Required First-Year Program
What is the first-year class setting?
One of the benefits of Georgetown's sweeping curriculum and large faculty is that students have many opportunities to take small classes, permitting them to work closely with distinguished faculty members. The first year class is divided into 5 full-time sections (of approximately 100 students) and 1 part-time section (of approximately 50 students). All first year full-time students have a small section class of about 33 students, and an even smaller Legal Practice: Writing and Analysis seminar of about 25 students. Mentors are assigned to the smaller sections.
What is the first-year curriculum like?
Unlike many other law schools, Georgetown offers first year students welcome choices in their course of study. The first option, Curriculum "A," provides a thorough grounding in the foundational subjects — civil procedure, contracts, constitutional law, criminal procedure, property and torts — while enabling students in the spring semester to select from a diverse menu of elective courses drawn from two major areas of law: legislative/regulatory law and international/comparative/transnational law. The second option, Curriculum "B," covers the traditional subjects offered in Curriculum "A," but takes an interdisciplinary approach, placing emphasis on the public nature of law and the sources of law in economics, philosophy and other social sciences.
All first-year students have the opportunity to request a seat in the optional one-week, 1-credit course "Week One: Law in a Global Context," which meets in January. A lottery will be conducted in the Fall semester for interested students. Enrolled students must attend every class session and are graded on a pass/fail basis. Through lectures, discussion sessions, and simulation exercises, the course introduces students to lawyering in a transnational setting so they can begin to understand how legal problems increasingly transcend national boundaries. The course also demonstrates the importance of the careful analysis of statues, regulations, and international agreements, as distinct from analysis of common law cases.
Are there tutorial programs?
Yes. Tutorial programs are conducted by the Office of the Dean of Students. Tutorial groups are established for each of the five first year sections. Each group is coordinated by an upper-class tutor who meets with participants at least once a week for two hours. Any particular learning issue that arises is given individual attention. Additionally, upper-class students are available to give one-on-one tutorial assistance.
Are there opportunities to meet faculty?
Yes. In addition to regular office hours, Georgetown Law has a Learn at Lunch program in which faculty members discuss an area of law they are interested in and students brown bag it on a walk-in basis. Another luncheon discussion series Georgetown Law offers is a program called First Wednesdays, where faculty, students, and invited guest speakers get together in an informal setting to discuss cutting edge legal issues. There are also periodic student receptions which faculty attend, and many professors are active with student organizations as well.