Gonzaga University School of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Introduction

Gonzaga University School of Law is dedicated to providing students with an excellent legal education. To fulfill this dedication, the law school fosters a vibrant culture of scholarly inquiry; offers a wide array of learning experiences; teaches in-depth knowledge of legal doctrine, theory, and policy; provides extensive training in professional skills; and nurtures social consciousness, all consistent with the school’s Jesuit, Catholic, and humanistic traditions. Gonzaga is committed to enrolling a diverse student community, including students of all backgrounds and beliefs.

The campus is located in Spokane, Washington, a four-season city with the Spokane River flowing through its center. The metropolitan area of approximately 500,000 people serves as the hub of the Inland Northwest, a large area running from the Cascade Mountains in the west to the Rockies in the east. Spokane is a cultural center for the area, with professional and amateur theater groups, a symphony, art galleries, and other cultural offerings. Spokane also serves as the region’s hub for health care, higher education, agriculture, and light industry. It is a recreational sports area abundant with lakes, mountains, and forests. The Spokane International Airport is conveniently located 10 miles from the campus.

Physical Facilities and Library

On the banks of the Spokane River, the law school provides a magnificent setting conducive to research and learning. Beautiful outdoor spaces, roof plazas, balconies, and comfortable lounges encourage student and faculty interaction. The law school offers a variety of classroom and library spaces to accommodate traditional courses, smaller skills-based courses, collaborative work, and individual study. The Chastek Library is the largest legal research facility between Seattle and Minneapolis with a collection of over 300,000 volumes and an extensive array of electronic resources. The library offers many services to support the instructional, research, and scholarly endeavors of the law school and university community. Librarians provide reference support and play an active role in legal research instruction using both traditional and electronic resources.

Curriculum and Faculty

Gonzaga has a rigorous curriculum that focuses on legal doctrine, problem solving, and professional ethics. Equally as important is its emphasis on developing essential lawyering skills, such as oral and written advocacy, transactional planning and drafting, and negotiation.

The term “teaching faculty” applies in a very special way to the School of Law faculty. The Jesuit tradition demands a high degree of student-professor interaction inside and outside the classroom, and this emphasis attracts exceptional faculty. Gonzaga’s focus on the individual student, a favorable student-to-faculty ratio, and the promotion of positive rather than negative competition provides an atmosphere of success in which to study.

Special Programs

Gonzaga is at the forefront of legal education and offers several ways of earning your legal education. The Three-Year Traditional program takes 36 months, split into 3 academic years, with summers open for internships, externships, or taking a few extra classes. The Accelerated Two-Year JD program compresses the full 90-credit requirement for a JD degree into 24 calendar months. To ensure that students get the same experiential component, Accelerated Program students are required to fulfill eight credits of internship or externship experience.

Our students get the benefit of Gonzaga’s unique first-year program that pairs two doctrinal courses each term with a skills and professionalism lab. In the first term, Civil Procedure and Torts are paired with a litigation skills lab. In the second term, Contracts and Property are paired with a lab that exposes students to transactional lawyering. Both labs include instruction and exercises that are designed to help our students begin to identify and develop the professional values and habits that will be a part of their lives as attorneys.

Also central to Gonzaga’s skills training is its required, four-term Legal Research and Writing program. The first three terms train students in legal research, analysis, and writing through exercises that simulate what lawyers in practice regularly do.  The fourth term is a capstone course that allows students to choose advanced training in transactional drafting, advanced advocacy, or drafting for litigation. In addition, all students are required to engage in experiential learning, either through working in a professional externship or in Gonzaga’s legal clinic. Students may earn up to 15 credits in externship or clinic placements, during which they learn real-world lawyering skills under the supervision of a lawyer in the field. Students may also extern for a full semester’s worth of credits almost anywhere in the country.

Gonzaga now offers the Zaglaw Workshop series, which is an innovative program designed to better prepare first-year students for the reality of life as a lawyer and community professional. Sessions include training around competencies such as identifying one’s own values, effective communication, time management, recognizing implicit bias, and other areas relating to enhancing one’s professional and leadership capabilities.

