George W. Shirley, 43, a lawyer with the administrative office of the U.S. Courts, died of cancer Friday at Fairfax Hospital.

He had been with the office for three years and was chief of the analysis and reports branch. Before that he had been legal assistant for two years to former U.S. representative David Dennis (R-Ind.).

Mr. Shirley was born in Great Barrington, Mass., and grew up in Holliston, Mass. After graduating from high school, he joined the Marine Corps.

He returned to Massachusetts, garduated from Boston University and rejoined the Marine Corps, seeing combat duty in Vietnam.

Mr. Shirley came to Washington after leaving the Marines in 1968. He earned a degree from George Washington University Law School in 1971, and a master's degree in political science from the University of Maryland a year later.

He is survived by his wife, Gail, and two children, George william and Corinne Ellen, all of the home in Arlington; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Shirley, of Woolwine, Va.; a brother, Thomas J., of Cardinal Bay, S.C., and a sister, Barbara S. Hlmes, of Holliston.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Clarendon United Methodist Church Choir or the American Cancer Society.