correspondingly unique advantages in today’s competitive employment market.
Intellectual Property Opportunities
The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area is an established center for the practice of intellectual property (IP) law, with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (government headquarters for patents, trademarks, and copyright) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (which has sole appellate jurisdiction over patent cases) located minutes away from the law school. Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland represent a technology hub for the United State’s East Coast, offering students a wealth of opportunities for study and employment throughout the region. Tech companies with a presence in the region include, Amazon (H2Q), AWS (Amazon’s server division), Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and many more.
Scalia Law’s intellectual property classes are taught by full-time and adjunct law faculty members who are exceptionally well qualified in their practice areas. Our IP adjunct faculty boasts a sitting Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; the Solicitor of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), a former Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, a former Register of Copyrights, a former Examiner-in-Chief and Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences Administrative Judge, a former WIPO Director of Industrial Property law, former chief counsels of the principal subcommittees on intellectual property in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and prominent practitioners from most of the leading intellectual property law firms in the Washington metropolitan area.
- The Intellectual Property LLM program draws on the law school’s extensive resources to provide one of the most comprehensive, diverse programs of its kind among Washington, D.C. and Virginia law schools, according to a GMU survey of law schools in this region. The program offers students the choice between a technology focus or a patent focus.
- The Patent Law Concentration is for JD students who wish to develop a greater degree of specialization in that area.
- The Intellectual Property Focus Area is for JD students interested in intellectual property law and considering practicing in patent, trademark, or copyright law.
- Scalia Law offers a broad range of Intellectual Property Courses to its students.
- Scalia Law is home to the Center for Intellectual Property x Innovation Policy (C-IP2) which brings together scholars, industry leaders, inventors, creators, and policymakers to examine foundational questions and current controversies concerning patents, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights.
Law and Economics Opportunities
Scalia Law has assembled a distinctive, interdisciplinary faculty, many of whom hold doctorates in economics, philosophy, political science or related fields. The law school’s curriculum integrates economic and quantitative tools, stressing the application of non-legal methods in legal contexts.
- The Law & Economics Focus Area allows JD students to delve deeper into the study of law and economic theory than the required first-year law and economics course alone. Scalia Law also offers a broad range of Economics and Law Courses to its students.
- Students may participate on the Journal of Law, Economics & Policy, the first student-run journal focused on law and economics in legal academia. One issue each year is devoted to a symposium on important legal and economic policy questions.
- The law school’s Moot Court Board hosts an extramural competition open to law schools nationwide, the Manne Moot Court Competition, each year in February. The competition seeks to enhance law school students’ understanding of the application of economic principles to legal problems.
- Scalia Law School is home to the Law & Economics Center which conducts original, high-quality law and economics research and provides educational programs for judges, attorneys general, and other policymakers to enhance economic understanding and impact policy solutions.
- The Global Antitrust Institute (GAI) at Antonin Scalia Law School promotes the application of sound economic analysis to competition enforcement around the world. The GAI offers economic education programs; engages in competition advocacy; participates in policy briefings, lectures, and academic workshops; facilitates debates and discussion of contemporary competition policy issues with events; and hosts guest scholars from around the world.
National Security Law & Policy Concentration
Our National Security Law & Policy Concentration, along with our National Security Institute, enables Scalia Law students who are interested in specializing in this field to present potential employers (both in government and in the private sector) with a credential that reflects a solid foundation in national security law and policy.
A Variety of Practical Experiences
The law school’s location in Metropolitan Washington, D.C., gives Scalia Law students unparalleled opportunities to gain substantial practical experience while in law school. Students work outside the classroom under the supervision of an attorney, receive exposure to various areas of practice, build basic lawyering skills, and obtain valuable networking ties while receiving credit. Our Clinics, Externships, and Legal Practicum page provides more details on the wide range of practical opportunities available to students.
Scalia Law offers in-house field placement opportunities as well:
- Domestic Relations—Assisted by a mentor, students represent clients in obtaining uncontested divorces or other domestic relations matters, preparing for interviews, court filings, and hearings.
- Virginia Practice—Students are placed as interns throughout Northern Virginia, including in judges’ chambers, the Office of the Public Defender, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, a city or county attorney’s office, legal aid, or in a private attorney’s office. Heavy emphasis is placed on developing students’ litigation skills.
- Supreme Court—Through this clinic, students assist in the provision of pro bono legal representation before the United States Supreme Court. The year-long clinic provides Scalia Law students with the opportunity to work closely with experienced attorneys to identify cases of interest, research legal issues, and draft Supreme Court briefs on behalf of parties and amici at both the certiorari and merits stages.
Scalia Law provides students an alternative opportunity to earn credit while working on real cases with real clients, applying classroom experience in a practical setting:
- Immigration Law—Students work directly with attorneys at the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) to gain translatable skills and valuable perspectives on immigration law, specifically the deportation process and federal habeas corpus litigation.
- Law and Mental Illness—Students study the history and development of the laws affecting the mentally ill and prepare for and represent petitioners in civil commitment hearings.
- Patent Law—Students work directly with an inventor to draft an actual patent application for submission.
- Regulatory Law—While working with a mentor, students may engage in the federal regulatory process by analyzing active regulations and filing public comments.
- Legal Assistance to Servicemembers and Veterans—Students provide active-duty members of the armed forces and their families with free representation in civil cases of clear injustice or in which they could not retain counsel without undue hardship.
For a complete list of clinical and other practical opportunities for Scalia Law students, see Clinics, Externships, and Legal Practicum.