The award-winning Inns of Court program, recipient of the 2018 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award, a program of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism, offers GW Law students support and guidance from a diverse set of advisors dedicated to enriching their law school experience and enhancing their career opportunities. As 1Ls, students are assigned to one of six Inns of Court, named after former Supreme Court Justices, and take all 1L classes with their Inn. Their Inn remains their community for the next few years. (We borrowed the "Inns of Court" name from the British institutions that traditionally trained barristers and regulated their practice.)
This dynamic combination of support and career development from the first week of law school is a distinguishing feature of the GW Law experience.
With each Inn, students are provided:
Each Inn includes an advisory team of faculty, administrators, staff, and upper-class students who help students transition to and thrive in law school, and assist them in developing their legal career paths. Students work with their advisors both in a group setting and one-on-one.
Students attend regular sessions on professional development, well-being, and how to succeed in law school. These sessions provide a chance to learn about matters essential to their professional success in addition to what they are learning in the classroom.
We help students determine what type of career will be meaningful to them, and we connect them with practitioners and alumni to help begin to build a circle of professional relationships that will lay the foundation for summer and post-graduate job searches.
Fall 2021 Weekly Schedule
Week 1 – August 24: Introduction to the Inns of Court Program
Week 2 – August 31: Becoming A Lawyer: Your Professional Identity
Week 3 – September 7: Strategies for Law School Success
Week 5 – September 21: Critical Professional Skills
Week 6 – September 30 (Jay & Brandeis Inn), October 1 (Day Inns): The Negotiation Toolkit with Professor Charles Craver
Week 7 – October 5 (Day Inns), October 7 (Jay Inn): Optimizing Focus and Concentration in Law School
Week 10 – October 26: Self-Assessment: The Key to Finding Meaning, Satisfaction, and Happiness in Your Career
Week 11 – November 2: Understanding Legal Practice Areas and Settings
Week 12 – November 9: Informational Interviews: Building Professional Relationships
Week 13 – November 16 (Day Inns only): Putting it All Together: The Practicing Lawyer's Perspective on Hiring
"Incepto Ne Desistam," meaning "May I Not Shrink From My Purpose," taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book I.
The symbols and motto reflect Justice Brandeis' tenacity and reputation as a crusader for social justice, regardless of his opponent. The motto also reflects the goal of building determination and resilience among our students that will help them overcome whatever challenges they may face throughout law school and in their post-graduation careers.
“Scientia Est Potestas,” meaning “Knowledge Is Power,” coined by famed British jurist and author Sir Francis Bacon.
The motto reflects Justice Cardozo’s advocacy for the power and importance of common law. The symbols reflect the jurist’s legacy as a profound legal author, of whom it has been said: “His prose is rated with those of Greek and Roman classicists, whose works he read in the original language for his own pleasure.”
“Audentes Fortuna Iuvat,” meaning “Fortune Favors The Bold,” taken from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book X. Said to have been the last words of Pliny the Elder as he left the docks at Pompeii to rescue its citizens from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The symbols reflect Justice Jackson’s stature as a lawyer with a national and international reputation, and as Attorney General, Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor. The motto reflects his integrity and his determination to achieve justice at the Nuremberg Trials on behalf of the oppressed.
“Nil Volentibus Arduum,” meaning “Nothing Is Impossible For The Willing.”
The motto is a nod to Jay’s evening students, who work extremely hard to achieve distinction while obtaining their JDs at night. The symbol reflects GW Law’s location in our nation’s capital, and marks John Jay’s place in history as a patriot, diplomat, and the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Vincit Qui Patitur,” meaning “Those Who Endure Will Conquer.”
The symbols and motto reflect Justice Marshall’s courageous work during the Civil Rights Movement, including his litigation of Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court, and his place in history as the first Supreme Court Justice of color. The symbols of endurance and equality recall the injustices endured before equality under law was achieved. They also reflect the Inns of Court program’s goal of building resilience and community among the student body.
“Alis Volat Propriis,” meaning “She Flies On Her Own Wings.”
The symbol and motto reflect Justice O’Connor’s commitment to gender equality and judicial independence. They also reflect the Inns of Court program’s goal of fostering independence and an individual path for each of its students.
Todd Peterson, Professor of Law, Director, Inns of Court and Foundations of Practice Programs
Sierra Brummett, Program Associate for Professional Development