• 1885

    The Board of Regents adopts a resolution that a department of law be established at the University of Washington.

  • 1899

    University of Washington's Department of Law opens in downtown Seattle. The school is housed in two rooms of a building known as "Old North," located at Fourth and Union. John T. Condon is appointed dean and is the only full-time professor. The first class has at least 34 students including a student of African-American heritage, a Japanese student and three women.

    John T. Condon
  • 1901

    The first graduating class consists of twelve students.

  • 1902

    Denny Hall

    The law school moves into the attic of Denny Hall. The law library collection, built from the private library of Dean Condon, is small enough to fit in two wheelbarrows. Denny Hall is the first of several temporary locations for the law school on main campus.

  • 1909

    The University of Washington becomes a member of the Association of American Law Schools.

  • 1922

    Arthur S. Beardsley

    Dr. Arthur S. Beardsley, a lawyer and historian, appointed first director of the Law Library; the collection consisted of 20,000 volumes.

  • 1924

    The law school is accredited by the American Bar Association.

  • 1925

    Washington Law Review established.

  • 1933

    The original Condon Hall

    The law school moves into its first permanent home, newly-constructed Condon Hall in the main quad. When the law school moves out 41 years later, the building is renamed Gowen Hall, which now houses the departments of Political Science and East Asian Language and Literature.

  • 1936

    Professor Judson Falknor appointed dean. A 1919 University of Washington School of Law graduate, he is a nephew of Dean Condon and a distinguished member of the Bar. The annual Falknor Appellate Advocacy Moot Court competition is named in honor of him.

  • 1939

    Dr. Arthur S. Beardsley establishes the Master in Law Librarianship program. It was the only library program in the United States to require a law degree for admission.

  • 1944

    Marian Gould Gallagher appointed Law Librarian and Professor of Law. Her career as director of the University of Washington Law Library spanned 37 years, until her retirement in 1981.

    The library collection grows to over 114,000 volumes by 1950.

  • 1953

    A formal placement program is established at the law school, with Professor J. Gordon Gose as Placement Officer. Today, the law school has a Center for Career Development headed by an Assistant Dean, which is home to the William H. Gates Public Service Law Program.

  • 1960

    Marjorie Rombauer appointed professor of law. She is the first non-librarian, tenured female faculty member at the law school.

  • 1962

    Asian Law Graduate Program is established by Professors Arval Morris, Cornelius Peck and Ralph Johnson with support from the Ford Foundation.

  • 1963

    Lehan K. Tumks

    Professor Lehan Tunks (pictured) appointed dean. During his deanship, the law school adopts the highly successful small section program for first-year students, which continues today.

  • 1974

    The second Condon Hall

    The law school moves off-campus to the second Condon Hall on Campus Parkway. The building increases the school's square footage substantially but is intended to be Phase 1 of a larger project. Phase 2 never begins.

  • 1979

    Charles Z. Smith establishes the Clinical Law Program. C.Z. Smith goes on to become the first African American and the first Latino on the Washington Supreme Court.

  • 1981

    Marian Gould Gallagher

    The Board of Regents rename the University of Washington School of Law Library to honor Marian Gould Gallagher's invaluable contributions to the University's law school and professions of law and librarianship.

    The Trial Advocacy Program is established.

  • 1985

    Penny A. Hazelton

    Penny A. Hazelton appointed law librarian and professor of law. Today the library has over 700,000 volumes, making it one of the largest law libraries west of the Mississippi.

    First student computer lab is carved out of a corner of the library.

  • 1990

    Professor Wallace Loh appointed Dean. He is the first Chinese-American law school dean in the nation. He begins the drive for a new law building and secures the lead gift of $12 million from Bill and Melinda Gates in honor of William H. Gates, Sr., class of 1950.

    Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal established.

  • 1992

    The Center for Advanced Study and Research on Intellectual Property (CASRIP) becomes a part of the UW School of Law.

