The School of Law

Dean: Jane Korn

Gonzaga University School of Law was established in l9l2 by the Trustees of Gonzaga University with the active support of many prominent members of the bench and bar in Washington State. The School of Law has produced many exceptional lawyers. It is fully accredited by the American Bar Association, which entitles Gonzaga School of Law graduates to take the bar exam in any state. The School of Law is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

Objectives of Gonzaga University School of Law

Gonzaga School of Law belongs to a long and distinguished tradition of humanistic, Jesuit education. The school is committed to preserving that tradition and communicating it to the students. Accordingly, the School of Law seeks to challenge its students to incorporate knowledge of the past with the innovations of the present in order to better serve society. The education and development of the whole person is emphasized and an effort made to instill in the students a strong commitment to social justice and to encourage them to assume personal responsibility for and take individual initiative in the betterment of society.

The school recognizes its responsibility not only to the students, but also to the public and to the legal profession. As a result, the School of Law endeavors to graduate attorneys who, as capable problem-solvers, will be able to translate their thoughts into effective, productive action on behalf of their clients. Toward this end, an emphasis is placed on providing students with personal, individual attention.

One of the school's greatest strengths is the dedication and commitment of the faculty and staff. Gonzaga takes pride in providing students with a quality legal education which includes practical, hands-on experience that will ease their transition from the academic world to the world of legal practice.

Full-Time Programs

The School of Law offers a full-time, three-year, 90 semester credit degree.  In some circumstances, students can take advantage of flexible scheduling to complete their degrees in four or five years.

Of the 90 units necessary for graduation, 49 are required; the remaining units may be selected from electives and seminars. All degree credits must be completed within five years of matriculation.


Gonzaga's legal education program is deliberate. The rigorous, well-rounded curriculum focuses on legal analysis, problem-solving, values, and ethics. Equally important is the emphasis on practical experience, enabling students to develop real-world lawyering skills. The unique first-year program at Gonzaga exposes students to simulated skills training in litigation and transactional work in the fall and spring semesters, respectively, evidencing Gonzaga's commitment to these goals. As a further component to this innovative approach to legal education, the School of Law offers upper-division electives in many different areas of the law, including: trial and appellate advocacy, environment/natural resource law, business and commercial law and international law. To complete their education all students are required to engage in experiential learning, either through working in a professional externship or in Gonzaga's legal clinic, during their second or third year of studies.

University Legal Assistance

Gonzaga School of Law operates the University Legal Assistance program as an on-campus clinic that provides legal services to low-income persons. It is a major provider of pro bono legal services in the Spokane area. The clinic offers its students the opportunity to practice law, under appropriate lawyer supervision, while still in school. Rule 9 of the Washington State Bar Association allows students who have completed two years of course work (60 semester credits) to practice law under the supervision of a licensed attorney. On-campus clinical offerings include a general practice clinic and specific subject area clinics in consumer law, business law, elder law, Indian law, and tax law.

Off-campus professional externship experience is available in legal settings such as criminal prosecution and defense, child dependency, juvenile law, and legal services work.

Dual Degree Programs

The School of Law and the Graduate School of Business offer dual-degree programs leading to the Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA), and the Juris Doctor/Master of Accountancy (JD/MAcc). These programs train attorneys with a business background to provide skilled leadership in the sophisticated and challenging world of modern business transactions. Application must be made to the Graduate School of Business as well as to the School of Law.

There is also a JD/MSW dual-degree program which is designed to prepare law and social work professionals to practice either profession competently, and to enable them to use this unique amalgamation of skills in new and enriched ways. This four-year program (three years for students with "Advanced Standing" in Social Work) will lead successful students to a J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law, and a Master's in Social Work from Eastern Washington University. Graduates of the JD/MSW dual-degree program will be skilled professionals who can make significant contributions in areas such as public benefits, mental health services, children's services, services for people with disabilities, education, elder law and services, and public health. The program meets all applicable American Bar Association and Council on Social Work Education accreditation guidelines. Admission to the JD/MSW program is highly selective, and is currently limited to a maximum of four students per year. Students must apply and be admitted to both Gonzaga University School of Law and the Eastern Washington University School of Social Work, and must meet each school's established admissions criteria. This includes qualifying scores on standardized tests, such as the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). A candidate's application must be approved by both institutions before the candidate is considered for admission to this dual-degree program.

Co-Curricular Activities

Gonzaga's educational philosophy is based on the centuries-old Ignatian model of educating the whole person - mind, body, and spirit. Students, therefore, find it easy to become involved in a broad range of activities at the School of Law. Gonzaga is a major player in national moot court competitions and fields a variety of moot court teams. Students also have an opportunity to participate in the Linden Cup, Gonzaga's prestigious intra-school moot court competition, a client counseling competition, and a negotiation competition. The student-run Gonzaga Law Review is circulated throughout the country, and the Gonzaga Journal of International Law, the online international law journal, receives submissions from around the world. The Student Bar Association is a strong, active organization that encourages student involvement, and there are abundant opportunities to participate in student organizations, legal fraternities, public service projects, and other activities. Gonzaga's student organizations are diverse in nature and, whatever the interests or career goals, there are activities available that will enhance the knowledge and abilities, while contributing to the community.

Physical Facilities and Library

Rising from the banks of the beautiful Spokane River, the Gonzaga Law Center, which opened in May 2000, provides a stunning setting for research and learning. The Law Center offers a variety of classroom and library environments to support interactive teaching and learning methods. Features throughout the building encourage students to linger to talk and debate ideas in beautiful outdoor spaces, roof plazas and balconies, and comfortable lounges. Technology is readily available and a wireless network provide the "highway" for audio-visual, computer, and telecommunications technology. The mix of classrooms, study, seminar rooms, and clinical spaces provide flexibility to integrate the best of traditional law teaching and collaborative and innovative learning. Gonzaga's fine traditions of advocacy training and moot court competitions are promoted in the impressive Barbieri Courtroom.The law library is a warm and inviting environment filled with natural light designed to be conducive to individual and group study. The library's rich collection of print and electronic resources supports the research and scholarly needs of students and faculty.


The School of Law endeavors to attract students with ambitious minds, professional motivation, and commitment to the highest ethics and values of the legal profession. A faculty committee reviews all applications, and does not restrict their consideration to impersonal statistics. An applicant's unique qualities, such as work and life experiences, personal accomplishments, and the opinions of others as reflected in letters of recommendation, will also be considered.

The School of Law seeks to enroll a diverse student body to ensure that the school and the legal profession are enriched through the participation of people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Those individuals who want the admission review committee to consider diversity factors in their application process should provide information about their experiences and background in their applications.

Students who are in good standing at another ABA law school may apply for admission to the School of Law with advanced standing.

For admission information, write or call:

Admissions Office
Gonzaga University School of Law
PO Box 3528
Spokane, WA 99220-3528