Schar School Trailblazer Molly Izer Takes Early Leap to Georgetown Law

A young woman in a dark jacket with dark hair and a white shirt smiles at the camera.
Molly Izer: ‘I view every opportunity that came to me as a gift … My time at Mason was beyond my wildest dreams.’ Photos by Sujay Khona.

Molly Izer is leaving George Mason University a year early.

The Schar School of Policy and Government third-year government and international politics major and Honors College learning community student will attend the Georgetown University Law Center beginning in the fall.

Her early departure is typical of Izer’s higher ed career, one that began in high school in rural Oregon, where she completed her senior year remotely while working in an industrial factory. She took additional classes for college credit from a local community college to have enough hours to graduate ahead of her future George Mason classmates.

Along the way, she has taken advantage of nearly every opportunity George Mason and the Schar School have afforded: Those range from serving as a Schar School student liaison assisting other students to working as a research assistant, publishing one paper on her own and coauthoring two others that are in the review process.

She’s also delivered her own research findings to a major political science conventions in Chicago and Canada and taught classes as an undergraduate government course instructor.

As a first-year student, Izer landed a position as a U.S. Senate intern on Capitol Hill, serving in the office of U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). That was followed by a stint as a legislative affairs intern at the White House, followed by a full-time position as a policy intern at the National Association for the Deaf, where she put her minor in American Sign Language to use.

“I view every opportunity that came to me as a gift,” she said recently, as her graduation day loomed. “My time at Mason was beyond my wildest dreams.”

While George Mason places one or two graduates a year in the highly competitive Georgetown Law program, “it is doubly difficult to get in through early admission,” said Phillip Mink, director of the Patriot Pre-Law Advising Program and an assistant professor in the Schar School. “Molly is such an exceptional student that she didn’t have to wait.”

Mink has been aware of Izer since her high school days.

She had an enormous interest in attending law school, but she also wanted to learn about particular areas such as constitutional law,” he said. “I’ve never seen a student with that sort of passion so early in life.”

As for her future, “I’d say she’ll be doing whatever she wants to do, likely wherever she wants to do it,” Mink said. “She’s that good.”

A woman with brown hair in a necktie and checked suit jacket talks to someone off camera.
‘I’d say she’ll be doing whatever she wants to do, likely wherever she wants to do it.’ —Patriot Pre-Law Advising Program Director Phillip Mink

She also was a member of the George Mason University Democrats club, director of policy for the Mason chapter of the Roosevelt Institute, and was director of outreach for the Patriots for Accessible Voting.

In her spare time, when she was not analyzing data detailing the function of caucuses in Congress with Schar School associate professor Jennifer N. Victor, Izer was captain of the Mason Forensics Team and was a triple champion. This year, the team placed second in the nation. (Izer wrote about the team’s final tournament for this website.)

“She has tenacity like no other students I’ve known,” said Victor. “You can’t teach drive. She has a quality that is innate to her passions that serves her well.”

Diploma in hand, Izer now focuses on the intricacies of administrative law, a decision solidified after a class with Schar School Adjunct Professor William J. Froehlich, an administrative judge with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

That administrative law class, she said, “really solidified that that’s what I want to do, even though it was probably the most challenging course I’ve ever taken in my life.”

There are a lot of universities between Oregon and George Mason’s Fairfax, Virginia, not far from Washington, D.C. Why did she decide to become a Patriot?

“I wasn’t sure if Mason was the place for me, or if anywhere was the place for me coming from so far away,” she said. “But after visiting the campus, I was hooked on it, and it felt more like a home than other places. I think a lot of the successes in my life came because this is the setting that I chose to pursue them in.

“My status as a Mason student has made me stand out from the other people competing for government jobs, but it’s also given me a broader appreciation of what it means to study government and how much it matters where you do it.”

A woman in a red pantsuit stands on a stage clutching her face in joy.
Molly Izer learns she’s won her third national championship with a perfect score.