International & Comparative Law Visiting Scholars Program


Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2024 visits. We also do not take applications with intended start dates during the Summer (June-August).

Applications are open for Spring 2025 visits. The deadline for these applications is August 15, 2024, 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

The George Washington University Law School's Visiting Scholars Program allows legal scholars and lawyers from around the world to conduct specific legal research at the law school. Most of our visiting scholars participate in the program with stays between six months to one year. The program is tailored towards independent legal research. Our scholars are entitled to use our law school library facilities, and are encouraged to participate in law school events, lectures, conferences, and symposia. They are also given access to a knowledgeable and accommodating library staff. While office space is not available, efforts are made to provide visiting scholars small carrels in the library when they become available.

The beginning dates for visiting scholar stays throughout the year are:

  • September 15 – For Fall visits
  • February 15 – For Spring visits

Required Admission Materials

To be considered for the GW Law Visiting Scholars Program, please submit the following:

  • Resume/Curriculum vitae

  • Statement of Purpose: A short statement (one page) of the research objectives you seek to accomplish while at the law school 

  • Statement of Commitment: Each candidate must provide a written statement that the visit is for the principal purpose of conducting research and writing at the law school, and that the candidate intends to visit the law school on a frequent (daily is recommended) basis for purposes of conducting this research and writing.

  • Visiting scholars that are seeking J-1/J-2 visa sponsorship from GW must also provide the following:
    • A copy of a certified English-language test no older than two (2) years (TOEFL minimum: 80; IELTS minimum band score: 6.0 with no individual score less than 5.0). We will conduct a departmental interview in addition to the proof of language proficiency.
    • Statement of Funding: Each candidate must demonstrate that they have funds to obtain the J-1 visa, if needed, and to cover medical insurance and any administrative fee to be imposed. Please note that the J-1 visa requires that the documentation, written in English, show funding in the amount of US $2000 per month for the principal visitor, US $1000 per month for the spouse, and US $500 per month for each child plus medical insurance coverage. 

Please note that visiting scholars are charged a modest fee based on the duration and nature of their stay at GW Law. If you have additional questions regarding the fee, please email us at [email protected]


Admission Process and Guidelines

Our application deadlines throughout the year are as follows:

January 15 – For Fall visits
August 15 – For Spring visits

We are now accepting application materials through this online form. If you have issues accessing this form, please email us. 

Apply for Our Program


Interviews and decisions about a candidacy will be made after receipt of all the admission materials. If accepted as a visiting scholar, the candidate will receive a formal invitation letter and a request for additional information, concerning the application for a J-1 visa (if needed). Please note that the law school will attempt to secure the J-1 visa for admitted candidates, but we cannot make any assurances that the visa will be issued.

Applicants seeking visa sponsorship from GW are encouraged to apply at least 5 months before their intended arrival date due to visa processing times.

GW Law does not provide fellowships, scholarships, or funding of any kind to visiting scholars. Please keep in mind that you will have to secure funding from an organization, government, or provide personal funds before a visa can be issued. Once GW Law has agreed to host a scholar, and the scholar has accepted the invitation, it is expected that the scholar will withdraw any other applications to potential host institutions.

Additional Information

The law school does not have housing; therefore, each visiting scholar is responsible for arranging his or her own housing. Program staff can provide information on identifying possible accommodations, but we make no assurances of the quality, price, safety, etc. of accommodations.

The George Washington University does not provide medical insurance coverage for visiting scholars and their J-2 dependents. Visiting scholars must acquire their own travel insurance that complies with J-1 visa health insurance requirements. It is the responsibility of the scholar to find and secure travel insurance. We can provide information on commonly used travel insurance companies, but we cannot provide exhaustive lists of companies or consult on which companies best suit a scholar’s individual needs.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.