Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is UW Law located?
- What is UW Law's mission and vision?
- What is UW Law's commitment to diversity?
- Why should I study at UW Law?
- Are you on the semester system or the quarter system?
- What is the size of the 1L class?
- Do you have a part-time/evening program?
- Do you offer special tracks or specializations?
- Is there a clinical program?
- Are there concurrent or joint degree programs?
- What LLM Degree and PhD programs are offered?
- Can I visit the law school, tour the building, and/or observe a class?
- Where do students live?
- Does the University of Washington offer student health insurance?
- How do students get around the city?
Where is UW Law located?
UW Law is located in William H. Gates Hall on the University of Washington Seattle campus. For directions, visit us here.
What is UW Law's mission and vision?
Our mission is to serve and educate our students to be leaders for the global common good. Our vision is to shape and define just and sustainable laws and policies through scholarly discovery, ethical advocacy, inspired teaching, and generous public service.
What is UW Law's commitment to diversity?
UW Law's longstanding commitment to diversity is an extension of our commitment to excellence. At UW Law, we believe the best legal education must include an integration of legal theory, doctrine and practice that must be delivered by a diverse faculty to a diverse student body. This is evident in the number of alumni who are prominent in the legal profession, many breaking through the barriers of gender, race, and ethnicity along the way.
With the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, and mentor programs of peer, faculty, and alumni mentors, the law school promotes and encourages diversity by creating an open, inclusive academic climate that is welcoming to and supportive of all students of color, LGBTQI students, and students with disabilities.
Our students have the benefit of UW Law's Minority Student Orgs, diversity events, and a student population who come from myriad races, ethnicities, LGBTQI identities, economic backgrounds, and life experiences to help inform them and support our commitment to diversity
Why should I study at UW Law?
- Internationally recognized programs and centers
- A universal commitment to public service and diversity
- A faculty comprised of leaders and experts dedicated to inspired teaching
- A diverse, collegial student body composed of bright, ambitious, and active scholars
- Experiential and skills learning opportunities, both on and off campus
- Specialized professional and leadership guidance resulting in high job placement rates
- Peer, faculty, and alumni mentors for each student
- The largest law library collection in the Northwest
- A law school that is consistently ranked among the top public law schools
- An affordable and valuable investment for your legal education
Are you on the semester system or the quarter system?
We are on the quarter system. Students on the quarter system register for classes in three, ten-week sessions each year- Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters. Classes begin later in the fall (usually in late September) and classes end later in the year (usually mid-June).
What is the size of the 1L class?
The 1L class is typically between 160-170 students.
Do you have a part-time/evening program?
Our J.D. program is a full-time, day program only, however, we offer a flexible first-year option that allows students with exceptional circumstances to take a lighter first-year course load. This option allows working professionals and students with family or other obligations to pursue their legal education at UW Law while balancing their commitments. Students are required to meet with our Associate Dean for Students before selecting this option.
Do you offer special tracks or specializations?
Yes, the J.D. program currently offers 8 concentration tracks in:
- Asian Law
- Dispute Resolution
- Health Law
- Intellectual Property
- International and Comparative Law
- Law, Business & Entrepreneurship
- Public Service Law
Is there a clinical program?
Yes, over a dozen clinics are offered through the Clinical Law Program. See the current clinics list.
Are there concurrent or joint degree programs?
Yes. The University of Washington is a leading research institution where students can take full advantage of the opportunity to develop an academic program in any of 100+ disciplines of the UW Graduate School. Among the most popular concurrent degrees are with the Evans School of Public Affairs, the Foster School of Business, and the Jackson School of International Studies. For more information, visit the Concurrent Degree program page.
What LLM degree and PhD programs are offered?
- Asian & Comparative Law
- General Law
- Global Business
- Health Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Sustainable International Development
- Taxation Law
Can I visit the law school, tour the building, and/or observe a class?
Yes, we welcome your visit. Visit our website to plan your visit. The law school building is open to the public during regular business hours (Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm). Guided tours of Gates Hall are available by appointment only and self-guided tour booklets are available at the Office of Admissions & Financial Aid during regular business hours. There are also pre-approved first-year classes designated for visitors if you are interested in observing a class. Though walk-ins are available, please arrange your visit in advance by filling out a Visit Request Form. There, you can indicate whether you wish to take a tour of the law school, observe a class, and/or meet with an admissions representative. Click here for directions to William H. Gates Hall.
Where do law students live?
Most of our students live off-campus in the surrounding neighborhoods. The University of Washington offers graduate and professional students on-campus housing in single student, apartment, and family housing options. To learn more about on-campus housing, visit Housing and Food Services. For those who wish to live off-campus, there are plenty of options around Seattle. To learn more about off-campus housing, visit the Off-Campus Housing Affairs Office.
Does the University of Washington offer student health insurance?
UW no longer offers an insurance plan for students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. If you need health insurance, we encourage you to review the options and resources provided on UW's Student Health Insurance Medicaid & Healthcare Exchanges page. If you are an international student, you are required to purchase insurance through the University of Washington. Visit the International Student Health Insurance website for further information.
How do students get around the city?
Seattle has a great public transit system. Students receive a bus pass (U-PASS) with their enrollment. The U-PASS gets you rides on most of the transit systems in the Puget Sound area, including Metro, Sound, Community, Pierce, Kitsap, and Everett Transit. More importantly for students, many bus routes come to the U-District, and drop off right near William H. Gates Hall, making public transit the convenient, green, and cost-effective option in commuting to campus. For additional information about transit options, please visit the Student U-PASS Website.
Seattle is a very walkable and bikeable city as well. UW's Commuter & Transportation Services has great resources for students looking into walking or biking to and from campus.