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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Justice Scalia visits GW Law School

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia praised the GW Law School in front of a packed Media and Public Affairs auditorium Friday at a dedication ceremony for the new law school “cornerstone” addition. University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and Law School Dean Michael K. Young joined Scalia.

The addition will mark the cornerstone of the Lerner, Stockton, Stuart and Lisner halls and the Burns Law Library to form an expanded law school complex.

The Elliott School of International Affairs is scheduled to move from Stuart and Lisner halls to a building under construction at 1957 E St. in the fall. The law school will then expand into the two vacant buildings, increasing the total space 10 percent to 283,910 square feet.

The addition dedicated Friday is a renovated 19th century mansion on the corner of 20th and G streets. It will house student services and dean and faculty offices.

University Marshal Jill Kasle and Board of Trustees Chairman Charles T. Manatt introduced the speakers to a standing-room-only audience.

Trachtenberg, a former lawyer, called the GW law school a “world-class outfit,” saying that few people are as equipped to help the world and humanity as lawyers are today.

Young said the new building will allow students to work better in groups – an important improvement for law school faculty.

“It is a functional masterpiece,” he said. “Great law schools allow students to teach each other.”

Scalia congratulated GW Law School faculty and students for the prominent role the school plays nationally and in the District. He said law schools are gaining greater importance in the law profession because they have assumed many of the training responsibilities that law firms used to offer.

“Law firms cannot take on the undertaking of mentoring students any more,” he said. “People don’t stay at one firm for very long anymore, so the need for a strong law school is even more important.”

He said that a strong curriculum like the GW Law school offers is important to prepare students for a career in law.

GW Law School was ranked 23rd in the 2001 U.S. News and World Report rankings last September.

Scalia, associate justice of the Supreme Court, has taught law at Georgetown and Stanford universities and the universities of Chicago and Virginia. Former President Ronald Reagan appointed Scalia to the High Court in 1986.

The University will place a time capsule behind the cornerstone of the new building, including a letter from House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), a letter from President George W. Bush and a signed copy of Trachtenberg’s newest book, “Thinking Out Loud.” Faculty and members of the Student Bar Association also contributed photos.

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