Inns of Court


Inns of Courts Banners


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. 

For the Fall 2020 Academic Semester, the Inns of Court will continue virtually.

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.

Brandeis Seal

The Louis Brandeis Inn

"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.

Cardozo Seal

The Benjamin Cardozo Inn

“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.”

Jackson Seal

The Robert Jackson Inn

“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.

Jay Seal

The John Jay Inn

“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.

Marshall Seal

The Thurgood Marshall Inn

“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.

O'Connor Seal

The Sandra Day O'Connor Inn

“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.

Fall 2020 Weekly Schedule

Week 1 – August 18: Introduction to the Inns of Court Program

Week 2 – August 25: Becoming a Lawyer: Your Professional Identity

Week 3 – September 1: Strategies for Law School Success

Week 5 – September 15: Critical Professional Skills

Week 7 – September 25: The Negotiation Toolkit with Professor Charles Craver

Week 8 – September 29: Optimizing Focus and Concentration in Law School

Week 10 – October 20: Self-Assessment: The Key to Finding Meaning, Satisfaction and Happiness in Your Career

Week 11 – October 27: Understanding Legal Practice Areas and Settings

Week 12 – November 3: Informational Interviews: Building Professional Relationships

Week 13 – November 10 (No Jay Inn): Putting it All Together: The Practicing Lawyer's Perspective on Hiring 

Contact Us

Co-Directors, Inns of Court and Foundations of Practice Programs

  • Todd Peterson, Professor of Law
  • Susan Fine, Associate Dean for Professional Development and Career Strategy; Program Associate, Inns of Court and Foundations of Practice Programs
  • Sierra Brummett, Program Associate for Professional Development