The Center for Law in Public Service supports the aspirations of students who study law in order to use their knowledge and skills for public service, whether they wish to make a full-time practice of public service law or to promote the public good through other means. The Center provides extracurricular avenues for students to acquire the skills and substantive knowledge applicable to practicing public service law.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights provides students, scholars, and community leaders with opportunities to explore and address issues relating to civil rights and civil liberties, social and criminal justice, public interest law, immigration, Native American law, and international human rights. The center will benefit students by engaging them in writing projects and experiential learning through clinics, public service projects, and community work both in Spokane and at the Gonzaga campus in Florence, Italy. Additionally, the center will offer students the ability to obtain a certificate in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.

There are also four dual-degree options. In cooperation with Gonzaga University School of Business, Master of Accountancy, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Science in Taxation degrees are available. In cooperation with Eastern Washington University, a Master of Social Work dual degree is also available.

Study Abroad

Gonzaga’s summer law program in Florence, Italy provides an opportunity to study comparative and international law focusing on human rights, all in historic Florence. Steeped in a commitment to global justice, the Florence Summer Law Program is an ABA-accredited program located in the heart of the birthplace of the Renaissance. During the Renaissance, Florence was a stalwart defender of civic liberty. Today, the city is also a center for art, fashion, and culture, offering students the opportunity to examine firsthand the complexity of the political, economic, and social issues that currently affect Italy, Europe, and the world.

The program offers an exciting and challenging four- or five-credit learning experience in a small, interactive classroom setting, supplemented with extensive extracurricular activities. These activities include an international mediation competition with the University of Florence School of Law, and an annual human rights symposium conducted in partnership with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Italia. The program is held at Gonzaga’s full-service building in the heart of Florence, and a program director is onsite throughout the program.

Admission

The School of Law endeavors to attract students with curious minds, professional motivation, commitment to the highest ethics and values of the legal profession, and an interest in public service. Consideration of applicants is not restricted to statistics, but includes recognition and review of the qualities of applicants reflected in their personal statements, résumés, and letters of recommendation. Gonzaga seeks to enroll a diverse student body.

Student Activities

Gonzaga’s educational philosophy is based on the centuries-old lgnatian model of educating the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. Students find it easy to become involved in a broad range of activities. Gonzaga competes regionally and nationally in moot court competitions. The Gonzaga Law Review is circulated throughout the country, and the Gonzaga Journal of International Law, an online international law journal, receives submissions from around the world. The Student Bar Association is a strong, active organization that encourages student involvement. There is ample opportunity to participate in intra- and inter-school moot court competitions and other legal organizations and activities. Whatever your interests or career goals, there are activities available that will enhance your knowledge and abilities while contributing to the community.

Housing

The Gonzaga campus is adjacent to a residential area in close proximity to downtown Spokane. Even within walking distance of the law school, rental rates are reasonably priced. For further information, please review the Gonzaga University Housing and Residence Office website.

Financial Aid

Law school is a career investment. For students who need financial assistance to help fund this investment, we encourage filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Gonzaga also provides more than $2 million in merit-based scholarship aid to entering law students, and your admission application will serve as your scholarship application. All applicants are automatically considered for these scholarships. However, students who are interested in applying for other scholarships, including the Thomas More Scholarship, will need to apply separately. The Thomas More Scholarship Program, which covers 100 percent of awarded students’ tuition, provides a unique opportunity for talented individuals to realize their commitment to serving the public interest through law. For all other scholarships available, please visit our Financial Aid website.

Professional Development

The Center for Professional Development is committed to serving the needs of students, employers, and alumni. Beginning in the 1L year, the center helps students integrate into the legal profession by providing career counseling, résumé and cover letter review, job listings, interviewing and networking resources, and workshops. Recognizing that career development is a lifelong process, the office provides graduates access to services throughout their professional lives. Prospective employers are encouraged to utilize our recruitment services, including online job postings, job fairs, customized recruiting, and interviewing programs.

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Gonzaga:

3.22 to 3.63

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Gonzaga:

152 to 156

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Gonzaga:

3.22 to 3.63

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Gonzaga:

152 to 156

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Gonzaga:

3.22 to 3.63

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Gonzaga:

152 to 156

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

721 N. Cincinnati Street, PO Box 3528,
Spokane, WA 99220-3528,
United States