Inns of Court

Inns Banners

The Inns of Court program 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.)

Within each Inn, students are provided:

  • an advisory team of faculty, administrators, staff, and upper-class students who help them 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.
  • regular sessions on professional development, well-being, and how to succeed in law school. These sessions give students a chance to learn about matters essential to their professional success in addition to what they are learning in the classroom.
  • an early focus on career satisfaction and career development. Through the Inns of Court, we help students determine what type of career will be meaningful to them, and we connect them with practitioners and alumni to help them begin to build a circle of professional relationships that will lay the foundation for their summer and post-graduate job searches.

This dynamic combination of support and career development from the first week of law school is a distinguishing feature of the GW Law experience.


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 2017 Program Schedule

Fall Semester Meeting Times

When:

Tuesdays

Where:

Great Room or Faculty Conference Center

Time: 

1:40 – 2:35 pm: Brandeis (Great Room)
2:45 – 3:40 pm: Marshall (Great Room) & O’Connor (Faculty Conference Center)
3:50 – 4:45 pm: Cardozo (Great Room) & Jackson (Faculty Conference Center)
8:10 – 9:00 pm: Jay (Faculty Conference Center)

Segment 1: Finding Your Place at GW Law

Topics of Discussion

  • Wellness
  • Student Resources
  • Academic Integrity Briefing

Fall Semester Roadmap

This session is designed to help students identify significant events that occur in the first semester at GW Law, so that they know what is coming and can plan their responsibilities accordingly. During this session, moderated by the Dean of Students Office, students, staff and faculty members involved in these events will explain how they fit into the process of learning to be a lawyer, discuss pros and cons of participation in voluntary events, and leave time to answer questions.

"Take Time to Make Time: Time Management Strategies for Law Students"

This session covers time management strategies for the short-, medium- and long-term that will lay a foundation for success in law school and in practice. Instead of focusing on the final deadline, which may have worked in undergraduate studies or other work settings, legal professionals tend to set and meet interim deadlines. Inn advisors will discuss how to shed old habits, increase productivity, and overcome procrastination. They will also identify specific techniques and law school resources for effective time management in the legal writing context. The exercises and small-group discussions in the session will help students tailor the time management techniques to their individual needs. This session will be recorded for the Jay Inn.

Writing Center Workshop - "Strategies for Law School Success"

Segment 2: Building Professional Skills

Tuesday, September 19

Critical Skills for Professional Success

Members of the Inns of Court Professional Development Advisory Council will introduce students to a range of non-cognitive skills that contribute to success and effectiveness as a lawyer. These are critical skills that must be integrated with what students are learning in the classroom. The presentation and follow-on exercises will illustrate the competencies that legal employers – and clients – value beyond grades and journal participation, such as self-awareness, team collaboration, planning and organizing, and communicating professionally. In addition, the program will highlight ways in which students may acquire these skills during their time in law school.


Wednesday, September 20

Writing Center Workshop - "Finalizing the LIA"

Tuesday September 26

Lexis and Westlaw Training for full-time students

Jay Inn
8:10 - 9:30 pm (extended session)

"The Negotiation Toolkit" with Professor Charles Craver

Lawyers negotiate constantly, yet few have had real training with respect to this critical skill. Professor Craver will explore the factors that are relevant to negotiation success. He will then cover the impact of different negotiator styles (competitive vs. cooperative), the six stages of the negotiation process, and negotiation ethics. The students will work on a short negotiation exercise to demonstrate the concepts discussed, and to indicate how differently individuals evaluate identical legal situations. Participants will all get copies of Professor Craver’s Legal Negotiation Toolkit.


Friday, September 29

Jackson & Brandeis
10 am – Noon; Room LL101

Cardozo, O'Connor, Marshall
12:30 – 2:30 pm; Room LL101

"The Negotiation Toolkit" with Professor Charles Craver

Lawyers negotiate constantly, yet few have had real training with respect to this critical skill. Professor Craver will explore the factors that are relevant to negotiation success. He will then cover the impact of different negotiator styles (competitive vs. cooperative), the six stages of the negotiation process, and negotiation ethics. The students will work on a short negotiation exercise to demonstrate the concepts discussed, and to indicate how differently individuals evaluate identical legal situations. Participants will all get copies of Professor Craver’s Legal Negotiation Toolkit.

Strategies for Optimizing Focus and Concentration in Law School

Law school and the practice of law require a tremendous amount of sustained attention to detail and place significant value on developing creative solutions to complex problems. Bringing mindful awareness to the law school experience can help with both, and effectively interrupt the chronic stress reaction that interferes with the learning process for many students. This session will explore the neuroscience behind these links, as well as introduce awareness-based tools that they can use to improve their performance in law school and to cultivate resilience, empathy, cooperation, and other social and emotional competencies that distinguish the best legal practitioners.

Writing Center Workshop - "Organizing ORM Research"

No session (Fall Break)

Segment 3: Career Direction

Self-Assessment: The Key to Finding Meaning, Satisfaction and Happiness in Your Career

This session is a workshop on self‐assessment – the necessary first step in the career planning process and the key to finding meaning, purpose and professional satisfaction in life. Self‐assessment also provides a framework to navigate all the career and academic choices students must make while in law school. Through a series of hands‐on exercises and take-away materials, this program demonstrates that there are many career paths for lawyers and that different people will find different roles and settings rewarding for a variety of reasons, depending on their interests, preferences and values.
The program is intended to complement and reinforce the one‐on‐one counseling available to students in the Career Center. In addition, the Career Center offers workshops throughout the year on resumes, cover letters, informational interviews and job search resources.

Tuesday, October 31

Understanding Legal Practice Areas and Settings

This session will provide a high-level overview of the main legal practice areas – litigation, corporate, and regulatory – with real-world perspectives on practice in a variety of settings – private sector, government, non-profit – and with different types of clients. Students will hear about what these lawyers really do day-to-day. The exercises and small group discussion will help students begin the discernment process – to rule certain practices in or out and provide a framework for further exploration. The session builds on the previous session on self-assessment and prepares students for the next session on conducting informational interviews.


Wednesday, November 1

Writing Center Workshop - Exam Prep & test-taking strategies

Tuesday, November 7

Career Conversations: Building Professional Relationships

Informational interviews are the most useful way to learn about different areas and types of legal practice, as well as potential internship opportunities. They are also a good way to build a network of professional contacts and gain confidence in interacting with professionals, both of which will be critical to the job search process. In this session, students will have the opportunity to practice informational interviews by having conversations with guest practitioners representing different career paths. The session follows from the previous career-related programs and allows students to continue to explore the diverse contexts in which lawyers work. This is the last Jay Inn session of the Fall semester.


Friday, November 10

Career Center - "How I Found My 1L Summer Job"

Tuesday, November 14

Summing Up the Semester: The Practicing Lawyer’s Perspective on Hiring

In this highly interactive exercise on the hiring process, led by the Career Advisor for each Inn, students will work collaboratively in small groups. They will function as a hiring committee to review applications for an attorney position and then determine whom to interview. While a useful lesson on effective resumes and cover letters that supplements the Career Center’s resume and cover letter workshops, this session also allows students to put themselves in the shoes of an attorney and committee member considering the qualities desired in new hires.
This session pulls together the themes of the Inns of Court program this semester: maximizing the law school experience and building professional skills and relationships to become a stronger candidate in the job search process and to develop a meaningful and satisfying career.


Wednesday, November 15

Writing Center Workshop - "Finalizing the ORM"


Thursday, November 16

Career Center Practice Area Expo