  • 1994

    Public Interest Law Association (PILA) established. The student body initiates and overwhelmingly approves a mandatory public service requirement — all J.D. students, beginning with the class of 1997, are required to perform at least 60 hours of public service legal work during their second or third year in order to graduate.

  • 1995

    Roland Hjorth

    Professor Roland Hjorth appointed dean. He continues the drive for the new building and by 2000, meets the minimum private funding goal of $34 million.

    Graduate Program in Taxation established by Professor Meade Emory. The program provides a rigorous study of tax law using a combination of full-time faculty members and leading practitioners drawn from the Pacific Northwest.

  • 1999

    Robert Anderson

    The Native American Law Center (director, Robert Anderson) is established to carry on and expand the work of Professor Ralph W. Johnson through its work with tribes, individuals and governments in the Northwest and across the country.

    The Center for Law, Commerce & Technology is founded with support from Microsoft, Boeing and the Washington Research Foundation. In 2002, the Center is named to honor Roger Shidler, one of the founding members of Shidler McBroom & Gates which later became the firm of Preston Gates & Ellis.

  • 2001

    W.H. Knight, Jr.

    Professor W.H. Knight, Jr. (Joe) appointed dean. He is the first African-American dean of UW Law.

  • 2002

    The Graduate Program in Intellectual Property Law is established.

  • 2003

    William H. Gates, Sr.

    The law school and the Marian Gould Gallagher Law Library move back to main campus into the new William H. Gates Hall.

  • 2004

    Shidler Journal of Law, Commerce & Technology launched; it is the first online journal at the law school.

  • 2005

    The William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program is established with a $33.3 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in honor of William H. Gates, Sr. The scholarship provides full tuition and expenses to five incoming students every year who commit to public service legal work when they graduate.

  • 2008

    Health Law LL.M. Program is established. The program is designed to harness the strengths of internationally known schools of law, medicine, public health and public policy to create a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach for improving individual and global health.

  • 2009

    Kellye Y. Testy

    Kellye Testy appointed dean. She is the first permanent female dean in the School of Law's 110-year history.

  • 2010

    Global Business Law LL.M. and General Law LL.M. programs are established.

    The Barer Institute established by Stan and Alta Barer. The Barer Institute selects annually three to four mid-career leaders from lower to middle income countries to enroll in the Sustainable International Development LL.M. Program and serve as change makers in their home countries upon graduation.

  • 2013

    Jack MacDonald

    Jack Rupert MacDonald '40 leaves an estate gift of $56 million to UW Law, the largest estate gift in the history of the University of Washington. The gift funds the Jack MacDonald Endowed Chair, student scholarships and general educational needs at the law school.

    UW Tech Policy Lab launched. The UW Tech Policy Lab is a unique, interdisciplinary collaboration that aims to enhance technology policy through research, education and thought leadership.

  • 2014

    The UW School of Law, having helped to develop the curriculum, begins offering classes toward a degree in support of the Washington Supreme Court's Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule.

  • 2015

    The Master of Jurisprudence program is established. The graduate-degree program is designed to provide a strong education in the law to enhance qualifications in many professional arenas.

    J.D./M.B.A. accelerated joint degree is established.

    The Gregoire Fellows Program established to recognize students for their academic and professional achievements, unique perspectives and experiences, and leadership potential to diversify the legal profession in Washington.

  • 2017

    Kellye Y. Testy steps down as dean after eight years of service. Anita K. Krug is named the interim Toni Rembe Dean.

  • 2018

    Mario Barnes, a nationally recognized scholar for his research on the legal and social implications of race and gender, officially assumed the Toni C. Rembe deanship of UW School of Law on July 5, 2018, before stepping down at the end of 2021.

  • 2022

    Tamara F. Lawson joined UW Law as Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law, having previously served as Dean and Professor of Law at St. Thomas University College of Law in Miami.

    Tamara F. Lawson