National Security Law
Georgetown Law is the place to study national security law. We offer the leading academic program in the field, both for J.D. students and for students pursuing an, anchored by a faculty of unparalleled expertise and accomplishments. Our full-time professors are leaders in their fields, excelling in scholarship, in innovative simulations and other experiential learning initiatives, in practice, and in policymaking. Our visiting and adjunct faculty members are leading practitioners drawn from the highest levels of government, the private sector, and the nonprofit and advocacy worlds. Many students arrive at Georgetown Law with a background in national security and related fields. All who study in the area leave with an unparalleled depth of knowledge of contemporary issues in the area, as well as experience with how lawyers operate within it.
The Center on National Security and the Law engages students in work on various projects, including online publications like the State Secrets Archives and the Security Law Brief, as well as research projects on topics such as biometrics, habeas litigation, and national security treaties. The Center serves as a resource for both our national security law faculty and outside organizations, and is a conduit for students seeking externships at outside organizations.
The Center holds numerous events on the issues of the day. Examples include the Emerging Technologies and National Security Law series, the Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law conference, and the Annual Security Clearances Workshop, where representatives from government agencies come to answer questions and advise students on the security clearance process.
Georgetown Law’s innovative approach to experiential learning can be seen in its National Security Crisis Law Invitational, a multi-day simulation. The event adapts the traditional law school moot court experience to national security practice, where the executive, legislative, and judicial branches all play important roles. A large team of teachers, former students, law school fellows, federal judges, and other expert practitioners plans the simulation, serve as the simulation control team, mentors students, and provides feedback. During the exercise, students role-play various top government officials, sift through hundreds of documents, adapt their actions to rapidly changing facts and storylines, and draft legal process documents such as national security letters and wiretap applications.
Georgetown Law is also home to the Journal of National Security Law & Policy, the top peer-reviewed journal in the field, on which students work extensively. Students can also participate in the National Security Law Society and the Military Law Society, providing additional opportunities to connect with students with similar interests, with the national security community on campus, and with the Washington, D.C. professional community.
Finally, Georgetown Law’s location in Washington, DC, and its faculty’s deep engagement in the national security community, provide a wealth of individual opportunities for students. In the spring of 2015, for example, students participated in the Guantanamo Observers Program, travelling to Guantanamo Bay on a military aircraft and staying at Camp Justice to observe the workings of the military commissions. Students who study national security at Georgetown Law find themselves in the middle of some of the most important discussions and debates in the nation, rubbing shoulders with top policy makers and leading academics in the field.
International Law in Domestic Courts Seminar
Issues in Disarmament: Proliferation and Terrorism Seminar
Justice and Accountability for International Atrocity Crimes: Bridging Theory and Practice Seminar
Proseminar in National Security Law
Week One: Law in a Global Context - Terrorism, Extradition, and Human Rights
- David Luban, Knowing When Not to Fight, in The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of War 185-203 (Seth Lazar & Helen Frowe eds., New York: Oxford University Press 2018). [SSRN] [Gtown Law]
- Rosa Brooks, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon (New York: Simon & Schuster 2016). [BOOK]
- David D. Cole & Federico Fabbrini, Bridging the Transatlantic Divide? The United States, the European Union, and the Protection of Privacy Across Borders, 14 Int'l J. Const. L. 220-237 (2016).
Faculty in the News
"How anti-paramilitary laws may have kept Tennessee rallies from turning violent," coverage by Tennessean, March 5, 2018, quoting Visiting Professor Mary McCord.
"Trump Administration Strikes Multiple Deportation Deals; What's in Them?," coverage by Voice of America, March 3, 2018, quoting Professor David Stewart.
"‘I don’t envy them’: Hope Hicks and other White House women struggle to defend Trump in the #MeToo era," coverage by The Washington Post, March 2, 2018, quoting Professor Rosa Brooks.Read more