Georgetown Law’s Year in Review 2023

December 20, 2023

Clockwise from top left: Dean William M. Treanor and U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi; class of 2023 graduates; Professors Lawrence Gostin and Michele Goodwin, co-faculty directors of the O'Neill Institute; the 2023-2024 staff of The Georgetown Law Journal.

As 2023 draws to a close, we're looking back at the past year at Georgetown Law, from headline-grabbing guest speakers to innovative student and faculty achievements. Join us in reflecting on this year's memorable moments below.

Noteworthy guests

Left to right: Sen. Mazie Hirono; U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi; former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.Georgetown Law has long welcomed guests working at the heart of pressing legal and political issues, and 2023 was no exception. In February, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Andriy Kostin visited campus for an event highlighting the efforts of the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group for Ukraine, an international partnership based at Georgetown Law’s new International Criminal Justice Initiative that is supporting the Ukrainian government in documenting and prosecuting war crimes.

In the spring, ​​judicial accountability advocate Sen. Mazie Hirono (left), L’78 (D-Hawaii), urged students to take risks in their lives and careers. “It’s when you fail, and what happens after you fail, that can really show you what you’re made of,” she said during her 2023 Graduating Class Lecture.

Recently retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (right) and Chief Justice of India Dhananjanaya Yeshwant Chandrachud met in October as part of a conversation series focused on constitutional law, where they discussed matters ranging from same-sex marriage to their own legal studies abroad.

Also on campus this fall was U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (center), H’02 (D-Calif.), Speaker Emerita of the U.S. House of Representatives, who delivered Georgetown Law’s 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture. “You are the here and now, but you’re also what comes next,” Pelosi told the student audience during her conversation with Dean William M. Treanor.


Clockwise from left: Commencement speaker Savannah Guthrie; founders and leaders of the Georgetown Street Law Program; students who attended a pre-orientation week organized by RISE.In May, commencement speaker Savannah Guthrie (left), L’02, H’23, returned to her alma mater to urge graduates from the class of 2023 to move beyond their comfort zone as they launch new careers. “Comfortable is not where you’re going to find out who you really are,” said Guthrie, co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY and NBC News chief legal correspondent.

In August, more than 1,000 J.D. and LL.M. students – future “Hoya Lawyas” hailing from all 50 states and 14 countries — arrived on campus for orientation, including 103 students who attended a pre-orientation week organized by RISE (bottom right), the Law Center’s program for students with less exposure to law school and the legal profession.

For some, 2023 was a year of reflection. Founders and leaders of the Georgetown Street Law Program (top right) gathered in April to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the innovative clinic, which was founded in 1972 to bring law students into high school classrooms to teach legal basics and has since grown into a global program active across the U.S. and in 45 countries.

As for the future? In June, Dean Treanor unveiled plans for a new 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the art academic building on campus. A record $30 million naming gift from alumnus Daniel Tsai, L’79, chairman of Taiwan-based Fubon Group, will serve as the cornerstone of a $100 million fundraising campaign to make the building a reality.

Student achievement

Clockwise from left: Members of the Georgetown Gilbert and Sullivan Society; the 2023-2024 staff of The Georgetown Law Journal; Professor Jennifer Hillman with students whose work became a new book on trade and climate change.As always, students were hard at work on exciting initiatives on campus and beyond. In November, The Georgetown Law Journal (top right) hosted a symposium on “Afrofuturism and the Law,” the first academic conference in the U.S. to discuss the legal dimensions of Afrofuturism, a movement that merges futuristic themes with Black aesthetics and culture.

For one group of students (bottom right), classwork turned into bookwork — or rather, a real book! Professor from Practice Jennifer Hillman, co-director of the Center on Inclusive Trade and Development, was so impressed by student papers from her seminar on trade and climate change that she compiled them into a 490-page volume, published in August, that tackles subjects ranging from decarbonization to food security.

In the spring, members of the Georgetown Gilbert and Sullivan Society (left) staged fan-favorite musical “Cabaret.” Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, the group has served as a creative outlet for members of the Georgetown Law community since the 1970s. Up next is Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” with performances slated for April 2024.

Faculty in focus

Clockwise from left: Professor Michele Goodwin; Professor Mary McCord and her podcast co-host Andrew Weissman; a group photo of the Georgetown Law faculty.Over the summer, the Georgetown Law faculty (bottom right, gathering for their first group photo since 2019) welcomed five new members with expertise in health law, international economic law, civil justice, intellectual property, corporate governance and more.

For one of them, Professor Michele Goodwin (left), the new co-faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law, coming to the Law Center has been an uplifting experience. “Almost to the person, at Georgetown Law my colleagues have devoted crucial aspects of their careers and important parts of their lives to thinking about how the work they do impacts the world,” she said. “I feel very at home with that. And I’m very excited about it.”

Something Goodwin has in common with her new colleagues? She’s one of several at the helm of popular legal podcasts. “On the Issues with Michele Goodwin,” her series with Ms. Magazine, offers a nuanced take on news affecting marginalized communities, such as the fight for a $15 minimum wage and sexual violence during wartime.

Fellow podcaster Professor Mary McCord, L’90, executive director of Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, examines the legal cases against former President Donald Trump for MSNBC’s “Prosecuting Donald Trump.” In September, McCord and co-host Andrew Weissman (top right) even taped an episode live on campus.

Happy holidays! The Georgetown Law communications team is looking forward to bringing you more stories from our campus and community in 2024.