Gonzaga Law has a long tradition of being a leader in legal education. In 1935, Gonzaga Law graduated its first woman, Helen Grigware, demonstrating its early commitment to diversity and equal opportunity. Years later, in 1974, Gonzaga Law was again at the forefront, opening one of the country’s first legal clinics, putting access to justice at the center of its educational mission. In 2009, Gonzaga Law made news again, introducing a new curriculum that placed a strong emphasis on Legal Research & Writing and practical experience. This innovative curriculum receives praise from students, alumni, and employers, as it gives students the necessary practice-ready skills to enter the profession.
Real World Experience
While in law school, students at Gonzaga Law participate in either an Externship or the Clinic . The externship program immerses students in the real-life practice of law; externship placements are available in the Spokane area and around the country. In the Clinic, Gonzaga students work real cases with real clients from start to finish. Students participating in the Clinic have argued cases in front of all levels of the court, including the Washington State Supreme Court, and have pioneered new programs such as Mortgage Mediation, which put a new Washington state law requiring negotiation of mortgages to the test.
Gonzaga Law School faculty are some of the finest teachers and scholars in the country. They bring to the classroom a wealth of knowledge and practical experience, having worked in law firms, as public defenders, as government lawyers, as litigators, as transactional lawyers, and as judicial clerks. Gonzaga Law faculty are active, recognized scholars that publish books, articles, textbooks, treatises, essays, and more while presenting across the globe and providing legal commentary and analysis to the media.
Gonzaga Law is an active and engaged member of the community. In the 2011-2012 academic year, Gonzaga Law students dedicated well over 45,000 hours (that is over 5 years’ worth of 24/7/365) of time in public service through the Law Clinic and Externship program in Spokane and around the country.
The Centers and Programs at Gonzaga Law also provide students with connections to academic and intellectual communities. The Task Force on Race & Criminal Justice, the Commercial Law Center, the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, and the Center for Law in Public Service, all provide a home for scholarship and action on a variety of important issues.
In 1999, Gonzaga Law launched its first website, the same year that the cornerstone was laid for the new Law School building. The new building, completed in 2000, was designed from the ground-up to be technology-friendly. In the years since, the law school has continued to embrace developments in technology in both law teaching and learning.