The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics

The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics were founded in 1971, and were dedicated in 1991 to acknowledge the generous support of Jacob Burns (LLB '24, Hon. LLC '70). A longtime trustee of the University, Burns (1902-1993) was renowned as a lawyer, artist, and philanthropist. GW Law is proud to honor this significant contribution to the "uplifting and maintenance of the legal profession," and his fearless advocacy of the principle of "equal justice under the law." The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics vary considerably in purpose, duration, requirements, and duties.

Dean Matthew with members of the The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics

Despite their diversity, each Clinic provides an exciting and supportive educational environment in which law students offer vital legal services to people of color and those historically excluded from economic opportunity in Washington, DC and beyond. In the Clinic, students are certified to practice as lawyers in DC, Maryland, and Federal Court and work directly with clients in matters involving criminal defense, transactional law, housing and a dozen practice areas in between. Students get close supervision by law school faculty and gain real world lawyering experience as well as professional development that increases job marketability.

The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics operate under the direction of Associate Dean Laurie S. Kohn. The Managing Attorney & Associate Program Director for the Clinics is Andrea R. Willis-Johnson, and the Administrative Supervisor is Milagros Tudela.

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Recent News

Blue states pass ‘good cause’ eviction laws

May 28, 2024

A HEPA Clinic student is interviewed about Clinic work.

In Memoriam: Susan R. Jones

May 3, 2024

The GW Law community deeply mourns the loss of Susan R. Jones.

GW Law’s Immigration Clinic Helps Clients from around the Globe

April 17, 2024

Dedicated George Washington University students and faculty work to assist immigrants in dire situations.

Delaware opened up access to some police misconduct records — but still denies requests for basic police data

March 26, 2024

Two Public Justice Advocacy Clinic students are quoted in the Delaware Call.

Bridging the Gap: GW's Access to Justice Clinic's Impact on Legal Education

October 5, 2023

The Access to Justice Clinic was launched in 2021 in hopes of creating a clinical model that can pivot quickly to address community legal needs.

Health Rights Law Clinic helps 10-year-old Xavier Smile Brighter with Legal Victory for Braces

June 2, 2023

The Health Rights Law Clinic recently achieved a victory for their client, 10-year-old Xavier, whose orthodontist ordered treatment to correct a jaw deformity.

Community Impact & News Stories

Clinical Programs

“The clients that I represented in the Immigration Clinic have stayed with me throughout my professional career and will stay in my heart forever. My time at Clinic gave me the fortitude I needed to be a strong advocate for those who have faced trauma, are vulnerable, and needed compassion and care above all else. The people I was able to help in clinic taught me the importance of diverse voices within the legal community, and how our own vulnerabilities can create safe spaces for those who have faced trauma.”

Gisela Kusakawa,
JD '18

View All Alumni Profiles

Additional Information

Community Impact

The GW Law Clinics represents individuals and organizations worldwide that otherwise would not be able to afford legal services. We routinely share client experiences and victories.

Friedman Fellowship

The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics of GW Law offer two-year clinical fellowships to law school graduates who have clerked or practiced since law school.

Clinic Law Advisory Council

The Clinical Law Advisory Council (CLAC) supports the Clinical Program in its efforts to innovate and grow over the next 50 years and beyond. 


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Faculty in the News

"Ask PolitiFact: Did President Joe Biden grant 'mass amnesty' to over 350,000 immigrants?"

PolitiFact quoted Paulina Vera discussing the document management that comes along with closing cases.

"'Dig deeper:' Experts question response to initial 911 call in Zay Flowers case"

The Baltimore Sun quoted Joan Meier acknowledged responders took a step in the right direction, but should’ve continued to “dig deeper” in this call response.

"Evan Stark, who expanded definition of domestic violence, dies at 82"

The Washington Post quoted Joan Meier speaking on the legacy of Evan Stark and his incorporation of coercive control into criminal law.