Dear Students,

This week, as a semester with unprecedented challenges comes to a close and you face the rigors of preparing for your final examinations under extraordinary conditions, I want to share a few thoughts about the nation’s remarkable election that I hope will inspire and bring you strength.

Despite a raging global pandemic, a record number of Americans voted in the 2020 election – nearly 65% of the voting-eligible population. Acting Secretary Chad Wolf of the United States Department of Homeland Security pronounced the 2020 presidential contest as “the most secure election in U.S. history.” Throughout the week, Secretaries of state – no matter the political party – from state after state not only certified their election results but stated their elections were free of widespread fraud.

While others are contesting its outcome, as GW Law’s first woman – and only African American woman dean, I am proud of this country’s historic moment. It is fitting and electrifying to commemorate this milestone in 2020, the centennial year of the 19th Amendment. 

Because GW Law, founded in 1865, is no stranger to the complex challenge of helping prepare lawyers to lead a divided nation forward, I am honored to say that our law students and indeed the entire GW community will continue to use the unique position we occupy in the nation’s history and the nation’s capital to help navigate dissent in times of change with civility, integrity, and competence. 

I have received many emails and calls from members of the GW Law community who are concerned about challenges to the election from this law school. As you know, GW Law and the University remain fundamentally committed to academic freedom.

Yet, today as a child of the Civil Rights era, I am celebrating that this nation has once again made voting history. GW Law is at the very center of the Nation’s Capital, helping to lead our democracy forward. From this, I am drawing the inspiration I need to face the challenges ahead. I hope it provides some of the same for you as well. 

My best,

Dayna Bowen Matthew
Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law
ALL WEEK: GW Campus Recreation Virtual Group Fitness Classes

Times vary by day: GW Campus Recreation is offering free virtual exercise classes to all GW students. To register for GW fall group fitness classes, fill out this form and you will receive a Zoom link within 1 to 2 business days after submission.

Tuesday: Installation of Professor Robert Brauneis as the Michael J. McKeon Professor of Intellectual Property Law

1 pm: Join GW Law for the installation of Professor Bob Brauneis as the Michael J. McKeon Professor of Intellectual Property Law.

Wednesday: Mental Health Discussion Series

4 pm: The Mental Health Discussion Series is a weekly, hour-long discussion designed for students to collectively meet with a counselor and discuss various topics. MHDS is an easily accessible space to connect with other students and discuss mental wellness, which are all the more important now given this unprecedented time with COVID-19.

Wednesday: Immigration Policy in a Post-Trump Era

8:30 pm: The GW Immigration Law Association will host a panel discussion on the future of immigration policy. Professorial Lecturer in Law Paulina Vera will participate on the panel.

Thursday: Installation of Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew as the Honorable Harold H. Greene Professor of Law

2 pm: Join GW Law for the installation of Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew as the Honorable Harold H. Greene Professor of Law.

Thursday: Is Reform Enough: The Case for Abolition

4 pm: The GW Law Criminal Law Society and National Lawyers Guild will imagine a world without imprisonment and policing and discuss some of the alternatives necessary to fulfill that vision. Speakers will discuss and explore abolition, including how different reforms fit into or are at odds with abolition. Professor Kate Weisburd will moderate.

Friday: Memorial for Visiting Associate Professor John Fletcher

Noon: Join GW Law as we celebrate the life of Visiting Associate Professor John Fletcher.

Professor Fletcher, Visiting Associate Professor and Graduate Fellow supporting the Government Procurement Law Program, passed away on Thursday, November 12.  

Professor Fletcher joined Wiley Rein's Government Procurement Law practice group where he counseled and represented government contractors on a range of legal issues, including internal investigations, bid protests, and complex litigation in federal and state courts. 

Friday: Progressive Prosecution

Noon: The GW Law Criminal Law Society will host a panel discussion with the key players of a national criminal reform movement.

Discussion of "The Trial of the Chicago 7: Myth and Modern Lessons"

Professor Catherine J. Ross moderates a conversation with lawyer Danny Greenberg, co-editor of the book "The Trial of the Chicago 7," republished in 2020 to coincide with the release of Aaron Sorkin's Netflix film of the same title.

"Stop The Obstruction and Authorize the Transition"

Professor Steven L. Schooner writes in Government Executive that GSA's failure to "ascertain" the winner of the presidential election and its refusal to authorize the transition could have real consequences in combating the spiking coronavirus, a reeling economy, and national security risks.