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By Paul Fucito

In summer 2002 The George Washington University Law School completed an extensive project to renovate and upgrade the first floor of Lerner Hall, including a state-of-the-art redesign of the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, a new main entrance and formal lounge area, and a central information portal.

High-resolution digital overhead presenters, video projectors, and video monitors are among the courtroom’s new state-of-the-art litigation support equipment.

Photo: Bob Narod

In addition to providing a superior venue for GW Law’s educational mission, the redesigned Burns Moot Court Room also will serve as the National Center for State Courts’ Courtroom Demonstration Center and Classroom.

Developed in partnership with the National Center for State Courts, the room has been redesigned to provide law students, lawyers, and judges with a unique opportunity to explore the ways in which technology can be used to enhance litigation practice. Included among the upgrades are podiums with high-resolution digital overhead presenters, video projectors, video monitors, voice-activated transcription recorders, and computer terminals. Special consideration also has been given to the physical layout of the room so as to provide the most efficient and effective courtroom floor plan. “This redesign establishes our moot court room as the center for cutting-edge trial education and for the development and implementation of next-generation courtroom technologies,” says Tom Morrison, associate dean for administrative affairs. “The facility will not only provide training for trial techniques, but in how to use the latest courtroom technology as well.”

Founded in 1971 by U.S. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, NCSC is a nonprofit organization that is committed to improving the administration of justice in the United States and abroad. Together, GW Law and NCSC have created a laboratory where international jurists and lawyers will be able to experiment with new courtroom technologies and procedures.

During the opening events, the audience viewed a live teleconference from William and Mary School of Law.

Photo: Abdul El-Tayef/WPPI

“Different court systems will have the opportunity to test-drive the facility by trying real cases here in our moot court room,” Morrison says. “GW’s location in the heart of Washington, D.C., will allow the Burns Moot Court room to serve as a showcase for judges, administrators, lawyers, faculty, and students from around the world.”

The improvements to the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room have been accompanied by a number of other changes as well. A significantly more spacious main entrance to the Law School, complete with double glass doors, terrazzo floors, and cherry paneled walls, will now greet visitors entering Lerner Hall at 2000 H Street. A large plasma-screen kiosk serves as a central information point for students and visitors with streaming news, events, and announcements. A formal lounge in the area formerly occupied by the Dean’s Office will serve both as a regular meeting place for students as well as an elegant space to support events held in the Burns Moot Court Room.

Additional technology upgrades carried out by the Law School in summer 2002 include wireless laptop access portals throughout the first floors of Lerner and Stockton Halls and the second floor of the Burns Law Library as well as increased security features.

Find out more about the many building innovations planned and completed at GW Law at

A Grand Opening

NCSC President and CEO Roger K. Warren speaks to guests about the new courtroom’s technology.

NCSC President and CEO Roger K. Warren, Dean Michael K. Young, GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, and Kelly Garrett of the Trial Court Board at the judge’s bench.

Photos: Abdul El-Tayef/WPPI

The Law School celebrated the opening of the National Center for State Courts’ Courtroom Demonstration Center and Classroom in the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room on Oct. 23.

Rufus King III, chief judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, along with GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, GW Law Dean Michael K. Young, and NCSC President and CEO Roger K. Warren lead in the celebration activities that consisted of a live teleconference and demonstrations highlighting the room’s technological features.

Following the opening event, the Trial Court Board hosted the first First Annual Trial Court Board Fall Mock Trial Competition in the new facility.