University of Washington School of Law

4000 15th Avenue NE , Williams H. Gates Hall, Seattle, WA 98195 | Google Map

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Founded 1899 | ABA Accredited 1924

In 1899, the University of Washington School of Law opened its doors in downtown Seattle, Washington. At that time, the school occupied only two rooms in a building, which was known as “Old North.” In 1901, the school’s first graduating class had only twelve students. The UW School of Law has grown significantly since then. The school is now located on a 20-acre campus and has a JD class of about 500 students. In addition, U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the school among the top 30 in the nation.

At the UW School of Law, there is a student to faculty ratio of 11.6 to 1, which fosters frequent interaction between students and teachers. First-year students are required to complete the traditional courses, one of which is taught in small sections of approximately 30 students. Second- and third-year students are required to satisfy an advanced writing requirement and complete a course in Professional Responsibility. In addition, students are required to complete 60 hours of public service legal work.

Other than that, upper-level students are free to design a program that corresponds with their own talents and interests. There is a broad and diverse selection of traditional courses and seminars from which to choose. For those interested in “hands-on” learning experiences, there are several clinical opportunities and externships available. In addition, students wishing to diversify or expand upon their legal education will be interested to note that the UW School of Law offers a number of dual and advanced degree programs.


Jeffrey Brotman, Co-founder of the Costco Wholesale Corporation James M. Johnson, Current Washington State Supreme Court Justice Norm Dicks, Current Member of the United States House of Representatives Joseph L. Hoffmann, Clerk to Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, William Rehnquist Betty Fletcher, Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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About Rankings Data


Mathiew Le


"Unfortunately prospective students place more weight on the US News than I would like them to and more than they are probably willing to..." - Mathiew Le - Director of Admissions & Financial Aid, UW Law

December 20, 2011 \ Mathiew Le is the Director of Admissions & Financial Aid at the University of Washington School of Law located in Seattle, WA. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he was a Senior Editor for I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society. Prior to joining UW Law, Mathiew was the Director of Campus Diversity and Associate Director of Admissions at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, CA.

AD Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions today.
ML Not a problem, I’m happy to do it.
AD Let's jump right into it, shall we? A recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep shows that out of all graduate schools, law school admissions offices are the most likely to take an applicant's online presence into account during the admissions process, ex: Facebook, twitter. It states University of Washington school of law does NOT research an applicant’s Internet presence. If 37% percent of other law school admissions offices are looking into it, then why does the U of Washington choose not to use social networks as an additional tool for assessing the strength of an applicant?
ML One of the biggest challenges with researching an applicant’s Internet presence is obviously the reliability of the information that is out there. Take Facebook for example: users pick and choose what information they wish to share on their page, most of which is irrelevant to assessing whether the applicant would succeed academically in law school and what contributions they would make to the law school community and legal profession.

Law schools ask for specific items to evaluate applicants, e.g., personal statement, resume, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. If an admissions committee feels compelled to search an applicant on Facebook for additional information, then I have to question why that is the case. What information is missing from the application materials that warrant such a search and why doesn’t the admissions committee request that information in advance? Of the 37% of law schools that take an applicant’s online presence into account, are the searches consistent among all applicants? Are the searches random? Even if we were to do random Facebook searches of applicants, my suspicion is that many law school applicants have privacy settings that prevent public viewing; and if not, I would strongly encourage them to do so.
AD Now, I’ve done a little digging on my own and have concluded that you are a pretty private person – not a lot shows up when I Google you. I was able to find your profile page on UW Law’s website and video about you discussing the personal statement – all very BOORRRRING stuff! Given your refusal to delve into applicants’ personal lives, I think our readers would like to know what exactly are you hiding?
ML What the heck, Don? I thought this was an interview for, not [Long pause, and sigh]. Well, if you really need me to go there, I am an avid tennis player, I love to snowboard, ski, hike, rock climb, and the only pets I’m able to keep alive are Chia Pets -- barely.
AD C’mon, humor us – you can do better than that! How about providing our readers with a link to your Facebook page where they can get to know you a little bit better and perhaps see pictures of you table dancing in just a Speedo and large sombrero down in Cancun last spring break?
ML Ha! Clearly if you saw those pictures, I need to revisit my Facebook privacy settings and delete some photos. Always good to be reminded – thanks!

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