Dear Students,

“Democracy is messy, and it’s hard. It’s never easy”

           I am not quite sure who first spoke these words – my quick google search suggest Robert Kennedy, Jr. at one time uttered them. But truer words were never spoken, in my view. While I love the position that GW Law occupies – at the center of our nation’s capital as our messy democracy unfolds – I also know that the election adds yet another layer of uncertainty on you as the fall semester comes to a close, and that cannot be easy. I sincerely hope that some of the announcements from the Dean’s Office will relieve at least some of the uncertainty you have borne over the past weeks and months. I will also plan to write or speak to you weekly here, or by video.

           For the past two weeks I have poured over the responses to the SBA’s survey. The deans, staff, and faculty have done so as well. The outcome, as you know by now, has resulted in increased library access during exam period, an extended deadline for students to elect CR/NC grading for a non- required course under the rules; a new technology equity fund to help students who lack adequate printing or internet services; and a list of in-person activities planned by the Dean of Students, including, I am told, a chance for me to do my morning 2-mile run with some of you!

I have accepted the SBA’s invitation to attend the upcoming Town Hall this Friday, November 13 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. I will come prepared to listen, as you share your voices and stories. In the meantime, we will continue to respond to the “voices” we heard in the survey data. For example, we are working on plans for more in-person activities in the spring, and we are exploring options for commencement that could include small, safe gatherings as DC regulations and the University rules will allow. When I have details, I will share them with you.

Until then, please take good care of you – which in the midst of a global pandemic, like democracy is also hard, but totally worth it!

My best,

Dayna Bowen Matthew
Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law
Wednesday: National Security 1L Advising & Internship Panel

12:05 pm: National Security Law, the Military Law Society, the National Security Law Association, and the Veterans Law Students Association will host academic advising and advice from upper-level students about internships in these fields. Associate Dean Lisa Schenck will advise students about national security law courses, highlighting the requirements for two new JD concentrations, National Security-Foreign Relations Law and National Security-Cybersecurity Law

Thursday: Quality Shareholders: How the Best Managers Attract and Keep Them

Noon: The Museum of American Finance will host a lunchtime program with Lawrence Cunningham, in conversation with financial correspondent Astrid Doerner, as they discuss Professor Cunningham’s new book, Quality Shareholders: How the Best Managers Attract and Keep Them.

Thursday: How to Get a Public Defender Job

6:30 pm: The GW Defenders and the Criminal Law Society will host a panel of former public defenders and attorneys currently working in the field. Professor Kate Weisburd will participate on the panel.

Friday: Inclusion and Well-Being in BigLaw: A Discussion with Fred Nance

Noon: The Student Bar Association, the Dean of Students Office, and the Career Center will host a lunch and moderated discussion with Damilola Arowolaju, JD '20, and Fred Nance, Global Managing Partner for Squire Patton Boggs, about challenges and opportunities for people of color in BigLaw, maintaining wellness in law practice, and Mr. Nance's high-profile career in sports and entertainment law representing luminaries such as LeBron James and Dave Chappelle.

Friday: The Milk Wars: An Exploration of Milk Through the Lens of Gender, Race, and Species

3 pm: The Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Feminist Forum will host Professor Iselin Gambert to discuss her research on the subject of milk, one of the most ubiquitous and heavily regulated substances on the planet.

Election 2020: Where Do We Go From Here?

GW Law Professors Paul Schiff Berman and Spencer Overton joined a panel of experts from across GW to discuss the state of the presidential election, potential legal challenges, and implications for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dean Matthew Launches GW Law Podcast

Dean Dayna Bowen Matthew hosts "Testimony," a new podcast where she interviews GW Law faculty experts to explain issues important to the nation and the impact they may have on the 2020 election.